She has been stripped of her honour.

That is what they tell her. She is now a woman without honour. Her cloth of honour, that covering that was accorded her, has been stripped off her. She is uncovered, naked, bare. She is less than a woman, an ignominy, a thing of shame.

Her mother has her head cast down. The shame of her unclothed daughter stoops her head. Her sisters, and her only brother, are mute with the humiliation that has taken their speech. They would not speak to her. They would not look upon her. She is the one naked, they are the ones suffering the bite of the cold.

He was her honour.

That lesson was ingrained in her the moment he paid her dowry. That meagre sum, that would not purchase ten parcels of tobacco, was the price tagged on her honour. He paid the price and claimed her honour.

She held her head high as she went home with her honour. Her back stooped to cook his meals and wash his dirty linens. Her stomach swelled and sagged to give him a child, a generation to carry on his name.

Then his fist struck her. Her honour, he threw her to the ground with punches and slaps and whips.

She cried out. They shushed her. She must not lose her honour.

His foot kicked the child out of her womb. Another foot broke the ribs on her sides. Soon she can only see with one eye and barely hear with her ears. Even worse, she became empty without the sac of her motherhood.

Her honour took it all from her. And she is the one naked, a thing of shame.

***

This was the Flash Fiction for the Etisalat Competition. It’s a 284 Word Count micro-fiction story. Bringing it on because… well, it is mine and I need to make an announcement.

PHED has struck again. Haven’t had Power since Wednesday. Had to type with my mobile phone on Wednesday and then proofread on laptop and post Thursday’s episode of MW. Now, the matter still lies unresolved and I don’t know if it will be resolved today… and today is Election day in Rivers, so movement is kind of restricted.

Bottom-line: Mercenary Wife may not make it tomorrow.

Let’s keep our fingers crossed though. Do have a great weekend meanwhile.

*New eBook: *OPERATION STOP THE WEDDING!*