May 072015
 

In honour of the general election taking place in the U.K. today, I tried to avoid politics for this week’s contest. Alas, I didn’t quite manage it. Enjoy:

First Lady is a term used for the wife of a male head of state. In the case of a female head of state the term Fist Gentleman is used for her spouse, and the term First Family is used to describe the couple and their children. Occasionally a woman other then the spouse of the head of state may adopt the role (if not the title) of First Lady, as did Chelsea Clinton during Hilary Clinton’s campaign for election to the U.S. Senate. The term is not used for the wife of a Prime Minister in countries with a constitutional monarchy, such as the United Kingdom, as the reigning monarch, not the Prime Minister, is the head of state.

Eva Perón, First Lady of Argentina from 1946 to 1952, was born on this day in 1919. She left home age 15 to pursue a career as an actress. Ten years later she met Colonel Juan Perón at a charity event to benefit the victims of the San Juan earthquake. The two were married the following year and Juan Perón was elected President of Argentina the year after. During the next six years Eva campaigned for women’s suffrage and labour rights until her death from cancer in 1952 aged 33. The life of Eva Perón was celebrated in the musical, and later movie, Evita.

Here is this week’s photo prompt:

Photo Credit: Beatrice Murch via CC.

Photo Credit: Beatrice Murch via CC.

The Judge

Judging this week’s contest is R Matt Lashley, winner of MB1.05 and MB1.29. Read his winning stories, and what he has to say about flash fiction here.

What?

A story of between 90 and 110 words starting with FIRST and ending with LADY and incorporating the photo prompt.

Who?

Anyone, but especially you!

Why?

Why not! Because it’s fun. Because it’s a challenge. Because the winner will receive their own winner’s page, their story on the winning stories list, a ‘who is the the author’ feature to be posted next week, entry into the ‘Micro Bookend of the Year’ competition, and a copy of this year’s winning stories compilation.

When?

Now! Get your entry in BEFORE 5:00 am Friday (UK time: http://time.is/London).

Where?

Here!

How?

Post your story in the comments section. Include the word count and your Twitter username (if you’re Twitterized). Don’t forget to read the full rules before submitting your story.

Anything else?

Please give your story a title. It will not be included in the word count.

Please try to leave comments on a couple of other stories. It’s all part of the fun, and everyone likes feedback!

Remember, only stories that use the bookends exactly as supplied (punctuation is allowed) will be eligible to win.

  166 Responses to “Micro Bookends 1.30 – FIRST [micro] LADY”

  1. The Speech
    @FictionAsLife
    93 words

    First, Eva was late leaving the house.

    Traffic was slow, and every stoplight was red.

    Eva narrowly missed an accident when another driver ran his red light.

    When she arrived at the conference, her heel broke. She stepped up to the lecturn to speak, and her mouth went dry. Still, with a cracking voice, she started to speak.

    “Women are not inferior to men, and their rights should not be inferior either.” Amid boos from the crowd, she continued her speech in favor of women’s suffrage.

    The whole evening, Eva was a lady.

  2. ONE SPECIAL LADY

    Brian S Creek
    109 words
    @BrianSCreek
    #FlashDog

    First time I saw her I just knew. I’d been with other women before, sure, but that had been so basic, so primal.

    She was different, though. Her voice, her smell, her smile, it was all so magical and would stay with me for days. My heart would go clickety-clack whenever she was around. She was perfect. She was perfection.

    There is nothing I fear more than life without her. She was my drug of choice and I could never get enough. I guess by checking out early to be with her there will be things I miss, but I can’t wait any longer.

    She is one special lady.

  3. Indecision
    @laurenegreene
    109 words

    “First, we’re going to visit the Pink House.”

    Chewing gum, sitting on the street corner, Dad plotted the trip as I looked up at the portrait of Evita painted on a building. Henry sat down next to me.

    “No, maybe we’ll go to Recoleta first.”

    “Evita Peron,” Henry said.

    “I know that,” I said.

    “Don’t cry for me Argentina, the truth is we’ll never see you. Because Dad’s indecisive. And a staller. We’ll be sitting on this corner, for the rest of our lives,” Henry said.

    Dad put away the tour book and said, “Hey guys, don’t just sit there. Look at that. Eva Peron. She was some lady!”

