One Shot

This was a short story originally written for my year one composition class at university and was later published in the The Wells Muse.

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I remember that day. The day I wanted to make her feel beautiful, loved and special. I woke her up with kisses all over, sex and of course some toast and tea. Then I made her wash and get ready. Once she was done I blindfolded her and guided her down the long and winding corridor into her study. After spending the night on it, I had transformed it into a makeshift studio for the day. My old camera and lights were set all around, though unfortunately I could not afford the white screen. Maybe that was why she turned into a miserable bitch. Maybe it was all my fault.

When we began the shoot she was all smiles and laughter as we utilised the room and the beautiful, smooth ivory canvas. Yet as the day progressed and I could not quite click the right pose, her lovely grin faded to be replaced with a frown and misery. Maybe she got bored. Maybe that was the moment she fell out of love with me. Or just maybe that was when she realised she would rather be shagging him. All I know is my favourite photograph from that day was her naked body and face, a flower in her hair and her face as miserable as sin.

Her long physique was in his tall and muscular one. Their lips were so closely intertwined as they were slowly eating each other’s faces off. He hurriedly unzipped her dress as it fell to the sand revealing her bare shoulders and red lacy underwear. I could see the shiver that travelled down her spine but instead of showing it to him, she had removed his shirt and was un-zipping his pants. No sooner had he unhooked her bra and removed her knickers. I could see the breasts that once belonged to me, the ones I used to caress and kiss to make her moan so passionately by doing only that. Now he kissed and caressed them. All whilst I looked from a distant dock. My heart was ripped open in two. I rose the gun up that was by my side and shot twice.

The naked bodies were removed by noon. Her outline was drawn out on the sand and the coppers had put police tape all around the place. But yet people came that did not really know her, only the brutality that had befallen upon them, they had placed roses in her outline, claiming they were her favourite flower. Yet I knew the truth. Her favourite flower was a lily, not bloody roses. I knew she was meeting him to shag him. I knew she no longer loved me. I knew that it was me that fucking killed that whore and her playmate.

When I got back to the flat, the gun was left by the door, I went in. As I gathered all the pictures together from that morning, I emptied the bag I brought back with me on the table though most of the glass had smashed. Yet I still placed the photos in the broken frames. While I collected the hammer and nails from the closet I heard sirens, I carried on with the task I started. I ended up whacking my fucking thumb a couple of times as my ears were pierced with the coppers shouting “Come out with your hands up.” I ignored them and carried on hanging the pictures up until the entire room was full of them. Her face was all around me. Once done I slumped back on the sofa. My entire body felt numb. Before I knew it the coppers had broken down the door and somehow, I was in the back of their car but still I felt nothing.

This was a short story originally written for my year one composition class at university and was later published in the The Wells Muse. It was created by looking at a series of photos and writing a small paragraph on each and then mashing them together and adding a few bits in to make it flow more. I was really happy with this piece because it was out of my comfort zone and something I have never written before.

A tale to end all tales: The Handmaids Tale

*Mild Spoilers ahead*

What would happen if the world’s population became so scarce and women’s fertility dropped to such a low percentage due to infections and diseases?

*Mild Spoilers ahead*

What would happen if the world’s population became so scarce and women’s fertility dropped to such a low percentage due to infections and diseases? Margaret Atwood answers all these questions and more in her novel, The Handmaids Tale. The novel was published in 1986 and quickly rose to the bestsellers list.

The tale follows Offred, a woman of thirty-three years’ age thrown into a new, totalitarian state which replaces the United States we know today. What drew me to this novel was not only the recommendation from Michael saying that it could be an inspiration for my own novel, but also as I have wanted to read this book for years now but many others came in the way and I just thought, you know what? Yes, I am going to do it.

Atwood’s novel is about women, and how quickly their rights can be taken away from them due to decreasing population and because a new government says so. Offred is one of the Handmaids that high-ranking Commanders use to try to reproduce and increase population. She is not treated like a human, but a breeding mule. However, as the novel digresses, she does get more control over her life again maybe not to the extent she has in the flashbacks she has of before Gilead was formed, but she still gains some. We never find out what happens to Offred, whether she escapes Gilead or not as it cuts to years after Gilead was taken down. A professor talks of her ‘tale’ and how they found it, but not of what happened to her as they could not find that out themselves. Overall, I loved reading this book, it gave me feelings I never thought I would receive whilst reading a book. However, the ending in my opinion was a little bit of a let-down, whilst it leaves it up to interpretation of the reader of what happens to her, I wanted to know what did happen to Offred.

Whilst Atwood’s is sceptical at what time the novel is placed in, though we can see that it is possible that it is set in the 2000’s at least due to its epilogue of the Professors talk,