Elina woke up to the baby crying… again.

It was still dark and her employers were sleeping.
Elina knew her duties.

Walking to the kitchen she tried to calm the little girl, only warm milk would calm her.

“Little plum”, she whispered, cuddling the baby.

She longed for Mindanao… she longed for school… for mother… but they needed her money back home.

Besides, she wouldn’t be allowed to leave.

“We’ll take your passport, just to be sure”, they’d said.

As the first colors of dawn brightened the sky it was time to make breakfast… again.

Yet another day in Dubai.

First many apologies for everyone I never had time to visit before I left for vacation a couple of weeks ago. I hope I will be a lot better visiting and commenting this week. The picture for me had a deep symbolic meaning of looking back at what you left, and my thought went to all the housekeepers coming from the Philippines to the Gulf States, often working under bad conditions. Probably Elina is more a typical case than one of the worst. If you want to read a short story that partly inspired me, read Sleepy by Anton Chekhov

Friday Fictioneers is curated by Rochelle, don’t miss her story and the other you can find by clicking on the blue froggy below.

August 29, 2018

79 responses to “Again…

  1. A thought provoking story. Slavery is as old as the mountains, I do wonder why humanity can not let it go.

  2. People are treated so badly in many of these states – it’s verging on slavery, isn’t it? You paint this scene so well – simply but well. And the bond between nanny and baby shines through, giving your MC such softness. Nicely Done Bjorn

  3. I don’t see you often write flash fiction, Björn, so it was a treat. Although, I always love your poetry too. I like what you created here, and to hear that it is not an extreme case, but a typical one is sad. What always strikes me, is that these types of things happen in prosperous countries too where people don’t realize it’s happening right under their noses.

  4. you said so much in so few lines – the encapsulation of flash fiction! I liked the brevity of sentences and the silences between – makes the child’s crying sound louder and the longing go deeper

  5. Topical story that really nails the problems faced by these domestic workers. It is unfortunate that the Governments of these countries allow such gross violations of human rights or turn a blind eye to them. Otherwise it is a simple case of demand and supply from which both parties can benefit.

    • It is very hard for the government to control… if the worker had been an illegal immigrant instead she’d been faced with worse punishment than the employer… many times there are laws against it, but how should you follow up,,

  6. You tell this moving and important story in the simplest language which makes it very powerful. There’s no pretence about any of it, it’s just truth. You’re right to say (in the comments) that we must do something about it, and you’ve suited the action to the words by writing your story.

  7. Bjorn, a sad, but well-written tale about what is going on in secret all around the world. I remember when I first heard about modern slavery, I was so naive and thought they’d abolished slavery. What are you talking about? It’s so easy to live inside your bubble, even when you know what’s going on. I try to help those who cross my path where I am able.
    Best wishes,

  8. What a poignant tale. You sense both her powerlessness, with her passport taken away and her family’s need, and her dedication, rising with the baby to protect the parents from the displeasure of early rising. An ode to immigrants everywhere.

  9. I’ve heard about this, and giving all these poor people a face and a name is something we all need to not forget. We’re all far too forgiving if money is earned.

  10. The untold in this shouts so loudly. Wonderfully done, the emotions so clear and strong – Elina’s care for the child while she suffers at the hands of her captors.

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