Excerpts

Imago feminae

This flash fiction was written to fit a couple of rules.  I had to use the words imago, oscitate, lacuna, miasma and synchronicity in under 200 words. I’d love to hear your honest thoughts about it, especially as it is a piece I want to expand.

“Christine, please pay attention to your spinning. It is a disaster, yet you refuse to learn. You must use both your hands in rhythm.” Christine thought, synchronicity, like Papa explained about the celestial spheres.

Her mother continued her rant, “Your father thinks because I did not bear him a boy, he can make you into one, stuffing your head full of Latin and science. How we will ever find a husband for you, I do not know!”
Stifling a yawn at the perennial subject, Christine searched through her Latin. Oscitate, yes, that’s yawning, she smiled to herself. And that hole in my spun fiber, that’s lacuna. Out loud, she said dutifully, “Yes, maman, I will try harder.” She picked up more roving to bear out her promise.
She loved her maman, but she wanted to be a scientist like her father. She wanted to discover whether the pestilence that had ravaged the world was due to the conjunction of three planets, as some thought, or from a miasma, a mala aria in her native Italian. She would be as famous as her father, some day, and not for her spinning. She would be a new sort of woman.

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4 thoughts on “Imago feminae”

  1. I think this is very clever. And it’s a fantasy/sci-fi?
    So, in under two hundred words you’ve told me Christine (hehehe) lives in a world ravaged by disease/natural distaster? She has a mother who’s rigid in her thinking about how girls should be educated and what she expects from her daughter. Her father is a forward looking man who encourages her interest in science. Even though when we meet her, she’s bored with her present occupation, Christine has dreams and aspirations and distinct goals. She knows what she wants and where she’s going.

    I think this is an excellent set-up. Well done and I’ll be interested to see where you take this.

    1. Thank you, Christine, for the analysis. I’m going a bit backwards from my usual, where I have the world all built and tacked down before I write, but the deadline of the flash fiction threw that off. Even so, I’m still drawn to the character. I’ll keep you posted on the progress with her.

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