The Relationship Kerfuffle

**This was my entry to Saturday’s Flash Fiction writing contest. (http://jetreidliterary.blogspot.com/2016/05/the-duchess-of-yowl-writing-contest-ii.html) This time I got a mention for a “delicious” twist.**

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“Oh, what’s she so miffed about anyway? It’s not like he’s the first of her boys to get in a scuffle,” Tiffany wondered aloud.

“Young’uns, I tell ya. They’re always sulking about looking for trouble,” Doris replied as she shuffled into the porch rocker.

“Well, we can’t blame him, really. That other boy did steal his lady,” Tiffany mused.

Doris wanted to remind Tiffany that no boy is settled on a particular lady at that age but saw an interruption headed their way.

“Move over, Fluffy-Butt,” Food-Giving-Poop-Scooper said, “I want to sit with you.”

Book Review: The Choosing by Rachelle Dekker

Recently, at VStock, I parsed the Ted Dekker section…”Got it, got it, got in on Kindle, got it.” Since this bookstore carries new and used books, there’s always a chance I could find one of his lesser known novels. (For example, I only have one of the Martyr’s Song series.)

Ok, so in lots of stores, I’ve seen authors with similar names (i.e. various Decker’s) but never another Dekker. Jokingly, I picked up The Choosing, “Hey look someone else has Ted Dekker’s name,” I said to the hubby. “This does NOT look like a Ted Dekker novel,” I point at the cover with a picture of a funnily dressed woman staring down at her feet. Again joking, because I had the impression his spelling of the name was unique, “I wonder if they’re related?”

And then I actually looked at the cover and description more closely; it was written by his daughter. Mystery solved. And though the cover made me think it was some sort of historical romance, once I read the description, “Hey, this sounds good. Can I get it?”

I’m happy to report that Rachelle Dekker is a good storyteller. The world she builds is a future city where the Authority takes control after a semi-apocalyptic event. At first, that’s a good thing; the Authority is like a council with a police force but it follows Judeo-Christian teachings. As the story unfolds though, you realize it follows them to ritual extreme.

The main character, Carrington, becomes a Lint (basically a servant) after failing to get chosen at her once-in-a-lifetime Choosing Ceremony – where all the young men of a certain age get to choose their spouse. The Authority tells the Lints it’s their own fault and it must be God’s will for them.

But a strange circumstance leads the Authority to allow one of their own to be choose a bride, only from the Lints. Carrington thinks Authority Knight’s choosing her is a blessed second chance at a normal life. Boy, was she wrong.

I can’t tell you much more but I can say this was an excellent and engaging novel. I love how the main character finds out the difference between ritual religion and a relationship with God. I’m looking forward to reading the sequel. I don’t think I have a negative thing to say about this novel.

The Wheelbarrow of Snotty Tissues

Today’s post is another 100 word story I wrote for Janet Reid’s flash fiction contest this past weekend. (http://jetreidliterary.blogspot.com/2016/05/may-we-have-writing-contest.html) I didn’t like this post as much as last week’s but I did get an honorable mention for best first line(s)!

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My best friend shot me today. I guess maybe I can’t blame him. Thankfully, he was quick about it. None of that emotional nonsense he usually carts along with his wheelbarrow of tears and snotty tissues.

I replay our brief conversation:

“Go ahead, if you’re so tough then,” I taunted.

“I should,” he bellowed. “You ratted me out to the cops!”

“Oh, boo-hoo. Now, you have to do some community —“

He’s too ignorant to know I did it to keep him out of the cemetery. That gang he was flirting with don’t much care for cry-babies.

The Bloodstained Dress

And then she saw the world. A cold place, full of despair. A place where children were desensitized to the splatter of their teacher’s blood across the chalkboard. A place dominated by hate.

“Maddy, where are you going?” the teacher’s aide asked.

“To close her eyes, Miss.”

It was more complicated kneeling in front of the classroom. She worried about the blood staining the new dress Daddy bought at the Disney store. But Maddy had to do what was right, what was respectful. She couldn’t let the world stay broken; she would do something about it. And that stunned her.

**I wrote this 100-word story as a part of a flash fiction contest on Janet Reid’s blog. (Highly recommended, in fact, here’s a link: http://jetreidliterary.blogspot.com/) I didn’t win the contest, so I’m assuming permission to post my entry on my own sites.