Tried to write a short scary story using 500 words or less. Inspired by a series on Netflix that I’ve saved but haven’t actually watched (LOL).
Word count: 487
I never wanted to be married. It wasn’t part of my plans. And then I met Xian.
Xian was wonderful, kind, and loving. A bookworm and an adventurer – my perfect man. With him, there were no worries just happiness. Suddenly, I couldn’t picture any future without him by my side. And so, when he proposed, my answer was a resounding “yes”.
But life is cruel, and the gods have a twisted sense of humor. Two weeks before our wedding, I lost Xian in a freak car accident. He never had a chance, and I never got to say goodbye. It was the worst day of my life.
That was until I found I was pregnant.
In our culture, children born out of wedlock were taken away. The woman and her family were also shunned and humiliated. I didn’t want to lose my last connection to my greatest love, but I also couldn’t let my family suffer for me.
Desperate, I went to Xian’s family and begged for their protection.
“Enya, there is a way that we can protect your child and your family” Xian’s father explained. “But it will require a great sacrifice on your part. Are you willing?”
For Xian’s child? Yes.
It was a Ghost Wedding – a tradition that his family practiced for years. In a combination of funeral and wedding rituals, I “married” Xian and moved into their ancestral home. I wore my wedding dress and said my vows in front of a bamboo effigy. I also took a vow of celibacy, which wasn’t really a big deal. I would have my baby and my family would be safe – physical intimacy was not part of my priorities.
I thought my nightmare was over, but it was just beginning. On the first night as Xian’s “bride”, he came in my dream. I was so happy to see even just a vision of him, but he looked so sad and worried.
“Why?” he asked me, “Why did you agree? You should have run, Enya, run far away from here.”
“I can’t run. I have nowhere else to go. I did this for our child, Xian.”
“Run, Enya, run and never look back.”
For months, Xian kept appearing in my dream and saying the same thing:
But I didn’t listen. I now wish I had. I wish I ran away to the ends of the world and never came back. But I stayed, clinging to the protection of an old family.
Our son was born yesterday, and he looked just like Xian. His grandfather took him away, and I was taken into the family’s chamber. I finally realized the price for my child’s life, and my family’s safety. They will be okay, but I will never see them in this lifetime again.
I guess this was the sacrifice I had to make: to stay here with Xian until death brings us together once more.