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: ‘The Storm of St Lou’

Yeah can you get some now now
Hear it comin’ yeah yeah
Howlin’ howlin’ oh yeah howl howl
All the way and back and down down
Down the line now baby
Oh come on now keep it yeah
Storm is raising
Storm is raising
Storm is raising
Can you hear it rainin’ rain rain
Whistle blowin’ blow blow
Wind is rattlin’ now a huff huff
Huffin’ puffin’ huffin huff puff
Trees a-fallin’ on the line line
Trains a-rattlin’ all the time time
Woah Mister Driver you’d better
Call it off off
Aww it’s gettin’ hot hot
Awright, lemme hear ya

100-Word Fiction: ‘Sleep Streams’

A river, rushing by her cheek – incessant streams of red carpet ceremonies – the stations tumbling by down the line – a lap-book, spine cracked and pages forgotten – speeches were a blur too – having dressed in the dark – and stayed up so late – that a blackbird could land on her hand and feed – if she could just doze – was it normal – or like a raven maybe – black hawks – the films that had won Oscars – and propaganda – not really hearing the alarm – these luscious moments were catnaps – was not a way to work – and everyone loved movies – and if five more minutes sleep

100-Word Fiction: ‘Waiting for the Train’

On the platform, lighting up a cigarette, loosening his tie just a little, looking at the commuters, wondering about their lives. Their lives and his job, these two things that had somehow got themselves entwined. And yet when he’d left college, with those ideas… so determined, so green.

Inhale, hold, exhale. There was ivy weaving round the railings and climbing up the blackthorn, across the end of the station car park and all down the line. That plant could grow anywhere. A pest, people said. Needs cutting back. A good hacking. You’d need to hack for ever and for ever.

100-Word Fiction: ‘If Time Can Stop’

When the train stops, time stops; that’s what they say around here. Worlds end and the unimaginable begins. We are smoked out into knowledge from the dark and the dust.

But we are inconsistent, hypocritical, shallow. In other cities the same trains stop and the same people wait, forever at the platform. Frozen in grief as the world flashes by in a crimson kaleidoscope of glass shards.

We file by as events parade past – escalators to opposite outcomes.

This afternoon I found one of your hairs on the floor. I picked it up. But you are no longer here.