Deconstructing…Talkin’ Bout My Generation

Deconstructing My Personal Myth

Charlotte Babb profile

2013 -You don’t know how you look until you get your picture took.

I am a product of my cultural heritage, as everyone is. I was born in 1951, part of the baby boom that was a reaction to the horrors of two world wars punctuated by the Great Depression. The reaction was fueled by the cultural upheaval of the industrial revolution, the women’s suffrage movement, and the suburbanization of the middle and working class. The Boomers, as we are called, was  the largest age-group in the history of the world until the Millennials caught up, and in America, we have shown that the rules and customs of previous generations are neither adequate nor valid for the present.

In America at the end of WWII, the great impulse was “back to normal.” Women left the workforce as the men came home—although my grandmother and most of the women in my family had worked in the cotton mills since they had opened in the early 1900s. Women’s clothing became almost as restrictive as in the 1860s with corseted waists and crinoline skirts—not the quasi-military suits of the 1940s. Many women had large families, 3, 4, or even 5 children, much like the large families of my grandparents, who had 8 and 10 siblings each.

The mechanization of the 20th century helped to collapse the extended family typical of my grandparents’ generation—people who had no electricity or running water until they moved into the mill villages built in the 1920s. They bought cars, driving them to church on Sunday, but walking to work every day. As people got used to the idea of driving, and as cars became easier to drive, and roads were built, people were willing to go further from home to work. My parents commuted over 30 miles one way through most of my childhood, leaving me and my brother at home after school or with a baby sitter—one of my cousins or a black woman. This was the 1960s, when many other kinds of work were not open to blacks, especially women.

The many labor-saving devices invented in the late 1800s and early 1900s gave women not only different tasks, but more of them, just as the invention of the sewing machine made possible the extreme ornamentation of women’s fashion in the 1870s and 80s. The

In one generation, my grandparents went from large, farm-based, extended families  with no electricity or running water, to the small, nuclear family that depended on industrial work for money. My parents helped turn the mill community into a bedroom community as they drove to the city to work, and eventually moved there—losing all knowledge of how to live on the land. My generation was raised on TV, and we became the first generation of children to be a demographic group for advertising. We were the first group of children to be raised in the shadow of global destruction from “the bomb.” I personally did not expect to live to be thirty.

  • Charlotte Ann Henley

    1953 – Looking into the cmera

    When I was 4, (1955) Sen. Joseph McCarthy was interviewed by Edgar R. Murrow, ending McCarthy’s witch-hunt of communists. The power of TV was born,  and a simple campaign slogan won the day: “I like Ike”.

  • When I was 7 (1958) we watched the manned first rocket launch at school! Fidel Castro took power in Cuba in the Bay of Pigs and remained in power many years, though he died this year.
  • When I was 9, (1960), the youngest president was elected; John Kennedy was 43. He was also the youngest president to be assassinated.
  • When I was 11, (1962) we nearly had WWIII with the Cuban missile crisis.
  • When I was 12, (1963), Kennedy was murdered, which ushered in Johnson’s Great Society and the Vietnam War.
  • When I was 13, (1964), the most successful ad campaign in music was processed: the Beatles came to America. How innocent we all were then—long hair indeed. Lyndon Johnson started the Great Society, legislated for civil rights, and turned the military industrial complex loose in Vietnam. Boom times.
  • When I was 15 (1966), half the people in America were under the age of 25–it was the end of the baby boom and the beginning of the Summer of Love.
  • When I was 17 (1968), Martin Luther King, Jr. and Bobby Kennedy were murdered, and Richard Nixon was elected president.
  • When I was 18 (1969-70), men landed on the moon, the Mets won the series, the Beatles broke up, Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix played Woodstock, and then both died of overdoses along with Jim Morrison. I could buy liquor and beer legally because of Vietnam.
Charlotte Henley Bbb

