…is the name of today’s story at Fictive Dream.

Throughout the month of February 2022 I will be showing you illustrations I did for Flash Fiction February 2022 at Fictive Dream, an online magazine devoted to the short story.

Here’s the image editor Laura Black chose for this story, Baton, by Sudha Balagopal.

And here is the artwork with the banner. Take a look at this image. And then…

Read the story at Fictive Dream.

13 thoughts on “Baton

      1. Claudia McGill Post author

        I liked this story for just what you said. It is very true to life, I think it happens at all levels of work and in all countries, this kind of thing, and I liked that there was some fighting back in this story. Empowering, a good word.

    1. Claudia McGill Post author

      Thank you. Maybe someday I could do that. I have many images, of which most of them do not appear in the events. It would be fun someday to display them.

  1. Laura (PA Pict)

    I enjoyed reading the story, a very visceral read, a universal experience but full of specificity. Returning to your illustration after reading, I think of the colours of the fabrics and garments, but also the red of Uma’s blood, I think of the sewing women seated at their work stations, and I read those dark lines as the titular batons.

  2. Laura Black

    It’s interesting to read how the comments point to abusive bosses being a universal problem, and I agree. Baton by Sudha Balagopal is a disturbing story and initially I was anxious that my choice of image might not reflect this. That said, I kept coming back to it and in the end I felt it was right for the story. The use of red is most relevant, the six circles may be read as the six seamstresses who revolt and the black circle as the boss. And of course the black strokes for me represent the eponymous baton. Wonderful, Claudia, thank you.

    1. Claudia McGill Post author

      Thank you, I think the problem of abusive authority figures, whoever they are, is definitely not restricted to one setting or situation. In this story I liked it that there was a physcial altercation and emotions let out. So often that is not possible. Empowerment is the theme here, I think, and maybe the pieces that are scattered in this picture will settle into a new pattern.

  3. msjadeli

    Such a vivid story with the ring of truth to it. I’m so glad the exploited females are gathering together and saying, “no more.” I hope if the main character goes back to work she gives him a few more whacks with the baton. I also think the circles and the red on your image, Claudia, fit the story well. Those circles are workers in distress and also enflamed with resistance.

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