The Price of Beauty

SPF 10-2-18 Anurag 3

Looking at its stunning setting by the Atlantic, and the cute little houses with rust-coloured roofs cropping out of a sea of greenery, you could easily believe that none could beat such outstanding beauty. And you would be right.

Jardim Do Mar had been voted as the prettiest village on Madeira for nine years in a row. But beauty comes with a price, and for this tiny village, the price was water, or rather, the lack of it.

For almost three months now, the village had no access to drinking water.

The brave residents of the village had pooled in all their meager resources to buy water at least once every fortnight. But now, they no longer had anything left to give.

And so it was, that from my vantage point above the village, I saw their Mayor raise the black flag. Jardim Do Mar would not be participating in the Prettiest Village Contest this year.


“It’s done,” I told my men, “reinstate the water supply to them.”

With Jardim Do Mar out of the way, our village was sure to win the contest this year.

Beauty comes at price, and we were rich and powerful enough to pay it.


200 words.

Written as a part of Sunday Photo Fiction, hosted by Susan Spaulding. The objective is to write a story in 200 words or less, inspired by the weekly photo prompt. For more details visit HERE. To read more stories based on this week’s prompt, visit HERE.

Note: The prompt picture, as well as the second one that I’ve included on my own, were clicked during a legendary trek from the village of Prazeres to Jardim Do Mar on Madeira Island in Portugal in May this year. I’d written a story about that topsy-turvy trek, which you can find here:



About anuragbakhshi

At the age of 40, I decided to exit the corporate world, and enter the world of stories as a full-time writer. Wish me luck!
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14 Responses to The Price of Beauty

  1. Abhijit Ray says:

    Ah! water warfare. Bullying the prettiest village out of contest.

  2. Iain Kelly says:

    The lengths these villages will go to for pride!

  3. Villiage rivalry is something I’ve experienced, but not on the same level as this! Nice one.

  4. Well done. I love the entire premise of the story.

  5. michael1148humphris says:

    I enjoyed where this story took me, you painted it very well. great story

  6. Dwiti says:

    Water warfare is going to be a reality soon….
    Interesting story…

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