Have fun with that prompt this week? I did. Nice to keep (or get) the WIP juices flowing with a little randomness. And to torture poor Aisling Weaver, @AislingWeaver with the difficult job of picking out the five finalists. Well, she’d proven it can be done, but I’m telling you, it’s painful. Too many great writers here. Which I love when I’m not the judge. 😉
So, finalists. Several new faces, which is awesome. Here they are, in no particular order.
YAY! Congrats y’all. Below are their fabulous entries. Give them a read and then vote for the best one in the poll on the right of the page. Come back after 9:30 for the results. Send friends!
“Shit.” Alex peered over the stack of political fliers cluttering her desk at the man sitting across the room. “I forgot it’s election day.”
Titivillus tilted his head, black eyes narrowed as he tried to understand what she’d said. “I give. What the hell is Election Day? Does it involve cake?”
Stifling a laugh, Alex grabbed her sample ballot and waved it at the demon. “Our country relies on the citizens to vote in order to make big decisions.”
From the couch came a barking laugh that quickly turned into hysterical laughter. Alex raised an eyebrow. In the weeks that he’d been camped out in her house waiting to screw up her manuscript, Titivillus had never laughed like that before. The idea of democracy must be amusing somehow.
When he finally calmed down, she spoke again. “Are you done? I need to run down to the church and vote.”
“You know what happens if the citizens of Hell try to tell Luci what to do?” Titivillus asked as he hoisted his large human shell off the couch.
Alex’s stomach flipped. Titivillus skinned a demon that owed him money. He said Lucifer was a hundred times worse. “No, I don’t need to know.”
“Yeah, you’d probably toss your cookies. It’s not pretty.”
“I’d like to keep breakfast down, yes.” She grabbed her coat. “Come on. And try not to climb any walls this time, please.”
How far back does his infidelity go? Goodness knows, I don’t.
Of course if I actually looked the history of my marriage square in the face I might know.
But I don’t I let my gaze slide off the face of it, merely glance rather than stare at the stark truth of it.
Perhaps as far back as 1979, that memorable election day when Mrs Thatcher came to power. God we were hopeful then. Or at least he was hopeful then, I just closed my eyes and my mind and swallowed his hope whole.
Took all he said to be my truth.
Wore pussy cat bow blouses with slight puff sleeves, a line powder blue skirt suits. Sensible clothes for his sensible wife.
His business flourished in those years. Now I can see the damage that time did, not just her policies but ours too.
Our policy of brushing things under the carpet, presenting the family front that was expected.
Husband, father, breadwinner.
Wife, mother, homemaker.
In those years feminism hadn’t reached the home counties.
“Explain it one more time.”
He shrank back slightly from the dour samurai. “It’s called voting. We each list our choice for who will run the government. The person with the most votes gets the job.”
“Even if they aren’t qualified?” Kenshin probed.
“Well, hopefully no one would vote for someone unqualified. But, there isn’t any sort of test. Anyone can run for any office.”
“So, your country runs efficiently?” Kenshin was willing to be flexible. He had an opportunity for insight into another way of doing things. Only a fool would pass up the chance to study it. “What is the punishment for poor performance in office?”
“No punishment. It isn’t about efficiency, it’s about choice.”
“As you say. I will observe.” With that dismissal Kenshin finally breathed a sigh of relief, knowing full well that his people would easily dominate any conflict between the two cultures. After all, this ‘voting’ could only end in chaos, and against chaos he would prevail.
“I still don’t know why you dragged me here, Lina,” Theresa Donatta grumbled at her cousin and best friend.
“We may live outside of the law, outside of society’s conventions for us, but we still need to help make sure things go the way we want it to, same as anyone else.” The dark haired woman shrugged, picking some lint off the dark sleeve of her blazer. It was almost comical, the only female mob boss in the city, if not the country, and her consigliere, lined up to vote with everyone else.
“Did you lose the funding to bribe the tabulators again?” the blonde whispered. Nicolina flushed crimson and suddenly became very intent on studying her shoes. “Honestly, you’d lose your head if it weren’t screwed on.”
“The money was needed for the police, you know that. I had to chose. At least this way we can be considered good citizens for once.” She shrugged and stepped up to the ballot box and beginning to do things the honest way for once.
The council was gathering. The mourning period for King George Thornton was finally over and it was time to vote on who would be the next King of the Emerald Isles. Arthur sat among the other council members, shifting nervously from side to side. Should he be loyal to Ironden and vote for the previous king’s son? Or should he go with his heart?
If Arthur went with his heart, there was no doubt his choice would win. The council members always voted for their own Duke. That was why elections usually lasted days – sometimes weeks. The councilors would engage in constant debate until, finally, one of them agreed to vote against their province. Arthur could end the election today. It would be the shortest election in living memory.
But did Arthur want to go down in history like that – as a traitor to his people? He thought of Charlotte. The many conversations he had had with her. She was wise, there was no doubt, but so young. Could she handle being the first queen of the Emerald Isles to rule in her own right?
The election overseer started called the first name.
Then the second name.
Then the third.
Arthur took in a deep breath and raised his hand.