This is for Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers challenge.
PHOTO PROMPT © Fatima Fakier Deria
“Which one is it, Baba?” Tarek, the eldest asked. “The big black and white one with the red funnel”
Ammar cast an anxious look at his wife Rima. “It might be,” he replied. “Let’s hope so, shall we?”
Little Amira tugged at her mother’s sleeve. “What are these for?” she asked, pointing at the pile of tatty life jackets Ammar had bought with the last of their money.
Rima tried hard to smile. “They’re for just in case.”
Ammar took her hand and clutched it tight.
51 thoughts on “Friday Fictioneers microfiction: Refugees”
I felt the parents’ fear and their need to put a good face on what could very well be their last voyage together. My heart hurt for them. I hope they are one of the lucky ones who make it.
So do I, Rommy. I’m convinced that people who take their children on such a hazardous enterprise deserve our compassion not condemnation.
I felt the tension and fear of the family.
PS “Which one is is, Baba?” Did you mean to repeat ‘is’?
Oops no, I didn’t. Should be ‘is it’. Thanks for spotting that. Great advert for my editing skills!
Let’s hope they don’t need the life jackets!
Not a happy prospect, no.
When parents are at that point, I can only imagine the fear associated. They must feel it worth the risk of all of them dying to escape when dying at home is almost a certainty…
Well done, Jane.
That’s how my gut feels too, Dale. Thank you 🙂
Let’s hope “just in case” doesn’t happen.
I’m with you there.
You’ve such a gift for telling terrible truths in the bits you don’t say. It’s the best way to show certain things in stories, I think–it allows people to build the story’s reality as gently, grim, or as terrifying as they need to see in order to process it.
The forced smile and the hand clutching say so much…
Thank you, Magaly! I really appreciate your praise. We all need encouragement 🙂
Those for whom terror is a daily fact of life.
You reallu built the tension well here Jane. Such a heartbreaking endeavour to undertake, especially with a young child. The fear must be unimaginable. Really well written
Thanks Lynn. There really shouldn’t be any need to elaborate. Just a few words should be enough.
Very true, Jane
It made me shiver. So many lives have been lost last year and it’s hardly mentioned here in the U.S. Thank you!
I don’t understand the hypocrisy of some political leaders. They denounce the regimes in the Middle East, and they also denounce the people who are fleeing them.
I don’t understand it either. I see people running to church here and then they turn around and refuse to take refugees in. I see so much bigotry it disgusts me.
I don’t know how they square it with their consciences. The bishops here have stopped telling their congregations that the Far Right flies in the face of their religion because 40% of them vote for the far right parties. They go with the flow.
That’s a sad state of affair in the church if you ask me, but nobody ever does.
If you want to find a bunch of hypocrites gathered together, there’s no better place to look.
Oh Gosh, I wish this would not be true.
Sad, isn’t it 🙂
So many people are driven to desperate measures. You told it well
Thanks Michael 🙂
One of the biggest tragedies of recent years, and no one seems too concerned about fixing it. Well written Jane.
Thanks Iain. We have the fine excuse that they are Muslims. We also have the fine reason for the rotten regimes they are fleeing—Muslim.
Such a topical story. It’s shameful to think of all the people who are faced with no other option
And then we criticise them for wanting to leave a war zone.
Such a timely story. My heart broke when I read about the tatty life jackets. It is such an unimaginable choice for parents to choose between levels of danger for their children.
They must feel that the tatty life jackets represent a chance. Staying behind is death.
A sad and timely story. The places where refugees come from change, the pain they go through doesn’t.
That is very true.
So true… and hopefully the life-jackets will not be needed…
They’re not, for the lucky ones.
Such a timely, powerful piece. My heart breaks for families in this situation. I cannot understand how anyone can turn a blind eye or lack compassion.
Thanks Annie. I can’t understand it either. Or rather, I can. Condemning them as heartless and irresponsible is a handy excuse for turning them away with a clear conscience.
True. Yet they would be the first to expect compassion if they ever found themselves in a desperate situation. Shameful.
I’m ashamed of the way so many of my fellow human beings react.
Palpable feeling of anxiety, it must be terrifying to have no option but to carry on in the hope everything will turn out OK, especially when there are children involved.
Thanks Michael. It’s a terrible situation to be in, fleeing a war zone to be caught between the people traffickers and the sea. We are too quick to condemn, I think, as if westerners have the monopoly on the finer sentiments.
And then there are people waiting to make a profit out of the whole sad situation that the refugees find themselves in. A tale to reflect on our troubled times.
That is the most disgusting thing of all. But throughout history there have been people only too willing to profit from the misery of others.
The “tug” all parents know it.. nice one Jane
Thank you 🙂 There are probably very few sentiments that aren’t common to all of humanity.
Sad to think that they needed those life jackets in the end. I like your humanitarian take on the prompt. 🙂
Thank you, and thank you for the photo too 🙂
In 100 short words, you brought humanity to something so many are living today. Touching. Just absolutely touching.
Thank you, Stephanie. I’m glad you were moved by this little story. We have a vile tendency to glob people together so they become less than human, just irritating numbers. It’s easy to dismiss numbers, not so easy to dismiss people.