100-Word Fiction: ‘Night Shifts’

Dreaming of Cairo, so I thought, and I was on some concrete balcony at the edge of the desert, with the city in the distance, illuminated by explosions – and the death-rattle of guns and screaming missiles echoed across the void between me and… them.

I peered harder and saw that the explosions were fireworks, lighting up the sky with their crackle and kaleidoscope wonder. And the city was maybe Romford, somewhere not quite London.

I woke up. It was still night. Deeply so. A blackbird was singing. It sounded so frail and confused, so beautiful, and so full of dread.

100-Word Fiction: ‘A Week In the Sun’

Sunshine. I could cry when I think about it. In January, when the rain teems down and those mornings are so dark, I want sunshine, no less.

Have you got any holidays planned? asks a colleague.

To know that you deserve a break, a week or two in the sun. How long to go?

Maybe even a winter break for some immediate warmth. A poolside and palm trees, southern Med, with a distant call to prayer. Locals in the streets – and a Frenchman, taking photos, killed by a canister of teargas. More than 100 dead. They call it ‘unrest’. Tears.