The Leviathan’s Eye Chapter 3
Most adventures at sea start with perilous storms, which test a person’s courage. It’s the hero’s chance to prove they are fearless on the open sea, knowing full well that danger lurks in every gust of wind and swirling wave. My story, on the other hand, is a bit different. My journey began with a burlap bag over my head for the first thirty days of our three-hundred-and-sixty-day voyage. The salts insisted it was to make sure I didn’t spread a foreign disease.
Sailors, like fishers, love to laugh, and I was a living, breathing joke. My voyage seemed like a prison sentence while I scrubbed the decks, secured the rope, and cleaned the animal locker with a bag over my head. The longer I endured the joke, the more the old salts started to like me. They didn’t know if I was dumb or brave, and I wanted to keep them guessing.
Another joke the old salts played involved forcing me to sleep in the animal locker. “We don’t have enough hammocks,” they said. It was another lie that put sarcastic smiles on their weathered faces. If only they knew that I preferred the company of sheep and goats. A rough, dry hay bed was better than hammock rotations with a crusty old sailor. It smelled better too.
After my thirty days of hazing, the salts embraced me as one of their own. I had done everything they asked with a bag over my head and proved my worth. Or, at least, my ability to take a joke. Either way, I proved something to them.
On the fortieth day of my journey, I began mandatory literacy lessons with Old White Dwight. He was a wise and educated man. No matter how drunk he was. Most of the old salts believed Dwight was a sorcerer. It was their only explanation for why Dwight’s flask never ran dry. After a while, the rumors of sorcery seemed true. No matter how much Dwight drank, he always had a flask full of rum. Whenever his shipmates asked about his mystical ability, he gave them the same answer. “I ration my portions.” If it was sorcery, he never taught me his trick.
Dwight opened a children’s book and pointed to the page. “Have you seen this letter before?”
“I know how to read and write,” I said. “A tavern girl named Lydia taught me. She told me that all the wealthy merchants know how to read and write better than most men. So, while the merchants spent all their money on her, I snuck onto their ships and stole their books, among other things.”
Dwight glowered at me. “Do you have a favorite book?”
“I used to spend my nights reading the ancient epics about the goddess Kellena and her age of heroes.”
“Those are rare books,” Dwight said. “Which story did you read the most?”
“I read Hedra’s adventures more times than I remember.”
“Hedra, Dragon of the East and of the West. Do you remember his prayer?”
“I used to sit on the beach every night and pray for the beast.”
“No one writes powerful words like that anymore,” Dwight frowned. “The dragon’s story made me understand why Kellena’s epics survived the religious purge. Almost made me believe in your goddess.”
“I don’t worship Kellena. I swore an oath to worship our true god, King Winston the Second.”
“I’m drunk, but I’m no fool,” Dwight sipped his flask. “Fishers and farmers worship the goddess. There’s no changing that. Don’t worry; once you finish basic training, you’ll get your royal brand, salute a half-wit drawing of the king every morning, and no one will question your secrets.”
Dwight spent our time teaching me rhetoric, drawing, and how to map the stars. “I’m not supposed to teach you more than your letters,” he said. “The king and his officers want lowly sailors to be literate but not educated. Keep your knowledge to yourself the best you can.”
“Then why take the risk?”
Speak? Sure. But, be warned....you'll find me...[choose your adjective].
Write? Why write? Does anyone read? I do write. I'm torn.
Buddhists and Taoists suggest I consider silence.
I'm not sure whether they meant the lips AND the pen?
Buddhist monks recite Gathas. I write "Archispeak".
Cross-referencing building and elevator codes.
Never a monk will I be, Buddhist or otherwise.
Beyond repair? Why would one repair......perfection?
Laugh. It's fine. I always wanted to make people laugh.
Have you heard about Gathas? Oh. Ha! Yes, this week.
Cute? That's a word like "crazy" or "normal". It's subjective.
The residential code is not a bit subjective.
For a small fee, I delivered in writing, very good news.
Yes. I do still have a highly functional brain.
Better, by far, than a supermarket robot!
Poetry? Some. My best portrays myself as a fungus.
I just wanted to be a fungi.......to make folks laugh.
The Buddha said not to be a fungus. Sort of.
Non-clinging and equanimity. Tall order.
That was an "in the moment" moment. Calmer. Quieter.
I thought it was a small dog at first. It was dark.
