100-Word Fiction: ‘Until They are Gone’

Sssshhh, said Jackie, sssshhh, listen.

Pete stopped still. Silence.

Jackie beckoned.

How brown the woods looked: the conifers dulled in the late afternoon light, the ground muddy after the rain.

Jackie was pointing, his face contorted into an expression – half delight, half anguish.

Pete shook his head and whispered: What?

There! Listen!

Silence. Then a tiny sound.

Tiu tiu tiu tiu tiu tiu.

See, a willow tit, said Jackie, pointing again towards the trees.

Pete scanned the many branches but saw nothing. Silence. He shrugged:

Are they meant to be special?

You won’t miss them until they’re gone, said Jackie.

100-Word Fiction: ‘If In Doubt’

“If in doubt… leave it out. That’s what they say. They mean, if in doubt… abandon. Resist. Take your leave. Disengage. Only fight the battles you can win. History only remembers a winner. These are the maxims of success. It’s a money, time, success thing – a ratio of sorts. If there was a policy of abandonment, rather than a policy of struggle, then the electorate would not see the party as struggling. A small success is better than a great failure. There’s nothing immoral about being modest. So let us abandon health, education, welfare, Europe, as we intended abandoning Liverpool.”