The latticed window – Friday Fictioneers

(100-word flash fiction)


She stood on the road and looked up at the latticed window, seeing it for the first time from the outside, thinking how beautiful it looked.

She had found herself on the inside one bleak, moonless night, a child bride at 13, an elderly man’s fifth wife. 16 years of hell had followed.

She had been imprisoned in the house, not been allowed to step outside, not even when her father died.

That’s when she had decided to escape. The others were fellow prisoners, all married to the jail-keeper. He had to go.

All it had taken was a pillow.


100-word flash fiction for Friday Fictioneers at Rochelle’s .  Written for the image prompt below –

FF_old-building-staircaseImage copyright  – Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

45 comments on “The latticed window – Friday Fictioneers

  1. I’m going to admit that I’m a bit disturbed by the comments to this story. None of the comments explores other avenues open to women that are caught in these unfortunate circumstances like international law, non government organisations, or simply running away.

    • Thanks for your comment Petrujvijoen. Am glad you brought it up. In a lot of communities, by the time a girl is 13 she is pretty much indoctrinated into thinking and behaving in a certain way. She may not be aware of international law, distrustful of NGOs and running away might bring shame on her family, so she will end up as an outcast or worse still as a prostitute.

      Then there is the moral aspect. We humans have collectively decided that killing is wrong but you’re allowed to kill in war, death sentences and criminals. War happens when someone attacks you and try to protect yourself, hadn’t war been happening in that house for years? Wasn’t the husband guilty of many crimes? Was the killing justifiable? So many questions? No easy answers…

      • It’s very, very difficult. Education, again education and awareness raising should continue. There’s currently an artist book exchange between Europe/America and the women in Afghanistan who is denied access to education. Some money was raised aid the process. Every little bit helps.

  2. I’m glad she escaped – the tool of her freedom hidden in plain sight all this time… Sometimes, simply running away is not an option. If you are imprisoned for years, retaining your sanity has to be virtually impossible.

  3. I think it would be very difficult to summon the courage to get out of this situation, in whatever way, after being in it for so long. I like the way you had her see how beautiful the prison looked from the outside, the side the most people see, and by implication telling us that things are not always as they seem. Methods other than murder would be preferable, but I’m not sure how she would access any of them. Thought-provoking.


    • Thanks Janet. Most times when we are out of a horrible situation, after a while the brain soft-focuses everything, even erases, then the past seems like a bad dream, nothing more. Part of our coping mechanism, maybe. Methods other then killing are always preferable but yet we still go to war, impose death sentences etc.. It is a subject that can be debated for long and still not reach any consensus.

  4. hahaha all it needed was a pillow. i like how you used the ‘cell’ to represent prisons that may not have iron bars 🙂

  5. It’s a shame that in some parts of the world young girls are sold into marriage to older men by their families who are in dire need, and usually have other children. Those girls become little more than slaves, and know the consequences if they try to escape, even if they succeed. This situation exists because of poverty , lack of education, and some governments seeming to look the other way. In India many people are disturbed by a problem called “the missing girl child”. Because of scanners, many girl babies are aborted if detected. Girls are considered an expense many families don’t want. A dowry has to be given, and the girl often goes to live with the family of the groom, so can’t be expected to care for her elderly parents. It’s not always poor familes who seek abortion for that reason. It’s extremely sad, but a reality in today’s world.

C'mon, don't be a silent spectator ....

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