SHORT STORY REFLECTION
Did you enjoy them? Why or why not? What worked well in the stories and what didn’t? How did the author try to draw you in? Create a sense of place? Develop characters?
I chose “The Screwfly Solution” by Raccoona Sheldon for my short story read. It was super interesting. The concept of femicide was the most soul-shaking thing ever. In our society today, we are living in a world where women are on the up and up. We are joining forces and proving we are a strong, intelligent, and independent group. In “The Screwfly Solution” women are being killed off, leaving a man’s world. We follow the main character, Ann, who might possibly be the last woman on earth.
HOW IT ENDED
“Good-bye, dearest dearest Barney.
I guess nobody will ever read this, unless I get the nerve and energy to take it to Barney’s. Probably I won’t. Leave it in a Baggie, I have one here; maybe Barney will come and look. I’m up on the big rock now. The moon is going to rise soon, I’ll do it then. Mosquitoes, be patient. You’ll have all you want.
The thing I have to write down is that I saw an angel too. This morning. It was big and sparkly, like the man said; like a Christmas tree without the tree. But I knew it was real because the frogs stopped croaking and two bluejays gave alarm calls. That’s important; it was really there.
I watched it, sitting under my rock. It didn’t move much. It sort of bent over and picked up something, leaves or twigs, I couldn’t see. Then it did something with them around its middle, like putting them into an invisible sample-pocket.
Let me repeat—it was there. Barney, if you’re reading this, THERE ARE THINGS HERE. And I think they’ve done whatever it is to us. Made us kill ourselves off.
Why? Well, it’s a nice place, if it wasn’t for people. How do you get rid of people? Bombs, death-rays—all very primitive. Leave a big mess. Destroy everything, craters, radioactivity, ruin the place.
This way there’s no muss, no fuss. Just like what we did to the screwfly. Pinpoint the weak link, wait a bit while we do it for them. Only a few bones around; make good fertilizer.
Barney dear, good-bye. I saw it. It was there.
But it wasn’t an angel.
I think I saw a real-estate agent.”
How It should’ve ended
Today I made a difficult climb up a mountainside. You know that cliche phrase, something like, “Life is a climb, but the view is great.”? Well, the view was really great.I could see everything. I felt tall and powerful. The pine trees didn’t seem so grand, the rivers looked like lines in the sand, and the grass looked as if it were brushed across the ground’s surface. It was so beautiful it didn’t seem real and amongst all that beauty, I felt out of place.
With the chaos that has become our lives, it was refreshing to see this view. For the first time, in that moment, I didn’t feel so alone. I felt accompanied by God. With that thought still lingering in my head, I scanned my view in search and in hopes of catching the glimpse of an angel.
My eyes darted in between trees and valleys, rocks and rivers, and still, my view was absent of a shimmering bright light. I soon gave up and sat down. I felt the gritty surface of the ground rub against my exposed thighs. For the first time in a while, I felt content and at peace. A sense of triumph waved over me, and I got goosebumps. I truly believed I was this planet’s last standing woman. I believed that I noticed something darting around in the distance. The figure finally settled at the edge of a river. It was a woman. She had a dark complexion and her hair was bundled under a baseball cap. She took a cup out of her back bag, leaned over, and filled it with water. As I sat there watching her drink, I crawled closer to the edge of the mountain. I had never been happier and disappointed all at the same time. Another woman. Does that mean that there could be more woman still left on earth? I was then consumed with pride; I always knew women were strong. I wondered what to do next…
Should I call after her? Maybe we could join forces and work together in our quest for survival. Should I remain quiet? I left my crawling position to sit back down as I contemplated. I looked down at the red dirt that lay under my feet and began to trace my name. I was crossing the “A” when I was interrupted by a blood-curdling scream. I looked up and I was drained of all hope. Maybe I am the last woman standing.