I found this writing prompt on Reddit last night (thanks to u/IronMyr) and really liked the creativity it inspired in me:
Gender roles not only exist, but are physically impossible to transgress. Men can’t clean their own homes, women are completely incapable of accepting money for work, etc.
Here’s what I wrote in response:
Edgar sat at the kitchen table reading the paper from this morning as his wife Stella prepared the roast she’d picked up from the market.
“I’m so glad you thought up this recipe.” Stella said from the kitchen counter. “I’m nowhere near clever enough.”
“That’s alright dear. Be careful with the paprika. You’re a bit heavy handed.” Stella set the spice aside and placed the loin on a cooking sheet on the wire rack of the oven.
She sat down at the table with a glass of water for her husband and nothing for herself. Resting her cheek on her fist, she smiled and asked “How was work today, dear?”
“Oh, you know, the usual” Edgar replied, taking a sip from his glass.
Stella listened with a wide smile, as if this was the best part of her day.
“I may get that promotion next Monday, but the competition is stiff.”
“I’m sure you’ll get it dear,” she smiled, patting his wrist with her delicate hand.
Just as he was about to continue, the baby monitor sitting on the kitchen table emitted a high pitched shriek.
“Oh dear, Joey’s up” said Stella. They both looked at each other anxiously.
“I’ll do my best to make sure the roast doesn’t burn, but be back shortly, eh?” Edgar chortled with a quiver in his voice.
“Of course” Stella said, swallowing the lump in her throat yet maintaining her red-lipped smile. She scurried away, her high heels clicking against the linoleum floor.
Joey was crying as Stella entered the nursery. He wailed and wailed as if he’d been abruptly awoken from his nap.
“Oh darling, mommy’s here, mommy’s here” she cooed. Reaching down to pick up the infant, she rocked him and pressed him close to her chest. She swayed and bounced lightly around the room, humming a tune she made up on the spot. Her attempts to soothe him failed. A rustle could then be heard in the corner behind the nursery door and Stella turned to look. Before she could scream, the baby fell and she was stabbed through the chest.
After about an hour, Edgar was sweating profusely, staring at the smoke rising from the vents of the oven. He wanted to check the roast, but it wasn’t part of his programming to be concerned about such things.He was glued to his seat, crying and calling out “Darling! The roast!” all while steadily flipping through the paper. Suddenly the oven caught fire. Edgar was helpless and the house was quickly engulfed in flames.
On the sidewalk standing in front of the conflagration, the murderer stood holding Joey. She raised the mask obscuring her face and looked down at the orphaned boy.
“This” she said “is how revolutions start.”
Last Week’s Story: Drumming Up Business
Next Week’s Story: Novel Excerpt 1
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