She sneaked away from the rest of the group as they splashed around in the water. ‘Come on, Alice,’ beckoned her friends.

It was not often they got the opportunity to enjoy the sunshine by the river. Enthusiasm had got the better of one, then two, and soon all their clothes lay in a pile on the rocks. What would the men think if they found them cavorting in just their underwear?

Alice smiled. ‘I’d rather go for a stroll,’ she said and walked along the river until the laughter became feint.

Hidden from them behind trees and foliage she was able to take off her cotton top and ankle-length skirt.

The blemishes on her arms and chest, angry purples and blues, were in stark contrast to her pale white skin. The ones on her arms were even the shape of his hands where he had held her down.

The clean water had a refreshing feel. She felt her wounds start to heal, the swollen marks cool.

When she heard the others clambering out of the water she quickly did the same, throwing her clothes on.

She rejoined them with the same smile which hid so much. ‘I couldn’t resist a dip too,’ she said, combing her wet hair with her hands.

They all picked up their baskets of wet laundry and started walking back to the village.

Copyright Sue Vincent

This is a response to the #writephoto Prompt – Hidden curated over at Sue Vincent’s Daily Echo. Click on the link to read other stories inspired by the image.

My new novel, ‘A Justified State,’ is now also available from Book Depository as well as Amazon in Paperback and on Amazon Kindle.
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28 responses to “HIDDEN”

  1. So true in a part of the world we refuse to acknowledge. She should have painted a black dot on the palm – it signifies a victim of domestic violence.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Interesting fact, I was not aware of that. Thanks for reading.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hi, Iain ..This is Reena Saxena. I was logged in this account, and commented from here. The Black Dot campaign has had its pros and cons. Read here https://tiphero.com/black-dot-on-palms/

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Poor thing. Happy Thanksgiving, Iain.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Janet, and to you 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. That smile can cover a great many things…and few wish to look beyond it…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Best to keep those uncomfortable truths hidden…


      1. So many seem to think 😦

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Hélène Vaillant Avatar
    Hélène Vaillant

    Great story though sad women still hide behind a smile even today.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Absolutely, the sad thing is this is a timeless story, it could be in the past, the present, but hopefully not the future.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hélène Vaillant Avatar
        Hélène Vaillant

        Let us hope for more wisdom in the future Iain. Thank you 😊

        Liked by 1 person

  5. A curve behind which hides some ugly straight truths. Well written, Kelly

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Powerful, disturbing, and so real, unfortunately.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Unfortunately so. Thank you.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Yes indeed still so much is kept hidden.💜💜

    Liked by 1 person

  8. The truth of many lives lies hidden in plain sight. Sad story but masterfully narrated.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. A truly, powerful story, Iain. Domestic violence is an ugly reality and there are many victims with hidden bruises, hurts and pain. We only see their smiles.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. An eye opener as to the secrets people keep. Nice job.

    Liked by 1 person

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