FFfAW: The Weight of Tradition

This post if for the Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers (FFfAW) Challenge, run by Priceless Joy. The challenge is that you write a story of 75-175 words inspired by the photo prompt below. I hope you like it.

Photo prompt – pixabay.com

 The Weight of Tradition
Genre: Fantasy

Jinetra tugged on her beads as she watched the approaching shoreline. Why did she have to wear so many of the things? They weren’t even attractive and she could barely breathe beneath their weight. Stupid tradition with its stupid customs.

“Stop your fidgeting, girl.” At Marta’s sharp voice her hands jerked back to her lap. “Remember you are of the Dayana and Chosen.” The tribe’s head-woman sat beside her in the small boat whilst warriors wielded oars at front and rear, strong arms propelling them rapidly towards their destination.

The haunting cry of a sea-bird sounded from overhead and Jinetra fixed her eyes upon its flight. How she longed to be like the bird: free to go wherever she wished, unencumbered by tradition’s beaded chains. The first bird was joined by a second and they swooped and circled in an elegant dance.

Far too soon the boat was beached within a sandy cove and Jinetra disembarked. What other choice did she have?

She would never be free.

For she was Chosen and custom demanded obedience.

Word Count: 175

To check out other entries or to add your own, click on the little blue frog.



42 Comments on “FFfAW: The Weight of Tradition

  1. Poor Jinetra! I feel her hopelessness. Excellent story Louise! It caught my attention at the very beginning until the very end. You’re an excellent writer!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I like that she views the beads as symbolic chains binding her to this tradition. I hope it’s not a sacrifice!

    Liked by 2 people

    • I had several different ideas as to what she had been Chosen for – sacrifice, marriage, religious observation – I decided to leave it open in the end. I’m glad you liked it. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • You did an excellent job with this prompt. I love how it’s open to interpretation and how the emotions in the piece are relatable. I would keep reading to find out what happens next!


  3. Okay, now I hope you aren’t just going to leave us stranded on the beach young lady. We want to know what happens next… or else :/

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’d like to say I’ll continue it but I seen to be getting quite a collection of ‘works in progress’ that I just don’t have time to work on! Thanks for visiitng. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • I have actually been thinking about that! I can’t believe how many of them I’ve accumulated over the last six months – especially when I used to think I couldn’t write short stories!

        Liked by 1 person

      • My problem used to be the word limit and keeping the plots simple! I like complex lots. 🙂 It’s nice to know people enjoy what I’m creating.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Awww, i feel for Jinetra, having to live a life planned for her. Beautiful story! And gosh, don’t we all just wish we could be free like birds 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! I actually wondered whether including the section with the birds might be a bit cliche – but it fitted so well! Birds are great symbol of freedom. I’m glad you enjoyed the story. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I absolutely love your final line! Being Chosen isn’t so great, is it? Great work, Louise – you brought this world to life in such a short space.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I really like the setting you created with the character’s name and the descriptions. I feel bad for her, it seems she has no free will.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. This reminded me of Titus Groan’s struggles with seeking freedom in the Gormenghast series. Very well told story, and that final line says it all.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I too was wondering why she was Chosen and what was going to happen to her. I like how you left it up to the reader to think about the ending. I also liked the haunting cry of a sea-bird. Suited the story’s sadness.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you. 🙂 I like open endings – though they do tend to get me a lot of people asking if I’m going to write more!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Great descriptive and narrative piece.I shudder at the young girl’s fate. I am ok with open endings, but my mind always wants some closure. Whether that’s good or bad, I haven’t a clue. That’s why I don’t feel ready to tackle the challenges you do. And you do them quite well.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you. 🙂 I enjoy writing flash fiction and, as you’ve probably realised by now, I like open endings – but sometimes I do want to just keep on writing and close a piece down properly. 🙂


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