Tiny shoes #BarAThon #FlashFiction

The sunlight glinted as it bounced off the jewels on the shoes on the carpet. She examined them with one eye closed, tapping her cane on the rug, deep in thought.

Nodding, she raised her voice and called out, ‘Lihua, come child.’

Timidly, almost fading into the opulence of the room she entered, Lihua entered tentatively and looked at her mother.

Guang surveyed her from top to toe and nodded to the shoes. ‘Try these. They will fit better.’

Lihua could feel her spine growing cold as she murmured, ‘They hurt, Mama. They always do.”

Whacking her cane smartly on the side of her chair, Guang ordered, ‘Wear them. Now. Your name means ‘beautiful and elegant’. How will you ever live up to that with such grossly large feet?’

‘But, Mama. . .’

‘A princess’ life is, above everything else, all about decorum and dignity.’

And there it was, that tone of supercilious pride that the Queen Mother was known for. Lihua had no choice. She never did.


Welcome to the Bar-A-Thon, the blogging challenge over at Blog-A-Rhythm. I’m blogging every day this week and will be writing short pieces of fiction on each of the daily prompts.

I’ve also taken up the theme of the 7 deadly sins and will touch upon one each day.


Today’s prompt: Tiny shoes

Today’s theme: Pride

19 thoughts on “Tiny shoes #BarAThon #FlashFiction

  1. I could clearly visualize the stern, unrelenting queen and the timid, little wisp of a girl! Shudder to think of this inhuman practice. Beautifully done Shailajaa.

  2. This is so sad. I have also read about how some tribes think of long neck as the most attractive feature in a person and how they put huge bangle like rings on the neck to extend them.

  3. I had read about this practice of binding the feet of young girls so that they don’t look like feet of mountain trolls. But honestly, how did this idea of tiny feet looking good even come into anyone’s brains?
    People with tiny feet can’t even wear really really high heels 😀

  4. I vaguely remember having read about this practice somewhere. You have wonderfully woven it into this prompt. How painful and agonizing it’ll be. Pains to even imagine. All in the name of false pride.

  5. I have been astounded by the various traditions that are so hurtful yet we humans embraced them.
    Poor girl…. what a princess.
    I heard about the foot binding when I was in school and more when I read books by Pearl S Buck.

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