Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Caged Bird #WEPFF Flash Fiction My Terms



My story is controversial and may contain subject matter not suitable for all readers. So I'm sharing this Aerosmith song which also has a lyric about a caged bird, for those who would prefer that.



🎡 "I think that you should let your caged bird fly." 🎡



Story content / trigger warning: dystopian future, pro-choice, mass-shooting, suicide, genocide. 962 words NCCO



My Terms 
by Jamie


I was there when the shots rang out in the Capitol Building. Screams accompanied a stampede. More shots echoed as agents yelled for people to move or to get down. Three women left in handcuffs within minutes. I arrested one of them.

"We are the last of the Female Assasins. Killing those who destroy society is encouraged, rewarded even. It is not a crime," the oldest looking one tells me. Her short, gray hair blows back and forth as the interrogation room fan hits her. She doesn't seem to mind, unlike me, who can already feel my neck stiffening.

"We are time travelers. We have no peers in this time. Therefore, you cannot put us on trial. Not that we've committed a crime, as you insinuated."

There isn't enough coffee in the world for me to do this job. What is it about Mondays that brings out the crazy?

"In fifty years, there is only the Unwanted left. They are infertile, by choice or birth. We are the last three Female Assassins. No males remain with which to breed. We came here to kill the ones who made choices that end humanity."

I rub my temples. "Fifty years from now seven billion people are dead?"

"Some were cooked. But most were starved by the Unwanted. They are not peaceful or reasonable. We three Assassins survived because we killed to live. The Unwanted control all the remaining food and knowledge. We kidnapped one to learn time travel. They do not use this technology. And why should they? The world exists for them."

"Why are they called the Unwanted if the world exists for them?"

"You once called them foster children. But the system was overrun, about ten years from today. Millions of them. They rule a revolution. Within eight years they sterilized themselves. Then there's the drug in the water, which causes any new ones to be born unable to breed."

I chew on my pen cap as I try to keep a straight face. "You expect me to believe this?"

She scratches the back of her wrinkled hand. "We didn't come here to be believed. We came here to prevent a problem."

I nod. "See, the thing is that you created a new problem. Murdering some high valued targets in plain view, being seen doing it, means I have to deal with you. Not the best assassins, are you?"

"This was a one-way trip. We accept death. Or you can send me back to prison. At least this time, it will be for a choice."

I lean back in my metal chair. "So, you're in the system?"

"Not yet. Next year the version of me from your time will be. She's going to miscarry. And as she lies screaming on the hospital bed, blood still wet on her legs, someone like you will arrest her. Three point five million prisoners by next year."

"There's just over two million right now. Lady, we can't house that many."

She laughs. "You'll convert old shopping malls, abandoned apartments, even some schools. In five years, female prisoners become the fifth-largest export. You can't kill them here. So they're sent off to be tortured to death elsewhere. That's when the second wave of the rebellion commences."

I look at my empty coffee mug. Bourbon would be better. "Second wave, hmm? What's the first?"

"A few days from now, the My Terms riots will commence, that becomes the first wave. A string of three-way suicides sets it off."

"Three-way suicides?" She's obviously planning to plead insanity.

"A pregnant 19-year-old rape victim is first. A fist full of pills, arteries sliced open, face down in a bucket of water. The words My Terms scrolled in blood on her college dorm wall."

Guess that's how you make sure you die.

"The second is a 13-year-old, pregnant by her step-father according to the autopsy. Hung herself after downing pills and shooting enough drugs to destroy her heart. Same words, though she wrote them with lipstick."

I'm grateful I haven't eaten recently. Need to remember I'm talking to a crazy old woman who just shot up Congress.

"A mother of three is next. She left a note. Couldn't get treatment while pregnant. She didn't want her children to watch her suffer, nor would she land herself in jail when her cervical cancer inevitably resulted in a miscarriage. Signed the note with the phrase My Terms. Drank drain cleaner, then shot herself while leaping from a tall building."

"You're telling me a bunch of pregnant women are going to kill themselves, and that's why you opened fire in Congress?"

She scratches the back of her hand, breaking the skin this time. "I am telling you that's how it starts. They die, and then people riot. Hundreds more die. Thousands are arrested. More women go to jail. More people riot or protest, also landing in the big house."

"Do you want a tissue or a bandage for that?"

"There are those who will not become caged birds. My Terms means dying your own way, taking triple precautions to ensure it. Like a time-release poison capsule, having an organ sliced so you're bleeding internally, and having a cardio-wire that can be tricked into stopping your heart."

