Flash Fiction

The bicycle

Romila opened the door for the children and greeted them with her shy smile. They dropped their bags in the hallway, leaving it for her to tidy up. As they changed out of their uniforms, she placed the plates on the table. They devoured her snacks before heading outdoors.

She watched them from the window beside the kitchen sink. They rode their bicycles, zig-zagging between the parked cars. She sighed and returned to washing the dishes.

‘Romila!’ her mistress called out. ‘Have you started preparing dinner?’

Hanh madam,’ she said. ‘In one minute.’

Romila took the chopping board out on the balcony and watched the children as she diced onions. Her eyes prickled, not merely due to the onions. She remembered a time when she’d had a bicycle. It was blue with a basket and training wheels. She’d tried learning to ride it but there was never enough space where she’d lived, nor enough time to learn. In the end, her mother had given it away as there was no use for it. Especially as she had to learn to cook and clean.

Romila wished she could ride a bicycle like the children she worked for.

After all, she was only two years older than them.

Until next time,


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  • Bellybytes
    22 September 2017 at 8:16 pm

    It’s really sad when young people have to work to earn their livelihood.

  • Alana
    22 September 2017 at 8:29 pm

    Child labor (and slavery) still exists and your story is important for writing about that. Well done. P.S. I can not grab your photo. Not sure why.
    Alana recently posted…Equinox Minus One – #SkywatchFridayMy Profile

    • Sanch @ Sanch Writes
      22 September 2017 at 9:41 pm

      Oh sorry, there’s a plugin to prevent copying which means it prevents right-clicks. The photo is available on the Friday Reflections FB page.

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  • Corinne Rodrigues
    22 September 2017 at 8:38 pm

    Child labour is such a sad reality in India. It’s awful to see children looking after other children. There has been better legislation and increased social pressure, but this evil continues.

  • Life Is A Verb #FridayReflections - Everyday Gyaan
    23 September 2017 at 1:51 am

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  • The Unknown Journey Ahead
    23 September 2017 at 8:32 am

    Child labor is more hidden in the United States than in many other countries, but it (and slavery, too) exists – sometimes, within plain sight of those who don’t know what they are looking at. Thank you for this story. It exists in too many places.
    The Unknown Journey Ahead recently posted…The Blue Bicycle and the Boy #FridayReflectionsMy Profile

  • Akshata
    23 September 2017 at 8:03 pm

    The dreams of a child crushed just because she belongs to a lower strata of society I had written a micro blog which was so similar to this. Please keep giving photo prompts, I love them as they are so much more open for interpretation

  • Team Mocktailmommies
    24 September 2017 at 6:50 pm

    Some simple rides are just beyond reach of people.
    Very emotional and sadly a true picture in many households.
    -Anagha from Team MocktailMommies