100-Word Fiction: ‘On Guernica’

The faces in anguish. The screams of a horse. The door of no exit. The eye of the blistered sun low as a ceiling bulb. The gasping bull that looks away. A glove for a hand – palm deep-lined. The screeching bird. The heavy mortal stagger of feet, the trampled flowers, the limp child in a mother’s paralysed arms. Flames from the rooftops and burning slate. A solitary candle thrust into despair. The cleaver pinned to the earth.

The dread contortions of life are frozen. That we made this altar is absurd. That we can forget it is the horror.

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100-Word Fiction: ‘Erawan’

NB: Geographies are distorted by culture, politics, capitalism etc. Spatial relations are always relative / in flux.

Wikipedia entry says the shrine is located next to the (more significant landmark?) Grand Hyatt hotel – also the Skytrain station (tourist advice).

ALSO: ‘The hotel’s construction was delayed by a series of mishaps, including cost overruns, injuries to laborers, and the loss of a shipload of Italian marble intended for the building. Furthermore, the Ratchaprasong intersection had once been used to put criminals on public display.’ ?

A cloth-wrapped pipe. Worshippers. A street full of tourists. Anti-government. Blood and chaos. Hospitals overburdened.

25. 

100-Word Fiction: ‘Sequences’

First it was what was written.

She will not look, she will not look. And get out of this city but once and for all. Yet where, where?

Then it was what was done in response.

Fleeing from the people who are everywhere, into their arms, out from their arms, delivered, how, how?

Then came the social divisions.

And where are her family now? Her colleagues? Cohabitants?

And then the dawning of night.

She realises her predictions are wrong, the enemy is not the enemy, she is entrapped. The mess they have made of this land.

It is not over.

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: ‘A Crossing (3)’

No. There is a tightening in my chest. Something is wrong. My brother’s frail arm disappears into the dark. I step back and pin myself to the wall. Some voices are shouting from the rooftops – then a whistling sound, like a mechanical scream – it comes. The billowing dust – three streets away – and then the earsplitting boom. I cannot move. Cymbals and drums, cymbals and drums, I say to myself, echoing the sound. I am blinking. Shattering bombs. And then silence, no sirens. It is not good. Then a child’s cry, a mother’s shout. Just stay. Empty street. Wall. Me. Terror.

100-Word Fiction: ‘Leafspotting’

The warden picked up a leaf. It was perfectly orange but it wasn’t the right one. He looked around, across the park to the woods. The landscape was shades of amber and red. He picked up another leaf. No, perhaps not that one either. He walked down the path and picked up another. Not bad, but still not right. What would the right leaf look like? He should check them all, suspiciously, just in case. He didn’t know why he was looking, only that he’d been told to. He followed orders. And these leaves! They were everywhere this sad autumn.