Microfiction challenge #21: The choice


Image: Grigory Sedov

It was a choice no man should have to make. It was a choice no woman should find herself subject too. Mother had insisted I put myself forward. The Tsar had announced that all eligible women of marrying age in the village were to present themselves to the royal court as the Tsar was seeking a bride.

My mother had not long finished reading Miss Austen’s Pride and Prejudice and saw her own daughters as falling to the same unwed fate of the Bennet girls. So I was dressed in our finest and paraded before the Tsar.

We waited for such a long time and our feet grew tired, our backs ached and around me the other women were as glum as I was. Though it became more of a ruse to put others off by appearing disinterested when in fact most of them were keen to be selected.

Selection meant an escape from the drudgery of village life, an opportunity to mix and live within the royal court to look down on those who once thought themselves above you.

The Tsar entered the room and appeared embarrassed. He was nervous and yet polite. He spoke to each of us asked us our names and what we did with ourselves. My seamstress life didn’t appear of interest to him as he moved to the girl on my left and repeated the same question. When finished he left the room and we were all dismissed.

Thankfully I wasn’t selected, as polite as he was I had heard stories of the royal court and knew it wasn’t the life for me. Poverty and serfdom seemed to work satisfactorily for me.


Written for: https://janedougherty.wordpress.com/2016/11/04/microfiction-challenge-21-the-choice/

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16 Responses to Microfiction challenge #21: The choice

  1. Lyn says:

    Wise girl, because you find that most often, the grass is always greener on the other side of the septic tank 🙂

  2. For women, serfdom can happen in a poor village or as a princess in a palace. Or a Tsarina for that matter.

  3. Either way, the lot of a girl in Tsarist Russia was not to be envied.

  4. mandibelle16 says:

    Very interesting Michael. It would be difficult either way but at least she is used to the difficult if her life, I think being the czar as she write, would in its own way be more difficult. Great write!

  5. ellenbest24 says:

    All is not sunshine in the court… a good take on the picture. Well done. 😊

  6. Lynn Love says:

    Well, wealth and security aren’t everything. Hopefully she’ll find a nice craftsman to marry 🙂

  7. Pingback: Microfiction challenge The Choice: the entries – Jane Dougherty Writes

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