Monday, August 15, 2016

Microfiction Contest Entry: The Consumptive Heroine

This is my entry for a microfiction contest I was made aware of at this year's Nine Worlds Geekfest. My yearly write-up of that event is delayed a bit, as the deadline for this contest is midnight 8/15.

The topic is "Transcending Tropes", and the trope I'm transcending here is that old 19th century chestnut of the consumptive heroine, in which a beautiful white girl suffers from an undisclosed wasting disease that just makes her even whiter and more beautiful and ready to dispense comforting authority-affirming wisdom beyond her years in the face of death.

While I am not exactly in the habit of doing writing in response to tropes, my cold calculatin' exposure seekin' heart won out in this instance. ENJOY these quickly rattled off 300 words!



The limpid morning sun hit her face just so that Sir Cecil Maitland thought he could discern in it no less than the whole of the beauty and wisdom of the angelic host singing the praises of the heavenly Father. Her pallid features and delicate hands wrought within him conflicting emotions. All his masculinity was urging him to kiss her right there, in the solar where she was spending her last remaining days surrounded by her favourite books and childhood toys. It was his paternal instinct that won out, however, as he merely stroked her hands and soothed her suffering with gentle words of devotion.

“Oh Anna… to give you the wedding you deserve! I do not have the means to do so, but I would call myself your husband before you are taken fr—“

Anna weakly raised an alabaster hand to Cecil’s cheek. She turned away her golden-haired head briefly, allowing her cough to dissipate harmlessly in the direction of the window. They both noticed the droplet of blood that stained the chaise Anna was lying in with a scarlet memento of the remainder of their time together.

“Speak no more, dear Cecil. What days we have on this Earth are exactly as many as God allows. If I spent them serving Him, then that is all I need to die happily. Only…”

“What, my love, what?”

“I know it is not proper… but we have so little time indeed...”

“Yes, darling...”

Cecil bent over closer to embrace his Anna. Anna opened her lower mandibles.

Half an hour later, the housekeeper opened the door to the blood-drenched solar.

“Will you be needin’ anything else, Miss?”

Anna, leaning on her formerly ivory palms, burped.


“More suitors, Margaret. Fucking consumption got me consumin.”

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