I look at her hand. She touches a wire sticking out where she was scratching. A moment later, she's face down on the table. I curse, my chair falling as I bolt up and rip the door open. "Help!"

Two other interrogation rooms are open. I hear someone yell, "Clear!" A stretcher is beside my desk. My boss runs toward me with the defibrillator from the breakroom. The television behind him shows a reporter outside a college campus, the caption under her reporting the suicide of a pregnant 19-year-old.



https://twitter.com/JoshDorner/status/1126276417921134592

https://www.businessinsider.com/women-30-years-prison-miscarriage-georgia-abortion-2019-5



Thursday, June 6, 2019

Budgeting - May 2019

Just collecting data to see how my budgeting is going.

May 2019

41.94%  -- Rent                                    (can't be cut)
31.56%  -- Food                                    (could try to cut down)
  8.39%  -- Mobile Phone                    (already cut down from before)
  7.96% -- Electric                                 (already cut down from before)
  6.72% -- Car Insurance                     (already cut down from before)
  4.73% -- Internet                                (already cut down from before)
  4.57% -- Transportation                    (can't be cut)
  2.42% -- Subscriptions/ Services    (could try to cut down)
  2.15% -- Fuel                                       (can't be cut by me)
  2.15% -- Prescriptions                       (will likely go up)
  2.04% -- OnStar                                 (shouldn't be cut)
  0.86% -- XM                                       (could try to cut)
  0.54% -- Bill/ Debt                            (should be far higher)

116.02% Spent

Friday, May 17, 2019

Questions About Mandatory School Prayer

I recently came across a post on Facebook where someone suggested that school prayer needs to be required again.

I HAVE QUESTIONS.

Will all religions be included? What about atheists? And would that mean the school day is longer, it replaces the pledge, or that a school subject gets less time?

I'm not going pro or con without that information. A few extra minutes a day for "silent meditation or prayer" would be fine. I'm not sure Americans are ready for the five times a day prayer required by some religions. I don't think that could work in capitalism. Then again, some places allow smoke breaks, and prayer might be the same amount of time.

I would suggest a non- denominational room for prayer so students could ask to go use it. But some teachers already only allow two bathroom breaks per school year per student. So I don't imagine prayer room use would get better treatment. And what about during the most special standardized test days, when no one is allowed to leave the room at all? Is prayer canceled then? Less time for the precious test? Longer school days required during standardized test days?

Plus, there's a lot of issues where adults attack other adults while worshipping. There's already violence in schools. Adding religious tensions? Oh sure, it sounds like some religions could be able to teach love, acceptance, and understanding of everyone... but the history department is over there with a boatload of wars that never seem to really end which kind of prove otherwise. How can that be dealt with? Who could be in charge of making sure the message of any religious group isn't one of hate, one that alienates some people for who they are?

But really, the biggest question I have-- okay, what if Congress brings it back, but it isn't your religion? What if they toss them all in a hat and pull one out. "JAINISM!" ...and now that's the type of prayer said over the intercom daily?

What if the 4200 religions of the world take turns? Twice a day school prayer, a different one each time. 180 school days. 12 years. (180 school days*2 times a day= 360  360*12 years=4320)

Yeah, every student would hear a prayer from every religion. Would Americans be okay with their children being exposed to two different religions every school day? (We're talking about people who brought back diseases because they didn't vaccinate.)




I think this is the side of the debate that gets ignored. But I think it's the most interesting part of it.

Extend the school days by 20 minutes. 10 extra minutes in the morning and 10 in the afternoon to hear a prayer and short summary of a religion. That's an interesting concept. Not sure how it'd get voted in though. But sure, that's an interesting idea.

Perhaps every religion that wishes to be included has to raise money to fund their 10 minutes. To pay for the staff that has to stay, the cost of keeping the building open a little longer, and a fee to cover any violence, graffiti, or lawsuits as a result of this experiment. There would need to be a guarantee that the trial lasts long enough for all of the relgions who sign up to be heard. (Between 11 and 12 years.) This also means no one can argue, "I ain't paying school taxes for them to teach some other faith to the damn kids!" No, in fact, you wouldn't be. Each faith has to pay the same amount. They'll have to raise that money from their followers.

(Religion is about money, right? You can't worship if you're poor, right? Pretty sure that's a thing. Your religion has to self-fund in order to be recognized. And it doesn't get taxed on that money. Yeah, pretty sure we've already set up that system of recognition.)