  4. A New York State of Mind
    @kellyvturner81
    105 words

    First Avenue had seemed like such a logical place to start, but now she was here she felt dwarfed. The buildings were larger than anything they had in Indiana, and the people were big personalities in big frames. As she stood on the sidewalk craning her neck upwards, the city seemed to taunt her:
    “You think you are the first to come to me with dreams and ambitions? People with more talent have tried and failed before you.”
    Bombarded with noise and noxious fumes she stepped into the street. Brakes squealed, a horn blared and the taxi driver bellowed “get the hell outta here lady!”

  5. The Story of Us

    (110 words)
    @elaine173marie

    First, you’re just an outline, someone I barely know. You tease me. It works. You catch my attention. You flutter around at the corner of my eye.
    You compel me, but you’re elusive, grasping you proves difficult.
    My approach will have to be slow.

    I think about you even when my wife sits curled on the sofa beside me. I pretend to  listen to her, but she talks to my shoulder.

    I long to caress the plump, round flesh of you. But you say you’re one thing, then you’re another. You change as quick as a flash.
    Then you arrive, snap into view- whole. And you’re this story’s leading lady.

  6. Easy like Sunday morning

    104 words
    @to_the_future

    First of many, he thought, flicking away the cigarette butt.

    “Hold steady” came a voice from behind. “They’re nearly here”

    Looking down the avenue he could now clearly see the protestors. Previously muffled whistles and shouts were louder, more intense. He questioned why they demonstrated at all. It wasn’t going to change anything, and on a Sunday at that. Bloody do-gooders.

    “Shields up.”

    A glass bottle crashed to his right, quickly followed by two more in front of him. He tensed and felt the blood rise.

    “You ready, Rodrigo?” asked Miguel, grinning nervously.

    “ Nope, I wish I’d stayed in bed with my old lady.”

  7. Mean Girls Night Out
    (109 words)

    First came a cocktail sent over by the rich dork. He winked at me from the opposite end of the bar high atop the building with the sultry singer painted on the side. He must have figured his money made up for a less than appealing appearance.

    He was wrong. My girlfriends laughed when I sent the drink back.

    The flowers arrived next, purchased from the beggar woman who’d managed to slink in, avoiding security. I crushed them under my heel with a sneer.

    He wrote something on his napkin, handed it to the bar tender, and stumbled out the door.

    I winced as I read, “You’re no lady.”

    • Well, that’s cruel. A simple no would suffice. I’m inclined to agree with him.

    • I don’t like that they sneer at him or the stamping on the flowers, but then, she never asked for his gifts or his opinion. And he winked! Lol. Interesting situation.

      • Hence the title “Mean girls . . .” Even I couldn’t decide if they were out trolling for guys.

        • I think my problem with him, even altho he seems more civil, is he’s not entitled to assume they are there for male attention. Agree with asgardana the comments are a sign of a good story.

    • That note may be right. I feel like someone should teach this woman some manners! LOL

      Great piece.

      • She could indeed. While not necessarily out looking to meet someone, her behavior still crossed a few lines.

    • Perhaps some manners need to be taught to both sides; although I felt more sorry for him than her.

  8. Foy S. Iver
    @fs_iver

    WC: 109

    We Follow Our Lady

    First to give us voice, we will be first to honor you.

    Inside that polished wood, do you hear our feet pound against stone? You lead us, still. To dark and distant shores, we’d follow nuestra cabecilla.

    From Los Toldos, you came to Buenos Aires, a canopy against oppressive suns. You whispered worth into our souls, rebellion to our hearts. Even those burning orbs admired your audacity.

    Then, when your land was most fertile, a tree of death planted itself in your womb. It spread its roots through blood and bone, consuming you. Our canopy fell.

    The suns mourn your loss but they needn’t. For we follow our Lady.

  9. Crazy, Lady
    @hollygeely
    108 words

    “First and foremost, I should warn you. There’s no going back.”

    Edward met Red’s eyes in the rearview mirror. He called her Red to match her shirt. He didn’t know her name.

    “I’m not scared,” Edward said.

    Red hit the gas and sped through the red light. The car screeched to a halt on the sidewalk.

    “We’re here.”

    “You’re crazy, lady.”

    “Yep.”

    She took him into an unmarked office. The green blob behind the desk waved hello.