My grandmother was attacked by a raccoon. Cute?
My father said, "It couldn't have happened to a nicer person".
I have a bad story for everything. Almost.
He was all Budweiser and cigarettes. Good man.
But, I'm not qualified to judge. Not me.
I'm so disqualified: as monk, nun, man, woman.....
Ahh, but it's all water under the bridge, as they say.
Genderlessness aside, I'm too old, too sick to serve.
But, I truly feel that I've never been more human.
I cry. But, with more empathy and love than sadness.
Replacement? Only for the love of bone density.
Slippery, but sticky. Whose bright idea was that?
Excruciating pain and humiliation;
only to smear it on my arms every morning?
Osteoporosis or empathy? Life's latest "choice".
It's a shitty picture. But I'll keep my distance.
When it climbed a tree. Dogs don't climb trees. Not a pup.
I've tried, and tried. But, never had even a nibble.
I always thought that the biggest fish would be there.
True. A proper Buddhist would leave the fish alone.
Fact check this though: I've heard that the Dalai Lama eats meat.
Fish in the Gatha? No. Under the bridge, I mean.
Maybe the water's too fast. The current's too strong.
It's kind of like my bedroom at night. A mystery.
Nonetheless, I began my own Gatha.
The Gatha reminds us to cherish every day.
You know about blue light? No. Not the blue light special.
What store was that? A blue light on wheels.
It moved around the store. Like a bargain beacon.
No. Someone pushed it. No robots in the eighties.
Now there are robots working in the supermarket.
Apparently useless robots. But I shouldn't judge.
I began a poem about the puppycoon:
Dappled by shadow, I saw a pup all alone.
Toward us, on dimly lit walkway it scurried.
Has it wandered too far in the dark from its home?
"Whose lost puppy is this", I wondered and worried.
It seemed to be serving no useful purpose.
The same might be said of me: My wife's third child.
I tried to interact with it. To speak to it.
Like my grandmother in the hospital. Speechless.
She would not speak a word. Just unblinking eyes. Silence.
It's not great for sleeping. Street lights, computer screens...
Chainsaws and choker chains. Bears hooting in springtime.
I wish I'd kept one of the chains. Two. One for each shoulder.
I interact with it all: Blue-lit raccoons, Buddhists, and robots.
I speak to it all, with more empathy than sorrow.
The Gatha reminds us to cherish each moment.
I am having difficulty with the first line:
I wake rested from a good night's sleep. Maybe tomorrow?
An hour of silence. I left. At least I tried. Sort of.
"So nice of you to visit". The door closed behind me.
Let it go. I offer meta. It's a Buddhist thing:
May all beings be at peace and find some rest. Even us.
The Sound of Quiet
I stopped and stood still, for a long moment… but it wasn’t just me.
The world had fallen still.
Flakes were falling faster and the quiet had set in...
It’s as if you could hear the air, and the rest of the world had stopped to listen.
We all stopped in unison somehow, and I would not pierce the perfection.
If Quiet made a sound, it would be snowfall.
How will I ever explain this?
— that my idealistic mindsets diminish as i grow older
— that i once hoped to be a beacon of justice to help the poor but i realized the system can't be changed by one person alone
— that those who are in the position of changing systems are the ones who are stained with so much greed
— that i don't dream of any accolades after my name, i just want to provide for myself and for my family but i can't do that without earning titles and most of all, an ample amount of money
— that i don't want to be commodified in the society but survival makes us slaves of capitalism
— that i don't have a dream job, i just want to be in an air-conditioned office doing paperwork to earn enough
— that i want to feel like a human, not needing to find the purpose of life but to just breathe and love.
Sanny Abes And The Christmas Cold
By: Maddie Florence Vigil
Dec. 9 2023
Sanny Abes was very eager for Christmas.
His class was putting on a Christmas show. Every year each class got its little show—usually plays—, as a part of their whole grade,—Sanny Abes was in fourth grade—this year they were putting on a play about an elf village and three elf brothers who were all elves in training. Even though they did a show every year Sanny was extra excited that he was getting a main part. And Sanny had never gotten a part before. Sanny got to be the oldest of the elf brothers since he was tall for his age. His best friend, Tommy Elblin, gotta be Santa. Tommy is an exceptional actor, he always gets a big part. Sanny's elf's name was Dennis. Santa is just called Santa. The other brother's names are Briar and Ned.
