Tuya saunters through the grass watching the herds grazing. Her daughter, Sarnai, gleefully dances along beside her.
“Mommy, I’m hungry,” yanks Tuya from her dream. The cruel winter had taken their herds and her husband. She and her daughter were forced to move to the city. With little money, Tuya must choose; buy food or coal to heat their ger. Death came for those who had no heat.
Preparing Sarnai for their journey, she whispers, “Be strong.” Arriving, Tuya watches her daughter enter the orphanage.
“Take care of her,” she breathes into the wind as she turns and stumbles away.
I’ve missed a couple weeks of the Friday Fictioneers’ challenge, hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. This challenge is to write a story, based on a photo prompt, using only 100 words. The photo this week was taken by Ronda Del Boccio. To enjoy other stories, visit HERE.
The one-hundred-word limit was certainly a challenge for me this week. I recently returned home from my travels to Mongolia, but my mind and heart are still there. When I saw the green grass in the photo, this story jumped from my fingers onto the page. The Mongolian people are strong and proud. Their country is majestically beautiful. However, with the changing climate and other social issues, crushing poverty is a cruel reality. Horrible decisions must be made to survive. Decisions I could never imagine needing to make. This story is loosely based on a true one. Unfortunately, there are many others.