Forbidden to wish

Nothing but four walls and midnight wails.

Habibah think she hears Amira screaming, and wonders when it’s her turn.

They had been in the kitchen together making sweets; sisters, safe in the haven of their father’s home when the Mutawa came.

Their faces were veiled but the girlish voice of the neighbor’s daughter Farida could not be disguised.

“Sisters. please follow,” she sniggered

You always obeyed the Mutawa.

They were separated on arrival. Now Habibah had waited for eleven nights.
Waited to confess being a woman wishing to study.

“Haram,” Farida once hissed — too stupid to read for herself.

© J Hardy Carroll

Pretty obvious I with the picture that this has to be a prison, and my thought wandered to the strict laws for women in countries like Saudi-Arabia, but also that you often can accuse someone for almost everything under such laws, and how power can work.

Writing for Friday Fictioneers is not a prison, but it’s still a place where you can check in any time you will but you can never leave. Rochelle makes sure that we all keep addicted to the challenge of finding stories in hundred words from the same picture.

If you click on the frog below you might release him, or you will be sent to the linkup with all the other stories.

November 20, 2019

25 responses to “Forbidden to wish

  1. yes sadly they hark back to the witch hunt days … I’ve met families traumatised for seeing the father executed because he allowed his wife/daughter to be educated. They are executed in front of the family and left without a bread winner …

  2. Bjorn, this story packs punch. You have captured (pun intended) the dynamics of power well here. Females held captive (again intended) to ignorance is institutionalized to a criminal degree.

    I love your froggie this week. How you were able to find an imprisoned frog is a wonderful mystery.

  3. Thank you for raising awareness to the REALITY so many women and girls live, TODAY, in the world we live in. A reality of persecution under the thumb of religious fanatics who claim the name of God to justify their abuse of others.

  4. This makes me very thankful to live a country that is still free. Women had to work hard for the right to an education, but not like the girls in this story. I believe it was Ruth Bader Ginsburg who was asked why she was taking up a desk at law school that should have gone to a man.

  5. Human beings are innately curious. They have the unquenchable urge to know things. That’s how we have evolved. Yet, that very nature is being suppressed in a lot of places in the name of religion. Very hard hitting story, Bjorn.

  6. Dear Bjorn,

    Your story makes me realize how I as a woman take reading and learning for granted. Powerful and well written. Your caged frog and comment about Friday Fictioneers make me smile. 😀



  7. Can’t help but thinking of “Reading Lolita in Tehran” where the ladies had a secret bookclub and read all sorts of taboo books…
    Mind you, theirs was not a physical prison, per se.

  8. A powerful story Bjorn – I like the way you tell it like a drama, about the prison of repression and ignorance. When Muslim were granted permission to drive on their own, it was announced with fanfare, while we don’t even have to think about it.

  9. This reminds me, Westerners take freedoms for granted and turn a blind eye when human rights violations happen in the world due to global politics.

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