Because of the show Sanny wanted to go to school, to go to math, science, and even writing because he knew that the special practice they put aside only for the "harder roles''—he always wanted to go with Tommy , who seemed to always get a "harder role," every single year, but was told no, but now he could,—was right after. Plus, this year “Mean Ol' Zander Baker,” did not get a part, so it was even better. Zander would always make fun of Sanny, especially when he got one of the main parts and Sanny did not.
Now Sanny had two little sisters, Scarlett, and Charlotte Abes.
Scarlett Abes was six years old, a first grader, and Charlotte, 7 years old a second grader. Both of their classes were doing a show too. Charlotte's class was singing three Christmas songs and Scarlett's class was taking turns reading a Christmas story. They were both excited about their shows but not even a fraction as excited as Sanny.
Scarlett was a blonde with blue eyes. She did not look like her brother or sister. The only similarity to her other siblings was her height.
Charlotte looked just like her brother, with green eyes and dark brown—almost black—hair with slight waves. The only difference in their looks was that he wore dark blue glasses and she had long hair but had bangs like him. It also helped that she refused to wear dresses unless it was on a Sunday for church—her mother's choice, not hers.
Charlotte had one difference from her siblings which was not looks, she had a condition where she would get headaches a few days before she got sick. The worse the headaches, the longer or worse the sickness. And it just so happens that Scarlett started having headaches a week before Sanny's show. Sanny knew what this meant, but he pushed it out of his mind, hoping that it would be a small cold, would pass, and that he would not get it.
Two days later, Scarlett was recovering from a cold, and Sanny was okay. He was extremely happy. He went to school that day with a happy heart, extra-pumped for practice.
When he got to school, he found out that his teacher, Mrs. Zodein, was sick. "What!" He sneezed and cried. "And I was so excited too," he thought as he went to get a tissue. Tomorrow will be better.
It was not, and his head hurt even more and Mrs. Zodein was still not at school.
The next day, his mother made him stay home; she thought he was sick because of the headaches, plus he kept sneezing. Sanny was super disappointed. He thought his teacher was probably better and that they were practicing without him.
Sanny likes to write. He had already used all of his tablet time and couldn't fall asleep. So to pass the time his mom suggested he wrote a short story. She gave him a couple words and a fill in the blank–Marry, orange, serious, stage, shhh, and _____ day. He grabbed a paper and pencil, sat on the couch, and got to writing. He decided to write about Career day the year before since career day was in a couple weeks.
“The Career Day Before Christmas
By: Sanny Abes
‘Shhh!’ Mrs. Sonia held her finger to her mouth and hushed out of class. " Merry Christmas" was written on the board. ‘Please let the guests speak.’ She said and waved over one of the guests from the hallway and quickly finished her attendance on the tablet the school gave her. A man in a bright orange coat, plastic-like pants, a hard hat, and shiny black boots stepped onto the stage.-- a wide wooden board covered in a blue rug lifted by large wooden blocks. ‘You can call me Mr. Davis,’ he said, ‘I am a construction worker.’ He had a soda in his hand. He set it on the ground at the edge of the stage. He told us about what he does and his most recent job, fixing a road near the school. ‘Well I have to leave time for the next speaker.’ he looked at the clock and back at the teacher who nodded her head and called the next guest in. We clapped our hands as he left.
The next guest's name was Mrs. Vincent. She was not very nice. Not a lovable computer engineer.
The guest after Mrs. Vincent worked at a gum factory. She passed pieces out to everybody. I saved mine for later though. We played dominoes with gum with her. It was weird but I guess it was kind of interesting.
The last guest was an artist. First, she showed us a painting--a queen holding an orange and singing--it was quite weird. Then she had a project for us all to do. She passed out green and red paintbrushes to everyone,--in the spirit of Christmas-- mine was green, and put a bottle of paint on each desk group--three desks and kids in each group, I had Kassie and Ben--. The color of our paint was yellow. She told us that after 5 minutes we would trade colors with another group. I did not know what to make. Ben was making a Jaguar, his favorite animal, so I decided to make a brightly colored tiger. At the end of class, we put our paintings on a paint rack borrowed from the art room. For the rest of the day we played cards. After school, I was so tired I laid down and slept through dinner. It poured all night.