1969 mini skirt innocence

  • When I was 21 (1972), we lost the war in Vietnam, although we had never lost a battle.
  • When I was 22 (1973), the Arabs nationalized their oil fields and gas prices went from 25c a gallon to $1.50 in six months. I started teaching that year, making $8,000 a year. Minimum wage was $1.60 an hour, which in 1968 would purchase $8.85 of 2005 dollars.
  • When I was 23 (1974), Nixon resigned rather than be impeached, and we had a president who had not been elected—Gerald Ford. There are those who say that the 1960s did not start until 1964 with the Beatles, and did not end until 1974 with Nixon’s resignation. The 70s only lasted two years—like disco—with Gerald Ford, and the 80s started in 1976 with Jimmy Carter.
  • When I was 30 (1981), I was amazed that the world had not ended, and had a surge of hope that we might survive after all, even though Ronald Regan was inaugurated as president,  and George Harrison was ordered to pay $500k for unconsciously plagiarizing the melody to  “My Sweet Lord.”
  • When I was nearly 31, (1982)  I gave birth to my brilliant daughter and learned the true meaning of post partum depression. On a brighter note, ET phoned home.
  • I don’t remember much of the next six or so years. I was teaching English at a small county high school, fighting depression, and spending about three weeks in the psych ward. They said I needed marriage counseling, which we tried, but I met another man at OA, and broke the first rule of 12 step programs…don’t get involved with others at 12-step programs.
  • At 39, (1990) I earned a Master’s degree, filed for separation and divorce. Nelson Mandela was released from prison, and Imelda Marcos was found not guilty of racketeering despite her 4000 pairs of shoes.
  • AT 40 (1991) I remarried, bought a house, lost my teaching job, and Bush, Sr, invaded Iraq…ironically, the first war televised, with camera footage of drone strikes, and in March, the president announced that the war was over. He lied.
  • Four years later at 44,  (1995) I was widowed, working as an adjunct at a community college 35 miles away, while Timothy McVey blew up a government building in Oklahoma City.
  • When I was 50 (2001),  the World Trade Center was destroyed by two hijacked jets. My life was pretty much same stuff different day.
    Charlotte Babb is happy

    Grinning like a donkey eating briers.

  • At 57, (2008) I received a second master’s degree, for which I am still paying off student loans, and the housing market tanked–my student loan interest is higher than my mortgage, but I was hired full time for the first time in 17 years as a web designer  for a small college.
  • When I was 60, (2011),  my first novel was accepted for publication in 2012, and the Arab Spring began, which now has turned into the Winter of Discontent for much of the Middle East, especially Syria, and the many countries dealing with refugees and migrants. I’m working on another book, but have published a number of short story collections.
  • At 65, (2016) I declared bankruptcy (after losing my job in 2015),  started receiving social Security at -7% for early retirement, and The Donald was elected president.

What a long strange trip it has been. I don’t know what to expect next, but my tarot reading today indicates that American has received a wake-up call. I hope we don’t hit the snooze button.

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Maggie Smith: The Lady in the Van by Choice

 Many Faces of Maggie Smith

Many faces of Maggie Smith, not just an old lady or a 50s It-Girl.

Maggie Smith is one of my favorite actresses, but I watched her last weekend in one of the slowest movies ever shot: The Lady in the Van. The good thing about watching a slow movie is that it gives me time to think.  I began to think of how Miss Shepherd was like Lady Violet of Downton Abbey,  both women who  managed their lives as much as possible given their circumstances. It’s a typical story line for several of her movies, such as Travels with My Aunt, the story of a man who learns that his bad girl aunt is really his mother, and The Prime of Miss Jean Brody, about a teacher whose unusual teaching methods and politics ostracize her from her peers.

Maggie Smith as Elizabeth I

Maggie Smith as Elizabeth I

An Inspiration for Everyone

Maggie herself is a remarkable woman, working on the Harry Potter movies while being treated for breast cancer. Her acting career spans decades, starting just after the year I was born. She’s a year younger than my mom.

So as I watched the movie with my mom, both of us feeling less than up to par on her 84th birthday, I got to thinking about having control over my own life, and whether I would choose to live such a crappy life just to some control.  In some ways my life is not ideal. I can’t quite make it on social security, so I am still teaching part time, but that does allow me to live a fairly middle class life.

The Lady in the Van

The Lady in the Van

My internet, my house, my car, my smart phone, and especially my own bathroom with hot running water and a toilet are important to my happiness. Despite my lack of gentry  privilege, my life is much more like Lady Violet’s than Miss Shepherd’s. I hope I am less abrasive than either of these characters, yet both of them stand up for their own perspective of life.

Queen to Bag Lady

The lady in the van has the mistaken idea that she murdered a biker who ran into her car, and she has escaped a mental institution, after being rejected as a nun. One of her quirks is that she can’t abide to hear music. When the reasons are revealed, we learn what was taken from her,  leading her to give up everything else except her marginal freedom.

Professor McGonigle

Professor McGonigle

Like Professor McGonigle, I want to be able to transform my life, to make my life magic. The professor makes her choices, and I make mine, and each choice leads to a change in my life.

