The Lady Under The Bridge

You can’t tell from the clothes whose inside until they look up, but there is just something about the way she’s fussing with the pleats of her skirt that makes me pause.

Paper frail hands unwrap a headscarf, which is then neatly folded and placed atop a clean stone. She’s a lady.

Steel blue eyes meet mine. I’ve been staring too long.

We smile.

Ever so tantalizingly she tugs up the skirt, as knees move apart.

I wipe my sweaty palms on my pants. The all too familiar twitching has started.

On another day perhaps; today she’s not selling what I’m looking for.

In response to Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers challenge of 16 Nov 2018, based on a photo prompt by, voila, Rochelle Wisoff-Fields.

Looking down

Baba, is that the building you helped build?

It is so tall. My eyes cant see all the way up. They get lost in the clouds. Did you really go all the way up there? Did it not scare you. I would be terrified. The day we heard that one uncle had fallen and died, ma cried so much. We prayed everyday that Allah would keep you safe. Can we go up and see?

We don’t need to buy tickets. You just tell them that you want to show your children what you built.

Why not?

The tickets cost an entire month’s salary!

It’s OK baba. I’m sure its prettier to look upwards, than down.

In response to Bikurgul’s 100 Word Wednesday: Week 54 challenge, based on a photo by Roman Logov


“A beautiful creature like her should be left free. She should run wild, go where ever her mind takes her. Its wrong to confine her like this.”

“But father, it says here that she was born in captivity. She does not know the great outdoors that you speak of. This zoo is the only world that she knows.”

“Two wrongs do not make a right. Its wrong that her parents were bred in captivity. Its wrong that she lives in captivity.”

“She’s part of a conservation program. They are working to improve the population of snow leopards.”

“Well, then she should be in a reserve. Not a zoo.”

I watched the firm set of father’s jaw line. That expression meant that his mind was firmly and immovably made up. It was the same expression that he had when he told me that women in our family do not wear revealing clothes, do not stay out late, and most certainly they do not go to big cities and live alone.

A sudden laugh bubbled up my throat. “Father, do you think that she looks at us and wonders why we are standing behind a barbed fence.”

In response to The Sunday Photo Fiction challenge of 14th January 2018 hosted by Al Forbes