Sacrifice

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.

 

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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.

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39 Comments Add yours

  1. pennygadd51 says:

    A heart-breaking story, Brenda. It’s dreadful that it’s true. Thank you for sharing it with us.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Penny, the beauty of the Mongolian people makes the poverty so dreadful. Thank you for reading and commenting.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Such a sad story – made sadder by the fact it’s loosely based on fact. Nevertheless Mongolia is still on my wish list.

    Susan A Eames at
    Travel, Fiction and Photos

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I do hope that you go! This is my eighth trip there. It is a beautiful place and tourism is important to the Mongolian economy. Thank you for commenting. =)

      Like

    1. Sad indeed. Thank you for commenting!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Iain Kelly says:

    Sounds like an amazing trip you have been on. Powerful story, very sad that a parent should ever have to give up their child in order to survive.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The trip was indeed amazing. We travel to Mongolia in the summers to conduct camp in the countryside for kids who normally live in the government-run orphanage (there’s around 100). It’s a lot of fun to run and play, even at my old age. =) During the weekends, we get to play tourist. Unfortunately, there are some really sad stories out there. Thank you so much for commenting!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. granonine says:

    Most of us live in luxury compared to your main character. It’s good for us to be reminded that not everyone is so comfortable.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your comment, and for reading my story. =)

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Dear Brenda,

    This is a heart breaker. I can’t even imagine. Beautifully told.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your thoughtful comments, Rochelle.

      Like

  6. Such a powerful story, and heart-breaking. I couldn’t imagine the pain of having to leave my child.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Unfortunately, it happens too often. The horrible cold compounds the terrible poverty there. Thank you for reading!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. What a heart breaking decision to have to make. And heart breaking that people are having to make these decisions in real life. Your trip sounds very interesting indeed, Mongolia is

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oops sent too soon! Mongolia is somewhere I’d love to visit. Maybe one day!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you for reading and for your comments! You certainly should visit, it has such a big open beautiful landscape and wonderful people. =)

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Susan says:

    Beautiful story Brenda. There are plenty of those in my family who also gave up children for various reasons and I can’t imagine how much it must break a mother’s heart to do so.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so sorry that this sadness has touched your family. I can’t imagine the pain, yet admire the sacrifice so the child has a chance.

      Like

  9. jillyfunnell says:

    Brenda, you have given a poignant reminder of the fact that such sacrifices are still made. Beyond sadness.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I do wish it weren’t the case! Thank you for reading and your thoughtful comment.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Dahlia says:

    A heart breaking tale – I am sure it is true for many mothers.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Unfortunately so, for mothers who are desperate for their children to survive. Thank you for commenting.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. prior.. says:

    Sad – and powerful
    Stared almost cheery with your meter alliteration”:
    Grass
    Gtazjng
    Gleefully
    To then turn the plot to this heavy and touching reality
    From saunter to goodbye
    Well done

    Like

    1. As a novice writer, I had to look up meter alliteration. =) I so appreciate your comments.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. prior.. says:

        My pleasure and keep on writing Brenda !

        Liked by 1 person

  12. notestowomen says:

    Sad story. What a heart-wrenching this poor mother had to make. But she did what she had to for love of her child.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s right, she wanted to give her child a chance. So many in our world have to make horrible decisions for the good of someone else, especially their child. Thank you for your thoughtful comments.

      Like

  13. Alice Audrey says:

    Years ago I went to Mongolia. I was supposed to visit n orphanage, but all the kids had been sent off to summer camp. Summer camp was, apparently, a set of gers.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so glad you had the opportunity to visit Mongolia. The children at this specific orphanage we work with are sent out to the countryside in June, after school lets out, and stay there until the end of August. It is quite the normal thing that occurs with children in these institutions. The authorities also round up street children from time to time, throughout the summer, and add them to the children at the camp we’re at, so they don’t beg from the tourists. It’s not all bad, the children get to run in open spaces and breath fresh air. We help by funding nutritious meals for the summer for the kids and for a couple of weeks they allow us to visit and to play. Hope you can return to Mongolia and visit some of the children there. =)

      Like

  14. gahlearner says:

    A hearbreaking story, and a shame that poverty is the norm for far too many people. I’ve been fascinated with Mongolia for a while and hope to visit one day.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I hope you get to visit, it’s an amazing place. Thank you for your compassionate comment.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Rowena says:

    What a heart-wrenching story, Brenda and so real. Well done. I’ve bought a few bags etc made out of a Mongolian yurt through a fair trade organization. Very beautiful but the hardship you’ve described is heartbreaking.
    xx Rowena

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Rowena, for your thoughtful comments. So glad you bought those bags. We all can help in small ways. =)

      Like

    1. It is heartbreaking indeed, Lisa. Thank you for saying so and of course for stopping by and reading my story. =)

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Judging from the names and vocabulary words I assumed it’s set in a third world country, but we have circumstances like that here too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for reading and commenting, Larry! Yeah, the setting for the story is Ulan Bator, Mongolia. The poverty in this city is severe. I don’t know if you are interested, but here is an article on Ulan Bator and some of the challenges the people face there … https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/03/15/world/asia/mongolia-ulan-bator-coal.html

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks .I’ll have to check it out~

        Liked by 1 person

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