I am choosing more of a crap life than is necessary, not just out of ornery contrariness I hope, but out of a sense of doing things my way, which might be just a rationalization for contrary orneriness.

Maggie Smith, inspiration

Maggie Smith, inspiration

What Choices to Make

The more I think about this movie, the more I think about living my life the way I want, not in relation to other people’s expectations. Looking up to Maggie Smith and her continued acting career, unusual for anyone her age, and for her excellence of craft, I can continue to work on my craft of writing, despite my age (65) and my relative lack of interesting experiences to draw on. I can make my priorities my own, doing what I must to keep the cash coming in, but doing what is important to me to live my life on my own terms. My choices, either conscious or by default, are my choices. Thanks, Maggie.

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J. A. Cipriano: Jet-My Brother’s Keeper

JA Cipriano: Jet My Brothers Keeper

JA Cipriano: Jet My Brothers Keeper – a novella

J.A. Cipriano’s Jet: My Brother’s Keeper reads like  Nikita  of Division met Agent Melinda “The Cavalry” May of S.H.I.E.L. D. and their love child, Jet, is Ziva David  of N.C.I.S. Oh, and she has a brother. Separated as young children, she’s in Moussad, and he’s in college.

Murder. Death. Kill.

If you love non-stop action and mayhem,  you will love this novella of a bad-ass agent with sibling issues.  I think she takes out three dozen assailants in the same number of minutes it takes to read the novella.  Much kicking of various body parts glosses over the less well-developed plot and characterization issues.

As  a teaser for a longer piece, or maybe as part of a series, it works. All action-adventure requirements and tropes you could ever want fill this novella. Christian Kane couldn’t take out this chick.

Not a lot of Characterization–Typical of Genre

I prefer to learn more about why the character does what she does, worries about going soft, and risks everything. It’s either a bit too long or half the length it needs to be to tell the salient part of the story. I think the whole first chapter could come out. I’m used to action novellas, but I still want to know who she is and why she cares.  Not satisfied.

Cipriano  writes well, with well described, logical action for the main character, with only a few spellcheck typos. The POV stays in place well after the first shift that comes after the teaser opening. I’d rather see it all from Jet’s POV. How did she get into this predicament ? Why is her long-lost  trust fund brother worth it?

Fast paced, quick read, all action. If that’s your bag, you and Cipriano may be new BFFs.

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Guys, Dresses and White Male Privilege

Sam and Al

Sam and Al-who looks sillier?

Guys. Dresses. Why Not Share the Experience?

Netflix is a magic window into the past, the present, and maybe, the future. My most recent binge was Quantum Leap, a show from the 90s with Scott Bakula (as Dr. Sam Becket, a boy scout) and Dean Stockwell (as Al, the womanizing been-there-done-that guy).

In case you are too young to remember, or if you never watched it (I hadn’t), the premise is that Bakula “leaps” into the lives of various people who need to have their lives changed, mostly people in the 1950s and early 60s. He shows us a nostalgic America, with some of the grit left in, and in the last season, played some real people, from Elvis, to Lee Harvey Oswald, to Dr. Ruth (They were running out of ideas and needed better ratings…it didn’t work).

Such a pretty face

Such a pretty face–not happy though…where’s the smile?

The Premise

Each show deals with some social issue: college hazing, racism, the Cuban Missile Crisis, mainstreaming adults with Down syndrome, rape, sexual harassment, single parents, chain gangs, mental health, children’s TV, rock-n-roll, even experiments on chimps. About one of nine leaps, the character is a woman. Bakula never plays the character as being in drag, just as a female character. To be fair, Al (Stockwell) wears much sillier clothing, glam-metrosexual-on-steroids, while spouting  the most sexist and male chauvinist pig drivel that a five-time married character could imagine. Think Elmer Fudd when Bugs Bunny is in drag. Al is a foil to Becket’s caring gentleman, as well as supplying advice from experience and the AI named Ziggy. But that is where male privilege shows up, although in a light-hearted, and totally-sensitive-guy way.

Beefcake

Beefcake manliness…

At first it was odd and mildly amusing that a man was in a dress, wearing 60s makeup, struggling with stockings and heels–the usual comedy stuff, though played more for drama. Bacula wore dresses tailored to fit him, and he wasn’t bra-stuffed or padded. As you can see, he has the pecks to need a bit of darting in the bodice–B cup easy. By the end of the first female leap, I started to wonder why men didn’t wear makeup and dresses. He looked attractive and adorable, if a bit sad. What do women want?

