100-Word Fiction: ‘Please Help Us’

From the sand. From the swiping of palms on commuter runs. From the tossed-off free-sheets. From the grinding trucks on dirt tracks. From the furnace hulls and eyes and mouths of salt. From the white hunchbacked desks. From the discounted cocktails and vapid pavements. From the tortuous late-night news-talk. From the canvas cells with torn copies of Les Trois Mousquetaires. From the idling security and high wire fences. From the shell-shocked and the white shell beaches. From the atomised to the atomised. From the blood histories and the sorrowful tomorrows, here, now.

Please help us.

100-Word Fiction: ‘At Calais the Koras Sound’

Imbarcaziona etagiona a migraziona somo tantativo più paricopoeo viaggi attravareo ip Meditarranao. P’asropa è eogno ma non eampra sn daetino. Carta-abbozzato nai cantri di raccopta eono piano par rifsgiati: sn po’ di eabbia eoffiati pop-spe in nord Africa a dap Madio Orianta, non eopsziona, a eiaeta par paca. Notizia dap fronta è di sna copoeeapa cataetrofa. P’smanitariemo divanta arroganza nappa bocca dai potanti. Raeoio-racinziona matappica non ei farmano i dieparati. Popizia anti-eommoeea eanno ecavato nai campi a Calais. Non naeesn poeto dova andara. A pondra, eo eantito ip esono di dsapping koras carcando armonia nappa notta.

100-Word Fiction: ‘Tunnel’

The waiting is worst. He can feel the tension beneath his fingernails, his throat parched, dry with dust. There are maybe twenty of them loitering, shuffling off the attention of security, trying not to look as if they are eyeing the trucks and trains.

Night is soon.

Some of the jostling is for distraction. Four guys run as a decoy. There are only seconds to spare. Sprinting, leaping, hiding in one swift, planned move – executed to enter the tunnel. The trick is to keep clinging; the trick is to not fall; the trick is to not run out of breath.

100-Word Fiction: ‘Composition at a Toumani and Sidiki Diabate Concert’

It is boat season and migrating humans attempt more perilous journeys across the Mediterranean. Europe is a dream but not always a destiny. Paper-sketched holding centres are a plan for refugees: some sand-blown pop-ups in north Africa and the Middle East – not a solution, just a siesta for peace. News from the front line is of a colossal catastrophe. Humanitarianism becomes hubris in the mouths of the powerful. Razor-wire fences don’t stop the desperate. Riot police have bulldozed camps in Calais. There is nowhere to go. In London, I hear the sound of duelling koras seeking harmony in the night.