A Beginner’s Guide To Displacement

Callie raises her hand long after other students give up. Mrs. Wilson announces, “Right again.” Later, Callie will sit alone at the lunch table working out an equation. Even later, she’ll graduate cumma sum laude in engineering, get hired by a top firm, and spend her weekends calculating power output and friction loss. On Mondays she’ll sit at a conference table. The project leader will ask a question. Callie will raise her hand. Her male coworkers will call out answers. She’ll accept a beer after work, rebuff sexual advances, and wonder what to do when the numbers don’t add up.

This story was shortlisted for the September 2023 Monthly Micro Competition.

About the author: Sally Simon is a retired teacher writing from upstate New York. She’s putting the finishing touches on her first novel.