Other stories for this prompt

Once, in Beijing, a young girl in a red gown huddled in a doorway.

Another time, in Cincinatti, a small wire-haired dog sprinted across a parking lot.

Last week, a gigantic monster on a small planetoid in the vicinity of Proxima Centuri ate a ham sandwich at a local monster-cafe.

On a nuclear sub beneath the ice of the Arctic, a captain of Hungarian descent vomited up the contents of his stomach, ingested the night before at a going-away party for a member of the crew.

On Broadway, a dancer in a leotard nervously practices for an upcoming performance, her...

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Once in Beijing, a young girl in a red gown huddled in a doorway. She hugged her hat to her chest, and lightly tapped on the door, and prepared herself for the worst. Her lips were chapped and as cold as icicles, because of the cold winter air. When there was no answer. A tear drop slid down her grimy, and filthy face. She knocked a little louder this time, and when now one replied. She slid down the wall, sitting on the pavement. A man walked by, and spit on to the step in front of her feet. She...

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When I crossed the street, my mind was rapidly flashing with the dreadful information. I sprinted to the bus stop, and scowled, to find the bench, filthy, and obviously occupied by a sleeping homeless man. When the bus came, I boarded, along with a woman that had just walked by, her high heels clattering on the pavement. I observed the driver, as I always do, sitting in the front, and deciding if he has a criminal background or not. If he does, I'll get off at Washington, the next stop. I tapped my feet on the floor of the bus,...

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Once, in Beijing, a young girl in a red gown huddled in a doorway.

"Are you my mom?" she would ask to the passersby.

Some people would stop and inquire if she was lost, but she would just shake her head.

Some people would offer to take the girl with them to the police, but she would just run away down a narrow alley where they couldn't follow.

Most people would just ignore her and her perfect, shining red gown, taking her for some unlucky trickster.

But one day, a young woman came down the street, her eyes veiled in...

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Dust obscured the dim lighting above. Clutching a paper bag, the girl lurched to the elevator. Old, worn doors opened, and she descended.

Outside the building her suitor waited wearing a tattered tweed jacket and chipped bifocals. In his hand, a pair of freshly cut daffodils.

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The red gown was more of a crimson really. I wasn't sure why she had taken it just to sit down at a doorway just down the street. She had shown up with enough money for a new garment, I'd given it to her and she'd just sort of walked aimlessly down to the doorway and sat down.

It kind of made me hate her. I know you shouldn't hate little girls but I hated this bullshit. I mean, seriously, just leave. Don't make me sit there and wonder about what the fuck is going on. Like, I don't need...

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There was blood there. On her hands and arms. The dress was white once. White as her bridegroom's teeth.

For the family and for honor. For her grandmother and grandfather. Never for her. Nothing for her.

The wedding was special. The whole family came to see Chi Ling marry into what was the richest family in Beijing. Such an accomplishment. They complimented her mother and her father for making the match. Mounds of food decorating the reception hall. Her family got drunk on wine while his hid behind their paper fans, whispering that he'd only married her because her family...

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The Rivermen had her boxed in. Two still waited for her at the bottom of the stairwell behind the knockoff Bayeux Tapestry--now ripped to shreds by blades. Two more on either side of this room, this tiny, gaudy bedroom that her mother had spent months decorating. And though she knew at least one of them would come bursting through, knife drawn, she couldn't stop staring.

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About the prompt

Once, in Beijing, a young girl in a red gown huddled in a doorway.
Prompt suggested by Galen
Originally displayed on:
September 20, 2010


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