Category Archives: Petra McQueen

Drabble: The Hunt – by Petra McQueen

by specklit

Only meat was missing from the buffet. It was up to Clara and her friends to fetch it. They lay silently, overlooking ‘Elysian Fields’: each girl equipped with a Maelstrom B891. Clara’s, a present from Mum just before she left, was customised with stickers of the LurveBoyz.

A song wailed through the air. It was time!

Dust rose from the valley: a pack ran out. Clara positioned herself. Would she spot her? That was essential: the only way to become an adult. She put her finger on the trigger and waited for her mother to speed into her sight line.

Author’s Note: What is it to become an adult? Some cultures send their children out into the wilds and they come back adults; others tattoo or cut their young to mark their newly acquired adulthood. In this story, I wanted to create a dystopian future where this rite of passage was violent and simple.


Drabble: Rebellion in One Syllable – by Petra McQueen

by specklit

I wore a blood red dress.

The box with the dead old man was near and I was made to march.

The crowd left space near me, as though I was a hole in the road down which they might fall. They wore type D tops, had soft soled shoes. I tried to see a glint of joy in those hard by, but there was none.

I knew that they were close.

I made my mouth an O. “We are free,” I sang. And from the shade they came, with their sharp suits, their Style A hair, and their guns.

Author’s Note: Experimenting with the Oulipean technique of only using one syllable in this piece, I wanted to explore a world where language was constricted and wearing red was an act of rebellion.


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