The next day, Wednesday, I ate an extra big breakfast--I ate three candy bars-- and hoped the school would just let us sleep. Unfortunately, school is not that nice, but we did not have to do too much schoolwork. It was a more calm day for sure. Plus we got to help Mrs. Sonia decorate. I got to put plastic candles on top of the bookshelf and unwrap the snow globe. At the very end of the day before we went home we got to take a trip to the art room and grab our paintings. When I got home I gave it to Dad. He told me it was good and sat there and cried–he's super emotional. Tomorrow will be the last day before break, I knew it would be another interesting day.”
Sanny ended his story there and decided to have a follow-up story and add more description–that's what his mom suggested.
“The Funnest Thing About The Last Day of School Before Christmas Break Last Year
By: Sanny Abes
It was the day before Christmas break. Thursday. It was the first time my school put the first day of school on a Friday. My dad made us tea and pancakes since it was our last day. I had extra syrup on my pancake. When my sisters and I were the only ones on the bus, they were wearing matching earrings. I enjoyed the almost-silence as I looked out the window and watched the snow. On our way out, Mrs. Nancy, our bus driver—bus driver of bus 9—gave us all Christmas stickers,mainly elves and candy canes. She keeps different rolls of stickers on her dash, right next to the boxes of crayons and a toy soldier, for special occasions. I have no clue why she has crayons. The toy soldier is for Christmas. Both me and Nate, who sits next to me, got candy canes.
When I got to Mrs. Vaughn's—my teacher that year—classroom, she was playing music. I was quite surprised at first because it didn't sound like Christmas music, but then I realized it was, but the words were sung in cursive—that's what my dad calls songs—that you can't hear the diction; that's pronouncing your words so people can hear them, especially on t's and k's—so it didn't seem like a song with a story or Christmas theme.
I went over to Timmy until class started. Once I was in my seat, I noticed Mrs. Vaughn's desk. It was filled with cans of whipped cream, clear containers with sliced strawberries in them, black frosting tubes, and a bunch of napkins, paper plates, and plastic forks. She plugged in her extension cord for her monitor and had us watch a confusing science video about planets or something that almost nobody--only the kids who care about school too much and even then they did not pay attention the whole time, I saw Sonya and Maggie, two huge suck ups, whispering, so basically nobody--paid attention too, some at least pretended,--me, mostly I just watched the snow globe, but it's right next to the board so it looks like I am. but most of us just whispered among ourselves. I think Mrs. Vaughn has given up on us; at least for now, she only yelled at us once. After the video, she asked someone to help her pass out stuff. She did not tell us what, but I figured it was just going to be papers. It wasn't. Eddie, Maggie, and Sonya got to pass out stuff, and it was food. I'm so dumb. Eddie passed out the paper plates, napkins, and plastic forks in that order. Maggie, who was holding a pink plush bear—I have no clue why—passed out the cans of whipped cream. Sonya quickly passed out the tubes of black frosting and rushed over to help Mrs. Vaughn with the strawberries—see, major suck up.
I watched them until everything was passed out and Maggie, Eddie, and Sonya had gotten to choose from the treat basket—a wooden basket, like you see around Easter, filled with candy and toys—that's next to her paperclips and were in their seats, each holding their rewards. Sonya had a small pack of gum. Eddie had a toy plane. Maggie put a blue and white dolphin charm she had gotten on her purple bracelet, right next to her silver cat charm. Then Mrs. Vaughn sat on her quilt-covered office chair in front of her desk and showed us what to do. She said we were making Santas—a little confusing, but I knew that she was going to show us—out of the ingredients. Just like I thought, she started setting up her own: 2 half strawberries, a can of whipped cream, and icing on her paper plate.
First, she got out the bottom part of her strawberry; the strawberries were cut horizontally instead of vertically. Also, the bottom was a little bit bigger too. Then she put whipped cream on top of his face. I followed her as she made Santa. Next, she grabbed the frosting, added eyes, and set it down. After that, she picked up the top of the strawberry. She put it on the bottom and adjusted it so it was even with the bottom. Somehow, I got mine on the first try and did not have to re-adjust it. She paused and asked if anybody needed help; nobody did, so she waited for everyone to catch up. Once everyone was caught up, she added the final touches. A dot in the middle of the bottom strawberry is to be a button with the icing, and a ball of whipped cream is on top for the puff on the Santa hat. Then she had us pose with our "creations" before we could eat them. I hate pictures but I'm hungry so I'm not complaining, all I have for once is an apple and a PB&J, oh and a juice box. I won't be filled. Once we ate them we had to go back to regular school work-Boo!
