Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Tuesday, April 30, 2013 -

The Lanark Island Herald

by DJ Black
Published: Apr 29, 2013
Words: 24,023
Category: general
Orientation: F/F
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The Intern

Mary Louise Rossington stood at the front of the Lanark Island Ferry craning her neck for her first glimpse of what was to be her home for the year. She still could not believe her luck that out of who knows how many thousand applicants she had been picked as this year's intern for the prestigious Lanark Island Herald.

Only a week before she had found out that she had been on a shortlist of five with a Stanford girl, a woman from Princeton and two Harvard graduates who had majored in Journalism. As a girl who had never left Iowa, she knew she was a make-weight candidate and had already settled for wondering how to best exploit the fact that she had even been shortlisted for her resume.

The Lanark Island Herald was a small newspaper serving an island community of at best a few hundred people clinging to an old fashioned way of life off the Massachusetts coast. It employed only two people and came out only once a week, so when she had told her non-journalist friends about it they had not understood the significance of the honour. Even her parents had urged her to apply for one of the big city newspapers for her internship.

"But Mom you don't understand, it was the first newspaper in the US that had a women editor," she had tried to explain.

"Oh Mary, that was ancient history, no one cares now. Don't you know all that ultra-feminist stuff is so 1980s?"

"But Mom, that isn't it; the publisher owns half the press on the East Coast. Sure, the Herald is run just for history's sake, but every Lanark intern since the year dot has gone on to big things. They say if you complete an internship with the Herald then you are in the 'family' and half the women editors in the country started out on the LIH."

Mary hugged herself in disbelief. She doubted her folks got it, but she did. Not that everything was clear cut; there had been some strange stories and legends about Lanark Island. They said that not everyone took to island life and one in five girls did not stick the year out. That's why the application and interview process had been so strange, she supposed.

There had been over 1000 multiple choice questions in the attitude survey and she had had to write three essays on literature comparatives, including one on the Story of O as compared with Justine. That had been fun, but she had thought at one point after she submitted her efforts that she should have taken a stronger traditional feminist line.

Then there had been the interview. The woman who interviewed her was a fashion editor in New York. She had taken Mary out to dinner and asked her about her home life.

"Were you ever spanked at home?" The question had been thrown out between the soup and the main course.

"Eh... well yes sure," Mary had blustered.