Percent of world religions.
Is this the argument? Whichever one has the most should get to be the one taught? Seems like it means that's the one that most people would already know, and therefore it's all the others that should be taught, as that's where the lack of knowledge is.

Equality, even and especially in education. What if we give it a whirl?

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Faith or Hate

Imagine being hated on sight without having done something.

You probably don't have to imagine, because I'm pretty sure that's everyone now.

If someone asks me if I'm a Christian, my immediate gut response is, "Yes." But now I pause to think about it. Am I?

The Nazis, the Klan, the Crusades... sounds like Christians are terrorists. Am I a terrorist? No. I don't want to be part of a hate group!

I do want to keep my belief in Jesus, God, Heaven, and Hell. But I don't want to be associated with a hate group. Which matters more to me: my faith, or not being associated with a hate group?

Hang on. Why is that a choice?

When did religion become something that makes you part of a hate group?

To make matters worse, religion is also cited as the rationale behind the war on women and non-cis people. I am a woman. (A human being who identifies as female, was born with a vagina, and still have a vagina. That is me, in my case. But more importantly, I am NOT a "host body," not some laboratory equipment filled with embryonic fluid.) Several of my friends are LGBTQIA+. A handful of my friends are Jewish. I have one friend who follows Norse paganism. And another who is an atheist. I would have Muslim friends, but I don't know that I've ever met any. (Had a penpal who was, and know some from online groups, but that's more acquaintances.) I don't want to have to hate myself or my friends, or be associated with those who do.

I've seen some horrible memes lately. "Stop terrorism by hanging bacon on your doorknob and rubbing it on money." I don't want to be associated with any groups that find that funny.

Mocking people who have faith. Declaring that anyone who doesn't want to touch a pork product is a terrorist. I haven't seen them, but I'm sure there are memes of the same nature aimed at Christians.

Though, if one pays attention, the Christians from the Middle East are just as hated as the non-Christians. Not sure piggy is the problem. 🐷πŸ₯“ Where was Jesus born? Bethlehem near Jerusalem in Isreal? Wait, isn't that in the Middle East?

Bethlehem in the Middle East


Wroot-wroo, Shaggy! Looks like Google Maps just dropped a hard truth.

I want to keep my faith but not be part of the hate my faith spreads. And, frankly, if the Christian Heaven requires hate to get in, not sure I'd want to go. I mean, when I read the Bible, it sounded a lot like "Love Thy Neighbor" and "Love one another" and "judge not lest ye be judged" and I swear it mentioned something about "Thou Shall Not Kill."

But, apparently, other people read it and it says, "treat women like a sub-class of living things, something with less worth than an animal; but treat fertilized eggs like Heaven's Royalty up to the second they are born." (Because the second the cord is cut, they're a drain and should be ashamed for living. Already breathing our air, creating a carbon footprint, using resources. The nerve of that one-second-old! Should know better. How dare it not come out of the womb carrying 25-carat diamond to pay its way!)

Never mind what people think it says about others who are living as they were made. They're supposed to be lying about who they are? Covering for what Christians are deeming as God's mistakes? Or are we still pretending that someone else creates some people and makes them different so as to offend Christians? Or is this something about God being too weak to defend against his creations, so some Christians are doing it because they think the Almighty isn't mighty enough but are trying to phrase it so it doesn't sound like that? (Gotta tell you, that seems pretty offensive. Pretty sure God can handle business. But I read the part about Noah. I missed the part where it said to kill off anyone who doesn't agree with certain interpretations of some sections.)

See? I'm not good at this faith. I'm not. I don't believe in hating people for being who they are. As long as it isn't violating the consent of another being (who is able to give that consent because they are of sound mind and body, and at the age of adulthood), I don't much care what people do.

Does that mean I have to be an atheist? Or have to switch religions? I've been asking that for years. I still don't know.

I doubt I'm the only one who feels this way. Wondering if abandoning religion is a way to not be hated, or associated with hate groups. Is that even enough? 

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Headline #Fail #Improved #Fixed MadLibs

Headline #Fail #Improved #Fixed image

I saw the original headline. "There's a place that offers only one medical procedure? That doesn't seem profitable." So I looked it up. The place offers several services. Including the services that are the opposite of the one being protested. Which, to me, makes this clickbait. It's degrading for a news site to use misinformation in headlines in order to gain views. There's no integrity in it.

