New Life

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In Iraq, Abida had had a nice house. It had been large and airy, with enough space for her seven children and her parents and her husband’s grandmother to all live happily together. They’d been well off. Not rich but enough to have the house with a garden and to pay the wages of a servant or two.

Now, the house like their lives was nothing but rumble. Behind in the dust they had left the newly buried bodies of her husband’s grandmother, Abida’s father and her youngest two children; three month old Fatima and two year old Shakur.

They had been in the house when the bomb had dropped and now they were in the cemetery with their other passed relatives. Her husband’s parents who were living in the house next door with his sister and her family had all died too.

Leaving had been the only chance of survival they had. For the next few years, they had travelled and past through camp after camp and country after country. Abida’s husband, Maijd, wasn’t sure where was best to move his family to. Abida’s mother had suggest many places but finally Maijd had decided on the England.

It had been a trail and taken a toil which caused Abida to have a miscarriage, but finally the family got in England and were moved into a council apartment above an empty shop.

Abida hated it. There were three small bedrooms, a tiny bathroom, a living room and kitchen. The rooms smelt like the Indian takeaway restaurant a few shops down and also cigarette smoke. There was a handful of furniture including; a sofa, a double bed, one bunk bed and two single beds. It was the total opposite of Abida’s home but far better then the tent they had shared in the last few years.

‘How can we all fit in here?’ Abida asked her husband.

‘We shall make do. The woman said this bed pulled out…’ Maijd trailed as he took the coverings off to look at the sofa bed.

‘I’m not sleeping on that,’ Abida’s mother snapped, ‘I shall take one of the bed’s in here.’

‘Then, Bibi share that room with your grandmother,’ Abida said.

The eighteen year old nodded and took her and grandmother’s things into that room.

‘Kadeem and Hayfe can have the other room for now,’ Abida directed her youngest son and daughter, ‘Tarek and Tamir will have that bed,’ she finished with a look at the fifteen year old twin boys.

The family had settled in as best they could and with hope from Maiji that this was only for now and soon they would have a suitable house. Meanwhile, the children started school, finding it difficult with the little English they knew, Maiji searched for a job and Abida and her mother kept the apartment and looked after everyone.

A month or so later and the only change was that Maiji had found a job at a food shop. There seemed no chance of the family moving again soon which as Abida put her hands on her tummy, wasn’t ideal but at least her family were finally safe.

Under

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The underground world had been closed for so long because it hadn’t been needed. Some sections had been turned into tour routes for those interested in history and ghost hunting. It was never thought that the space would ever be required again.

Then the outbreak happened. It was pushed off as a simple disease before levelling up to a world sweeping plague. Millions of people died but they didn’t stay in their graves.

The government repaired, improved and kitted out the underground cities, factories and farms once more. People moved in, coming not just from the country above but from others as well. Builders had to construct new sections and everyone had to pull together to survive.

The world above become ravaged by war and death, disease ran wild and people returned from the other side, their bodies reanimated, their hearts and brains nonfunctional.

Anybody who died in the underground world was thrown out the steel doors and just left there. Burials, prayers and rites no longer had a place and the families could only hope their loved ones stayed dead.

 

Desert #WhatPegmanSaw

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Sand lay for miles with nothing but dunes. Wind flapped the tents that the travellers were sleeping in. Their camels were all tied together, burden free for the night.

Hymn listened to the sand shifting. She was exhausted but too restless to sleep. Her body ached from hours of camel riding. No one said it was easy crossing the desert but she needed to do it. There was nothing left for her back there. The war had wiped everything away and forced the survivors to flee.

There was no safety in the desert, Hymn knew that but what else could she do?

 

(Inspired by; https://whatpegmansaw.com/2020/03/07/wadi-ad-dawasir-saudi-arabia/ thanks).

Hole #FridayFictioneers

The army made people leave town but they couldn’t make me. I was too good at hiding and being ‘a boy’ I wasn’t any worry. I though was almost a man at fourteen but I didn’t look it.

