The Lawless One
By: Joshua Glenn | Categories: About Josh, Original Fiction, Sci-Fi, Serial Fiction

In her redoubt atop Mount Lee, the Lawless One brooded. The ash-blonde warrior paced the ramparts, pausing now and again to shake her sexy meathooks at the skyline below. Stalking into her mountain lair’s gymnasium, she studied her face in a mirror, searching for signs of aging.

“Aphrodite, forgive me!” the Lawless One wailed. “I have failed in my mission!” Hurling her five feet and eleven inches onto a tiger-skin rug, she abandoned herself to bitter tears. Earani, her one remaining handmaiden, pressed a button behind the rack of claymores. Steel shutters slid over the windows, blocking out the sight of Lotusland.

Thirty years earlier, and thousands of miles away, a couple had discovered a girl-child roaming Mount Albert. Despite a mannish muscularity, Lucy, as they named her, was strikingly beautiful. She spoke a dozen languages, sang like a siren, and could shoot an arrow through a kiwi’s eye while riding a horse bareback. She was “destined,” Lucy informed her adoptive family, upon departing for Lotusland, to bring “Amazon ideals of love, peace, and sexual equality to a world torn by the hatred of men.”

Alas, her decision to seek renown as a TV actress had not proven wise: celebrity is more difficult to navigate than the Clashing Rocks! Lucy’s efforts to model Amazonian practices — for example, by baring one mazos as she sang her adopted country’s national anthem at a professional sporting event — were misunderstood, even ridiculed.

“Forty-two years old this March!” sobbed the Lawless One. “And the best I can do is a cameo in Bitch Slap?”

— by JOSHUA GLENN (Boston, Mass.)

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A version of this story was used to encourage entries into our first micro-fiction contest. The story was published under an anagrammatical pseudonym.

CONTEST-WINNING STORIES: 1st contest | 2d contest | 3d contest | 4th contest

FINALISTS: 1st contest | 2d contest | 3d contest | 4th contest

MORE FICTION of all kinds on HiLobrow.com.

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READ MORE essays by Joshua Glenn, originally published in: THE BAFFLER | BOSTON GLOBE IDEAS | BRAINIAC | CABINET | FEED | HERMENAUT | HILOBROW | HILOBROW: GENERATIONS | HILOBROW: RADIUM AGE SCIENCE FICTION | HILOBROW: SHOCKING BLOCKING | THE IDLER | IO9 | N+1 | NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW | SEMIONAUT | SLATE

Joshua Glenn’s books include UNBORED: THE ESSENTIAL FIELD GUIDE TO SERIOUS FUN (with Elizabeth Foy Larsen); and SIGNIFICANT OBJECTS: 100 EXTRAORDINARY STORIES ABOUT ORDINARY THINGS (with Rob Walker).

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Joshua Glenn is a cultural and brand semiotician, and co-principal of the agency SEMIOVOX LLC. He is editor and publisher of HILOBROW and the Radium Age sci-fi paperback imprint HILOBOOKS. He is author of (with Mark Kingwell and the cartoonist Seth) THE IDLER'S GLOSSARY (2008) and THE WAGE SLAVE'S GLOSSARY (2011), and editor of the object-oriented story collections TAKING THINGS SERIOUSLY (2007) and (with Rob Walker) SIGNIFICANT OBJECTS (2012). With Elizabeth Foy Larsen and Tony Leone, Josh produced the popular family activities guides UNBORED (2012), UNBORED GAMES (2014), and UNBORED ADVENTURE (2015), not to mention two UNBORED activity kits from MindWare. In the ’00s, Josh was an editor and columnist for the BOSTON GLOBE's IDEAS section; in the ’90s, he published the high-lowbrow zine/journal HERMENAUT. He was born and raised in Boston, where he lives with his wife and sons.