Monday, December 4, 2023


Lora stared at her computer screen and sighed. Her English teacher was an old crackpot and this assignment was the worst.

Imagine you are your grandparent’s age. What is your favourite movie? Why?

Lora was sixteen. How was she supposed to imagine herself as an old lady?

Lora had never known her parents and the great people who’d adopted her hadn’t had any living relatives. And they’d been killed by a jerk texting and driving. Now she was stuck in a group foster home and supposed to think like grandparents she never knew anything about.

But she needed top grades if she was going to get scholarships. Foster kids didn’t have money for college and she wanted to get a degree. She wanted to make sure she always had a job and a home. Ditching even one assignment could jeopardize that.

At least she had the internet. Most people probably had favorite movies from when they were kids. She searched popular movies from the sixties and seventies, hoping something there wouldn’t be incredibly lame.

A couple of the movies surprised her. She hadn’t realized Jaws and Star Wars and Grease were so ancient. Would an older lady like one of them?

Lora had seen Star Wars before and she liked it. Her adopted dad had been a huge sci-fi fan and she’d seen the whole series of movies at least once.

The foster home had some streaming so she pulled up the original movie and watched it again. She hated crying, but couldn’t stop the tears as she remembered sitting with Jane and Rick watching the movie. Jane used to tease him that he wanted to be a swashbuckler like Han Solo. He’d tease right back saying Jane was strong enough to be a leader like Leia.

Right now, Lora felt a little like Luke who was also an orphan and then he’d lost his aunt and uncle too.

As she watched, Lora kept notes for what the movie was about. For what an older person might like.

The underdog winning.

Dealing with losing your family.

Wanting to have a bigger life.

Wanting to be the best.

Wanting to help your friends and your people.


Good versus evil.

Accepting people for who they were, not what species they were from.

Would an older lady like all that? Would she still remember the movie?

Lora wished she had some experience with older people. Crackpot should have thought of that before making the assignment. Not everyone had access to generations of family.

Eventually, she wiped her tears and started to write her essay.

The knock on the door startled her. The lady in charge of the night shift at the home opened her bedroom door with a smile. “Hey Lora. It’s late. You okay?”

She wiped her face again before turning around. Eesha was always nice to everyone and she didn’t want her to think anything was wrong. “I’m okay. Just finishing up an essay.”

Eesha laughed softly. “You always work so hard, Lora. I can’t wait to see what you accomplish in the future. No matter what you choose, you’re going to be a star. Keep an eye on the time, it’s a school day tomorrow.”

Lora nodded and looked back at her screen, at her final line.

Star Wars might be an old movie, but it’s one that people might still be watching in another fifty years. We always want to see the little guys win.

Lora saved her work and turned off the computer. When she crawled into bed, she decided she was going to be one of those little guys who won.


Tagline: Everyone loves an underdog


I've loved Star Wars from the first moment I watched it in the theatre. Because of its setting and its message, it doesn't surprise me that the franchise continues to grow and thrive. George Lucas created an amazing view of the past with these stories.

If you've come from the WEP site, you already know that this will be the last WEP Challenge.

It's been an honour to work with the team over the past couple of years. Denise, Renée, Nila, Laura, Olga, and Sonia are amazing people with a passion for stories. Thank you to every one of you for everything you've done for this writing community.

To our challenge participants, it's been a privilege to read your stories for these challenges. I've learned a lot from all of you and I thank you for sharing your words with us. I look forward to reading your words in the future too.


Wishing everyone a wonderful holiday season with warmth and love and family and magic. Take care of yourselves and each other!


Elephant's Child said...

Beautiful. I really don't do movies - and your short makes me a little sorry.

Nilanjana Bose said...

You got Lora's voice spot on! Always a pleasure to read your flashes.

cleemckenzie said...

Everyone certainly does love an underdog. I loved what you wrote, too.

Shilpa Gupte said...

I loved this story! I could hear Lora's voice throughout.

Pat Garcia said...

I love your tagline. It gave me a good idea about the story.
I wish you all the best, Jemi. I didn't realize WEP was closing down until tonight. I will miss it, but also know that for everything. there is a time and a season.

Take care and I am sure I will be seeing you around the ISWG.

Have a Merry Christmas and a safe crossover into 2024.

Shalom shalom

Yolanda Renée said...

Star Wars was an influence for so many. Love your story and her realization was lovely. Great flash, as always! Happy Holidays!

A Hundred Quills said...

We all love Star Wars, don't we? I liked how Lora decides to be one of the little guys later in life. Thank you Jemi. It's been such a pleasure to read your stories.

Olga Godim said...

My first encounter with Star Wars was a happy revelation. It happened after I and my family immigrated to Canada in 1994. A couple years later, when I could finally understand spoken English well enough to watch a movie, I watched the first 3 Star Wars movies with my kids. I loved them ever since. I even bought the tapes, so we could re-watch them as often as we wanted. Do you remember those tapes? Not even DVDs, not yet, not in the late 1990s.
A great post, Jemi. It brought on joyful memories.

Roland D. Yeomans said...

STAR WARS is second only to CASABLANCE (which is my post) for me. Movies are old friends to whom we can return over and over again. Thank you, Jemi, for being there for so many. Hate that this is the last WEP just as my health is improving. Merriest of Cristmases!

Rebecca M. Douglass said...

Star Wars was special for me. As a kid I saw very few movies, and for most of the time I was growing up the only theater on the island was closed due to a fire. So it was one of very very few movies I saw in that period of my life, and it was so amazing! And, of course, just the right age for the sappy space opera elements.

Your story is sweet and heartbreaking and sadly all too true, regarding the difficulty of foster kids getting an education.

Jemi Fraser said...

Sue - I'm not a big movie watcher either but Star Wars is a great one!

Nila - Thanks!

Lee - thanks so much :)

Shilpa - Awesome - thanks!

Pat - thanks Pat - I've always loved your contributions to WEP. Wishing you all the best

Renée - thanks - have a great holiday too!

Sonia - we do! Such a source of inspiration for us!

Olga - I do remember those tapes - and I had the Star Wars ones as well :)

Roland - wishing you the best of Christmas as well - and many hopes for a bright 2024 for you!

Rebecca - Star Wars has brought hope and possibilities to so many. Great memories for you!

N. R. Williams said...

This little old lady loves those movies. I think your character has the right attitude. Many in her situation would give up.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Jemi - I fell asleep during Star Wars ... my brother wanted to see it and we had to drive (2 - 3 hours) to London to see it - in the days when I was probably out the night before!! Perhaps I should watch it now! Love the story though ... and thank you for explaining it!

Also sad re WEP - but thanks for your input and help over the years ... with happy thoughts and wishes for the next two weeks and all of 2024 and beyond - cheers Hilary

Jemi Fraser said...

Nancy - I love them too and I think she's going to be great!

Hilary - LOL - that's a great story!!! And sending those wishes for wonderful things your way as well!

Denise Covey said...

A beautiful story, Jemi. I loved it. I love a strong character and here you have created one. Great use of the prompt. I'm, ahem, not a Star Wars fan, but I totally get those who are.

Thanks for being on the WEP team, Jemi. I hope you turn up for out regular meet-ups on the WEP site every first of the month (starting Feb 1) to share what you're up to. Knowing you, it'll be plenty!

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.