Fandango’s One Word Challenge (3 November 2020)

for Fandango’s One Word Challenge(FOWC) of 2 November 2020, anticipate.

She had always been insecure around men. Sure, she had had relationships before – the last one ended at just the start of the year – but could never get beyond the question of “why”. What did they see in her? In her early years, she was sure that sex had played a part, but when she looked in the mirror, she no longer saw the spring chicken she once was. An inch or two here, a pound or two there… Although as she had gotten older, she had started to accept herself more for what she was. She had started to become less hung up on her own shortcomings – she was who she was, and surely anybody worth having would see that? But she no longer went on a night out, hoping to meet the man of her dreams.

And yet, just out with her housemate after work, last Thursday she *had* met somebody. She wouldn’t mind, but she was not particularly glammed up. He had been out with workmates, was tall and well-dressed, and, in her lubricated state, he had made her laugh. As she realised that he was interested in her, those old moves came back. That pout, and the fleck of her hair as she tossed her head back at one of his jokes… and that deliberate walk as she disappeared with her friend to the rest room, realising that his hungry eyes were on her ass.

She was careful not to give too much away, but at the end of the night, when Tom had asked for her phone number, she had given it quite willingly. “I’ll call at the weekend”, were his last words, as his friends pulled him out into the night.

Friday came, and she allowed herself the briefest of moments to think about what might be. Saturday, as she lazed in bed, drifting in and out of sleep, she could not help but feel a small tingle of excitement as she wondered whether, and when, the call would come.

Poverty

I saw a post the other day – I’m sorry I can’t remember the author – which bemoaned this new Supreme Court justice in the USA, who I’ve also heard describes as ultra-conservative. One of their beefs was that abortion would become more restricted.

Let me tell you what happened in Ireland.

For years, Ireland banned abortion. It was only made legal – following a staggeringly one-sided referendum in 2018. Even now, it is not particularly “available”. But the result of abortion being banned was that rich people travelled to England to have their abortions, where it has been legal since the late 1960s. Poor people, being unable to afford the transport cost, had to stay home and have their babies.

If you restrict abortion in the USA, rich people will go out-of-state, or disappear to Mexico or especially Canada for a few days, and still get their abortions. Poor people will not be able to travel and will end up having unwanted babies.

Make no mistake, this is about penalising poverty, not choice.

Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #90

For Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #90:

“I’m sorry, sir, I can’t let you through. We have orders not to let anybody on or off the bridge.”

It was John’s first experience of kettling – many protestors being concentrated (kettled) into a small area, but after a day at work, he was tired and simply wanted to catch his train home.

“Okay, how do I get to Waterloo Station? What routes are open?”

“You can get there over Waterloo Bridge or Lambeth Bridge [the next bridges, east and west], sir, but I’m sorry, I can’t let you onto Westminster Bridge.”

“Okay, thanks for nothing”, muttered John, already turning and beginning to fight his way through the crowd. “Fucking Extinction Rebellion”, he muttered, under his breath.

It only occurred to John later that evening, what right did the policeman have to stop him crossing the bridge? Wasn’t it always touted that the UK was a free country? So, why was he not free to cross the bridge? Why were the protestors not free just to clear the fuck out of his way?

He spent the next three hours on Google, and, by the end of the evening, another protestor had been born.