Posted: July 9, 2014 in Friday Fictioneers
Tags: , ,

It’s Wednesday/Friday Fictioneers again. Thanks, Rochelle for the interesting prompt. Took some bits to think of something. I’m having problems with formatting this week – on this post and others, so please forgive the double spacing. Here are my 100 words.

PHOTO PROMPT - Copyright - Kelly Sands

Yana sat in the window seat, purple rings around her eyes – some mascara, some bruising.

She had always known she could fly – best in spelling, superior in math. In chemistry Yana flew highest.

“Brilliant, Yana!” the professor said.

Then – chosen from  RussianLadies.com – she flew to California.

At first the man was kind.  He took her bags at the airport, took her gently in bed, smiled at their first born child.

Later, he called her a stupid bitch and struck her.  She wondered, “What was that?”

He showed her again and again.

Yana opened the window and took her last flight.

  1. Wow. That was so intense for just 100 words. Very moving story, good job!


  2. yarnspinnerr says:

    An ardent read.


  3. Melanie says:

    Probably more common than we realize. I’m sad she felt that was her only way out.
    Good storytelling.


  4. helenmidgley says:

    Powerful stuff 🙂


  5. Sandra says:

    Powerful. Well done.


  6. ooh. leaves me as voiceless as your main character. good job. Randy


  7. Alicia, Well written. What a tragic story. I only knew one Russian bride and, as I remember, she walked out of the marriage since she was just dissatisfied. The guy always seemed nice. We knew him before he married her and I think he was lonely. I don’t think he mistreated her in any way. Well done. 🙂 —Susan


  8. Really powerful story.


  9. Wonderful story and a huge sociological issue. I could comment about this all day. Very tragic here, but you really got it right – very well qualified ladies seeking a better, or in fact ‘normal life. I must admit I have not a too great impression of men who ‘obtain’ mail order brides. Of course the same tragedy happens to the Russian bride who elects to get married in Russia, and there are some success stories in some specific contexts – the main one I know is French farmers, who simply cannot find any French women these days willing to live on a farm, and many marry Ukrainian women who enjoy that lifestyle, and in the French cultural context. But generally I cannot believe there is real love involved. In fact, I think it’s a form of slavery.


  10. The sad part is there are too many true stories like this one. Very powerful stuff.


  11. camgal says:

    That escalated quickly…so much packed into 100 words and yet she couldn’t even use one (HELP) to survive. Nicely done Alicia.


  12. draliman says:

    Poor woman, and plenty of truth in it I fear.
    This week’s photo is bringing out a lot of darkness in the stories!


  13. Tough life and ending. It’s happening as we speak.


  14. Such a sad, poignant story, Alicia. Isn’t this so often true in these stories? It all starts so differently and then ends this way… beautiful writing!


  15. Maree Gallop says:

    Wow, intense, gripping, confronting and very well told.


  16. Pratik Kirve says:

    Poignant story..!! Well described in only 100 words.


  17. Alice Audrey says:

    Such a sad plight. If only she’d realized she had rights.


  18. subroto says:

    Strangely enough this week I finished reading Roddy Doyle’s book about a battered wife – ‘The Woman Who Walked into Doors’. I was reminded of that book as your story also covers the same issue of domestic violence here. Beautifully written.


  19. dmmacilroy says:

    Dear Alicia,

    Top notch storytelling. Deft touch with language and nuance. Killer ending.




  20. Dear Alicia,

    From beginning to end, your story sent chills flying down my spine. Short concise sentences added to the power of it. Believable and poignant. Bravo!




  21. Beautifully constructed…wonderfully told. So sad.


  22. Blake says:

    What really impressed me about your story was how you kept it so tightly under control, despite the highly emotional nature of the theme. The end of the first line – “some mascara, some bruising” – is brutal and yet so understated. And then the bleak irony that links Yana’s ability to fly in the past with her flight out of the window gives the story a terrible symmetry.


  23. elappleby says:

    the prompt seems to be bringing out the suicidal tendencies this week – a terribly sad story.


  24. It really is, isn’t it? And, being one who loves rainy days – I’m kinda’ surprised I wrote such a gloomy tale.


  25. Ankita says:

    You captured a whole life in 100 words! Really great post!


  26. hafong says:

    Alicia, I remembered a story in the news about a beautiful Russian woman who married an American she just met. I think she was pregnant when he brutalized her. She was kept on life support till the baby was rescued. Gives me the shivers. Your story reminded me right away of that. The power of the pen!



  27. What a depressingly true story! Thanks, Lily, for commenting.


  28. pattisj says:

    One has to wonder about a guy who can’t get a girl at home! Gripping story, my heart aches for those who find themselves in these situations.


  29. Sun says:

    love how you contrasted your character’s strong points in her life like her academic achievements and her courageous attitude to find what she hoped would be a better life, only to find bitter tragedy. really a well told story, Alicia.


  30. rgayer55 says:

    A very well written piece, Alicia. It sounds like she had a lot going for her–until she got to America.


  31. Sarah Ann says:

    Ow. Pulling uncomfortable faces after reading that. So well done – the innocence of ‘What was that?’ to the palpable desperation of her last act. I think the matter of factness of your last line adds so much impact.


  32. Great story. Really makes the economy work.


  33. Amy Reese says:

    Great, fine details. You really packed so much in to bring it home. Her intelligence, her physical appearance, the bruises, and the tragic end. Really well done.


  34. Great story! Hope someone was there to catch her.


  35. I was gripped by the emptional intensity of this story, so beautifully understated, so tautly narrated. So sad, too!
    (And I don’t know how I missed reading this one earlier — I guess that was during my first few weeks of libreration from the school year, along with the accompanying exhaustion. I missed quite a few that week, it seems.)


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