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Independent Female Syndrome

By Barbara R. Wetzel

Copyright 2017 Barbara R. Wetzel

License Notes

This book is fiction. Every name, place, character, and event are a product of the author's imagination. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, is pure coincidence.

This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your enjoyment only, then please return to your favorite retailer and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.

Author's note: All characters depicted in this work of fiction are 18 years of age or older.

Table of Contents

Independent Female Syndrome: After a long war that pushed women into the workforce, a new government works hard to reaffirm more traditional gender roles. Lucille Magyar became a nurse during the war and now struggles with Independent Female Syndrome, a serious disease that causes women to be defiant and unruly. After beginning therapy, Miss Magyar learns a cure has been developed.

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Author's Note

Other Stories Written By Barbara R. Wetzel

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Chapter One

Lucille Magyar was deeply frustrated. The dark haired nurse had been scolded, yet again, by her new boss. He was rude and often spoke down to her. She had not had a man speak to her in such a condescending, sexist, manner since before the war. Honestly, it had been so long that she had forgotten what it was like for a man to speak to her like that. Her grandmother used to call it “mansplaining,” but that seemed to be a thing of the past. Everything before the war seemed liked so long ago.

As Lucille sat in front of her work locker, she considered the options that were available at the moment. Quitting was not one of them: Her assignment to this hospital had been a reward for service during the war. The country had suffered through a civil war for two years. It was terrible, but the valiant and heroic states, including the one she lived in, had eventually won. The war was bloody and vicious, with over a million dead, but had suddenly ended via a rapidly put together cease fire agreement. The president of the losing states, a woman named Katrina, had given into demands after a brief negotiation and quietly retired from public life. Lucille thought it was a bit odd, but was so glad the war had ended. The one bit of joy that had come out of the war was that she had met her husband Paul.

Paul had been a soldier whose squad members were wiped out by a sniper attack. Her future husband survived because at the time he was in the woods relieving himself. The sniper missed him, but his leg was broken during an escape. After a few days he was found by a patrol and brought to the camp where Lucille was a nurse. After being treated by her, before his reassignment, Paul had come back to visit a few times. The last time, they made love in his quarters before he was shipped back out to the front lines. Her daily prayers were answered when her future husband returned home safely at the end of the war. They were married shortly afterwards and began to plan their future together.

Before the war, Lucille had been a 19 year old college drop out without much of a direction in life. She had scraped by in her required education with barely passing grades. Coming from a lower class background, there was not a ton of hope in the immediate world surrounding her. The continued automation of society and perils of climate change had wrecked the local job market during her lifetime. Often she escaped from it via drugs and general irresponsibility. Schooling felt totally pointless to her especially if there was very little chance for a job coming out of it. Her attitude in general was very much in the “live fast, die young,” vein.

Most of all, Lucille did not want to end up like her mother. The Magyars were a loveless couple who only married after the pregnancy that would lead to Lucille's birth was discovered by her parents. Mrs. Magyar was bitter, cruel, and drowned her sorrows in cheap wine long before dinner was even served. There was no way the dark haired nurse would end up like her, she promised herself. Her parents had both been killed early in the war. Due to the fighting, she could not attend either funeral and honestly felt so disconnected from them that it never bothered her.

Lucille understood very little about the political situation that had led to the war when it broke out. For her, it was one group of assholes fighting with another group of assholes. As time went on, however, one group was clearly far worse even with her minimal understanding of what was going on. After a few states succeeded, violence broke out. Quickly, one country became two countries and all able bodied men and women on both sides were drafted into duties suitable to their demeanors and education. This included women like Lucille, who previously would not have been offered anything remotely like it as an option for their life. She was taken away one day while heading to a party and brought to a military camp where medical training and a job after the war was promised to her.

This was a radical change for their country, or countries, that effected all aspects of society. While women could pursue education before the war, they could not vote and normally left the workforce after marrying to have children. Lucille was assigned to a camp and taught the basics of being a nurse in a war zone. She learned on the fly and came to enjoy her new profession. For the first time in her life, she had found a purpose beyond the emptiness of banal substance abuse or or half hearted attempts at finding a mate. Marriage had never seemed like a great prospect for her. Men were fine for a night or a month, but she lacked a connection with any of them that had left her empty inside. Helping with the war effort changed all of that in ways she perceived at the moment and others she would in the future.

Lucille had performed well enough to win an award at the end of the war for high approval marks from her male superiors. Only a few women, all nurses, in her camp were awarded it, so she was quite proud of her accomplishment. After marrying Paul, she convinced him to let her continue working at the local hospital in the new community they had moved to after the honeymoon. Nursing was one of the few acceptable careers for women, before marriage, in the world, that seemed so long ago, before the war. Her life of partying and hoping to leave a pretty corpse seemed so long ago now.

She felt a deep need to continue with the career that had come to be a big part of her personal identity. Focusing on the job kept her mind off of the horrors witnessed during the war. She had seen many deaths, often in brutal ways, and felt a deep melancholy and sadness about it despite the joy a new career offered to the former delinquent. Her husband had asked that she consider therapy, but Lucille had brushed it off after their first ever argument. He had promised to drop it, for now, but bring it up again if he saw that she was struggling with what she saw during the war.

Soldiers were mandated to attend sessions for six months after the war and he claimed they were really helpful to him. Lucille had to admit he was right: Paul seemed happier, confident, and definitely more assertive in and out of the bedroom.

Paul had finally acquiesced to her demand to continue working, but many men had not for their wives. There was definitely a push by the new government, which had ended up a bit on the conservative side due to “civil compromises” made by the more liberal members, to push women back into the home as had been traditional before the war. The number of dead meant there was a definite gap in the next generation. Eventually, a new law was passed that banned women from working yet again. They were given one month to wrap up their duties before being sent home to their husbands or to shelters were women could be aligned with desirable men of their choice. Many forms of birth control were made illegal and permission from the Head of Home would be required for its use. Most women were happy to go back to the home after such a horrific war, but Lucille had grown to love her career and knew this would be another conflict with her husband, who had rather reluctantly even allowed her to work in the first place. He continued to ask her to consider therapy as well.

End Of Chapter One

Chapter Two

Lucille was at work when the news came that the new laws had been passed. Some women were sad; others confessed to already attempting to begin families knowing a law like this could be coming soon. When she got home, Paul was already there. He had left work early knowing his wife would want to discuss what to do next. At first they argued about the issue. Paul demanded that she conform to his viewpoint. It shocked Lucille how authoritative he was becoming, but then apologized to each other and sat down on the couch to have a real conversation. He claimed therapy had been helping to express his views about their marriage with more confidence.

I'm sorry,” he began, gently stroking her arm. “There isn't much we can do. The law is the law.”

Lucille slowly nodded, but frowned, tears streaming down her face. “That's easy for you to say. I had basically nothing before the war. Then I lost my parents. This was all I had before I met you.” She began crying hard and fell into the firm, but loving, arms of her husband who held onto her protectively. The tears were not only from the passing of the law; the night before she had horrible nightmares about what the nurse had witnessed during the war. Visions of the aftermath of a roadside bombing played over and over in her mind as she failed to save a man who looked a lot like her husband. After waking up screaming, Paul had held her in his arms before she was able to go to sleep again.

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