Sunday 2 June 2024

Sunday Serial, 280x 70, 19. The Woman in Red 30 November 2018 by Gill James, brandy


This collection is a collection of seventy stories, each 280 words. They were inspired by the first picture seen on my Twitter feed on a given day.

She was a tall woman and she held her shoulders back proudly. Her dazzling red dress swirled around her legs as she moved quickly. Who was she? Why was she dressed so strangely? His own Edee would not dare to wear something so daring.  

The answer was obvious: this dress empowered her.

He couldn't help but follow. She dashed down streets and crossed broad allies. They arrived in places they could have got to sooner. He noticed, though, that she stopped every so often and muttered something under her breath. The lights would go out in nearby houses and the people would protest.

He could smell smoke, taste it even. He began to realise that every house at which she stopped had started to burn. Whatever she muttered put the fire out. Was this some sort of magic? 

People were piling out of the houses on to the streets now. They began to fight. When she raised her palm, though, they stopped. The fights were erupting so quickly now that she could hardly keep up. He knew that he should serve. He held his bow and arrow ready.                                   

Suddenly she noticed him. She bowed and a thin smile appeared on her mouth.

He took his bugle and blew on it fiercely. The crowd quietened. "Let the lady speak," he shouted.

She stood even taller now. "My friends. These fires are the manifestation of the evil in your hearts. Cleanse your hearts and you will be left in peace."    

The towns people bowed their heads and one by one made their way home. The flames and the smoke subsided.

She touched his arm. "Thank you for helping your queen," she said. 

 About the author

Gill James is published by The Red Telephone, Butterfly and Chapeltown.  

She edits CafeLit and writes for the online community news magazine: Talking About My Generation.

She teaches Creative Writing and has an MA in Writing for Children and PhD in Creative and Critical Writing.

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  1. An intriguing tale. I’m going to find others in your series. The mystery behind the notion of 280 words stories etc has me going to search for more. It’s

  2. An intriguing tale. Now I’m about to search for more in the series.