FFF 10: Lightning

Or, “A Villain in Three Monologues”

To her lieutenant, about a lost talisman
“What do you mean ‘I can’t find it’? That’s not just any guitar pick, you know. You’ve been at my side this entire time; you know me better than anyone! Getting hit by lightning was the beginning of my path, yes, but until I discovered I could channel my power into the pick, life was a disaster. Everyone I touched—everyone but you—I electrocuted. You’re the exception to my rule, but with that pick, I can at least pretend to be normal for a while before the electricity builds up again! Without it, my skin is like a pressure bomb, so don’t tell me ‘I can’t find it’. Find it!

About her lair
“Well, it wasn’t my first choice lair, of course, but who can afford their first choice these days anyway? It’s a tree house: quiet enough and the fairies and animals only have to cleared out every so often. There’s a beautiful clock that I can shut away during inclement weather—which, I’m sure you can imagine, I have to deal with a lot—and that’s a great thing because the clock doesn’t just tell time; it tells my time. It’s warm inside and the upper floors have plenty of room for my… special interests, if you will. And look! A great big, grassy front yard. The silver gold stream down the middle of the lawn is runoff from some of my projects, you see; I think it’s had a strange effect on the local wildlife.”

To the captured hero
“Do you see this cookie? Do you? This is your heart, good sir, and I will crush it between my fingers at any moment I so choose. You’re tied up now, but you will never die—not even in a vat of acid—until I decide it’s time. When you saved that little child instead of me all those years ago, I was struck by lightning! You left me stranded on a house roof in the middle of a thunderstorm, and I was struck by lightning. Wasn’t I a child, too? You saved that boy because he came from a good neighborhood and came from a good family, and I was from the wrong side of the tracks. Well, now I’ve got the power, and you’re there in chains, and where is that boy?”

This post is part of Flash Fiction February.

Resolutions for the New Year

Without getting into the discussion about whether or not December 31 is really any different than January 1 (hint: it’s not), I’ve come up with three resolutions for the New Year. I’ve thought about it long and hard, and I want to have resolutions that (1) I can actually accomplish, (2) help me strive but don’t overwhelm, and (3) do not necessarily involve “getting rich quick” or “shedding a few pounds”… Because honestly, everyone wants to be richer and feel good when they look in the mirror. Those are basically standing societal goals, at least where I live, and I don’t need to contribute to that by falling for any pyramid schemes or jumping on the “join a gym today!” bandwagon.

When someone says something, believe them
Dear future self: You know that guy who tells some horrendous ‘joke’ (trigger warning: “I bought a rape whistle and it’s come in handy…really helps to mask the screams.”) and then, when you tell him that was completely not funny, he says, “Aww, don’t get bent out of shape about it! Lighten up! It was only a joke; you have no sense of humor”? That guy is not joking. Don’t worry about ‘being polite’ or ‘being nice’—that guy is not your friend. Don’t be afraid to tell off that guy; don’t be afraid to not laugh; don’t be afraid to ask him to explain the joke. You don’t have to be everyone’s friend; don’t be embarrassed, and don’t be afraid to embarrass him. When someone says something, they are feeling out how you’ll take it. Don’t be afraid to not take it. Stand up for yourself; don’t be afraid.

Get a job
Preferably in my field of study, and definitely higher-paying than what I have now… which wouldn’t be difficult, sadly. I actually don’t mind the work I do now; I dislike some aspects of it, of course, but I like my coworkers and the work isn’t terribly mentally taxing. And I would like to have higher pay. (Right now, I’m living below the poverty line.) In this vein, I’ll be applying for work every couple of days or so until I land something better than coffee shop work.

Submit my writing
Or, “Receive ten rejections.” If I’m not getting rejected, I’m not submitting enough work (or, I suppose, I’m just that awesome). This way, I will ‘win’ this goal either way: either I’ll succeed by having more of my work published, or I’ll succeed by having at least ten rejection letters by the end of the year.