Standing Up

The whistling of the wind could be heard, the rustle of the dry leaves sounding amplified a thousand times over, this evoking a silent gasp from the scared little girl in the bushes. Her wide frightened eyes scanning the horizon for what she knew was coming.

The brimming tears were a silent evidence of the anger that bespoke volumes of a heart in turmoil. Where to run in the dark night? Could he hear the thumping of her heart? Did the muffled sobs prick his ears? The thorns pricking her side went unnoticed. Oh why couldn’t the moon shine a little brighter tonight? Why did that pesky cloud have to make its way to the moon?

Her trail of thought was interrupted by the crunching of feet that spoke of hurry and anxiety. The huffing sound that suggested that the man was slightly overweight. Oh no , he had found her again, How could fate be so cruel? How could God let her uncle lay a hand on her again?

His loud voice let out a string of profanities as he hit a rock. She could hear him cuss in the dirtiest way. Lord please don’t let Him find me, I will help my brother do His homework if you only help me tonight .An anxious little girl promised God a whole day in mass without looking at the cute neighbor’s boy if He could only save her from the pain she knew her uncle would inflict on her.

That night , by a miracle he didn’t find her. She spent the night in the cold with her teeth chattering from the biting cold. That cold night awaked in her, an anger alien to her. She resolved that she would take her brother and go to the next village and look for their mother.

Her mother had been windowed at an early age and as was the custom she was to be inherited by her husbands brother.On refusing the abhorred offer she was told to return to her fathers village without her children.Thus the demise of a father and husband led to the break up of a beautiful family.

That is how the little girl came to the decision that she was going to look for their enstraned mother…….


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this is a very good story and i just love the way you wrote it it was so vivid and i could almost scan the horizon with the little girl. you took me to that place and i could feel her terror and fear. this is one of the down sides of culture that needs to be addressed especially by legislature. In my country women who are in vulnerable marriage and post marriage situations have their rights supported by Law and most of them go with their children if they are fit mothers. I hope that one day the same will happen there. I also realise that sometimes as women we just don't know our rights and we just suffer silently. women need to be educated about their rights so that they can use the law as a means to stand up and at the same time they also protect their children

Stay blessed


Hy Sibusisiwe,

Thank you so much for taking time to read.I am hoping to improve my writing skills and use it a tool to enlighten my people.God bless you.

Wonderful article! I do love reading your writing. It is well-done and I really feel and think while reading it. Keep writing!



Regards, Sarvina from Cambodia VOF 2011 Correspondent

Dear Claris,

It took a lot of courage to write this story of a painful and fearful night, followed by determination to move beyond difficult circumstances. Your description put the reader right in that field of dried leaves on that eventful night. I believe your writing can be a powerful voice educating your fellow citizens through empathy.

Congratulations on your fine story.

Your Sister in the US, Jan

Jan Askin

Hy Jan,

I am beyond happy that your attention was grabbed by this story.Am still a bit green in the writing field and if you have any pointers you would like to share I would be very grateful.

Regards, Claris

Thank you for sharing your story. Your writing style is very descriptive and was very easy to read and I felt like I was able to see what you were sharing. I could also feel through your writing how scared and the pleadings you were making to God. I wish you the very best and thank you again for sharing your story.

Thanks so much,

Sally Smith

Hy Sally Smith,

I t was a kind gesture for you to take time to go through the story.I appreciate this greatly.Keep the comments coming.

Kind Regards, Claris.

Claris --

Perhaps one of the hardest things for one woman to hear is how another woman had to suffer abuse by a man, and perhaps one of the most wonderful things for one woman to hear is how another woman took charge of her own life and tried to change a bad thing. You grab our hearts in your writing and carry us from one place to another, right along with you. Keep up your honest, descriptive writing and bravery and you will always carry others with you.