Too young to wed

(100 word flash fiction)

Saida’s husband has flopped to his side after heaving his 54-year old heavy, sweaty body on her 14-year one. Through her tears, she can see the moon outside the window emerge from behind clouds.

Fat-belly moon. Like her own growing belly. Wanderer of the skies. It reminds her of freedom. Of her short-lived school days.  Of her once fiery desire to be a teacher.

Yes! Fire could be her deliverer.

She tiptoes across the room to the kitchen. Thick, dark clouds are rapidly obscuring the moon. In the fading light, she finds the kerosene, douses herself and lights a match.


Can’t say I wrote this story. I only paraphrased a real-life story (or bits from lots of them). Watch the full feature on this National Geographic Live feature called ‘Too young to Wed” by Photographer Stephanie Sinclair and writer Cynthia Gorney. Heart-breaking stuff!

As always, writing for the lovely Rochelle’s photo prompt and joining in the Friday Fictioneers party is a pleasure.

PHOTO PROMPT -© Madison Woods

PHOTO PROMPT -© Madison Woods

44 comments on “Too young to wed

  1. Reminds me of a case in Nigeria where a 14 year girl was to be hanged for killing her 40+ year husband to whom she was married to as a second wife. After a huge outcry the death sentence was removed. I wish girls if pushed to this extreme situation light up the man instead of themselves.

      • When women/girls kill themselves there is not even a ripple in the consciousness of the society…no one takes notice. if instead of taking their lives they take the lives of their aggressor, then they will start to take notice, look for root cause and start fearing consequences. I’m advocating vigilantism of any kind–was just wondering how the society would have changed if instead the girls reacted violently towards their aggressor instead of themselves.

      • I can’t say. Maybe the girls will be branded as whores and punished. Maybe their stand will be noticed. It’s not that the girls who are burning themselves are going unnoticed. A feature has been made, awareness is spreading. Like all women’s matters, it just takes longer. As writers, we can spread the word too.

  2. Pingback: Too young to wed – 2 | Just Joyfulness

  3. This was beautifully written. The reader is with Saida feeling her pain and hopelessness. With so much misogyny rampant here in the US, with the way women are seen as property in so many places, this story and the women Saida represent are unfortunately only too believable. Extremely tragic and horrible. But also very real.

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

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