WOW 555 – Oppression

Happy Friday!

How’s the week been treating you guys? Were you among the lucky ones who got Monday off (if you’re in the States)? Or, like me, did you draw the short straw? Whatever the case, Martin Luther King, Jr. day is a day for remembering a great man. MLK Day is more of a whole week, though, in my opinion, as civil rights issues get brought to the forefront in response to the day. However, it shouldn’t only be this week, or on MLK Day that people come out of the woodwork and put on their civil rights helmets – we should be striving for civil rights every day, non-stop, around the clock. Whatever civil rights issue is closest to your heart, take it and run with it!

So, in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr., this week’s WOW555 prompt dealt with oppression:This week’s prompt is to tell us a story in which your main character experiences oppression…they must recognize what is happening as oppression at some point in the story.

This proved more challenging than I thought it would, as I was trying really hard to stay within the parameters of the challenge I set myself up with last week – sticking with Emma and Malakai and advancing their story. In my efforts to do so, I’m not entirely sure I hit the mark on this one, but here it is anyway.

~~~

The Rent

It’d been a solid two days since Malakai took up residence in my room, and there was no getting used to the sight of his sleeping form behind me in the mirror. He didn’t have the greatest control over his transformation in his sleep, so I set him up with a sleeping bag on the other side of the room. Seeing him in his cat form, snuggled into the sleeping bag like a human, was almost comical. The shapeshifter was in human form at the moment, bare chest exposed just slightly as it rose and fell with his breathing.

“I’ll make you a deal. I’ll pretend to be your familiar, in exchange for help with this curse – how about it?” His voice floated through my subconscious. Why me? My magic was okay, but not great – obviously, if I couldn’t even attract a proper familiar. Besides, curses can’t be reversed unless the caster chooses to free you. All I could do was provide him some protection.

Cerce mewed, causing me to jump. Her paws reached out from under the door. She’d spent the better part of the last two days trying to get at Malakai. The sound woke him, and he stirred behind me.

“What time is it?”

“Late. I have class in an hour or so. Were you planning on sleeping all day?”

“Isn’t that what cats do?” He chuckled at his own joke. “But no – I have research to do.” Malakai was determined. The caster had apparently provided conditions for ending the curse, but Malakai kept those to himself, unwilling to bend to the caster’s wishes.

“Do what you want – just don’t let Cerce in here and don’t let my mother see you.” I stood and walked out, but not before catching a half-hearted salute from Malakai in the mirror.

It wasn’t until arriving downstairs that I noticed we had company – of the most unpleasant variety. He saw me before my mother did.

“Emma! How are you? How’s your training going?” False kindness dripped off his every word. He couldn’t care less how a witch’s training was going.

“Good, Mr. Hoffmann. Thanks for asking.” There was no love lost between us. I hated him. But, I couldn’t do anything for fear of retaliation. Very few places would rent to witches.

“As I was saying, Alana, your payment is overdue.” He handed my mother a paper. I took it from her – we already paid rent.

“It went up from last month – this is more than you charge the rest of your tenants!” I spat the words before I could stop myself.

“None of the others are like you.” Hoffman shrugged. That phrase grated on my nerves. We were the only witches in the complex.

“It’s okay, sweetheart.” My mother walked over to the kitchen counter to fill out a check. She turned her attention to Mr. Hoffmann. “Here’s the remainder, sorry for the trouble.”

He left with a satisfied strut.

“We deserve better.”

~~~

Well there you have it – oppression in a world where witches are an every-day occurrence. Don’t forget to check out the other entries on Saturday and vote for your favorite! And, if you’re a writer, keep an eye out for the call for entries and submit a response 🙂

As always, think happy thoughts!

Image credit: Image found via Google Image Search on rebloggy.com.

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