    “You’ve been chosen for lunch!” the blob burbled.

    “What the – ” Edward turned to Red.

    She had removed her skin. Her tentacles waved.

    She was crazy, but she was no lady.

  10. Mechbot Nanny
    (110 words)
    @agardana09

    First off, I’m not even supposed to be here. I’m a Mechbot 3827, not equipped for this important mission.

    Yet here I am with a baby crying in the corner.

    No one is around, no one else can hear. I’m a Mechanic by design not a NurseDroid but there is something wrong, something making this human cry, and my programming wants to react.

    I stand, crack my knuckles and gather strength.

    The human is even tinier in my arms, the wailing is louder. Through strange instinct, I rock the fragile body against my chest. I can fix this.

    The baby quiets as I continue humming. “There, there, sleep little lady.”

  11. Newsreel
    (Word Count: 109)
    @iskyhaggarty36

    First thing she wanted to be was a cook.
    Next, a teacher.
    “Dad, I meant artist. It’s my calling.”
    Last thing she wanted to be was an actress, running off to the grand city in the dead of night, leaving me behind without so much as a goodbye.
    Well, of course she would; I wouldn’t have let her go. Her mother always complained that I was “too uptight”.
    Right up until the chemo took her.
    But chemo didn’t take Eva, my scared, bold, indecisive little girl.
    Some strange man took her.
    First innocence, then life.
    The newsreel flashed monotonously, but she was my baby…
    not just another unfortunate lady.

  12. Calming Snowdy
    109 words
    @sydney_writer

    “First parade.” I hand reins to a cowgirl in frills. The grey horse is nervous, and his hooves strike sparks on Main Street asphalt. He stares at me and the poop bucket out of the corner of his guarded brown eyes. Whites peeking out—he’s going to bite her.

    Swifter than a fly swatter, the horse smacks the cowgirl’s shoulder and drops her on the dotted white crosswalk. People shout.

    “Are you okay?”

    I grab the horse’s reins. His eyes soften, and he flicks his ears. No one understands him. I pet his face and hold him back with whispers. “You’ll be my steed, and I’ll be your lady.”

  13. Emily Clayton
    @emilyiswriting
    109 words

    The Taste of Freedom

    First time alone and I’m scared. My smudged necklace winks in the crusty glow as I skirt these narrow alleys. Apple cores litter one doorway, green and red and mottled. Granny Smith, too bitter. Red Delicious, too soft. The third, like baby bear’s chair, is my favourite.

    Outside, the approaching dawn unveils a world of hazy, muted tones.

    “Ain’t I seen you someplace?” A man squats. Greasy spots swoop in like hyenas before the kill. “Hey, Larry! Ain’t this that rich lady’s cat? The one we’ve seen on the billboards?”

    I know when to make my escape, but not before I grab that pomme, that elegant, sumptuous Pink Lady.

  14. Tamara Shoemaker
    @TamaraShoemaker
    Word Count: 91

    Winging It

    First time I ever ripped open Fear’s jugular vein,
    I made myself an angel on the wind,
    Winging through the air on the end of a string,
    Held in place with nothing but an oversized paperclip
    That they’d assured me would hold my weight.
    The ones below laughed, pointed, whistled at the zipline
    And the woman attached to it who…
    Only just realized she’d worn a dress.
    Setting my angelic feet solidly on the other platform,
    I shrugged off the laughter.
    Dress or no, I’d never learned to be a lady.

  15. Note to My Sister

    First, I’ve brought your underthings, which are silk and smell of lavender. (That was a surprise!)

    Second, your pantyhose, so nobody will guess how long it’s been since you’ve shaved. You crack me up! We don’t care, but I know you do, so.

    Third, a new dress. It’s secondhand (sorry about that), but just LOOK at all those pearls!! It could be a queen’s gown, and the sea green matches your eyes.

    Last is hair and makeup. I’m lending you my favorite lipstick. Just this once.

    There, you wild angel, you star of my heart, you death-snatched sister, are you happy? You finally get your wish to be a lady.

    110 words
    @postupak

  16. CHRIS AND MIKE vs THE HISTORY TRIP

    Brian S Creek
    104 words
    @BrianSCreek
    #FlashDog

    First thing Mike did, once it sunk in, was throw up.

    “That’s right, buddy,” said Chris. “Let it out.”

