Invisible

Before her mother died, she said to Jyothi, “It is not safe.  You must hide.  If no one sees you, you do not exist.” Living on the streets, Jyothi learned to acquire what she needed without being seen.  Abandoned alleyways.  Cardboard houses.  Trash bin meals.   Sitting in a doorway one bright sunny day, loneliness squeezed her chest. Jyothi cried out-loud,…

Beautiful

Abandoned as a baby, Meili spent her first years inside the walls of a dark sunless orphanage. At the age of five, she stood with her toes to the edge of a coy pond near her new home.  She searched for the flowers that had not yet risen.  The ones that grew in the dark…

Storm

I swim the peaceful waters, while gale-force winds swirl around me. A brutal storm of chaos and mayhem. Corruption and abuse with cries for justice and freedom. But, what can be done? Nothing. For victory lies in the hands of the powerful. Like a cyclone, it gathers strength and waits patiently to descend and devour,…

A Mother’s Sacrifice

This story is my contribution to “Friday Fictioneers,” a weekly challenge hosted by the lovely Rochelle Wisoff Fields. With the help of a photo prompt to inspire, we’re to write a 100-word story. The photo this week was taken by Roger Bultot. If you would like to join in with this encouraging group of writers…

Truth

In a secluded park, a man leaned heavily on his cane.  He tottered to a bench amidst a canopy of trees.  Lowering himself, he sat beside a woman wearing deep wrinkles and white hair. “Is it safe?” She looked toward the ground.  He asked the same question every year. “Not yet,” she answered. For a…

Escape

Skipping along the stone street, I glance behind me.  My mama and papa smile at me and my heart soars.  A little boy dressed in tattered clothes sits on the curb in front of my house.  He opens his mouth and screams. I frantically look toward my parents, who fade away as I jolt awake. Luotian…

Princess

My parents waited a long time to have me.  They wanted a child born in the most auspicious year of the dragon.  It was 1988.  The double eights were especially lucky too.  They hoped for a boy.  I was born a girl.  As a small child riding in the front seat of my baba’s taxi,…

Taken

The flower market at Lunar New Year was exquisite. Rosita held her daughter’s small hand as they glided through, admiring the brilliant exotic plants. They chattered excitedly, making their way back to the hotel where her husband waited.  They had planned a special dinner for the last night of their vacation. A scream popped their joyful…

Someday

Wiping away tears, Alina stood on tiptoe peering through the pawn shop window at her papa’s beloved chess set.  He was gone, the drink had taken him to his grave. Alina’s mama promised, “Someday, we’ll buy it back.”  But, her mama’s broken heart pulled her to the grave soon after. Winters were brutal.  Alina barely…

Safe Harbor

Her mama told Nara to stay below deck.  Nara peeked from the window at the crowds on shore. Singsong voices drifted on the breeze as young and old greeted one another.  Vendors hawked their wares in the colorful market. Will this be the place? Returning to sit among her sisters, the gentle bobbing of the…

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…

Tribute

“Why did you do it?” the bystander asked. The soldier answered, “We did it for John. Serving our country with pride, we left a part of ourselves in Afghanistan.”  The young man raised his prosthetic leg.  “For some of us, that’s literal.  We struggled to fit back into normal life.  John understood because he’d been there…