Undecided

100 words about a woman who doesn't want to decide
Nortina’s Moral Mondays this week is all about getting off the fence 

‘These. No, those. No, hang on, I don’t know.’

‘Where have I heard this before… Both?’

‘Both would be greedy.’

‘You don’t usually show such restraint. Both would mean we can get out of here. At this point, I’m willing to pay that price.’

‘You aren’t paying for anything, mister. I buy my own shoes.’

‘Prove it.’

‘There’re arguments to be made for either.’

‘I understand these. But those? They’re flashy and look like elaborate instruments of torture.’

‘Sometimes, a girl needs flashy.’

‘I wish you’d decide.’ (He dosen’t say: On one pair of shoes. Or one man… On me.)

Selling Out

100 words about money being the root of all evil‘You remember my friend Janice?’

‘Course I remember her, Nan.’

‘Her daughter, she’s a lawyer and she could use some help. Lot of unfair dismissal cases and such. It’s not human rights, but it’s a start.’

‘Nah, human rights, that’s so five years ago. I was young and stupid.’

‘Idealistic, I’d call it. Didn’t you study law to help people?’

‘Well, I didn’t know the options then, did I? The internship I did earlier this year, the firm want me back.’

‘The internship you hated because it was so tedious?’

‘Tedious. And unpaid. You should see my starting salary, though.’

Better than she knows herself

(c) Phylor 

‘This is it?’

‘I said wait till you see the inside.’

‘But this is it? It’s surrounded by concrete. Looks like one of those chain pubs. Don’t say it used to be a pub.’

’It wasn’t a pub.’

‘Don’t lie, I’ll be able to smell.’

‘You ready to go in, then?’

‘There’s no privacy. Anyone can walk all around it.’

‘Let’s go in.’

‘Don’t you see it would be a waste of time? I don’t like it.’

‘You ought to see the inside.’

‘One glance. Won’t take more…  Oh, wow! This is unexpected. Look at the fireplace. I love it.’

***

For Moral Mondays and FFfAW.

Freedom’s Just a State of Mind

100 words about two powerful men congratulating themselves on how they screwed the UK
I’m a bit late for this week’s Moral Mondays, but I think I scraped in just in time

‘Idiots.’

‘Told ya.’

They high-five, chuckling.

‘I’ll admit to not believing they would fall for it.’

‘You sold it, mate. You did well.’

‘Aw, thanks, man. But this is down to you as well. More so, even. You make the news, you form the nation’s opinion.’

‘Don’t play modest. You started it.’

’Suppose I did.’

More chuckles.

‘The immediate future ain’t gonna look rosy.’

‘Pretty bleak, in fact, I’d imagine.’

‘Your next move?’

‘Lie low for a bit, swoop in like a superhero to save the day as and when.’

‘Good plan.’

‘Bless ‘em. They think they’re free now. Idiots.’

Soar Lemming Soar

100 words about an artist who never finishes what he starts
photo by Michael Browning 

‘Sam! I’ve had another idea. A better one. I think this is the one, you know?’

‘So we’re doing that again?’

‘What do you mean?’

‘Do you remember last time?’

‘Last time was different. It was a bad idea, I see it now. But this isn’t.’

‘Give it two weeks… I think you should see the current one through.’

‘You don’t understand, I have to follow my muse.’

‘Last time you said your muse was a jerk sometimes. Sure she isn’t leading you off a cliff again?’

‘I’ve never been so sure of anything.’

‘Dave… You say that every time.’

***

Can you guess what this week’s Moral Mondays prompt is?

What My Father Taught Me

100 words about an absent father
photo by Alex Jones 

When I watch my girlfriends – one going through a nasty divorce, another dating jerk after jerk, and that’s only the last few months – I appreciate what I learnt from my old man. His teaching methods were unconventional – the cheating liar abandoned my mother, my sister and me during my formative years.

I hated him, for almost a decade. But look at me now. I’m nearing thirty and no man has left a chink in my armour. I expect the worst, I expect behaviour worthy of my father. I haven’t met anyone half as bad yet. I haven’t been disappointed again.

Say No, Maybe

100 words about a Brave New World
photo by Scott Dougall 

Nobody goes near her. She’s a desert island in a sea of commuters.

I admire her bravery. Standing in Government Square wearing that sign – if she’s not brave, she’s mad.

So it’s not I’m not sympathetic to her cause. I wouldn’t risk watching her otherwise. But while I admire her principles, the ways she behaves scares me. She follows her own mind rather than chemically induced, government-prescribed sedation. Why does she seem so unhappy and so angry?

I inspect the pill I didn’t swallow at breakfast and sigh. I hope for greater resolve at lunchtime. Or tomorrow. Or next week.

***

My contribution to Nortina’s Moral Mondays. I’ve been catching up with the latest series of the Beeb’s Dangerous Visions and I suppose Brave New World was on my mind.

Like the Innocent Flower

innocent-flower‘Poppy, don’t touch!’

Annabelle shouldn’t have shouted – everyone’s giving her the what’s wrong with her look.

‘Come here, darling.’

If she’d let Poppy touch the flowers, there would be no argument. Parenting could be so easy… She’ll have to bribe Poppy away from the park with ice-cream.

‘Looking is okay, but you mustn’t touch. Remember? They’re evil.’

‘Other children touch them and their mummies let them.’

‘That’s because they’re not botanists. They can’t tell those flowers aren’t pretty daisies.’

Flowers that make people weak-willed and suggestible. Flowers that didn’t originate on Earth. Flowers that … the thought’s too bleak to finish.

***

This is my contribution to this week’s Moral Mondays.

Spoil the Child

100 words about an abusive father
photo by Henry Lo 

She has learnt to endure Father’s punishment without so much as a flinch – if she flinches, whimpers, cries, he’ll get angrier.

But she’s inherited Father’s anger. The first time it flares up when she finds a bruise on her baby brother.

The second time, it makes her fling herself at Father’s fist as he’s about to hit her brother again. The look of shock on his face is almost worth the pain of the beating she takes in return.

She doesn’t want there to be a third time. She will have to talk to someone before she turns into Father.

***

Story 30 of 31 for Story A Day May, using this week’s Moral Mondays prompt.

Statistically Deviant

100 words about a Kafkaesque dystopian future
photo by Roman Mager

‘Barely average, your numbers. Not good enough.’

I shouldn’t give in to my anger and I know it.

‘With all due respect, sir, my numbers are bang on average.’

The body language of his bodyguards changes – subtle movements, meant not to alarm. One of them will have a hand on his firearm.

‘And average is not good enough. Government policy is government policy.’

A policy that doesn’t make sense. A policy that sets everyone but the best up to fail.

I used to be on board with the official line. But what self-respecting statistician could get behind everyone above average?

***

Story 24 of 31 for Story A Day May – today’s prompt is genre and of course I’ve gone with dystopia.