#Three Line Tales: And the result is…yes!

In the light of Ireland’s abortion referendum on Saturday, there can be only one story behind this photo—Sonya’s Three Line Tales photo prompt.

photo by Julian Lozano via Unsplash



Night falls on the sport’s field where the campaigners for change wait with bated breath for the result of the referendum to appear on the big screen, the referendum that will decide whether the country is prepared to take women’s rights seriously.

They wait with the fear in their guts that the power of the priest and the over-bearing weight of tradition will screw a ‘no’ vote out of the vast majority of the rural population.

In the early hours of Sunday morning, the anguish of waiting is over, and the result flashes up on the screen—yes!

Microfiction: Girl

Charli Mill’s prompt this week is to write a 99 word story about diversity. This is a word that crops up a lot at the moment. Literary agents and publishers are crying out for more characters issued from ‘diversity’. As I understand it this means characters who are handicapped in some way (I don’t expect I was meant to use that word), by which I mean, they have a hard time in our first world societies. Really, I think this means being black or gay, though some physical disabilities are allowed.

In many ways, unless a writer has first hand experience of being on the margins of society, it strikes me as a rather artificial exercise. And in any case (this is where I get my soap box out) the most prevalent form of discrimination, affecting the most phenomenal numbers of victims (about 3.5 billion) in almost every single society, is gender discrimination. By that I mean honest to goodness discrimination against women. So easy to overlook, isn’t it? I mean, 3.5 billion isn’t that many if you say it quickly.

For my contribution, I have invited Esma back, a character from Lipstick, a short story from January.


Without a word, his face furious, Salah went to wash and change before eating.

Farida hissed, “Esma! Lay the table. Quickly. Your father’s hungry.”

Esma left the boys watching TV.

“Treating us like second class citizens, forcing us to demonstrate,” Salah muttered as he took his place at table. “Aren’t all men equal, or what?”

Farida served the food in silence. At the end of the meal, Salah sat on the sofa with the boys. Farida beckoned to Esma to clear away.

“But, why is it always me?”

Her father stared at her in astonishment. “Because you’re a girl!”


Thought for the day

There was a time when the people filled their mouths with dust,

and bent their eyes to the dust,

and what they said was like the muffled sound of dust falling.

Colours danced in obscure memories,

on the edges,

round roaring fires,

to the beat of the bodhrán,

stories whispered and never believed,

and black, stern-faced lovelessness beat out the glory from them,

turned their glitter and beauty into sinful pleasure,

and drowned the magic in a million pints of porter.

The sun rises and we lift our faces,

wipe the dust from our eyes,

and spit the old rank words into the gutter.

The ninth wave is passing,

the black hold weakens,

the swan rises from the lake,

and the world becomes a rainbow of hope.