fiction, Story Snippet Sharing

Sunday Snippet – Jelena is put through hell.


Booted footsteps outside her cell brought her staggering to her feet and her head held up high. They wouldn’t see her grovelling on the floor like a frightened peasant. Ignoring the pain in her head she thrust her hair off her face. Her braid was mostly undone, and the locks that fell in her eyes stank of the cell floor.

The key turned in the lock. Her heart thudded despite her determination to show only disdain for her jailers. Mali got away. I must remember that. We did not fail. Daegal’s death was not in vain. Her lip trembled and she clenched her jaw, blinking rapidly as her eyes welled with tears and her heart gave a painful pulse. The light of the lamp carried in by her jailer was mercifully dim and she did not have to squint. She had expected Malchor and the sight of the man who had killed Daegal filled her with such fury that she felt it vibrate through her. She had to force herself to stand there, to not launch herself at him. Arrik placed the lamp on a hook on the side of the door which closed with a loud thud. He regarded her, again with that quizzical tilt of his head.

“I wasn’t allowed to touch the other one, but you’re different. No-one cares what happens to you.”

Her heart raced and she felt sweat break out in the centre of her back. She might have been able to reason with Malchor, or at least convince him that as a hostage she had negotiation value through virtue of her rank, but this sorcerer was insane. His eyes, a deep brown shot through with red, held a focused intensity that reminded her suddenly and vividly of a house in her childhood, a dark tiny closet, and lots of pain. Her hand trembled and the walls of the room seemed to close in but she kept her head high. I survived that monster, I will survive this one. And then I will kill him. Continue reading “Sunday Snippet – Jelena is put through hell.”

Musings on Fiction and Tropes

The Strong Female Character – who is she really?

I’ve been reading about what James Cameron said about Wonder Woman and have been following people’s reactions to it and that got me thinking (not for the first time) about what we mean by a Strong Female Character.

In case you missed it – James Cameron argued that the recent Wonder Woman movie was a ‘step backwards’ from the non sexualised Strong Female Character he argues is typified by his Sarah Connor in the Terminator movies.

Now, I loved Sarah Connor. I loved the growth in her character from the first movie where she was scared and had very little autonomy to the second movie where she was harsh, complex, bitter, frightened, and yes – kick arse. That single armed shot gun reload was a magic moment!

But I love Wonder Woman too. Yes, she wears tiny clothes and the costumes and sexualisation of female superheroes can be highly problematic. But Wonder Woman was such a beloved part of my childhood because she solved problems herself. She was humorous. She was clever and strong. She stood up for justice and truth. And – she was gloriously beautiful. Continue reading “The Strong Female Character – who is she really?”