Anger is a hot topic these days, despite attempts to deny it. Is it better to bury anger or let it fly? Perhaps the answer resides in the choices we make. We can choose to let anger ignite action if we retain dignity and control, or we can choose to let our anger subside to accept a peaceful resolution.
The world seems to be spinning out of balance between denial and reaction in response to issues that anger us. It’s a tall order to ask writers to stick a pen into the inkwell of unresolved anger issues, but writers with quills took to the task.
The following are in response to July 13, 2016 prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story using the emotion of anger.
Simmering Anger by Charli Mills (from Miracle of Ducks)
“Just use your apron, Babe.”
Danni turned on high heels and glared at Ike from across the kitchen. “Apron? Use my apron? This is a fifty-four dollar handcrafted pinafore—one of a kind. I’m not going to wipe gooey dough all over my apron.” Her heels clicked as she walked to the sink.
“Then why cook in it?”
“Here’s an idea. Since you have Iraq figured out—you cook!” She untied her apron, wanting to throw it, but held back. Instead, she kicked off each shoe, hoping one would nail Ike between the eyes. They skittered across the floor.
New Anger, Old Scars by Anne Goodwin
Soggy footprints trailed me upstairs. I considered grabbing a yellow hazard sign from the cleaners’ cupboard, except that the wet floor wasn’t the danger, but me. I needed a door to slam behind me, but this one had a top closer that eased it sedately into the frame. I needed hail pelting the window, but sun streamed through the glass. I needed to kick my bike over, but space was tight and it too heavy, earning myself an aching toe. I pushed my fingers under my sleeve to caress the old scars on my forearm.
Anger for Carrot Ranch by Sharmishtha Basu
“Anger issue? I have anger issue!!!!” she grumbled within, “Yeah sure I do, but from where did all that anger came? Where is that shy teenager who could not speak back when abused by her own siblings brazenly? I buried her deep inside ribcage. I could not become cunning, manipulative so I covered my softness with fake anger, then with time that became real… Sometimes I was so angry that I scared myself. Then I realized that if I don’t change myself I will destroy my life, I changed within but kept the façade, it keeps predators at bay!
Attacked by Dnagai
Connecting with the swinging bag in a satisfying thump, she remembered ire in his eyes as he approached her car. Repositioning herself, she threw another punch. Thump. He had grabbed her arm and pulled her out before she could lock the doors. Left. Right. Thump. Thump. “What ifs” haunted her. She swung around. Power traveled from her hips up through her gloved fist. Thump. If it weren’t for the heroes who tackled him? She missed a step, then recovered. Thump. Yes, he was arrested. Thump. Yet, she didn’t feel safe and she was angry. Thump. Thump. Thump.
Disintegration by Sarah Brentyn
The mortals’ reverence faded.
They grew distracted and self-absorbed, no longer worshiping The Goddess.
Her temple fell into ruin. Crumbled bits of once-sacred stone became debris scattered among tall grass. Moss and ivy clung to marble.
She watched this disintegration as it mirrored that of civilization.
Humanity split apart like a plank of weathered wood, discarding kindness and embracing hate.
She felt no pity or sorrow but, instead, disappointment and disgust. They were a plague.
Silent many years, The Goddess waited, fury rising, until she stood and filled the heavens with her rage, unleashing a storm to end them.
A Different Reflection (with an addition) by Jules Paige
(Choka/ Shadorma (plus)
Push, I’ll push you back
So do expect my attack
That is what I thought –
If to your thinking, I bought
What game do you play
Taking my sunshine away
so many years; tears
As I hid behind my fears
Your hand in a fist
Your attitude in a mist…
All those falsely tied ribbons
Of memory fade
The present is my best gift
Even without you
(We want to live without anger.
Yet anger is but one fuel for justice.
How can justice be portrayed as
a blind woman? I don’t know.)
Gone Fishing by Pete Fanning
Larry sent his anger up with the flag—a duty he would gladly relinquish upon retirement. In accordance to code, he raised it full—to the finial—where a flag belonged in a normal world. Larry took a breath, thinking how he was through with flag poles and ready for fishing poles.
He regarded the stars and stripes fluttering in the morning breeze. A quick prayer and he slid the flag down to half-staff, where it flew four days last week. Twelve out of the past thirty days. To where the new guy might end up leaving it altogether.
Opportunity by Larry LaForge
Ed felt his blood pressure rising. Edna watched, wondering if her husband would remember.
They worked on it daily. Edna’s constant reminders to pause and take a deep breath would now be put to the test.
Ed forced a smile that Edna knew wasn’t real. As he approached the scraggly kid with the blaring boombox, Ed repeated the words to himself. Opportunity. Opportunity. Every aggravation is an opportunity.
Edna held her breath. Ed faced the kid.
“Great day to be at the beach,” Ed said with calm affection.
“Yessir,” the kid replied while turning down the volume.
Emotion by Ann Edall-Robson
“Why don’t you yell at me? You know you want to.”
It had been the second time in a month that he had not come home before curfew. He worried about his son and what he was up to, but yelling wasn’t the answer. It only made them both anxious and sour.
He watched his boy from across the table. He didn’t have to yell if the boy thought he should. He already knew he was wrong.
Raising his voice did nothing for both of them. It was easier to keep his counsel. The affect had the same outcome.
Faux Pas by Geoff Le Pard
Mary jumped at the sound of broken china followed by incoherent rage. Moments later her husband appeared.
Mary sighed. ‘What’s happened?’ Her mother-in-law was staying and things hadn’t gone well.
‘She’s not used to spicy food, right? Well, it seems last night’s curry caused a bit of an upset stomach.’ Paul paused.
Mary waited, knowing there was more.
‘She had a slight accident and was worried that you might find out and think badly of her. I told her not to be so silly.’
‘What exactly did you say? I’m guessing you’re paraphrasing.’
‘I said ‘shit happens’.’
Lessons from Mom by C. Jai Ferry
Martha snatched the greasy garlic bread from the plate. “No chubby cheeks for you.” She spooned carrots onto the five-year-old’s plate.
Her granddaughter’s face burned with humiliation. Let her scream and cry. Martha wasn’t afraid of a scene. She was terrified the girl would end up fat and alone, like her grandmother.
Martha’s mother had been more concerned about clean plates. There are children starving in Africa. If she’d really cared, she wouldn’t have sentenced her daughter to life in a size 24 prison.
Martha opened her mouth and shoved the garlic bread in, hoping she’d choke on it.
Anger on the Prairie by Charli Mills (from Rock Creek)
Hickok glared hard as steel barrels, yet his pistols remained hung at each hip. He said nothing as Nancy Jane screamed a litany of obscenities not even a wagon teamster would recognize. Cobb bellowed as loudly, calling for justice to be served. The old man in ropes looked resigned to his punishment.
“Stop him,” Sarah pleaded.
“Not my place,” said Hickok.
“You know it’s wrong. Cobb’s angry at Nancy Jane. He’ll treat her father harshly.”
Hickok flexed his hands, then relaxed. Except for his eyes. He watched, knowing the old man thieved. He deserved the punishment; not the anger.
Fantastic collection of anger. Interesting how many relationships were explored instead of, say, events or daily life or death. Which, I suppose might lead back to relationships anyway…
Great observation, Sarah!