The Broken Crystal Bowl


PHOTO PROMPT © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Ammi prohibited me from touching the crystal bowl kept on the Sharma family’s table. But Mrs. Sharma insisted that my small fingers would be more effective in cleaning it.

Her twins were watching Tom & Jerry on TV.

Abbu might be back home by now, carrying that disgusting stench of alcohol that always followed his kicks and blows.

Tom fell down the cliff with a THWACK!

My fingers slipped. The broken pieces glittered from the floor.

As I lay on the ground receiving the punches, Tom got up unharmed.

I so wished I lived inside a cartoon.

~97 words

(Author’s Note: India’s unorganized job sector offers cheap labour for a lot of work and one of them includes the service of housemaids. These maids have no employment guarantees or retirement benefits and are often paid poorly to perform household chores such as dusting, cooking, washing utensils etc. Though things are slowly changing for the better yet a lot is left to be done. What is even more appalling is that some people don’t even mind engaging small children in doing their household chores. This is illegal and counts as child labour but it is still widely prevalent. A lot of such children come from very poor families often with abusive parents (mostly abusive fathers). Domestic violence is common in such families. These children have no access to education and are often treated cruelly both at their home at their employer’s. Though things are definitely changing for the better, this story is just to show a glimpse of the sad reality that still exists in our country.)

Written as part of the Friday Fictioneers challenge hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields (more details HERE). The idea is to write a short story of 100 words based on the photo prompt (above).

To read stories of 100 words based on this week’s prompt, visit HERE.



26 thoughts on “The Broken Crystal Bowl

    • Thank you so much for those kind words, Rochelle. Really appreciate your wonderful feedback. 🙂 Yes, the reality is still bleak for so many children and I hope they somehow get a chance at a better life in the future.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Well done, Kasturi. Interleaving two stories like you have is extremely difficult in flash fiction, but you’ve succeeded admirably.
    Your message that people should be treated decently comes across strongly, and I applaud the way you use your very considerable writing skills to campaign for social justice.

    Liked by 1 person

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