100 Word Challenge for Grown Ups # 40

This is my post for Julia’s 100 word challenge, with the prompt of ruby to mark the 40th week. Take a look over here http://jfb57.wordpress.com/2012/04/30/100-word-challenge-for-grown-ups-week-40/ and maybe join in.

Pearl of Ruby?

I stretched myself awake and saw a carved ivory box on my pillow.

‘Oh no,’ said Leila, ‘They will come tonight then, but you are so young.’ I opened the box and my heart stopped.

‘A ruby.’ As big as an eye.

‘You must be valued highly; the old fool usually sends a pearl, as if that makes up for his stench.’

I was shaking as Leila opened the note.

‘But no . . . Prince Mustafa awaits you . . . the young handsome one is yours, a ruby your price’ she said running her pearls between her fingers.

55 thoughts on “100 Word Challenge for Grown Ups # 40

  1. Wow, Gilly – I love all of the nuances in this one. The trade of wealth for possession, the hint of slavery, as well as the nervousness of your narrator. I like the bit with Leila and all of the pearls, too; how many times has she had to suffer the old fool’s stench? Nicely done!

  2. I love how much was said without them actually saying anything outright in this piece! It was so well written that the message between the lines was as clear and powerful as it could have been had you used a thousand extra words. =)

  3. Excellent twist at the end – suddenly I stopped thinking about the narrator’s fear and realized that the real story here is what Leila has had to endure. Well written!

      1. I doubt whether she even has a choice from the tone of the piece, but then – why bother sending jewels? Interesting. And excellently written. Poor Leila.

  4. This story felt awfully sad for me, no real value for women in this scenario. And to me, they seemed very young. This lack of respect plays out today in so many different ways in so many cultures. I’m glad you wrote about it.

  5. Gilly, you are SO GOOD at these! I keep thinking I need to get in on this, but then I think, maybe later when there’s more time. And I saw what you said in the reply just above this comment — about it taking only 10 minutes. Not so for me. The fewer words, the more time it takes me to say what’s just right. That fact has always been my biggest challenge as a newspaper reporter with a word limit and a deadline. But you have a real gift. Keep it up.

    1. It’s silly I know but I don’t believe I’m any good at it but I can’t seem to write anything of length at the moment. I seem to have reached the stage in my writing where I think what the heck and do it anyway!I didn’t know that you’re a reporter, very impressive so I’ll take your praise seriously – thanks honey!
      Now come on you’ve got to give it a go!

      1. Well, I’m going to tell you something that I haven’t said much at all about on these blogs, and I am honestly not telling you now in order to try to draw attention to myself. But if it means that you take praise more seriously for YOUR definitely talented work, then I will tell you the following:

        I taught English at the High School and College level for several years (with particular focus on journalism and creative writing); I have written articles and columns for four different newspapers over the years; I have been associate editor of a newspaper; I currently work as a reporter, an editor, and a graphic artist; and I have five novels and two non-fiction books on the market.

        So … now … you MUST take my praise of your work very seriously. I know what I’m talking about. And I am very serious when I say you have a true gift. Keep using it as much as you can and honestly start believing in your own talents.

      1. Nah just a short story. I really like the idea of a shared writing challenge but so far no one has taken me up on it. You’re welcome to write the next section!

      2. I did that once…Pinghank was the post…and sadly only a few took up the baton. I might have a go. Still…this could be the next big romance novel Gilly

  6. It’s a genuine talent to tell such a complex and complete story, in so few words, Gilly, and this piece shows that you definitely have it. With a twist in the tale, too – Fantastic! 🙂

  7. Fantastic Gilly! Life in a harem? Dark ideas but written with a light hand that makes you consider the depths of the piece. Very well done.

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