Microfiction challenge The Choice: the entries

Brilliant paintings prompted brilliant stories. Thank you for the wonderful response. I enjoyed reading all of these stories, all with a different twist to a story that is set out so clearly in the paintings.

Don’t forget to look in tomorrow for another prompt.


Jane Dougherty’s Microfiction Challenge 21, The Choice: The Bride Show – My Frilly Freudian Slip




Microfiction challenge #21: The choice | Morpethroad


Jane Dougherty’s Microfiction Challenge: Diadems and dowries – Word Shamble


Partisan Party | Tales from Eneana


Chosen: Microfiction | Yesterday and today: Merril’s historical musings


Choosing a bride | fmme writes poems

My own


Bill—sorry you’re always last, Bill, but you know why.

Holy Byzantine Empire, Alex!


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’.


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?


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!


This poem is written in response to the pic & a word challenge: Lessons.

I have taken the theme but chosen a different image.



The stars were always meant to glitter,

Death and loss ever be bitter,

Birds to sing and raise their young,


Every river made to flow,

Wild winds never cease to blow,

Songs be sung and sung and sung.


Earth was always meant to turn,

Fire was made to heat and burn,

And dewdrops, on a fine web, strung.


Tales were written to be told,

Winter storms to bring the cold,

In our eyes the snowflakes flung.


And we were meant to live in love

With all in the earth and sky above,

But we chose the hawk and not the dove.

She waits for him to choose

Picture ©Phototasche

To fall, let go,
To fold my wings and plummet,
To embrace the earth that rushes up,
To snatch life’s last spark and end it all.
Or follow the stars and fly,
Spread broad white wings,
Soft swansdown pinioned beauty,
Beat the air translucent blue,
Shot with gold in the morning sun,
To soar with hope and a raging joy.
Choose wisely, love, for you hold my heart
In your hesitant hands.