The Luck in Our Stars

January 7, 2015 at 3:23 pm 39 comments

for friday fictioneers 100-word challenge 9 January 2015

Jean L. Hays
Photo Credit: Jean L. Hays

Emil once found himself at a crossroads. A promising job awaited him overseas, but he couldn’t leave Tanja, his fiancรฉe, behind in their village. He went only after she insisted that he follow his dream.

One day, while Tanja was fetching water from a well, Stojan kidnapped her and forced her to marry him.

When Emil heard the news, he was heartbroken. He pined for what could have been and could no longer be.

Suddenly, a baby’s cry awakened Emil. It was just a bad dream after all. Tanja, sleeping beside him, stirred and went to pick up their son.

Note:This story was inspired by a carving of a young woman fetching water in a Bulgarian village. I took it while in Bulgaria in 2012.

In the old days, it’s said that a guy could propose to her by asking for a drink of water. When she obliged, it meant that she was interested. When she refused, he could kidnap her to force the issue of marriage on her family.

Once married, it would be for eternity. When she died, she would be buried in her wedding dress so that her husband could recognize her in the afterlife. If it didnโ€™t fit anymore, it would be cut and the pieces spread over her body.


Entry filed under: Blogroll, friday fictioneers. Tags: , , , .

wordless Wednesday: let it go weekly photo challenge: shadowed

39 Comments Add your own

  • 1. aliciajamtaas  |  January 7, 2015 at 4:06 pm

    Whew! This could have been very real. (What is it with men that kidnap women and make them their wives? Are the men THAT undesirable or that lazy?) Nice twist at the end.

    • 2. plaridel  |  January 7, 2015 at 4:25 pm


      believe it or not, it’s still true in some parts of the world.

  • 3. sustainabilitea  |  January 7, 2015 at 4:19 pm

    What a relief to get to that last line!


    • 4. plaridel  |  January 7, 2015 at 4:26 pm


      i just thought of starting the new year with a happy thought. thanks for reading.

  • 5. Priceless Joy  |  January 7, 2015 at 8:31 pm

    I knew I had seen you here before! LOL! I loved this story. I would not have loved it if she had really been kidnapped and forced to marry Stojan. Happy ending. I love happy endings. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • 6. plaridel  |  January 8, 2015 at 9:48 am

      priceless joy:

      i could have ended it where emil was pining for what could have been, but then it would be less than 100 words. a few more words can indeed change the outcome of the story. ๐Ÿ™‚

      • 7. Priceless Joy  |  January 8, 2015 at 11:48 am

        I am glad you used the entire 100 words. I need to learn how to have a happy ending with 100 words or less. I think one must be an excellent writer in order to do that. ๐Ÿ™‚

        • 8. plaridel  |  January 8, 2015 at 5:09 pm

          priceless joy:

          you’re an excellent writer in my estimation. i don’t think you’d have a problem.

          • 9. Priceless Joy  |  January 8, 2015 at 7:14 pm

            Wow! Thank you! That is a nice compliment. ๐Ÿ™‚

            • 10. plaridel  |  January 9, 2015 at 9:22 am

              priceless joy:

              you deserve it. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • 12. draliman  |  January 8, 2015 at 3:43 am

    Phew. Thanks for turning it around!

    • 13. plaridel  |  January 8, 2015 at 9:49 am


      i’m glad how the story went, too. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • 14. rochellewisoff  |  January 8, 2015 at 3:54 am

    Dear Plaridel,

    I’m glad it was only a dream. Good story.



    • 15. plaridel  |  January 8, 2015 at 9:49 am


      thank you for reading. in this case, the stars got it right. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • 16. dmmacilroy  |  January 8, 2015 at 3:55 am

    Dear Plaridel,

    Just a dream. How wonderful. I love the origin of the story, too.



    • 17. plaridel  |  January 8, 2015 at 9:49 am


      thank for reading. much appreciated.

  • 18. Margaret  |  January 8, 2015 at 3:59 am

    I’ll add my ‘Phew’ to the others. She really couldn’t have been married to anyone but Emil. Lovely ending.

    • 19. plaridel  |  January 8, 2015 at 9:50 am


      come to think of it, i couldn’t have ended the story any other way. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • 20. Teresa Oh  |  January 8, 2015 at 6:58 am

    Great story! loved it!

    • 21. plaridel  |  January 8, 2015 at 9:51 am


      thank you for reading. i’m glad you liked it.

  • 22. rgayer55  |  January 8, 2015 at 9:40 am

    Boy, that was a bad dream. I’m glad he awoke to find it wasn’t true. I also enjoyed the history lesson at the end. Thank you for sharing that with us.

    • 23. plaridel  |  January 8, 2015 at 9:51 am


      i’m glad you enjoyed reading it. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • 24. talesfromthemotherland  |  January 8, 2015 at 4:06 pm

    I wondered how the photo inspired this, but your photo at the end took you in another direction. Hopefully the dreams cease, and he can enjoy the happiness he has.

    • 25. plaridel  |  January 8, 2015 at 5:13 pm


      what hit me when i looked at the photo prompt was the idea of a fork in the road where somebody had to make a difficult decision on which way to go. that’s all.

  • 26. pattisj  |  January 8, 2015 at 9:45 pm

    Interesting history, thanks for sharing that part. I’m also glad to have a happy ending!

    • 27. plaridel  |  January 9, 2015 at 9:23 am


      thanks for the feedback. much appreciated.

  • 28. Sandra  |  January 9, 2015 at 1:53 am

    Nicely done. It’s not often we get a happy ending on FF. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • 29. plaridel  |  January 9, 2015 at 9:25 am


      it’s the new year after all. we have to start in a positive mood. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • 30. siobhanmcnamara  |  January 9, 2015 at 2:47 am

    I felt so much relief at the end. Forced marriages are still a reality for far too many women in the world today. Interesting to hear it from the perspective of the man who was really in love with her.

    • 31. plaridel  |  January 9, 2015 at 9:29 am


      thanks for the nice comment. forced marriages will be around as long as women aren’t considered equal to men.

  • 32. patrickprinsloo  |  January 9, 2015 at 10:45 am

    Clever story and a really interesting piece of folk law there. Not that long ago, I bet. Maybe still in isolated communities even now.
    (A problem for the girl if she’s really thirsty!)

    • 33. plaridel  |  January 10, 2015 at 9:43 am


      i guess you’re right. this strange courtship ritual may still be alive and well in remote areas of the country where old traditions are strong.

  • 34. Amy Reese  |  January 10, 2015 at 9:08 pm

    Plaridel, I enjoyed the photo of the carving and learning about the courtship ritual of drinking water or else… Fascinating. Your story is nicely carried out. It reminded me of forks in the road, but then everything is fine. I was relieved!

    • 35. plaridel  |  January 11, 2015 at 9:34 am


      thank you for reading. i’m glad you liked it.

  • 36. Bjรถrn Rudberg (brudberg)  |  January 12, 2015 at 1:37 pm

    This is probably my favorite of yours.. very well told, and the vividness of such a dream .. and that sweet relief.. I like the footnote also.. very good.

    • 37. plaridel  |  January 12, 2015 at 9:16 pm


      what a nice compliment. thank you.

  • 38. Nan Falkner  |  January 12, 2015 at 3:51 pm

    Dear Plaridel, Great story and I enjoyed the history of it too. I’m glad the ending was good too. Just wonderful! Nan ๐Ÿ™‚

    • 39. plaridel  |  January 12, 2015 at 9:16 pm


      super. i’m glad you liked it. ๐Ÿ™‚


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