Flash Fiction: Beneath the steel

Flash Fiction: Beneath the steel


Doors were slammed, curtains drawn, babies were nestled to their mother’s bosoms. Mothers looked to their husbands for comforts whilst cradling their kids, and everyone held their breaths as the sound of tires, grazing the tarred ground filled the silence.
The motorcycle gang had arrived.

Their shouts could be heard from a distance as they ravaged the now empty street. But that day was different. Rather than peruse the streets and return to wherever they came from, the gang got down from their bikes- A first.

Another first was that one spoke; I never heard a more angry voice than that, sent chills down my spine.
“They were sick and tired of seeing the corpses of female babies. The infanticide was enough, and the parents of the next girl they see would wish they never saw the face of earth.”

And just as they came, they were gone. I was seven then and didn’t fully understand, but sure enough, there was a lot more girl naming ceremonies and pink baby showers from then on.

word count: 174. This story is in response to Flash Fiction For Aspiring Writers photo prompt challenge hosted by Priceless Joy. Each week we are provided with a picture and are to write a 75-175 story on it. Thank you @Sunayana for providing us with this week’s picture.

The Price of being a Girl.

The Price of being a Girl.


I trudged along the narrow pathway that led from the school to my apartment street. The sun was at its peak, I had to walk with eyes half closed to shield them from it’s piercing rays. Just as I was venting out some “not-so-nice” words about the weather to myself, hoping no one was near enough to hear, I noticed a crowd of young men with a few women among gathered at the dump site which bordered the fence of a medical centre.

They stood a few feet from me- some of the men were in a squatting position and two of the women were extending their necks in between the men’s shoulders to get a better view and then retreating to disclose the information to the rest of the women who stood eagerly waiting. My first instinct was, “Khadra, go home”, but then again, the gossipy side of me won as always and I found myself nearing towards the gathering.

Rather than force myself through the thick skinned men, I decided to stand beside the women, knowing well enough that they would willingly offer the information- all they needed was a listening ear.

I got to the gathering and upon sighting me, the back-standers motioned to me saying “Hina” meaning “here” and an opening was carved for me amongst them which led to the centre. One look at the sight in front of me and my God, even with three years of medical school, the urge to purge out my intestinal contents couldn’t be resisted. I thought to myself “breathe Khadra, breathe”. It took all the guts in me to swallow back.

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Unplanned period? Oh please, i’m prepared!

Unplanned period? Oh please, i’m prepared!

There are a lot of reasons why being a female is hard. I could actually write a whole long list as to it, but since I am limited to 1500 words for today, I’d pick one and say “period” or In the more formal term”menstruation”.

What I really mean is “impromptu menstruation“. If you are a female, then you know what I’m talking about; that moment when we’re out in public (putting on a white skirt) and then all of a sudden, the walls of our uterus decide to shed and bam, a red spot which gradually expands, appears on the skirt In public, for all to see. Yeah, getting stained in public is not a pretty experience at all. And if you haven’t experienced this, then I want to say you are one very lucky lady and hopefully you wouldn’t have to. But for those of us who have/had irregular periods, when the period decides not to come on the normally accepted 25-30 days, but instead it comes whenever it feels like without a regular pattern, then I sympathize with you and you are not alone.

Coming to this discussion, in my post on “how puberty did me wrong“, I talked about one experience of being stained in school (surrounded by a bunch of guys) and even though there are a whole lot more embarrassing stories of being stained in public ( irregular periods is not pretty), I’ll save them for next time. Instead, I want to talk about how to prepare oneself for impromptu periods. If you have ever had one of those embarrassing “public staining” experience, then I hope after reading this you wouldn’t have to.

So, how to avoid public embarrassment in relation to menstruation. In other words, must have Kit to effectively deal with impromptu menstruation.

1) The first on the list, which I’m sure a lot of you can guess is A SANITARY PAD. I would have suggested tampon, but l feel at that moment when you realize “oh boy, I think I’m on my period“, the easiest thing to do in that anxious state of mind is to put on a sanitary pad, and then (if you have a heavy flow) hurry home and deal with in the right way. So first on the list is a Sanitary pad. And the beauty about them is they can fit into even a small clutch, making them easy to carry around.

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