28 April, 2022

Flash Fiction: Ximena - #AtoZChallenge

I registered late for the A-to-Z blogging challenge this year, so I have no real theme. In past years, I have done flash fiction inspired by readers' comments, and I'm happy to do that again, but this month the fiction will be peppered in amongst other random topics of my choosing. After A to Z, I intend to get back to weekly flash fiction Fridays, so you can still suggest a story idea in a comment if you have one.


"SHE-muh-nah! SHE-muh-nah!" Ximena gritted her teeth behind her smile and waved. She was visiting China, and thanks to the pronunciations associated with pinyin (latin-ized Chinese) everyone thought they knew how to say her name.

It was supposed to be a relaxing vacation far away from her chaotic life in Mexico. And it was relaxing, for the most part, but since her recent marriage to a Chinese national, she now had a wider base of fans here, and they all... ALL. Bar none! ...called her SHEmuhna.

At her lunch meeting that day, she tried to correct the businessman across from her. "Actually, it's pronounced 'He-MEN-uh', you know?" She said it with a smile, trying to be gracious.

"Ah! JiMENa! I see."

Ximena sighed. It was an improvement, however small. Languages were different. She'd have to learn to let it go if she was going to enjoy this trip.

This short Flash Fiction story was inspired by the prompt "Ximena" offered by Liz A. of Laws of Gravity, in a comment on my M post.  You're welcome to suggest any prompt in a comment and I'll get to it during A to Z or shortly thereafter.


  1. Haha poor shemnah oops Ximena.... pronunciations can be so tough....half of the ppl in my own country screw up my name..am called afsaan...afsheen aftab...what not...and mine is a simple name which may not confuse u much

    Dropping by from a to z "The Pensive"

    1. I've had people hear my name wrong, but the misspellings are more my issue!

  2. I had no idea how to pronounce that name, either. But it was easier for me as I am used to Spanish-sounding names. (I met a girl with that name. She told me how to say it.)

    1. Actually, I googled it. You know there are youtube videos of pronunciations of unique names?


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