Gilded Cages

PHOTO POMPT © Douglas M. MacIlroy

White doves cooed and shuffled about in their cages. Restless. The sun was out, a windless day yet Penelope’s mind was fogged over. Thick with anxiety. She glanced sideways at the rows of silk clad guests, smiling expectantly. The minister’s voice cut through the mind-fog, “Penelope?”

The groom’s frown betrayed his embarrassment.

“Penelope?” The minister nudged, “Do you take Jasper to be your lawful wedded husband?”

She could feel her mother’s eyes boring into her from the front row, urging her to finish it. She thought of the futility of marrying only in your social class.

And said, “I do.”

100 words


Written for Friday Fictioneers hosted by Rochelle. The challenge is to write a full story in 100 words or less.

Click here to read more flash fiction.





15 thoughts on “Gilded Cages

  1. Well written, Fatima. I particularly like the opening, setting the scene. The restless white doves make a delicious little metaphor for the couple being married, and the doubts that they feel.
    As for the end, well, I can’t disagree with my namesake’s choice. You can travel a long way on the goodwill of “I do”, and if she’s chosen happiness while sacrificing joy she may find that it’s worthwhile in the long run.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Penelope! The restless doves do indeed set the scene and tone for the couple’s dynamics and future together. People expect those doves to be well lovey-dovey, and free. And yet Penelope chose a gilded cage. But as you say it is possible that she may find it worthwhile in the future. Who knows? Definitely a potential plot twist. I am thrilled you enjoyed it and even more thrilled with the feedback.


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