History’s Sister…

As historical fiction transports us to places we can never know (until time travel is perfected), the genius of authors like Philippa Gregory, The Other Boleyn Girl, Geraldine Brooks, March, and Sena Jeter Naslund, Ahab’s Wife, magically transforms history with revelations from lesser-known counterparts of the day.

What if…

Suellen’s Side of The Story…
I haven’t talked to my sister for nearly ten years, though I hear about her from time to time, of course. Folks can’t seem to resist wanting to stir up that honeypot, trying to catch me out sharpening my tongue on vengeful stories of her excesses; hoping to be the first to hear she’s grown as wide as a pickle barrel, or all her hair fell out. They’ll learn none of that from me. “She’s doing as well as can be expected,” I always say.

My parents, especially Mother, would probably be most ashamed of me, her middle daughter, since I turned out to be what the God-fearing members of my family charitably call a bluestocking. The less kind, perhaps not having a big enough vocabulary and an even more limited imagination, infer malicious perversions about me. So-called friends wearing hound-dog expressions try to comfort me, repeating aspersions in exchange for a ringside seat to a drama of I don’t know what. Sometimes it takes all my willpower to not just start clucking like a chicken, pecking at their skirts, or maybe even kissing them right on their dumb bunny mouths to give credence to their shabby hopes of a mind gone ‘round the bend. I try not to preen like others I know would, but there is solace to be had upon growing up with no expectations; surely life could only turn out to be a pleasant surprise.

After my husband died, God rest his soul, I ran away from home; from all that I hurt and all that I hated. I loath the very ground that swallowed my babe, my sole chance for redemption, and care not which gates of hell I enter. As if reading a book backwards, I set out for the other side of the world, looking for a better ending that perhaps I had missed. That’s another story; one not even my sister could begin to imagine…

Which relative (from history or fiction) would you like to read about?

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