The Ties That Bind – 210 words
When grandfather was a boy, he crouched for hours in the fields, watering the rice paddies to make sure his family was fed.
When father was a young man, he crouched for hours in the grasses, shielding his siblings from the bullets whizzing by.
When I was a boy, I refused to crouch, refused to bend for the old ways.
I didn’t care about farming, didn’t care about tradition. I didn’t care about anything but myself.
My grandfather died in those rice fields, hands gnarled, knees perpetually bent.
My father died before I ever knew him, victim of a village raid that didn’t distinguish between enemy and innocent.
I wasn’t going to be them, my ancestors, faded like yesteryear’s photographs.
I wasn’t. My pride said no.
Until I looked into mother’s eyes, those weary eyes aged beyond her years.
Until I felt my sisters’ hands in mine, as they looked to me for support, for safety, for sustenance.
I crouch down today, inspecting these chicken feet, my chickens, arguing their worth to the butcher beside me. And I’ll do it again, and again, and again.
I shall pay homage to the family that came before me, their sacrifices, their struggles, their victories, their defeat.
I understand now.
I am proud.
That’s it – my offering of 200 (+/- 10) words, my short (very short) story, which had to incorporate the photo prompt and the character of a farmer. How did I do?
I hope you’ll click on over to Flash Friday Fiction to read the other stories and perhaps leave a word or two of praise for the very (very) talented writers who grace us with their own tales week after week. And, hey, why not give it a go yourself?