100-Word Fiction: ‘Red Thread’

Was there a time before the freedoms that still endure, before the storms that swept the sands, where what we watched unfold bore some resemblance to reality?

Once, I think, after the first of the degradations had been suffered, we still imagined the aimless orbit of missiles around the void of an ethical centre.

Not now. No signs refer to an external model any more. They stand for nothing but themselves and refer only to other signs.

The no-fly zones are full of jetplanes. Red tracer fire stitches the sky like thread in blue jeans. Meaning is out of sight.

100-Word Fiction: ‘Enduring Freedom’

The date: October 7, 2001. The place: a landlocked country. The aims: to locate a man; to bring men to trial; to remove a regime.

Aerial bombardments followed. Then came the tanks and troops.

The date: July 13 , 2009. The website stated: ‘Estimates of the number of civilians killed vary widely and must be treated with caution. Systematic collection of civilian fatality data only began in 2007. The United Nations is creating a civilian casualty database, but it is not publicly accessible.’

Nobody was talking. Maybe there were no deaths. Maybe there was no war. Surely it couldn’t have happened.