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.
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.
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