Xue’s Child


Copyright – Jan Marler Morell

Xue felt the child move and was comforted. A boy perhaps – and strong. She thought of their overworked field and crumbling cottage, of mother-in-law, always watching, blaming.

Beside her, Zhao, grim-faced, strode purposefully through the dark night, their tiny daughter in his arms. Lin-Lin whimpered. Soon she would have rest, and medicine.

They arrived in a cold, damp passageway between high stone walls. Xue resisted a feeling that she would forever be surrounded by these walls. Zhao opened a small door and gently placed Lin-Lin inside. She wailed at the strangeness of the place, but they were already gone, running.


This story is for Friday Fictioneers, hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. Each week Rochelle selects a photo and writers respond with 100 word stories. You can read the other stories here.

You can read more here.





35 thoughts on “Xue’s Child

  1. So tragic and sad. Hatches in Germany were introduce to prevent infanticide or abandonment of babies born in secret. China seems to be very different, I wasn’t aware to which lenghts the male preference goes. Heartbreaking and thought-provoking story.


    • An overwhelming majority of children available for adoption in China are girls – some have disabilities but many many of them have not. I hadn’t realised the baby hatches were so widespread around the world. It’s a dreadful situation, but at least some of the children end up surviving and being adopted into families who can care for them. The lucky few. Thanks for your response, Gabriele.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh, my. What a horrible situation. I can’t imagine to have do this as a parent. I think I would rather die. Very powerful story, Margaret. Just perfectly written.


  3. A heartrending story with the ring of realism, Margaret. Poverty robs the spirit from people. There have been stories here of people selling their children to buy food. That shouldn’t be happening in this new century. Good writing. —- Suzanne


    • You are so right. We can’t judge unless we’ve experienced their distress. I’m so glad my story comes across as authentic. Thank you for your kind comment.


  4. A really well told story and so tragically real. I hope the situation is changing now that China have altered their policy on babies, though no doubt boys are still valued over girls. Makes no sense to me – who are you going to marry your son off to if no one is prepared to keep the girl babies – who will be the next generation’s mothers? Great write


    • I too hope the relaxing of the one child policy will reduce the incidence of this practice, but the cultural preference for boys is going to remain, I expect, and I believe there is a problem with the huge imbalance of genders now in China. I’m happy you found my story realistic. Thanks so much for commenting.

      Liked by 1 person

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