Thinks that make you go hmmmm

Thinks that make you go hmmmm

Historical Precedence
for Guys in Dresses

There’s no logic to women’s clothing vs. men’s clothing except we just don’t do it that way right now.

Men have worn sheets, robes, kilts, loincloths, tights and heels, brocade, plaid, buckskin, wigs, makeup, long hair, short hair, beards, clean-shaven, ties, overalls…. Prince and Johnny Depp showed us how adorable a bit of eye shadow is, not taking their masculinity away, but adding that same mystique as smoky-eyed women have. Kohl, anyone? So it’s not the dress…but what makes the male outlook?

Emperor Wu of Jìn, by Yan Li-pen (600–673)

Emperor Wu of Jìn, by Yan Li-pen (600–673)

Louis XIV of France By Hyacinthe Rigaud

Louis XIV of France By Hyacinthe Rigaud

Former 3rd Duke of Fife wearing a traditional Scottish kilt. (1984) By Allan Warren

Former 3rd Duke of Fife  (1984) By Allan Warren

Mansplaining.

In the first woman episode, Dr. Becket  actually solved the sexual harassment problem by telling the harrasser that he was, in fact, a man, which grossed out the bad guy. America is still very homophobic, at least to a lot of men, an interesting take on the subject,  I thought.

What Price Gloria?

What Price Gloria?

In another episode, as a 15-year-old black girl, he kicked a local tough across the sidewalk, saving not only himself but the girls with him. He shooed them down the street like a mother hen, keeping them literally under his wings. He was in deep trouble when he went into labor as a pregnant teen. Lucky for him, he leapt out just as he was in the stirrups. He could not lie and deliver.

As the show went along, I saw more and more that he didn’t get what it was like to be smaller, weaker, less educated, marginalized by clothing, expectations, and opportunities. He was always so relieved to get out of the shoes and the bra. Aren’t we all?

gratuitous Boob shot

Gratuituous boob shot

But the show’s premise also included the idea that the actual person was in the future, in a waiting room. While Sam Becket appears to be the person, he is physically present in his (yummy) male body, with his height, his martial arts training, some of his knowledge from his MD and several PhDs. He also acts like an alpha male, protecting the weak, defending himself, and generally acting like an alpha male in his own culture.

Comfortable in his skin, he is aware of the rights and privileges of citizenship, which he often forgets that the person into whom he has leapt does not enjoy…hence, the changing of history in a better direction.

Pink Sequins

Pink sequins make everything better

The Thrill is Gone…

The binge is over, and I am still in that post-binge phase of looking for the next show, and missing the characters just as if I had known them. I’m sure there’s some kind of “opathy” or syndrome associated with Netflix binge-watching, so maybe I’ll withdraw for a few days. Or I could go back and watch Enterprise again.

I am still thinking about how blind, insensitive, and unconsciously offensive I must be to minorities. Whitesplaining. I hope that I am becoming more conscious and aware, and that I am using my white female privilege for good….like Sam Becket. And maybe Scott Bakula, too. He is just so darn cute…when will NCIS:NOLA be on Netflix?

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Dinesh D’Souza: Capitalism and the Theft of the Left

Stealing America by Dinesh D'Souza

Stealing America by Dinesh D’Souza

I stole a book today. It wasn’t Abbie Hoffman’s Steal this Book. No, I didn’t take it out of the store, but I read it without paying for it, sitting in a comfortable chair at my local B&N for several hours. They worked; I “ate.” That makes me a thieving liberal, much like the progressives described in the book Stealing America: What My Experience with Criminal Gangs Taught Me about Obama, Hillary, and the Democratic Party by Dinesh D’Souza.

I confused this D’Souza with another one, Sean D’Souza of the PsychoTactics website. . I’ve read a number of that D’Souza’s articles, and contemplated taking some of his classes, so I thought it would be interesting to get his perspective…but it was a completely different, much older man who wrote the book, one who lives in the US, not New Zealand, the one with no sense of humor, and no cartoons.

Until I got home, I wasn’t sure they  were two different men from India with the same last name (How likely is that given the population of India?), I thought perhaps I had misread the marketing guru’s messages. Silly me. Yes, I’m white, and all brown people look alike. Mea Culpa. My bad. No whitesplaining here…just a bit of transparency…(don’t go there with the colorblind comment).

