Friday Fictioneers microfiction: Refugees

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.





Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

51 thoughts on “Friday Fictioneers microfiction: Refugees”

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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…

  4. 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

      1. 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.

      2. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. A sad and timely story. The places where refugees come from change, the pain they go through doesn’t.

    1. 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.

  7. 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.

    1. 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.

  8. 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.

    1. 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.

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