Write a fragment of a story about a villain who gets away with a serious and perhaps brutal crime and enjoys the fruits of his crime (or simply enjoys the fact that nothing happens after this crime). Love this character, and try to make him somewhat loveable to us. Think in terms of class distinctions, an uncomfortable subject in the United States, as we tend to deny they exist here. Crime is often an act of envy. According to an early meaning of the word, someone is evil who crosses class boundaries.
(from prompt #29 in The 3AM Epiphany)
Read my response:
*disclaimer: this is an exaggeration of a perception of a public figure; it was loosely inspired by Sarah Palin, but is entirely fiction. by pure coincidence, the prompt had a word limit of 600, but somehow, I ended up writing 666 words.
Naughty Monkey pumps clip clop and echo more than other brands. This truth comes from experience, not science, because the only truths worth recognizing are the ones in your mind, from personal experience. The “clip clop” conveys power and a sharp efficiency; she likes the echo of this sound even more. She imagines an army of women in fuck-me pumps marching behind her, as the sound of her heels is magnified in an empty, narrow hallway. Just as importantly, these shoes show sass, they show she’s a woman with a girlish determination to pinch her body into something desirable. No matter how much power she has, men can still masturbate to the image of her, and that’s important. She may act like a man but no doubt about it, she looks like a woman. Some things just go against nature—butch women even more so than effeminate men, because what woman doesn’t want to be beautiful?
Today, as she walks, she catches a glimpse of herself in a darkened window. She likes what she sees. She’s thin, thinner than she’d been in her twenties, and it elevates her above, well, everyone else. The women who like her, they aren’t like her. She hasn’t been fattened by the middle age spread of middle class Americans living in the mid-west. She doesn’t eat any crunchy granola or that damned Whole Foods, she doesn’t buy into that propaganda about “going green,” but she’s better than those fast-food addicted idiots stuffing their faces. What they see when they look in the mirror is a nightmare, she imagines. Pausing for a moment at herself, she reflects. Here is a woman in control, a woman who takes control. Thank God for, well, for God. For God and for country, both of which she has been called upon to serve—called, if by nothing else, then by virtue of her superiority. Her beauty, her drive, her faith. Her obedience to God, to ritual, to tradition. Her discipline, her focus. All these qualities, these treasures she values as dearly as she values her home or her children. These treasures that she’s acquired by winning, by playing the right game the right way. These treasures she has been awarded by virtue of being better than white trash, better than her roots, better than the small town whore she could have been.
In the moments before the press conference, she goes through a little ritual. It’s like any competitive sport, any arena where one person emerges as the victor, the better competitor, against another, less worthy person. She visualizes her success, and she must be alone. In this most private moment, she imagines all the enemies she must go against, all those she must destroy. She thinks about sodomites, about godless heathens, about terrorists, foreigners. She imagines all their tiny deaths, she shrinks the whole world of them away in her mind until they are tiny enough to shut up in a little box. She closes the lid and she hears their screams, she hears them begging for forgiveness in fading voices. They call out to her, beg her to help them, but she doesn’t bend. She imagines herself crushing them under her stiletto heel, until they flatten out and disappear. Then she imagines the world she will create instead, a new pretty world, where everyone will listen to her. She breathes in and out, in a Christian fashion, visualizing her success just as her political coach taught her to do daily. People will be thin and healthy, women will know their place, men will be heroes. Breathing in, breathing out, until she can just see this new world, her new world, and she is ready to speak to the masses.
Stepping out onto the stage, lit by lights and by an internal passion, she is suddenly flanked by her four bodyguards in dark suits. She grabs the podium and begins to speak. “I was just your average hockey mom, and signed up for the PTA…”