August Flash Fiction: Day 16
My apologies for the delay in today's post! It appears my auto publish setting didn't save correctly!
I'm bummed I didn't get around to writing a story yesterday, but I was too busy having a great birthday, and one that involved falling asleep embarrassingly early. Anyway, onward! Really switching gears image-wise.
Each day a new post with a picture (with a CC0 license), word count limit, and occasional additional twist will be published at 7:00 am EDT. You will then have until the next day's post to write your story.
You can then either keep it to yourself (a perfectly valid way to participate!) or you can share your story itself in the comments, or share a link in the comments where we can read your story (blog, Instagram etc.)
My daily story will be added to the post under the picture within the same deadline.
Aug. 16 Word Limit: 300
Aug. 16 Image Prompt:
I Wish it Were Different
“A smart woman never travels alone,” my mother used to say, admonishing the women who dared to believe in their right to safety. My mother was one of those women who also said things like “Boys will be boys,” and “Got herself knocked up…” when spreading gossip about our young pregnant neighbor, as though it was through solely through her “bad” behavior that there was now a baby on the way. I was sometimes tempted to ask her if she knew what sperm was.
I think of all the ways my mother wanted me to work at never inviting trouble into my life, to be careful and cautious of the men who snatched and grabbed as they pleased, my mental version of her voice smoothing out into a pattern along side the humming of my tires on the road. “Careful, careful, careful,” shushing along the ticking whooshes of the guardrail as I pass.
There was a rumor, always a rumor, never a believable, “we’re here to help you” fact, that women were being targeted on this secluded stretch of road. Popped tires and then a man coming to help a damsel in distress. Whispers of what happened next, and only one woman who mentioned it to the police after staying in her car and refusing to acknowledge the stranger while she waited for AAA to arrive, the man driving away as soon as the truck came into view.
“I know you,” I think. At least I know his kind.
When I’ve staked out similar hunting points I’ve been mistaken for a man, my straight legs and boxy shape thanks to the bulk of a coat.
A wolf in wolf’s clothing.
I don’t like the word “vigilante” but I like the word “victim” even less.
So I drive. And I wait.