That is the funnest thing about the last day of school before Christmas break last year.”
Then he took it to his mom to read. She thought he did a lot better on description, even if some of it was made up. “A story’s a story, right?” is what she had said.
He decided he was going to try to fall asleep again. But when he woke up after only sleeping for thirty minuetes he was unable to sleep and wanted to write more and experiment with different points of views and perspectives based on the time. So he wrote about Christmas Break.
By: Sanny Abes
Dec. 22, 2023
Tommy gave me a robot key chain for Christmas yesterday. I gave him a plush dinosaur.
Christmas Eve is the day after tomorrow. Today, my mom is finishing Christmas shopping. She had a very long grocery list. While she shops, me and my dad are walking our dog, Harley. He's a German shepherd. I love him. Scarlett and Charlatte are at their friends house for a sleepover; their best friends are also siblings, probably gaming the whole time. They took mine—apparently it's the best—and I was not allowed to touch theirs. So I don't get to play video games. I'm sad.
Dec. 21, 2023
I am sitting at the dinner table by the rose vase, telling mom about the Santas. In the vase, there is a white rose and a red rose. Right next to the vase is an origami dove that Scarlett made last week. She is really into origami right now.
When we went to the buses, Tommy gave me a robot keychain and a chocolate bar for Christmas. I gave him a plush dinosaur and a box of gummies. We are planning our day for tomorrow. Moma has to go shopping. I hate shopping. Tonight after dinner, we are taking my sisters to their sleepover; we are going to pick them up at 5p.m. tomorrow.
"What if you walked the dog with me and we went on an adventure?" asked my dad.
That sounded fun. I haven't walked Harley in a while or gone on an adventure in a while.
"Okay," I responded.
"Then we can go to Zabelle's Cafe."
"Yeah!" I was excited.
"Boo." My sisters pouted.
Dec. 23, 2023
Its the second day of break.
We are going on a family road trip. We had to leave Harley at home. I brushed his hair to say goodbye. That's what I do every time we go on a road trip, right before we leave. Moma and Dada won't say where either. It sucks, and I want to know. That especially annoys Scarlett. She hates not knowing things, even more than I do. Maybe even more than the dislike for me and Charlotte combined. When we got to our hotel, I went right to sleep, along with Scarlett and Charlotte. Moma and Dada stayed up, though. I got my own bed—Moma and Dada shared, and so did Charlotte and Scarlett—and the table with the lamp was by me too—yes, I'm afraid of the dark; go laugh at me—with a gray lamp shade. So both of those things helped me fall asleep.
Dec. 24, 2023
Momma says we are doing a thing called "desitination unknown." She blindfolded me and Charlotte, while Dada blindfolded Scarlett. After the three of us were blindfolded, they helped us into the car—a gray van that could have fit Harley. I did not want to leave him, and I checked to make sure we couldn't see. Once we got out of the car, with the help of Momma and Dadda, we held hands and headed where the hand was leading us. I could hear a flag in the wind.
When I got in side—I think I was inside somewhere—the ground changed—some of the things I noticed were Christmas music and a baby crying. For the music, it was a nice song about bells. You may have heard of it. As for the crying, well, it's a baby crying; what else is there to say besides the obvious?
Finally, after waiting a long, scary forever, we got to take off our blindfolds. We were in a dark room. There's a TV.
"suprise! Were watching a new Christmas movie—the one you have been wanting to see." Momma said.
Where is Dadda? I look around. Oh, there he is, walking over with popped corn! It was really fun. After the movie, we made Christmas cards. I hope we do this again next year.
Sannys mom laughed at the lamp shade part but he knew she was not making fun of him so it was okay. Sanny was glad he had entertertaied her. He also knew she took the hint at the end. She tucked him in and winked as he left.
His mom let him go to school the next day, but she told the school that if he looked sick at all, he should call her. He did not know if Mrs. Zodein was back; he didn't make it to class. When he went to throw his trash away from breakfast, he puked right in the cafeteria trash can! And it was two days before the show—his mom would never let him go! Sanny was devastated.
With a heavy heart, he went back to school the day after the show. The whole way there, Sanny grumbled about "how 'Mean Ol' Zander Baker' probably got his part". And his mom did not feel bad for him at all!