Today, I'll share my comments, and the replies, on this blog. Perhaps readers here will understand that my issue is the phrasing. To assist, I've made it into MadLibs. Names of people have been replaced with emojis. This one πŸ’ is me. (Most Relevant is selected, so some replies may have been filtered out.)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

πŸ’ "__(a routine medical procedure)__ and __(a beauty procedure)__."
TO BE CLEAR
A two-second search of the site indicates that they perform other services.
It isn't like a __(specialised business)__ where you can ONLY get your __(what that specialised business does)__. It's like a __(similar but broader business)__, where you can get your __(thing the specialized business did)__, __(what the broader business does)__, shop for another __(another thing the broader business has to offer)__, etc.
Do you call a __(broader business)__ a __(specialised business)__ if it has one?
There are people who protest __(specialised business)__, say it's a __(reason to protest)__.
That is clickbait meant to incite anger and violence toward __(any group of people)__, INCLUDING ONES TRYING TO GET __(medical procedure)__ TO 🌟KEEP⭐ THEIR __(positive reason people see a doctor)__.
But nooooo, don't shed any light on those __(same group of people)__ or that aspect. Why?
What about the protesters against __(the beauty procedure)__? What, they don't get a voice? Pretend that service isn't there too? Literally NO REASON not to title this article, "__(beauty procedure place)__ asks that violent persons be treated as a danger to clients."
Clickbait. For shame.

πŸ‘€ go call and ask if anything other than __(medical procedure)__  are performed. I know what the answer is, you don't.

πŸ’ƒ I'm a former patient of __(medical place name)__ and I can guarantee you they perform other services there because I had those other services performed on me. They have __(medical procedure)__,__(medical procedure)__, __(medical procedure)__, __(medical procedure)__, etc. __(medical procedure)__ are just one thing they provide there and it's one day a week. The doctor there is a good man performing safe lawful procedures, he helped me a lot. I didn't even have an __(medical procedure)__.


πŸ‘­ We have been patients of __(medical place name)__, they do perform other services there, because we were there for other services.The doctors and staff are professional, compassionate, helpful people. They treat their patients with respect as well.

πŸ‘· I'm an employee and can also vouch that we provide other services.

πŸ’‡ The South Mall has more than one store, we don't call it "__(store in a mall)__." We don't call __(restaurant)__ "the place that has __(one ingredient)__." And we don't call __(news channel)__ "a place that owns __(ordinary thing a news station owns)__."
Identifying a place by one service or one offering is foolish. May as well have just called it, "a place on Earth." It is, after all, a place that is on this planet.
The whole point of this headline is to prevent people from thinking. To prevent people from asking if __(any group of people)__, especially ones who maybe can only afford __(a lifesaving medical procedure)__ at one place, are also being harassed. Because if people stopped to ask the questions about how many victims AREN'T even there for that reason, the protesters would look like bullies. The headline takes the side of people who are dissuading __(any group of people)__ from seeking __(a lifesaving medical procedure)__.
I bet a LOT more __(any group of people)__ aren't getting __(a lifesaving medical procedure)__ because they fear __(another medical procedure)__ protesters.
I'm not saying you can't have that opinion. I'm saying it's wrong to keep people from __(a lifesaving medical procedure)__. And yes, I've been attacked by a protester when I took my friend for her __(a lifesaving medical procedure)__ at a similar location in another city. She wasn't __(a medical condition)__. She wasn't there for a __(another medical procedure)__. She was trying to keep her __(body part)__ healthy so she'd have the option of __(desirable goal)__ one day. But don't care about that!! It was the only place she could afford. Where's the anger for that? Where's the protest that __(any group of people)__ have to be ashamed to get a __(a lifesaving medical procedure)__ if they don't have good health insurance??? Huh? Huh? Yeahhhh.

😑 The solution is very simple. Remove the __(another medical procedure)__ facilities from __(name of medical office)__ and leave the health services. Nobody will protest a health clinic. It's a win-win. You can work on your obvious bitterness, protesters will be gone and access to __(any group of people)__ health will be available. But that's not going to happen, is it? Because, it's all about __(another medical procedure)__ and profit..Yeahhhh!

