Friday Fictioneers — Forbidden Love

She knew it’s meaning as soon as she opened the long, narrow box that had been delivered to her doorstep. Inside, lovingly wrapped in tissue paper, was a single red rose. There was no note in the box, but she knew who had sent it, and that made her both tingle with anticipation and shiver in fear.

One red rose. Love at first sight. The attraction was instantly mutual, but this was a dangerous game. She was in her first year teaching English lit and he was high school senior.

Love was forbidden, but oh the poetry she would write.

(100 words)

Written for Rochelle Wisoff-Fields’ Friday Fictioneers prompt. Photo credit: Dale Rogerson.

Who Won the Week — 9/12/2021

The idea behind Who Won the Week is to give you the opportunity to select who (or what) you think “won” this past week. Your selection can be anyone or anything — politicians, celebrities, athletes, authors, bloggers, your friends or family members, books, movies, TV shows, businesses, organizations, whatever.

I will be posting this prompt on Sunday mornings (my time). If you want to participate, write your own post designating who you think won the week and why you think they deserve your nod. Then link back to this post and tag you post with FWWTW.

My pick for who won the week this week is Jill Biden. For those of you who don’t know, Jill Biden, Joe Biden’s wife, is America’s First Lady.

So why am I picking Jill Biden as this week’s winner? Well, it’s because she is the first and only first lady in the role’s 231-year history to keep a full-time job while serving in office.

Jill Biden is a university professor with a bachelor’s degree, two master’s degrees, and a doctorate of education. When she was the second lady under the Obama administration, Biden still taught at Northern Virginia Community College during all eight years.

This past Tuesday marked the start of in-person classes with Biden teaching, while continuing in her role as first lady. She is teaching two sections of an introductory academic writing course this semester, with one section fully in-person and the other being a hybrid model of in-person and online learning.

Biden has signaled her passion for and commitment to teaching in various interviews and tweets over the years. “Teaching is not what I do. It’s who I am,” she said in an August tweet ahead of a convention speech.

Biden’s dual career as a first lady and a professor is not only historic but it more accurately reflects the reality of American women, which is a reality that embodies both being a working professional and having families.

So congratulations to you, Jill Biden.

What about you? Who (or what) do you think won the week?

MLMM First Line Friday — The Grade Book

Tamsin’s heart drummed frantically as she tore through her pack, her books, and the messy desk — where was it? She was already running late for her meeting with the principal, but if she showed up without her grade book, she knew her job as a novice teacher would be on the line.

She thought back to her initial interview when she applied for the job. She had emphasized how organized and meticulous she was. And yet, one look at her classroom would belie that claim. She had joked with some of her fellow teachers who were amazed at the mess on her desk by saying, “a messy desk is the sign of an organized mind.”

But now her job was on the line. She was resolute in her determination to find the grade book. Tamsin made a promise to herself that, if she kept her job after this crisis, she would simplify her life by making a concerted effort to tidy up her desk and classroom and to reduce the size of the out-of-control mess.

One of Tamsin’s students stopped at the classroom door and saw his teacher in a frenzied panic. He asked her what was wrong and she explained that she couldn’t find her grade book. He smiled, approached her desk, got down on his knees, reached under her desk, and grabbed a black, spiral-bound book. He stood up and said, “Is this what you’re looking for?”

Written for the Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie First Line Friday prompt, where the first line is, “Tamsin’s heart drummed frantically as she tore through her pack, her books, and the messy desk — where was it?” Also for these daily prompts: Ragtag Daily Prompt (interview), Your Daily Word Prompt (resolute), Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (simplify), and The Daily Spur (size).

FFfPP — The Necklace

Running into the kitchen, Sharon called out to her mother. Holding it out for her mother to see what she had just completed, Sharon said, “It’s a beaded necklace I just finished making for my teacher, Miss Robertson.”

Sharon’s mother picked up the necklace that her seven year old daughter had been diligently working on for the past two weeks. “It’s very special, sweetie. I’m sure Miss Robertson will love it.”

“Do you see what it says, Mommy?” Sharon asked. “Look, it spells out ‘Merry Christmas Miss Robertson.’ Isn’t that neat?”

“It really is good, sweetie,” Sharon’s mother said. “But honey, you spelled the word ‘merry’ with only one ‘R.’ It’s supposed to have two. And ‘Christmas’ is missing the letter ‘T’ in it.”

Sharon’s little face turned red and tears started welling up in her eyes. She grabbed the necklace out of her mother’s hand and as she did, the thin elastic thread that Sharon had painstakingly threaded through the small hole in each individual letter bead broke, scattering all of the small beads onto the kitchen floor.

For a moment, neither Sharon nor her mother said a word as they both silently stared in disbelief at the scattered beads. Then the seven year old stomped her right foot down hard on the floor and screamed, “Fuck this shit,” as she stormed out of the kitchen.

Written for Roger Shipp’s Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner. Photo credit: Morguefile.

A Way With Words

Words“My creative writing teacher is just trying to aggravate me,” Hal said.

“How so?” Martha asked.

“She gave me a D on my latest fiction story,” Hal lamented. “Can you believe that? It was a literary work of art.”

“Did she explain why she gave you a D?” Martha asked.

“Yeah,” Hal answered. “She said my story was full of extraneous stuff that added nothing to the narrative.”

“Well, Hal,” Martha said, “you do tend to be wordy in your writing. You’re a budding author, Hal. You wouldn’t want her to sugarcoat her constructive criticism, would you?”

“Oh come on Martha,” Hal said. “I need to set the scene for my readers by painting a picture with my words. I need to vividly describe my characters so the readers can visualize them in their minds.

“Maybe you should let your readers use more of their imagination rather than being so descriptive,” Martha said. “Perhaps your teacher is trying to tell you that you’re overdoing it.”

“Martha,” Hal said, “you’ve read my stories. You have to admit that I have a way with words.”

“Yes, Hal,” Martha said, “you do have a way with words, but perhaps you should listen to your creative writing teacher and do away with words…at least some of them.”

Written for these daily prompts: Word of the Day Challenge (aggravate), Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (extraneous), Ragtag Daily Prompt (bud), and The Daily Spur (coat).