Friday Fictioneers – Lovers


He unbuckles the belt and slides it loose. The thing slithers through the loops like a snake, hisses like a snake.

“You’ve dishonoured us.” Even Papa’s voice is a hiss as he rears over me. “Brought shame on the family.”

The belt hurts, and I try to shield my head with my arms as the serpent bites and bites again. Probably I am screaming, I don’t know. All I’m thinking is whether he’s going to kill me.

“I have no choice,” he says, “you left me no choice.”

Papa is right – Anthony is not white.


Friday fictioneers is a weekly challenge to write a 100-word story in response to a photo prompt. You can find other stories here

70 thoughts on “Friday Fictioneers – Lovers

  1. Sandra’s right the first line is so powerful – sets us up perfectly for something bad. I actually wondered if the lovers were two men, and the one being beaten is a boy, and so not only is Anthony not white, he is male. But perhaps that’s me just projecting the fact that it’s written by a man.

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  2. Love the use of the snake imagery and language – very powerful. And I like Claire, wondered if the lovers were two men. In a way it doesn’t matter -it’s all abput people suppressed by others’ ideas of morality.
    A really good write, Neil


  3. Great build up. I can understand why you had trouble with the last line. Very tricky to say what you wanted to say and make it sound like part of the story and not a clunky drop in to explain the story. It’s a very cold last line. I’m a bit unsure. See you next week.

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    1. Yes, thank you Bjorn. That’s exactly what I was trying to do – lure the reader into an assumption about who was committing the honour killing and then overturn it. I’m so pleased you saw it


  4. Perfect, and the snake theme in itself has so many other connections… The tragical thing about it is that it just goes on, and on, and on…


  5. Great story Neil, I really enjoyed the snake belt, think I used to have one of those, although it never hissed or bit. Sometimes it is obvious what the link is between the story and the image and other times it is more subtle (or I am simply stupid) and I wonder what led to the story, would you mind telling me your inspiration?

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  6. Very well done, especially the opening two lines.
    I am from a different generation and have never seen a parent give a child a belting, a thrashing like that but my mother has spoken of it. She was a Pastor’s kid and also spoke about the need for respectability. Colour wasn’t the problem in our family but heaven help you if you stole anything or disobeyed my grandfather.
    It is hard to reconcile this man with the very loving grandfather I loved.
    Different times.
    Your story was chillingly real.
    xx Rowena

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  7. A terrible situation. The father’s obviously got no doubt about the correctness of his attitudes and actions, but the last line shows the real tragedy of the situation. Very effectively told.

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  8. I’m wondering what difference it would have made if the boy had been white. I have a feeling that father enjoys creating fear and beating too much. He draws it out. Of course in some places, a girl’s father would have killed her. Good writing, Neil. —- Suzanne

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