100-Word Fiction: ‘Night Shifts’

Dreaming of Cairo, so I thought, and I was on some concrete balcony at the edge of the desert, with the city in the distance, illuminated by explosions – and the death-rattle of guns and screaming missiles echoed across the void between me and… them.

I peered harder and saw that the explosions were fireworks, lighting up the sky with their crackle and kaleidoscope wonder. And the city was maybe Romford, somewhere not quite London.

I woke up. It was still night. Deeply so. A blackbird was singing. It sounded so frail and confused, so beautiful, and so full of dread.

100-Word Fiction: ‘The Rains of the Spring’

The rains of spring have lasted a year. I hear that in some areas now there are only showers, or perhaps someone said light drizzle. It was always too optimistic to think the rains were seasonal. It would take a decade of downpours to drench this scorched earth.

But the rains come and come: wave after wave of them across from what once might have been a horizon. Now it is just a fog of tears and smoke. And endless deep.

The wet blows through the broken windows, seeps into the khaki, runs down my chest, pouring even as we sleep.