100-Word Fiction: ‘Squares: 25 X 4’

Stuffy and straightlaced, that’s a square. A word parents say, or are. Fearful, inward-looking, conservative, old-fashioned and boring. Boring most of all. That’s a square.

And the box shape of houses, dotted along roads. Little boxes with hats on, regulation size and order. Boring. Terraces and semis, square gardens, rooms.

Or the symmetrical flats and maisonettes, linked by decks of walkways, in rectangular slab towers of concrete. The sleek squares of modernity, left to crumble.

The squares where people meet, met, opening up the grey planning to communities. Puncturing repression and uniformity, letting people gather, think. What is square; who?

100-Word Fiction: ‘Barricades’

Batten down the hatches
Man the barricades
Prepare to defend your privilege
From the grenades of the betrayed

Send in water cannons
Baptise the unholy few
Shoot them with rubber bullets
But duck if they rebound onto you

Let sirens be of comfort
Reclaim the streets and the ‘feds’
Then raze the estates to the ground
And build a Tesco there instead

Let’s not look for reasons
Or concern ourselves with truth
Let’s just shout out ‘treason’
And blame it all on youth

Drugs will sedate them
Violence? Just self-harm
And if the prescription fails
Just carry on, keep calm