WEP’S FIRST CHALLENGE OF THE YEAR, GONE WITH THE WIND, FEBRUARY 15-17, 2023, SOON CHILD, SOON By Pat Garcia @pat_garcia @WEP @TheIWSG #writingcontest #flashfiction
Warning: Dialect is used in the dialogue. The words are written as the African Americans spoke them in that period of time. They are not misspelled words.
Tagline: When Miss Scarlet slap me, it hurt. Sometimes me gets pains in my head. We human beings too.
“Mammy, ya ever think Miss Scarlet treat us like she treat Miss Melanie?” Prissy asked.
“Lawd, Child, whatever ya done gone and made ya say that? Mammy asked, startled by Prissy’s question. “You done had a sunstroke out there hanging out them clothes, I giv ya.”
“Just thinking,” Prissy answered. “When Miss Scarlet slap me, it hurt. Sometimes me gets pains in my head. We human beings too.”
“A change gonna come one day,” Mammy replied.
“But how soon?”
“Only the good Lawd know that, Prissy. Now, iron Miss Scarlet dress fo she done come in here and slaps ya face again fo being lazy.”
On the set, Butterfly McQueen took on the role of Prissy and closed her mind before she spoke her lines. It blocked out the shame and degradation that rose within her, but her anger still burned.
As a nigger on the set, integrity and pride were traits she dared not reveal. That would put her in jeopardy of losing her life or getting raped until she passed out, or destroying her existence and demoting her to a cleaning woman like her Mama had been.
After saying her lines, the director shouted at her, “Your voice is beautiful and sounds just like a sweet bird.”
Butterfly nodded her head and quietly left the set.
Have a lovely February and take care.
- Posted in: Flash Fiction ♦ The WEP ♦ WEP CHALLENGE,
- Tagged: GONE WITH THE WIND, WEP FIRST CHALLENGE OF 2023
A change is gonna come one day. Soon.
Or humanity might be lost.
Pat, you got right to the bottom of it through Prissy. That change is a long time coming. ‘A sweet bird’, indeed.
It is getting better. I have to hope it is getting better. A short but powerful post.
It makes me sad that such was the life of your people in the past, and it makes me mad, that there are some ignorant people who still hang on to racism as if it is a badge of honor when it is a badge of dishonor. God loves us all, regardless of color, religion, or ethnic background. This short piece is well written.
I have no words to describe the power in this short piece of flash. It hits hard.
You absolutely nailed it with clarity and brevity both! Brilliantly done. Change is indeed a long while coming.
Hi Pat – change is definitely coming … it’s just taking its time to get into our thick brains that we all need to be fair to each other, and not let greed rule the roost … think of others, please. This is excellent described – yes I could see it … thank you – Hilary
The changes in education that are running through the US scare me to death. I’ve lived a long time and none of the education I received touched on anything close to reality, and it looks like they want it to stay that way.
Well done. Thank you!
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Beautifully rendered. Its sad that so much of our history is populated with such prejudice.
I read the book before I ever saw the movie. The movie was just as I had imagined from the read. That’s the mark of a good writer, and an excellent screenplay and script. It was a classic!
Thanks for sharing, Pat.
This was a difficult prompt for WEP, Pat, but one that your post eviscerates. We all need to look beneath the surface to truly see our prejudices and their lasting effects, to recognize the suffering, and to take actions to bring healing to all. Sometimes, it’s hard to look past the romantic veneer, which your story rips away.
Well written, I can hear the longing for change and hopefully change will be for the better.