Dinesh D'Souza

Dinesh D’Souza

Dinesh D’Souza, producer of the Hillary’s America documentary,  made a strong argument that the Democratic party has been steadily and conspiratorially driving the theft of the wealth of America by the left progressives lead primarily by Barak Obama and Hillary Clinton. He compared them to the convicts with whom he spent eight months in a detention center afer being convicted of breaking campaign donation laws. He wrote little about Republicans, except to say that they had not done enough to stand up for the values of capitalism.

He had some interesting thoughts: “Capitalism works by putting the energies of the capitalist entirely at the service of the actual and potential customers. In order to serve customers, the capitalist must always be thinking about them: their wants, their needs, how to make their lives better” (p. 133)

He continues on the idea of capitalism: “Capitalism makes us better people by limiting the scope of our vices.” (p. 135)

I am still processing what I read, but the main message was progressives are creating the end of America, based on envy. He says we never operate from the motives we espouse, but nearly always from envy, the desire to take what someone else has…lik e Iago.

Hillary's America

Hillary’s America: the Movie

I tend to believe that D’Souza  was targeted because he speaks out against the Obama administration at length, at least if his version of the trial was accurate, if written in somewhat emotionally loaded language. He admitted to breaking the law, a stupid mistake made to help a friend but done in the wrong way, and punished very harshly compared to others who made the same mistake.

His descriptions of the stories of men in the detention center were fascinating, and he exercised his journalistic skills during his nightly incarceration there to build his argument. I found their stories much more interesting than his comparisons to the Democrats. Understand, I don’t think any politician hung the moon, not even Saint Bernie.

I tell my students that it is easier to deconstruct an argument written by someone with whom one disagrees. I have been a Democrat all my life, and I am now currently involved in the “Ponzi Scheme” D’Souza calls Social Security (I’m semi-retired at 65) . Since I was unable to find full-time work after losing my job last year, retiring seemed like the thing to do, even at only 90% of the benefits I would have received had I been able to hold out for March of 2017. It’s not like I haven’t worked at least part time since 1968. So I found D’Souza’s claims difficult to read. He did not have a lot to say about Trump, except for the approval of hitting back, of standing up to say what many people think.

Have I been duped all my life? Am I truly a bleeding-heart, crunchy-granola, pinko progressive liberal thief? I mean, I do wear Birkenstocks (42r), no makeup, and stretchy waist pants (3X). I’m also a college instructor…yep, looks like I fit the profile.

I bewail the idea my students have of going to college to get a piece of paper that to them is just a license to work, much like a driver’s license…or more like a pilot’s license. In truth, however, that’s why I went to college, to get a teaching license, my ticket into the middle class and to avoid the secretarial pool. My other option would have been health care, and I dislike working with body fluids as much as with spreadsheets–not that spreadsheets were a thing in 1969.

I did not write back then, my true dream that was subsumed under “you can’t make a living as a writer,” or learn how to create wealth from writing, as I am working to learn now. I did buy into victimhood, (poor me, I’m a woman from the South), failed perfectionism, playing it safe (I didn’t realize how easy it was for a teacher to be fired) and trying to feel my way through life, rather than doing some critical thinking. Yep, guilty as charged.

I have always worked for the government, both in public and private schools who were heavily funded by tax money either through direct taxation or through Pell grants and student loans. Even for-profit colleges depend on student loans for a large portion of their income. I’m not a wealth creator. Not a job creator. I think of my teaching as community service, another government idea. A government sponsored leach.

What an interesting point of view. I can either align and agree with this point of view, or I can defend against it, but either way, I get stuck in the judgement of myself based on someone else’s view of the world. Conversely, I can allow that person to enjoy his point of view, and I can be aware of it, and even observe the verification or rebuttal to his arguments, without buying and selling it to myself.

I can also be aware of my own assumptions, my own unexamined points of view, which this book has rattled quite a bit. I can lose my judgement of myself for buying the opposite points of view, seeing big business as the evil empire, rather than big government. I can be more aware, and I can allow myself to know and perceive the contradictions and spin that each person, but especially political campaigners put on their messages.

Red States vs. Blue States

Red States vs. Blue States 2000-2012

Who will I vote for? It remains to be seen, and in South Carolina, the chances are slim that my vote will even make a blip in the red sea. Despite the large percentage of black voters in SC, the state went heavily Republican in the last two elections. I’ll vote, but I would be very surprised, like the Brits who voted for Brexit, if it made a difference.