πŸ’‡ Yes, I am bitter. I'm bitter that everyone was denied the opportunity to think, ask questions, and then form an opinion. When clickbait is used, people often decide what to feel based on the wording of the headline. They don't ask, "Why is there a protest? Who is being harmed? What numbers best represent the frequency of what is being protested versus people being threatened for just being at a place? When did this start? Where else is this going on? How should I contact an official to make my opinion heard?"
And if you're not asking that, the news is wasted.
By the way:
Anyone can contact their elected officials at any time to ask that America ends its policy of separation of Church and State in favor of (whichever of the 4,200 religions you prefer), just like (name of another country with law and order dictated by a religion, where applicable). Or write elected officials and ask that medical decisions be made by medical professionals and patients, not by churches and governments.
Unlike Facebook posts, it'll make a difference for that.
I, however, am objecting to the wording of a headline, and thus am HERE. Freedom of the Press would hinder my representatives from assisting much in this situation of poor language choice.

😑 It's elected and appointed officials that decided to legalize __(another medical procedure)__  in the first place, which I believe are part of this government you say should have no say. No religion at all is still a religion. So in one way you are using religion while denying it to others. I much prefer a religion where human life is sacred and we fight to save it. But, while you're worried about appearances and public perceptions, __(desirable goal)__ are still being __(an undesirable outcome)__ inside the __(type of medical office)__. Priorities, priorities.

πŸ’‡ Interestingly, I never stated my views on __(a political issue)__. I stated my views on word choices which insight emotions rather than thought.
I haven't researched it, but one might wonder if the medical profession came up with the __(another medical procedure)__ procedure, instead of a government or a religion? If that were true, then protesters would likely be gathered at medical colleges across the world, protesting education of a procedure. (A far more sensible plan than terrifying the __(any group of people in the midst of accomplishing a goal)__  who AREN'T there for an __(another medical procedure)__ , but might __(an undesirable outcome)__ from the stress, meaning the protesters might be causing a kind of __(another medical procedure)__... not to mention the __(any group of people)__ who avoid __(a lifesaving medical procedure)__ and then the __(desirable goal)__ __(an undesirable outcome)__ because the __(body part)__ wasn't cared for, ...and a bonus in this case, the __(any group of people)__ there for __(a beauty procedure)__ to entice a __(something needed to meet a desirable goal)__, probably, so they might have a __(desirable goal)__. BUT NO, JUST IGNORE THAT. Kill em all, let God sort it out, right?)
Again, I am taking a stand against clickbait from a news source. I gave examples of other buildings that could be mislabeled. I explained misleading labels. I even explained why proper wording matters.
This is my priority. Proper wording from a news source.
You have yours, I have mine.

😑 Well proper wording and __(any group of people)__  who can't get a __(something needed to meet a desirable goal)__ because of __(a funny version of what the beauty procedure changes)__. Sorry, but I can't stop laughing at that absurdly worded rant. If it wasn't intended to be funny then I apologize. But, seriously if you ever wanted to do stand up comedy, I think you'd be great. __(a beauty procedure)__so they can have a __(desirable goal)__ hahahaha where do they get this stuff.....

πŸ’‡ Dude, I don't understand the __(a beauty procedure)__. I'm sure there's some reason. I took at guess at one possible one.
At least you laughed.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
To "ruin" the fun, here's the original post: Facebook post

For other headline fixing humor from Pinterest:




Or perhaps this meme for thought:

Monday, May 6, 2019

#AtoZChallenge Reflection 2019

#AtoZChallenge 2019 Tenth Anniversary Reflections badge


  1. I loved that I shared a story this year. In the past for A to Z, I've had themes of:
    • animals
    • American wedding planning
    • April Holidays
    • Coffee
  2. If I could change something, I'd want people to appreciate the hosts more. They work SO HARD! (I'm biased because I know two of them.)
  3. The best moment for me this year was posting the letter Z. "OMG, I'M DONE!" πŸ˜†πŸ˜Œ
  4. Some of the Best Comments I got this year:
    • Powdered Toast Man (I love your name! Ren+Stimpy4everπŸ’—) - Sorry the baking game wasn't real, but glad you wanted it!
    • Cathy Kennedy - Liv doesn't eat a lot of steak. But probably medium well.
    • Operation Awesome - Your response to the bad kiss made me laugh.
  5. I will do the challenge again!
  6. It was very well done. Our hosts are AWESOME and worthy of praise and candies.
    🍬🍭πŸͺ🍰🍦
  7. I grew because I shared a story this time. I usually just share a topic I hope will be useful. I did visit a few blogs. Not as many as I hoped to, I admit. It was a rough month for me.
  8. I am on the Master List! And daily lists can suck it. I'm glad the hosts saved themselves from that nightmare and complaint train.
  9. Keep A to Z alive! Best blog hop on Earth! 🌎🌏🌍
  10. The co-hosts are awesome! Yes, again, I'm biased because one is my cousin-in-law, and the other is one of my best friends. But they are AMAZING people. I've seen them give their time. I've seen the dedication. So much love and caring goes into making the challenge happen. So I can tell you that you should be giving tons of love to the co-hosts. πŸ’—πŸ’—πŸ’—πŸ’—πŸ’—πŸ’— 
#AtoZChallenge 2019 Reflection Jamie of uniquelymaladjustedbutfun
Photo of me in my shirt taken by co-host Jayden!

