F-8: Adult: SUPER FORTY

Genre: Women’s Fiction

Word Count: 87,000

Pitch: After Shannon accidentally uses an irradiated tampon, she can shoot menstrual cramps from her fingers. No, really. This timid woman will reclaim her broken life by becoming a superheroine at age forty…or die trying.

Excerpt:

My name is Shannon Johnson, and I was thirty-nine years old when, for the first time in my life, I stood up for myself. Over a box of tampons.

I don’t know why I maintained my death grip on them that night in the Duane Reed during a hurricane. Perhaps those forty wads of cotton were the last straw in my pathetic existence: the tampons that broke the camel’s back. In this scenario, I’m the camel—bloated full of water and bleating into an uncaring desert of bad metaphor.

The last dude working in the cleaned-out drug store also didn’t seem to understand why he fought me for the squished box. “Ma’am,” he managed through gritted teeth, as if “ma’am” were the name of his least-favorite zit. “Ma’am, they’re recalled by the manufacturer, and I’m, um, not allowed to sell them!”

I kicked an empty cardboard standee that used to hold canned soup toward his feet, but he leaped over it without breaking our tug of war. Darn his youth!

“Sir,” I replied as pleasantly as possible when chatting about tampons. “They—they look okay to me.” I took a deep breath; talking back was my least-favorite activity, right above not talking back. “*Please.* They aren’t rotted food. I just need them to…to stop…I mean, I use them up…into…within—” I couldn’t say vagina. My mother would never forgive me. A lady doesn’t use words like “vagina” or “pregnant” or “hell.”

*Hell.*

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