100-Word Fiction: ‘Cairo’

Day Four:

The hotel lobby is cool. The internet connection is slow and staff are hovering, scowling, grumbling. There are no flights out of Africa for days – news reports say a week, airlines say nothing until next month.

At the rooftop pool the air is choking thick with smog and the ten-lane jam of traffic across the dusty bridges of the grey Nile is incessant. Horns blare all around, drowning a tuneless call to prayer.

No one reads their airport fiction. They gaze across the sandy sprawl of city, thinking only of maps of Northern Europe – and ash.