#AtoZChallenge 2019 Tenth Anniversary badge #AtoZChallenge 2019 badge #AtoZChallenge 2019 Tenth Anniversary badge

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Zentastic #AtoZchallenge #AdForRoomatesStory #LGBTQIA+ #HealthInsurance

This month-long story, “Ad for Roommates,” told in twenty-six parts, is an urban fantasy intended for readers over age fifteen. Liv, the main character, is an adult in her thirties. This is a prequel to a forthcoming book and my theme for the #AtoZchallenge. To meet another character from from this story world, visit the (adult) blog of co-host Jayden R Vincente.

#atozchallenge Ad for Roommates #ShortStory #Fiction #paranormal #UrbanFantasy #AtoZChallenge 2019 Tenth Anniversary blogging from A to Z challenge letter Z


“Never say never. I’ve seen Zentastic do amazing things. I wouldn’t sell it otherwise,” the sales clerk spouts.
Zentastic #AtoZchallenge #AdForRoomatesStory #LGBTQIA+ #HealthInsurance ~ fictional vitamin image

I shake my head. “Then you’ve never been desperate for a paycheck. My mom would have sold pills filled with horse manure if it meant keeping a roof over our heads. And plenty of people were mean to her when she took jobs like yours. That’s why I’m trying to be polite as I decline your offer. I’m going to roll away now.”

“You can get a free raffle ticket just for giving your phone number. I don’t even have to verify it!”

This is why I have to work on meditation. “610-555-1212. I’m Miss Bath. Anita.”

“Anita Bath at the number for information?” The sales clerk laughs.

Wren Noel and I head off.

“You’ve dealt with that type before, eh? Someone is probably going to call from an autodialer to follow up,” Wren Noel points out.

“Maybe. And the computer will say that it needs a bath. Which will be hilarious in that computer voice.”

I look over at the empty space where the bookstore once was. “There are worse money making ideas. I read Rich Dad Poor Dad and wondered what kind of perfect health that guy and his family were blessed with to be calm when they hit rock bottom. No power to keep the life-sustaining machines running, no money for prescriptions and doctors. I wonder if there could be a book like that for people with chronic illness in America. Is it even possible to avoid going broke, to not need public assistance at some point? My mom wouldn’t have taken half the jobs she did if it weren’t for my bills.”
Health insurance America humor

Wren Noel stops, turns, and kneels beside me. “Hey. Don’t do that.”

My eyebrow shoots up. “What?”

“Feel guilty about the cost of being. Or blame yourself that your mom had to do things to keep you going. There are places in this world where the larger community would have helped. Where “it takes a village” has become “it takes a country” and they are able to provide healthcare to all citizens because it isn’t about survival of the fittest. You live in America, not in those places. That isn’t your fault. One day, maybe all life will be valued equally, and the fight for survival won’t include a fight to prevent poverty. It isn’t here yet. So, instead of letting the guilt eat at you, go fight for that. Okay? It isn’t your fault.”

I feel my chin quivering. “Keeping saying stuff like that, people are gonna think you’re proposing to me or breaking up with me.”

“Here,” Wren Noel pulls a napkin out.

“I don’t know if I can let you be my roommate.” The tears slow as I regain my composure.

“Why’s that?”

“Kinda think I’d rather date you.” I laugh lightly. It isn’t really a joke, but I need a buffer in case rejection is coming. Wren Noel hugs me.

*** 498 words

(Language note: Anita sounds like "I need a", which is the joke. I need a bath.)

Thank you so much for reading this month-long story. If you'd like to be notified when the book comes out, please leave contact information with myself or Jayden.

Tenth Anniversary of the April Blogging from A to Z Challenge bloghop.
#AtoZChallenge 2019 Tenth Anniversary badge