Thursday, 19 April 2012

#RomanticFridayWriters - #AtoZChallenge - Flash Fiction - Q is for Qui'an

Welcome to RomanticFridayWriters!

RFW is about short short writing or flash fiction (usually 400 words), less for poems, with some romantic element. It's not Romance of the happily ever after variety, but Romantic, where it's about the story, the issue, with some romantic relationship involved. Our stories are edgy, sometimes dark, and often don't have the HEA ending!

So here we go! RFW Dribbles (50 words), Drabbles (100 words) and Droubbles (200 words) and more (400 ish)...for your enjoyment - a laugh, a cry...

It's widely agreed that most fiction (unless it's solely about animals) begins and ends with human characters: their frailties, virtues, conflicts and expectations. In our stories for the A - Z Challenge the writers attempt to more closely observe the people around us...

Today, Q is for Qui'an

Qui'an skittered through the sky, a misty figure cloaked in cloud. She knew with a terrible knowing that she was in ghostly form, in between worlds. She also knew that until her ancestor tablet was dotted, she was relegated the lowly position of 'hungry ghost'. But she'd hovered above her death form long enough to see her ancestor tablet hidden at the top shelf of her mother's library, covered by a soft blanket. Now as she sped through the sky she could only hope that her family would remember her, a worthless girl, and offer up food at festival time, or she'd always go hungry in the afterworld. If her dear mother failed to burn fresh bindings for her feet, once her pride and joy, they would become ragged sores.

But why would her family remember to make offerings for her? She'd taken her life, refused food, all in the name of love. She chose death over arranged marriage. 

She knew she'd wander the afterworld for all time as a 'hungry ghost', but at least she could find her home in the rafters of her beloved's bedroom and watch his dear face, day after day, night after night. Perhaps he would feel her presence and invite her into his soft bed. 

They would be united at last.

Words 200 - a droubble
My story inspired by Lisa See's Peony in Love

Denise, (L'Aussie) writes short stories, flash fiction, travel articles and newspaper profiles while working on her Great Australian Novels, one of which is set in Afghanistan. She's the founder of RomanticFridayWriters. Her writing blog is L'Aussie Writing. She'd love you to visit her there for her A - Z Challenge on the theme, BLOGGERS WERE CHILDREN TOO!


  1. Lovely and sad - to be condemned to an eternity of wandering between worlds :-(

  2. Hello Denise.
    This is a bitter reality for some who would rather take their own lives than go through with an arranged marriage. I saw a documentary about this some time ago. It's tragic, but still going on today. Eerie and intriguing. Thanks for sharing.


  3. It is sad that forced marriages still take place. Really sad indeed. Well done Denise for writing about it.

  4. Denise - your amazing! I love the picture. New follower here. I’m enjoying reading my fellow “A to Z”ers. I look forward to visiting again.


  5. Nice. Very haunting. This one is quite great. :-)

  6. Haunting. I love the picture; a great prompt. I really the liked the part about burning bindings for her feet.


  7. Hello Denise.
    I'm back for a second reading.
    This is just as profound as when I first read it. Can you imagine having no other recourse than to take your own life rather than face life with someone you don't want or love? So sad.
    Thanks for re-sharing. I've got to go through mine & pick my favorite. I'll linkup later.

  8. Very sad, doubly so to be tormented in the afterlife as well as in life.

  9. Very sad and beautiful ghost story. There is a lot going on in this short text. There is the cruelty of a forced arranged marriage avoided only by a grim suicide.

    I'm glad that she found a place to haunt in the end.

    Writing a good ghost story is not easy. I've tried a couple of times with little success. It really requires a special knack.

    Nice image, too.
    Best wishes,

  10. Hi,

    Very poignant ghost story!


  11. Dear Denise,

    Thank you for commenting on my 'Zealotry-post' and for giving me such a good idea. I can always give it a try.

    Best wishes & hugs,

    1. Glad to be of help Anna. Looking forward to seeing what you do with the challenge! D.

  12. Wonderful story Denise, sad story, silly, silly girl. I hope she catches her 'beloved' with a new girl... a nice plump one!

    See you Wednesday! :)

    1. 'Plump one', now that's hilarious. Poor girl. D.

  13. Poignant and haunting. Fantastic piece, remembering the dead even the non ghostly kind in the prescribed manner echoed with me.
    Charmaine's comment made me laugh. But quite a few kids do that here. Not all arranged marriages happen with the consent of the girl or boy, most consents are simply bowing down to emotional blackmail or because every one else seems to be going through it, rather happily. Respecting our elders is still paramount in our society and comes with a hefty price tag.

  14. I love the word "scittered." And I love the juxtaposition of life and death, something I'm kind of into lately. It's a good story and it makes us "hungry" for more.

  15. This was one of my favorites. I'm glad you chose it to repost :)


  16. Nice job. Romantic in a somewhat creepy sense.

    An A to Z Co-Host
    Tossing It Out


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