    “That’s a lot of puke,” said Young Chris.

    Mike looked up at both Chris’ and wiped his chin. “How the hell have we gone back twenty-two years?”

    “My guess is that the labyrinth we escaped from had some rather interesting ‘properties’.”

    “And why does everything look foreign?”

    “Argentina, my friend,” said Chris. My father brought me here to train.”

    “Maybe he can help us get back?” said Mike.

    Chris nodded.

    Young Chris pointed towards the city behind them. “He went to see a weird lady.”

  17. BLOCK LETTERS

    “First I’ve heard of it, Chantelle.” The night security guard squinted skeptically.

    “Big meeting tomorrow, Joe. CEO wants the blinds on the executive floors cleaned… tonight.” Chantelle let that sink in. “But if you want to confirm…”

    “No… That’s OK.”

    She took the express lift; she needed to finish before Steve’s A&E night shift ended.

    #

    Steve yawned, longing to climb into bed with Chantelle, warm, snuggly.

    Lights were red at the crossing.

    Dawn illuminated the randomly lowered blinds in the windows of the office block where Chantelle worked. His brain hazily registered their nicknames for one another. He blinked, then read:

    I LUV YOU
    SEXY BABE

    MARRY ME!

    FOXY LADY.

    @GeoffHolme
    Word Count: 110

  18. Bad Timing

    @el_Stevie

    108 words
    #Flashdogs

    First impressions count but the lights had thwarted me, made me late. Red eyes blinked and mocked my attempts to cross urban plains whilst clear routes suddenly teemed with migratory jaywalkers.

    How could this happen? Programming traffic light sequences is my responsibility and, I admit, much of it is for my own benefit … or amusement.

    Today though, someone has altered the timings; someone who wanted to sabotage my application for the Directorship, someone who coveted my promotion. I switched on my phone and smiled at the incriminating photo prepared just in case. I pressed send. Not a very ladylike response but then again, I was no lady.

    • “migratory jaywalkers.” LOVE this! And so true, just when traffic is cleared…

      • Thank you – those red lights, I swear they’re out to get us. 🙂

    • “…urban plains… migratory jaywalkers…” Wonderful metaphors, conjuring up an image of vast herds of wildebeest traversing the Serengeti!
      I guessed she wasn’t a lady, working in the red light area. 😉

  19. First Thing in the Morning
    (Word Count: 110)
    @iskyhaggarty36

    First I set the table, making sure Jonah and Macy had a healthy choice of cereals to choose from before starting their first day of 4th grade.
    I could just picture them now; their half-worried, half-excited faces, the tugging on my pant leg, the complaints (“don’t wanna go”), and the inevitable rushing off to the bus.
    I dressed for work and left a letter for my sleeping wife (didn’t want to wake her).
    Finding parking easily being so early, I made my way to the tippy-top of the building.
    I was so tired.
    So I stepped off, hoping to sleep forever, plummeting past the building’s portrait of the forever-singing lady.

  20. That was an unexpected ending and so bleak compared to the excitement and life of his young children. Sad.

  21. Tourists
    @any1mar66
    word count 93

    “First you look at the map! Then you drive! Every time we get to a big city. You rent a car and get lost.” Francis looked angry, she always looked angry.

    “Just a couple more streets, we get there on time. I got my map right here!” David has no idea where they are, but isn’t going to let her win.

    “Can’t you see those people with the flags?! There heading right at US! You need to turn by building with Eva’s picture”

    “Hey on that building. It’s that a lady?”

  22. SITTING IN A TREE
    110 words
    @jes3ica

    First comes love, and you know the rest. It went just so for Felipe and me.

    OK, not exactly. More like: first came love, then came a baby in a baby carriage, then came marriage. But that’s close enough. We’re all very modern these days.

    Well actually—fine, I’ll tell—it went: baby, marriage, love. But those are three sips on the same straw, right? Same end result.

    Yeah. Although.

    The truth?: baby (well, pregnancy), engagement (in car, at stoplight), love (mine), love (his? briefly? maybe?), marriage (expensive), miscarriage ( ), separation (“just to catch our breath”), love (his. And hers.), divorce (expensive), time (so fast!), then somehow…

    This: me (old lady).

