Solstice Ball #28 — Free Range Fiction via Terrible Minds Challenge

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Here’s my take for Chuck Wendig’s challenge. I had a lot of fun with this piece. My feminism may be showing as is too many years of horror and pulp writing. But, it’s a good break from all the holiday nuttiness. Wouldn’t you say? Let me know in the comments what you think.



Janet couldn’t decide which of her Make Your Own Man XK6 companions was going to accompany her to the Solstice Ball. Hell, she hadn’t even decided what clothes she was going to wear. She knew that he must wear is best tuxedo. And a cane. He needed a cane. But, before that he needed a head. Did she go with the older distinguished gentleman? That would give Abigail Founderland something to gossip about, since she was constantly on and on about how so many women just wanted to be kept and not have a life of one’s own. There was the dark-eyed, private-eye man. Or she could dance all night with the entertainer. There was the athlete, or the scientist. There was even a gingered-hair banker.

Janet put the head of the scientist on. Suddenly she was feeling the need for some intellectual conversation. The MYOM XK6 came to life. She stood there nude, nothing but her dancing shoes on.

“Janet,” he said.

“Willard,” Janet said and smiled. “We have a gala to go to tonight.”

“Where is your gown?”

Janet rose and walked over to her wardrobe. Willard followed. She opened its doors. Willard reached above Janet and pulled out a very plain gray day dress. “This looks fabulous,” she said.

Janet knocked his head off.

She put his head back on the shelf. The face had the look of surprise now, as if he had found a Eureka moment in his lab.

She decided that since it was a gala, she should have the entertainer with her. She executed the head placement flawlessly, and before she knew it his hands rose up and clasped onto her breasts.

“Get off, get off!” she screamed. He wouldn’t let go. She tried to knock his head off, but her arms were too short. She kneed him in the groin and he moaned and let go. She was able then to knock his head off. She was so grateful that she had gotten the XK6 model that had between-the-legs sensitivities. She wasn’t a prude after all. But both the scientist and the entertainer were going to have to back to the shop and get repaired.

She sat back and thought carefully. Maybe the athlete would be a gentleman – although she preferred him for tennis doubles. She shook her head and chose the private-eye. He would keep her safe, perhaps.

She placed the head on. “Hey, dame, what gives? I haven’t seen you in two weeks.”

“I’ve been busy,” Janet said.

“Busy working for that greedy, ginger bastard? After all I’ve done for you?”

“Look, Cliff, we’ve been over this before,” she started to head towards the wardrobe, this was life with Cliff. He was going on and on about how bad all the other men were for her, but he also conceded that he wasn’t really the partner type. He always told her that he worked alone. While she was looking at an elegant red dress, Cliff approached the other heads and grabbed the banker’s head and threw it on the ground.

“Cliff!” Janet admonished.

“Stay away from him!” He ran to the bed side table where Janet kept her small pearl-handled handgun. One he had helped her pick out. And shot the banker’s face off.

Janet whacked him from behind with the cane she had wanted him to carry and his head rolled off. She put Cliff back on the shelf.

She sighed and realized that Abigail Founderland would have lots to talk about after all.

“Henry,” Janet greeted her Solstice Ball date.

“Janet, my lovely child,” he said, just a tinge of a southern accent he had worked hard with Janet to lose.

“Are you also feeling ornery tonight? Because I just want to go to the ball and have a good time – no other shenanigans,” she pointed the cane at her.

“I’ll be good, I promise,” Henry said. He put up two fingers and then marked an “X” over his heart.

Janet grabbed a gold gown, “This is perfect for tonight,” and she dressed. Henry watched, his eyes hungrily taking Janet in. Janet focused again on the wardrobe, trying to decide which stole she would wear for the evening. Henry couldn’t control his appetite any longer and came at her from behind and wrapped his arms around her and buried his mouth into the side of her neck.

“Henry,” Janet was irritated. “Stop. It’s time to go get a taxi. Could you do that.”

“No,” he said. “I want a different date for tonight!”

“What? You don’t like my gown?” She was trying to wiggle away so she could knock this version out of commission, too.

“No, I want a different date; I was thinking maybe that sassy Abigail!”

Henry bit into Janet’s neck and she fell to her knees, knocking Henry off balance and into the wardrobe. Janet crawled quickly away. She saw the handgun and grabbed it. Just as Henry was about to be on top of her, she shot. The first shot only hit his chest and made him take a few steps back. Henry charged again, and she took a quick breath and squeezed again. A small black hole appeared, and the MYOM XK6 fell over, sprawling between her bed and the wardrobe.

Janet went over and kicked Henry’s head off. She put the gun in her evening bag. Grabbed a dark mink stole, and headed out to the Solstice Ball, alone.

“Men,” she sighed as she locked the door.

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