100-Word Fiction: ‘1 September 2015’

1 September 2015.

Global share prices tumble as visa checks are waived and bodies are washed up on a continent’s beaches. Dead. The stations and sports halls are full of refugees. We are learning new names and new vocabulary. There was no vocabulary for this. Old words are not sufficient. Very old words might just be. The images pile across front pages, television screens and media streams. They are not past or future, they are now. We are history and horror. A corner is turned. We plead for hope. Barbed wire barricades are to come.

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100-Word Fiction: ‘The Hollow’

In the spring of that year they dug a giant pit in the shape of a grave. It stretched north, south, east and west, growing as eager townsfolk took up spades and bent their backs to hollow the blackened earth. Over the weeks the pit was filled with millions of words torn from newspapers, TV interview transcripts and antiquarian journals as the people thronged to bury a lexicon. The words were burned by torches and interred under a deep layer of soil. Then came the rains. The soil washed away and the ashen words reappeared like a stain, a scar.