At this point, it is more important to me to  examine my own assumptions, be more aware of what I have bought and sold myself on both sides of any issue and to operate from consciousness.  Even a stopped clock is right twice a day. I can work on being aware instead of being right…in any sense of the word.

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Bellarosa by Katharina Gerlach

Bellarosa by Katharina Gerlach

Bellarosa by Katharina Gerlach

Katharina Gerlach’s Bellarosa

“Once upon a time in a world where magic and technology collide with unexpected consequences…”

The sixth book in the series Treasures Untold, Katharina Gerlach’s Bellarosa is a new take on Sleeping Beauty from the point of view of the princess. The heroine takes an active role in her awakening, much different from the usual passive princess tale. The reader gets a new look at what has occurred while she was sleeping and a different point of view from the uninvited fairy. While all the necessary pieces of the story are present, they are only the backdrop for the revelations Gerlach provides.

Bellarosa finds that she can sometimes communicate with people in her dreams, but not under her control. Only a very few, like the young boy being bullied by his older brothers can hear her and answer back. She helps him to escape them, giving him clues he will need later. They build a life-long friendship as she slumbers through the years. He becomes more than a princeling, a strong fighter and a good man. This leads him to have to make a difficult choice.

It’s well worth the read especially for some inverted fairy tale tropes and characters. For one, there’s a robot, and for another, the youngest child becomes the heir, not the eldest, creating a perfect storm for sibling rivalry. Behind the scenes there is the game of politics that exist between any two kingdoms, especially those intended for union by marriage, one that the spell has affected.

The ending has a bit of a twist which makes the story that much more enjoyable. If you like fairy tales, I recommend this one as a quick and relaxing read.

Transparency Notice: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair review.

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Writer’s Hedge

Hedgehog

Hedgehog

The following is a flash fiction story based on a prompt at a writers group meeting Saturday a week ago. The prompts were randomly generated around the table, each of us adding a word and then passing it along to the next writer. My list contained bra, airplane, hedgehog, author book signing, garbage disposal, Scotland.  I liked the idea of a hedge to The Question.

I have polished it a good bit, but it was very much fun to write a whole short story in 20 minutes from scratch. I’ll try this again some time. I wonder if it makes a difference to be in the presence of other writers?

Writer’s Hedge

Maxine adjusted her bra strap again. It cut into her sore shoulder, keeping her from relaxing into a nap on the airplane. Only a short trip from Dublin to Glasgow, but she needed to rest before the author book signing. Her hand was already sore from the Dublin signing, thank goodness for all her fans. That she could manage with a bit of tiger balm and an aspirin, but she’d wrenched her shoulder stuffing the remains of the hedgehog down the garbage disposal.

How the nasty animal had gotten into her hotel room, she had no idea, but it had frightened her so much that she smacked it with a frying pan, leaving a bloody mess on the tile floor. She couldn’t leave that for the cleaning crew, so she chopped it up as well as she could with the limited cutlery available and used the broom to push it down the sink.

Such a smell! She thought she would never get the blood off the floor. Thank goodness it wasn’t on the carpet. She could still hear the grinding noise…it was a wonder no one had come to check on her then. She’d plunged the broomstick at the sink over and over, and the grinding would endarken her nights for weeks. She grimaced to think of the sweet old lady persona she would present to her fans in Scotland.

She rolled her shoulder again, wincing in pain, and disturbing the woman next to her, trying to read. The woman gave her a cold glance, then stared back at her book.

Maxine wondered if human parts would fit down the disposal. No, it would take too long for her perpetrator to chop them up.  A bigger disposal might work, maybe one from some industrial kitchen, or slaughter house. She’d have to research it.

She rubbed her hand, working out the soreness, and it began to seep a bit of blood. She must have scratched herself in the confusion.  The motor of the plane grew louder, reminding her of the grinding, grinding, grinding. She’d use that in her next novel, wherever it took place. She wiped the blood with her thumb.

“You’re bleeding,” said the woman next to her. She handed over a napkin.

“It’s just a scratch,” Maxine said. “Thank you. That was very kind.”

The woman looked her over, clearly too interrupted to go back to reading. “So what do you do? First trip to Glasgow?”

“Yes, I’m going to a book signing. I’m an author.” Maxine said, pressing the napkin tight to her hand. “I write thrillers.”

“How interesting.” The woman’s face broadened into the smile as she asked The Question. “Where do you get your ideas?”

“Mostly while I’m in the kitchen.”


I’d love to know what you think. Share a comment below.

 

 

 

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