The Angry Feminist Manifesto

21 Jul

Part 2 of the Pilgrims Flash Fiction Series

Okay, so maybe I killed them.

And maybe it wasn’t an accident.

But I don’t regret what I did, and don’t you think for one moment I ever would.

Look, I know I’m not beautiful. Me, with my mousy hair and thin face and spotty skin? Who are we kidding? Other people can be beautiful, sure. But not me. Not Sally Leanne Beauchesne, U.S. Army Private First Class, Fourth Infantry Division.

That doesn’t mean Mike had to say what he said, though.

Let me back up here. I entered the army fresh out of high school. Thought it would be good for people like me – you know, not pretty, not brainy, just brawny. And it was – until I got placed in the Twelfth Infantry Regiment for deployment to Afghanistan. Up until then, I had been the only girl. Not that it mattered much, since I don’t have any curves to speak of. Nothing to mark me out as different from the rest. Mike, Sam, Manuel, Benjamin – they all saw me as one of the guys.

But Abigail, she was beautiful. Perfectly placed highlights, bee-stung lips. At least a D-cup. She was like an unholy cross between G.I. Jane and Mila Kunis. And Christ, could she shoot. Not as well as me, of course, but she was competition. And she rubbed me the wrong way. Her breathy little giggles and her Christie Brinkley highlights made me clench my fists every time she walked by during training. The way the men followed her every footstep like lapdogs pissed me off.

You probably think I’m jealous of Abigail. But let me make it clear: that’s not it at all. Who would want to be a red-lipped slut like her? No way. This is the army, sweetie, not high school, I wanted to say. What I felt was anger. How dare she walk into the training compound with hips swinging like she had clockwork springs in those bones? Where was her dignity?

I’m a feminist, see, and I don’t bother to hide it. My Gramma Louise taught me well. The daughter of a West Virginian coal miner, she was. She always said living on top of those mines gave her a fiery soul. Said the fire would creep into her veins while she slept. So short she had to sit on a phone book when she drove, but she made up for that in temperament. And she never got anything from a man that she could do herself, which was most everything. Got a job, raised my mother. Then raised me. Women are sacred creatures, she would say. Adam was the prototype, but Eve was the finished product.

So you can see what I mean, right? Abigail was abusing what it meant to be a woman. But I wasn’t planning on shooting her. It wasn’t until Mike said Jesus, Sal, go back to West Virginia and screw your cousin for us, you ugly cunt, you make me want to pry my eyes out with my fingernails that I lost it. See, I knew he wouldn’t have said those things if Abigail hadn’t been there. I was yin, she was yang. I was the moon, she was the sun. Yaddayaddayadda.

She was right, my gramma. That coal-fire in her blood passed through my own mamma to live in me too, and in that moment it burned me clean through. So can you really blame me when I crept over to Abigail’s bunk and put a clean shot through her forehead? And then felt the fire licking at my heart, scorching it away, until I did the same to Mike?

No. You really can’t.

Gramma Louise would’ve approved, after all.

Shotgun Sally was one of those characters that seemed to spring, fully-formed, from my head, christened and all.  While writing my novella, I often found that I had to rein her back because she wanted to run her mouth during every scene (and if she wasn’t in the scene, she’d holler at me until I inserted her).  She’s the kind of girl who demands attention.

Other stories in the series:

Letty Greene, Queen of Hearts

Babes in the Wood

© 2012, Elizabeth Ballou


4 Responses to “The Angry Feminist Manifesto”

  1. Katie C. July 28, 2012 at 11:06 pm #

    Esze these flash fiction pieces are amazing. Really. I love reading them very much. Keep it up.

    • elizabethballou July 29, 2012 at 10:02 am #

      aaahhh thank you so much! I’m glad you’re enjoying them!

  2. kafkaesque777 August 20, 2012 at 4:50 am #


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