Photo credit: Alexandre Breveglieri (revised)
Everything about the ship was foreign – the cut, the sails, the banners. It brought heady spices, expensive silks, smelly pickles, and most exotic: ideas.
The red-skinned men and women wore the same clothing and close-cropped hair, laughed loudly together.
Thus, they took my sister.
Our father forbade it, forfeiting his goodbye when she escaped. I begged her to stay, but she’d already cut her hair.
She was jubilant, even as I cried. “Can’t you understand? Their women are equal partners. I can work.”
“Scrubbing the decks, no doubt.”
“At first. But I’ll learn.”
I imagined her climbing the ropes like a squirrel. “Who will father you? Who will husband you?”
She beamed. “Nobody.”
We kissed one last time, before she bounded off. I wondered, if I hadn’t donned a wife-apron, two child-rings in my ear and another on the way (Sambar-be-willing), would I have joined her?
No. I am my nest and my nest is me. This port is world enough, and more. Still, I dream of her, swimming the winds, free as a butterfly.
Word count: 175. Written for this week’s Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers challenge. Click the link to read the other stories, and even write one yourself. Thanks to Priceless Joy for hosting, and to Lou for providing the original photo prompt, below!
Photo © Louise at The Storyteller’s Abode