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Lifelike

Dara Naraghi's graphic novel Lifelike is now available in both digital and print editions. Click here for more info.

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Books -Panel
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Image of Moonstone Monsters Volume 1

Welcome back to Panel 350: Panel’s ongoing series of flash fiction. To make up for my logorreah last time, this edition is only 348 words (including title).

“You need another token to look deeper in the archive.”

Kaden clicked “OK,” and Facebook took another of her virtual tokens. She peered further into her grandmother’s albums, trying to figure out why grandma kept giving her the fish-eye.

Kaden’s grandmother had always seemed less than hippy-skippy about her relationships. There was always a tightness around her mouth anytime Kaden brought home new partners.

To someone of Kaden’s generation, it was completely normal, but she knew things weren’t always so enlightened. Kaden’s mother never addressed it completely, but she’d dropped hints over the years about grandma’s old-fashioned ideas. She couldn’t ask grandma directly, but here she could look back on grandma’s whole life.

Here was grandma with a flip-style phone, here was grandma paging through a print magazine, here was grandma drinking from one of those red cups that were banned now. Here was grandma with a massive Honda, here was grandma wearing those thigh-length boots that were back in style now.

“You need another token to look deeper in the archive.”

Kaden sighed. Her last token. If the answer wasn’t in 2012, it would have to wait.

Here was 2012, and the third photo she saw nearly took her breath away. Here was grandma, waving a sign that said “Marriage is a man and a woman.” Her mouth was curled into a sneer of anger and fear, a snarl that seemed aimed at Kaden herself.

Kaden always assumed grandma’s problem was that she kept becoming the junior partner in polyamorous triads and quadrangles. Her mom disapproved of that – it was a submissive, and she always got burned when a primary parnter got jealous. Kaden figured she was only 35 and had plenty of time to get ready for a “real” relationship.

But this – grandma was an old-school bigot. The kind old lady who made her lemonade and hummus was a straight-up bigot. Sure it was in the past, but – she’d never look at grandma the same way again.

Kaden choked back tears, and wished to goodness that there were some way to forget childish indiscretions.

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    3 Responses to “Panel 350: Childish Indiscretions”

    • Tony Goins says:

      The first inspiration for this was a picture Dara posted on Facebook of Chick-Fil-A supporters alongside Jim Crow supporters. The caption was “Imagine how stupid you are going to look in 40 years.”

      The other starting point was Facebook itself. I’m really fascinated by the idea that our lives are so documented these days. Humans are evolved for a certain amount of forgetting, and that’s not possible anymore.

    • Dara says:

      Nice one, Tony. I like hearing the backstory of what inspired or influenced you to write this story. Perfectly executed, to boot.

    • Tony Goins says:

      I don’t think I quite stuck the landing, but thank you.

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