Microfiction challenge #21: The choice

The title of the challenge is ‘choice’ and I’m giving you a choice of painting for the prompt. The painting I had chosen is another one of Ilya Repin’s, entitled The Grand Duke’s Bride’.

grand_dukes_bride_by_repin

Then I found this one by Grigory Sedov which shows Tsar Alexis choosing his bride, and I was struck by the similarity of expression in the girls’ faces. Is it modesty as they have surely been taught, or utter misery?

sedovgs_vybornevestalmihgtg

Two important, powerful men, a clutch of proud mothers, and a string of girls each waiting to find out if she has drawn the short straw. And what fate is waiting for the ‘unlucky’ ones who aren’t chosen? Something or someone even worse?

Write a short story around these bridal parades and post the link in the comments below before next Thursday. I’m expecting stories as vivid as the paintings!

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Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

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