The Emperor’s Third Daughter

Red lights glow in outlying huts of the tiny village of Paanai-phat. Red lights signify the deadly fever is high, though flood waters have receded somewhat. Farther out, hearth fires have been snuffed with no family alive to feed them.

Bodies must be burned to reduce the fever’s spread. The punt of the emperor’s third daughter whispers through blue waters, punctuated only by the splash and drag of the servant’s pole. She gazes wearily through the mist as they leave lights behind and push into the darkness. Such a sad business.

Then, out of the darkness, a baby’s thin cry.

© Liz Husebye Hartmann (2014)

(Artist credit: Koho Shoda, Stars Over Lake Biwa, near 1910-1920)


5 thoughts on “The Emperor’s Third Daughter

  1. I like this flash. The weight of the job to to and then the relief of newness.
    I don’t know the painting – but it is a beautiful inspiration.

    (Cheers and thanks for all your visits everywhere. At least someone is paying attention.
    Did you actually put your name and email in the form? That’s how to sign up…for the Bull names.)



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