Helen: Chapter Three

I’ve been really jonesing to write some more fiction, but I am also knee-deep in a novel revise and rewrite, so I’ve made a compromise with myself: Allie’s take on flash fiction.  Each week, I will craft another 100-word chapter for Helen’s story.  Want to join us?  It’ll take less than a minute of your time. 


Pity was, in Helen’s assessment, the most egregious insult that could be launched upon a person. Pity was the bastardization of compassion—a lazy, indolent third cousin of empathy.  There existed a fundamental through line: the recipient of pity somehow unwittingly lost control of her circumstances; she made misfortune’s bed and must lie there, trapped within self-inflicted suffering. Observed, but undeserving of assistance.  Thus Helen reasoned that if she avoided eye contact, she could also avoid the pain of acknowledging her irretrievable power.  She couldn’t know it, but this nascent aversion would constrict, and eventually stunt, her whole being