100-Word Fiction: ‘The Off-Stage Terror’

The off-stage scream terrorises.

We are caught off-guard. On-stage actions cease.

Whose scream is it? Why has it occurred? What will the consequences be? What awful truth awaits us?

What does it mean?

It means things occur elsewhere.

It means we have been diverted.

It means we have been looking in the wrong place.

It means we are unready.

It means there are things we do not understand.

The writer or director has held back information. Or lied.

For a few moments we are convulsed with the realisation and horror of our own not-knowing.

*

The beheading was not filmed.

100-Word Fiction: ‘The Yard Sweepers’

…’kin ’ell, said the new lad. Look at the state of it though.

Better get started then ain’t ye.

But. I mean. Who the fuck’d’ve left it like this?

Been like it fer years mate.

Yer fuckin jokin.

Nah.

Nah, I mean, but mate. My first day n’all?

You got it. You wanna be back again?

Well yeah, course.

Well ’en: s’all yours.

Nah but.

Brooms in the lock-up. See if ye can get it clean n’ keep it clean.

But.

No buts geez. Gotta be done. N’keep smilin. They like a smile.

Who?

Everyone.

…’kin ’ell though. The state.