ZWConcepts

Photography, art, writing

Is Rose Actually Rose?

December19

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            Rose shuffled papers on her desk, hoping against reality that rearranging them yet again would make the stack smaller. Disgusted, she tossed it across the desk. It slid to a stop next to a Lucite trophy, her award for excellent performance. She slumped back in her chair and slowly turned to her computer to type a speech that she would make in two days at a meeting of investors.

            Several minutes into her work, her phone rang. She hit the speakerphone button.

            “Yes?”

            “Mister Holscheitz is here to see you concerning the health insurance policy information.”

            “Of course. Show him in.” She pushed her keyboard back and faced her desk and the door opposite the room from it. Several moments later, a thin and frail man entered with a small white briefcase.

            “That’s odd,” she thought. “Never seen a white briefcase before.” She gestured to a chair next to her desk. “Please, have a seat.”

            “Thank you.” The man sat and gently placed his briefcase in front of him and slowly opened it. He pulled out several folders. He closed his case and set it aside, placing the paperwork on the desk next to her stack. He glanced at her papers as he began. “As I had mentioned on the phone earlier, this policy is different from the one your company is currently using in several important ways.” He reached into his shirt pocket and pulled out a small pair of glasses and a pen. He opened a folder and continued. “This policy covers almost twice as much as your current policy with a lower deductible.” He looked up from the papers and over his glasses at Rose. “This policy, while substantially more expensive, is not-“

            Rose jumped out of her chair, grasping her left upper arm. The old man jumped up also, concern on his face. “Are you alright?”

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Liberated Women

December19

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She stood there, smoking her cigarette at the window. The traffic in the city below moved obliviously to its own beat while she moved to hers.

“Martha, you can’t do this!”

“Can’t I?” Her voice echoed in the large corporate sized apartment. Martha turned around. The man she had tied to a chair strained in his bonds. She walked aimlessly behind a glass-topped desk. “Let’s see, your brother told me I couldn’t blackmail him, and my teachers told me I’d never amount to anything and my own mother told me I was worthless. Now, financial analysts tell me I’m worth over seven million dollars and I’ve blackmailed your brother,” she gestured by spreading her arms. “…and look where I am now.” Her heels clicked against the cold marble floor as she stepped towards the struggling man. She grabbed his chin roughly and made him look at her, “I’ve already done it, and I’ll do more.” She slung her hand to the side, snapping his head as she let go.

“It takes a lot of work and planning to get what I’ve got.” Martha walked around behind the man and spun him to face her. “You have no idea how many men think that success is a large bank account.” She sat down on the edge of a glass desk. “Too many men treat women like hired house hands that work in the bedroom too.” She placed her foot on the man’s chest, her short skirt hiking high up her leg. “You, Todd, have gone too far.” She shoved him with her foot towards the window. Todd slammed in to the paned window that stretched from floor to ceiling. The glass cracked with a spectacular noise and Todd screamed. The blood drained from his face.

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Dance to the Wind

December19

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Julie stood at the edge of the Circle and watched several men Dance a mock battle. She wished that she could join but they would not let her. No one would. According to many, the Sacred Passages claimed that women would never again be Holy enough to Dance. And so, most women were happy enough to be aids to the Dancers, carrying supplies and offering support and refreshments during long Dances or difficult negotiations.

So Julie stood there her face burning, as always, at the thought that she could only take second place to men who refused to read the Passages as they were written, choosing instead to accept what they were taught. She stood there; watching Kyle as he Danced and sometimes offering him help when she knew he really needed it. She stood there, secretly learning the Dance moves and what they meant, learning techniques that were only learned after many years of schooling. She knew them all now, and how to link them together. She knew how to do a Revitalizing Dance. She knew how to change the temperature. She knew how to bring the rain.

As the Dance ended, a gust of wind kicked up dust and blew it into the faces of the participants. Kyle ran up to her, out of breath and pouring sweat. “Thank you for your help, Julie.”

“Of course.” Julie brushed an errant lock of red hair out of her face and offered him a wet towel. “Here, to clean and cool.”

Kyle took the offered towel and wiped his bronze skin with it. Julie watched him ruffle his straight brown hair as he ran the towel and his hands through it. When he was finished, he pulled an ornately decorated cloth out of a bundle of equipment on the ground and knelt before her. The Dancer presented it to her with his head bowed. “I formally request that you assist me in all Dances, and remain by my side throughout my adventures in the ways and traditions of the past and according to the Sacred Passages.”

Julie looked down at the towel. Kyle had just asked her to accept the greatest honor that could be bestowed on a woman. She turned around and walked off.

“Julie?” She kept walking. Kyle grabbed his equipment and ran after her.

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Cassandra, Redux

December14


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Jonathon squeezed into his seat. The stuffy air and vibrating floors only served to remind him of how much hated to fly. He reached over, closed the window, and sighed deeply. In three hours, he would be at home knocking back a margarita and letting the past week slip away like a bad dream. The last two and a half days passed in a sleepless blur filled with bright colored shapes as he tried desperately to create the look his obstinate client was seeking.

A skinny old lady sat down next to him. She looked so frail that he was afraid she would fall apart if he sneezed. He fastened his seat belt while a fat man navigated the narrow isle before setting into his seat in the small plane. The smell of grease and meat wafted over him as a man in a Hawaiian shirt shuffled past and took the seat directly behind.

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