REFUGEES

An oil tanker spotted the small sailboat drifting across the shipping channels. The captain attempted to hail them with no response.

The coastguard were scrambled to intercept. I got the call just as I was sitting down to dinner.

Two hours later the sailboat was tethered to the coastguard cutter, five nautical miles from the coast. There was no sign of movement. I jumped aboard. Using the grabrail to steady myself on the swaying deck, I made my way to the cabin door. Locked.

Frank handed me an axe. One swing and the rotten wood gave way. The human stench hit us. Frank shone the torch into the cabin.

Through the darkness hollow eyes stared out from dirt-covered emaciated faces. Men, those that could still stand, formed a protective line in front of huddled women and children.

I stepped towards them slowly, hands raised in reassurance. I stumbled over a body on the floor.

‘It’s okay,’ I said. ‘English? Do you speak English?’

One man at the front nodded.

‘We’re here to help you. Where have you come from?’

The man looked blank.

‘Syria? Libya? You are from there?’

The man shook his head.

‘America,’ he said.


01-ceayr-29-january-2017
© CE Ayr

I make no apologies for the political nature of this story – the shameful executive order from Donald Trump and the pathetic acquiescence from Great Britain’s government fill me with anger, disgust and fear for the future of all people around the globe.

Written as part of Sunday Photo Fiction. Write a story of around 200 words based on the photo prompt given (above). For more details visit HERE.

To read more stories based on this week’s prompt, visit HERE.

43 responses to “REFUGEES”

  1. Good twist. Chilling. It disgusts me that the current administration claims to speak for America. They do NOT. Only 19+% of the US population voted for this racist, bigoted, misogynistic, mentally unhinged sorry excuse for a human being.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Cathryn. From the outside I can only hope that the rest of the people stand up to him, and that the rest of the world makes its feelings known as well in order to bring about change..

      Liked by 2 people

  2. No need to make an apology either. I couldn’t believe what I was watching unfold on my television yesterday. Thanks for the story.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Maryann. I was the same, total disbelief that this is being allowed to happen, and that some support it. Terrible times.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Being an American, I did not vote for Donald Trump. I am ashamed of his actions. He does not speak for me or represent my views. I have been filled with dread each day wondering what horrible things he’ll do that day. I was overjoyed to hear Elizabeth Warren, a politician, protesting him yesterday and that the American Civil Liberties Union was able to convince a Federal judge to put an emergency stay on the Muslim Ban. It’s not enough, but it’s a baby step in our resistance against this man. He won through fearmongering and ignorance, but that is no excuse. I am ashamed of the president. I am ashamed that the electoral college selected this narcissist to represent us on the executive level.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I do hope it will be enough. If this is just the start, I dread to think where America will be in 4 years time, so it is important that everyone stands up now before it is too late. Hopefully more moderate minds can keep his damage to a minimum, but at the moment it does not look good.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, much appreciated.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Yep. The whole thing makes me sad…and embarrassed.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Liz, me too 😦

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Iain…. I have to say this is your best piece yet and that is saying something when I love so many of your stories. It is wonderful and so apposite

    Liked by 2 people

    1. High praise indeed, thanks Shehanne. My way of venting about the goings on of recent days, normally try not to get too involved in the present day politics.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Sometimes it’s very hard o stay out of it. It’s so appalling.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Showing the horror we’re becoming in the west.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Afraid so. Thanks for reading.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Chilling. And no apologies needed — especially since I had the same response to the photo challenge today.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Joy, at least writing gives us a waypoint channel our feelings about it all.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I actually saw a political cartoon that was very much like this the other day, except it had people going over the wall…Americans trying to escape America the way people used to get over the Berlin Wall to escape the Soviets.

    I live in Idaho, a state that is mostly rural and conservative. For decades, we’ve had a refuge center, so our community is vibrant with people from all over the world. Conservative doesn’t always mean what you might think. Sometimes it means simply to conserve resources, to care about the gifts you are given, which most importantly include human beings.

    Like

    1. Here’s hoping your refuge center is soon able to help people from all over the world again.

      Like

  9. That last word took me by surprise, but with Turnip and Brexit, there seems to be stupidity across the world. I saw a meme the other day with a rocket taking off and the caption along the lines of “The last lucky people leave the earth”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. A few comments from people suggesting they hope it doesn’t come to this – sadly I don’t think it’s that far away already. Can only hope calmer heads prevail.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The fact that the supreme court in the US over ruled one of his EOs gives hope.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. What happens next I dread to think. In the meantime, I’ve signed the anti-visit petition. Not sure how much good it will do, but hey-ho.

    Click to visit Keith’s Ramblings!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They seem to be resisting the petition so far, but if the number keeps growing they may rethink. The invitation should never have been extended in the first place. Thanks for reading Keith.

      Like

  11. i admire those men you lined up in front of the women and children – ‘ those that could still stand” – yet another metaphor sneakily slipped in? one of the stories that touched me today .

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, glad it spoke to you.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. chilling twist !

    unfortunately , it might happen

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I hope not, but it doesn’t seem that far away now… Thanks for reading

      Like

  13. Your story cuts like a knife. I hope it will not come to pass.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I hope so to, thanks for reading.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Oh my, what a twist – I really don’t understand how things got this far. Good story.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Sally, I think we’ll be questioning for years how things got this far!

      Like

  15. Thank you for doing an effort. I live in Europe, and the closed borders are making a whole lot of suffering here as well, not to speak of the many deaths of boat refugees. Sad stuff. It’s probably going to shoot back on our selves someday, too. We need to start treating people as equals. I wrote a story on the subject, if your interested: https://fictionspawn.com/2017/01/26/closed-borders/

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Chilling story and reality. Very well penned Iain.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. I saw the title “refugees” and figured thus was a story I would not want to miss. I know! The ban is absolutely disgusting and is something I feel on a personal level. I am currently studying in one of the “banned countries, Sudan, and it’s just frustrating because I have friends whose parents are in the states and I don’t know what’s going to happen, if they can’t go back. Very timely story.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, I wanted to try and say something without adding to all the hate that’s already out there. Glad it you liked it. Hope all your friends stay safe and it all works out in the end.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Good story, Iain. The problems in the U.S. seem to be getting worse day by day. The government is fighting against itself these days. The man is busy rewarding his cronies and not caring a bit about “bringing people together”. It’s time more of the Republicans in Congress grew backbones. Good writing. 🙂 — Suzanne

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Suzanne, I agree with you entirely.

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: