The prodigal ancestor

“This vase dates back to the Yuan dynasty era. Priceless.” exclaimed the exuberant Elend. The visiting Mary smiled politely as she waited for him to continue.

“Is this what you have been searching for? Those emperors sure knew how to live in those days, huh?”

Mary replied – “They sure did. Look at the kanji text carved inside the mouth of the vase. Do you know who actually made the vase?”

Elend, his curiosity now piqued asked – “Who?”

“My slave ancestor.”

Written for Rochelle Wisoff-Field’s Fridayfictioneers .

Author’s note: Slavery in ancient China is a little discussed topic. Slavery in China has taken various forms throughout history. Slavery was reportedly abolished as a legally recognized institution, including in a 1909 law fully enacted in 1910, although the practice continued until at least 1949.

Slavery affected and continues to affect millions in China. Women and children were subject to sexual exploitation. The 2007 Chinese slave scandal involved thousands of slaves, including, thousands of children, who had gone missing and were forced to work in brickyards. Slavery in China also includes domestic servitude and forced begging.(Source: Wikipedia)


Categories: Flash fiction, Fridayfictioneers


28 replies

  1. Interesting little snippet of history.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Unfortunately slavery continues to exist in many parts of the world today. It is very much integrated into the real world, though we hear little or nothing about it in the West. Thank you for your illuminating tale and the explanation.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. That was a harrowing tale. Nice one, Lavanya

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The history bit was interesting Lav

    Liked by 1 person

  5. An interesting piece of ‘faction’! Excellent

    Click to read my FriFic!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thanks for that historical background. Sometimes it seems that the USA is the ONLY nation that has ever been guilty of slavery, when history shows us that al nations at some point practiced it.

    Great story, too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think all nations have their own dark histories around slavery. And some still have to date in the form of repression though not called as slavery. Important to realise and repent the past before we move ahead to the future.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Dear Lavanya,

    I like the way you relayed a little known history. Well done.



    Liked by 1 person

  8. What a devastating reply from Mary! ‘My slave ancestor.’
    Well done, highlighting something that is a present evil as well as one from the past.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Such an unexpected ending. Thank you for the history lesson!

    Susan A Eames at
    Travel, Fiction and Photos

    Liked by 1 person

  10. We always think of slavery as something of the past, but we always find new ways to force people into servitude…

    Liked by 1 person

  11. What a sucker punch ending. Beautifully told and an eye-opener to those who don’t realise slavery has existed all over the world…

    Liked by 1 person

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