When he got to his class, Mrs. Zodein was not there; in her place was the same sub who had been there before. "Hmm," he thought to himself, "she could not be sick again." He felt a tap. He turned around. Tommy was behind him. He whispered, "People are saying that Mrs. Zodein has COVID." Then he backed up, "You do not have COVID, right?" "No, my sister passed it to me; you know, my mom, we got tested. It is a common cold," Sanny answered. Tommy got closer again. "Well, at least they only delayed the show and did not cancel it. It was so nice of them to give us our own spot since we could not have ours yesterday." Sanny had completely forgotten about the show, but as soon as Tommy said that, Sanny could feel his sadness being lifted. But Tommy looked distracted. "Tommy?" Sanny asked. "There is a serious problem." "What, what is it?" Sanny was worried. "Because of the missed practices, they would not be ready at all for when the show came around; even if Mrs. Zodein came tomorrow—impossible—we just could not possibly be ready," Tommy answered with a serious frown. Tommy thought they should talk with the rest of their classmates, but Sanny thought it was a bad idea. He suggested that they gather the students just in the "'harder roles' practice groups." He also did not want to have to talk to "Mean Ol' Zander Baker."
"Okay so first we should get everybody together," Tommy brushed his hair to the side, " and come up with a meeting time."
" Where are we gonna meet?" Sanny asked.
" How about during recess?" answered Tommy.
"All recess" Sammy looked at the ground and frowned.
Tommy and Sanny had to group everyone at recess. First, they took a count of everyone in their group and wrote who was playing what in order of most lines—who they thought had the most lines— on the sidewalk with a blue piece of chalk:
Santa: Tommy Elblin
Narrator 1: Bennett Hontz–who was wearing a green t-shirt with a pink dolphin on it.
Briar: Jameson Wong–had on a yellow sweatshirt and slightly ripped jeans, that were barely dress code appropriate.
Dennis: Sanny Abes
Ned: Easton Doyle–in sweatpants and a red long sleeve shirt.
Narrator 2: Maggie Bever–with a red and black checkered dress
Cristy (Head Elf)Martha Jann–orange starfish earrings and leggings
Crinkly (Head Elf's Assistant)Henry Elrod–a black hoodie and un ripped jeans
Sebastian (Santa's Assistant)Matt Alden–black shorts and long sleeves that didn’t match.
Finally, they were able to get everybody together and cross their names off. Then Tommy persuaded them to all meet there for 10 minutes every day until their teacher was back. Matt and Henry did argue at first but soon agreed after going over everyone's parts—a semi-disaster.
When Mrs. Zodien got back you did not need to see all of her face—most of which was covered by a light blue mask—to tell how pleased she was.
Sanny was greatly thankful that he was able to do the show, and for all the compliments, even one from Zander—this surprised Sanny a ton, but now he no longer calls Zander "Mean Ol' Zander Baker." He even thinks that they could become friends.
There was a similar challenge to what I'm entering at this moment.
Considering the season, it seemed appropriate.
In the original it was asked to modernize any biblical story. Now one had always stuck out to me in particular and would have been my entry:
For those who may not know, the story of Joseph is one of the most common epithets when talking Bible readings. It's the story you always tell the kiddies and has been translated to movies and cartoon shows, think Disney's King of Dreams film. Pretty sure Prince of Egypt was an outside studio. But back to the focus, it's stuck on me as a compelling backstory for a character if placed in a modern context since it goes into issues of parental favoritism, exemplifying the consequences on relationships that should be of love, trust, and protection with some iterations holding some implicit implications of the father blaming his older sons for Joseph(his favorite son's) supposed death, when it had been told to him it was a wild animal. So, what's your take on modernizing the story? Who would be the POV character?
Link your entry in the comments of this post.
Winner announced on Christmas day in a follow-up post.
Consider this a challenge.
Considering that a certain raven left me with no other choice and I hope at least one person feels the same as I do.
Write a short flash fiction. About 500-750 words.
Put a new spin on tropes of the magical girl genre. I want to see twists and inversions, contradictions and subversions. All the type. Place the specific trope you address at the top of the post.
Enter by linking your work in the comments for me to read.
The winner will be the entry with the most likes-- Closest I can get to a vote-- with an announcement posted on the New Year.