Hen was the middle child and had sisters just a year older and a year younger, both of whom grew into great beauties by their early twenties. In order to compete with her sisters, she developed her sharp intellect into verbal riparte that could mesmerize even the most smitten away from the object of their affections. Hen practiced on her brothers and her classmates. Her sisters she never engaged with as she hoped to hold sway with their kindness when it came to her beaus.
Such was not to be, as Hen’s sisters were vain and lacked empathy. Every young man she brought home was stolen by one or the other, only to be cast aside once won. Hen’s soft spot for them hardened. She waited until she watched them fall in love with their choices out of the crowd and become engaged.
Her older sister went to the altar first. At the part where the preacher stated, “If anyone has a reason why these two should not be joined…” Hen, who was one of the bridesmaids, raised her hand and said, “Does my having had sex with the bridesgroom count?” The wedding was called off and her older sister went to inpatient care for a number of weeks.
A year later, when her younger sister was about to marry, almost beyond belief the scenario at the altar was repeated. Her younger sister lunged at her and got a few good punches in before being pulled off of Hen. The wedding took place, and the couple went to marriage counseling for a number of months. Alas, the counseling was ineffective and the couple divorced childless.
Wittingly or not, Hen had burnt the bridge to her family with her acts. The invitations stopped, even from her parents. Feeling like an outcast did not give Hen the satisfaction she thought it would. She started applying for jobs at the other end of the country and took one that was 2000 miles from her home and family. It was there that she met Henry, the kindly farmer who lived down the road from her cottage.
Fandango is the host of Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge. Fandango says:
Welcome to “Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge.” Each week I will be posting a photo I grab off the internet and challenge bloggers to write a relatively short flash fiction piece inspired by the photo. While there are no definitive style or word limits, I suggest trying to keep your posts to under 300 words.
The image … from Unsplash.com.