  23. Erection Night Special
    A.J. Walker

    First she’d put the red light on; Dennis out playing cribbage! Marcos would be around like a shot.

    Everyone saw her as harsh alpha beast but in the bedroom she played it differently. The leather head gear, belts and collar looked bizarre – all made to measure (made in Britain); ensuring her expensively coiffured hair was undamaged .

    The nights were a riot of whips and game play. Marcos blushes recalling it.

    Madame X he called her, “‘cos she lived at Number 10”. Used to charge him too; ever the capitalist.

    He still remembers being told things when things changed.

    ‘It’s over,’ she said, “I’m not for turning tricks, not this lady’.

    (110 words)
    @zevonesque

    #Flashdogs
    #SoSoSorry

  24. Guacamole Days (110 words)
    @brett_milam

    First time I put the vest on, I vomited on Javier and cursed God. The second time, Javier stood three paces to the left. No vomit that time.

    Javier designed the vest himself with its intricate wires and buttons that were meaningless to me. I only needed to know it would work.

    It would, he said.

    Still my stomach was like guacamole left in the sun, mushy and brown.

    On the day when the people were on the streets mindlessly going to their polling stations, it was the brightest day I can remember.

    The radiance killed the guac in my stomach.

    And to the sheep, I was an invisible lady.

  25. Debut

    110 words @geofflepard

    First time. Hard. Tense. Have a code, if it gets to make you uncomfortable. Your red light. Don’t rush. No prizes for being first.
    ‘You ok?’
    Nod. Smile. Open your mouth.
    ‘If you want time?’
    Nod. No, shake. Both. Swallow. Calm. Think.
    ‘So if you just want to move a little.’
    Can’t move. Hands gripping tight, hard, tense. Ready to shatter.
    Just do it.
    Do it.
    ‘You gotta move some.’
    Can’t move. Frozen. Have to explain. About the code. When it all goes wrong.
    ‘You ain’t done this before have you?’
    Lie. Do. Not. Say.
    ‘You gotta give me something more if you want your picture up in lights, lady.’

  26. — Fans Stopped, Pumps Quiet, Light Fading —

    First in the family to attend university. First Brit in Star City. But Rachel will not be the first woman to die in space.

    “Elapsed EVA 3 hours, 31 minutes. Another 90 minutes, return to Mother.”

    That’s unlike Sergei to speak English.

    “Acknowledged.”

    Unless she can realign the solar array, Mother’s batteries will drain. It won’t be pleasant – not for them, nor the relief crew due next month, nor both governments – although at least that will be an end to Sergei’s tannoy show tunes.

    As South America reappears beneath her feet, Rachel visualises her Mini Metro and swings the wrench.

    “Come on, old lady!”

    108 words
    @edbroom

    • Really, really liked this. It’s one of those stories that shows how different authors can interpret the same prompt (which is one of the things I love about these Flash Fiction contests).

      And the line, “As South America reappears beneath her feet” is so simple but gives an epic feel to the characters situation.

  27. Midnight in a Cheap Hotel

    “First time?” she asked. I said yes. She whispered something wet in my ear, but I couldn’t hear what. The lace itched too much.

    “Relax sweetie,” the man said as he exited the bathroom naked. He clicked on the T.V. “You can watch the television and join when you’re ready.”

    I grabbed the remote and flipped through the channels. The bed rocked in time to the clicks of the remote. A campaign add flashed on. The couple behind me was waving to a parade of supporters. He looked the same. She looked less horny.

    I gasped. She moaned. I wasn’t a whore. She wasn’t a lady.

    @goldzco21
    #flashdog
    109 words

  28. INTERGALACTIC SYMPOSIUM ON GENDER EQUALITY IN HUMAN AND NON-HUMAN SPECIES
    110 words
    @ecjlewis

    “First we have to find the place, let alone sit through endless presentations of backward theories. Why this blasted holo-map doesn’t work with Earth’s geriatric satellites…”

    I watch Husband swipe at the display and glance around for corresponding street names.

    If I told him (again) how to use the Nav-Me function, and in public, I’d be in for a beating later. But I can see the building up ahead, and I don’t want to miss any of those backward theories.

    “Dear Husband,” I say. “I wonder what all those flags are there, and such a lot of strange people too?”

    I enjoy making him squirm, whilst remaining, unimpeachably, a lady.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.