For this week’s flash fiction challenge over at Carrot Ranch, our task was to think about beginnings and endings – or rather, hellos and goodbyes: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a hello or a goodbye. You can pick any greeting that grabs you from howdy to fare thee well.
The direction I took is a metaphorical one based in history. Following the story, I’ll offer some background.
The New Era
I hold my hand up to my face, shielding it from the pelting rain. Shouts of protest meet me—I pretend not to hear them. They’ve solely had their voices heard long enough. Now, it’s my turn.
Brushing the moisture from my overcoat, I step into the building. A long table awaits me and thousands of other women who will greet the new era.
The rain’s chill reaches my bones and my hand shakes as I mark my choice. With a lump in my throat, I drop my ballot into the box.
Starting today, we will always be heard.
This story is inspired by Marie Ruoff Byrum, who is believed to be the first woman to cast her vote after the passage of the 19th amendment in 1920. The rain is factually accurate, though the protesters as I described them were fictional. They are a representation of protests women faced when fighting for the right to vote.