I roamed the abandoned houses, looking at things left behind and the destruction the army did. They took or broke things and built barricades out of furniture.

When fighting started and tanks rolled down the streets, I found holes to hide in until it was over and once everyone had left, I crowned myself King and ruled over the abandoned town.

 

(Inspired by; https://rochellewisoff.com/2019/12/11/13-december-2019/ with thanks).

 

 

Choices #WritePhoto

a solitary figure on a beach against a wide ocean.

On the shore he wandered, lost in his own thoughts. With his head down, he watched the surf lapping at his boots. The sea would be cold, he knew but still he took his boots and socks off. There was just something irresistible about walking barefoot on the beach.

Socks in his pocket, boots in hand, he carried on walking. The sand was cool and the sea cold, but he liked the feeling in between his toes. He let his thoughts go off again, like the seagulls that took flight when he got too close.

The beach was empty at this time in the morning which was how he always liked it. He could be alone without people staring and trying to ask him questions about what happened to his body. ChildrenĀ called him a monster and parents would quickly drag them away.

I was fighting for this country, he wanted to say, a bomb fell on a house, I tried to save the innocent family trapped inside but the fire was too bad.

Unfortunately, he knew it wouldn’t matter. His words couldn’t change the effects of his actions across his skin. However, out here away from it all, nothing cared. The sand and sea couldn’t judge him, he could just be himself, alone with his thoughts and scars.

 

(Inspired by; https://scvincent.com/2019/06/06/thursday-photo-prompt-choices-writephoto/ with thanks).

 

 

 

The Bunker #CCC

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Standing in the overgrown field, Henry and his wife, Fay looked up at the remains of the Cold War decommissioned nuclear bunker poking out from the trees.

‘Why did you want to buy this place again?’ Fay asked.

‘It’s going to make the perfect shelter when the World War Three starts,’ he replied.

Fay frowned, ‘what are you talking about?’

Henry put his hands on his wife’s shoulders and stared into her eyes, ‘the Angels showed me. They led me here and promised we’d be safe.’

 

(Inspired by; https://crimsonprose.wordpress.com/2019/05/08/crimsons-creative-challenge-26/ with thanks).

Under Smoky Skies #TwitteringTales

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From the first day of the aliens arrival the skies across the world had been darkened by clouds of smoke. Wars raged but in the end the invades won and mankind fall to death and slavery. The sky started dark forever more.

 

(Inspired by; https://katmyrman.com/2019/05/07/twittering-tales-135-7-may-2019/ with thanks).

Someone Lives There Still #FridayFictioneers

It was hard to imagine that anyone would want to stay in a city destroyed by war but some had no choice. Driving down the once busy roads, framed by pleasant buildings which were now bombed out hollows, I spotted the smaller corner shop where I had spent most of my money as a child. Surprisingly, it was still open! Though the attached home of the owners was ruined.

I slowed and saw people moving passed the windows. They were shopping despite the empty shelves. Life was carrying on as normal.

 

(Inspired by; https://rochellewisoff.com/2018/01/24/26-january-2018/ with thanks).

850 #TLT

three line tales, week 101: a gold number eight five zero 850 painted on an old-fashioned chest or suitcase

He had been saying the number repeatedly in German on his death bed but no one knew what it meant. Then it didn’t matter anymore as everyone was too busy mourning. So, it wasn’t until years later that we found out that the number was actually a train that his parents had forced him on to save him from the concentration camp.

 

(Inspired by; https://only100words.xyz/2018/01/04/three-line-tales-week-101/ with thanks).

Remembering

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Seeing the quiet French field it was strange to think it had once been so different. The black and white photos in my little book were prove of that though. Once there was only disturbed mud and bodies, the green landscape lost forever. And of course, it hadn’t been quiet; the air had shook with deafening gunfire, shouting and the moans of the dying.

Sitting in the wheelchair which had now become my life, I clutched my book and the woollen blanket in my lap. I shut my eyes and was back there straight away, walking through the smoke. The trench was slick with running mud and rain was tumbling from a dark grey sky. I stepped over a body, a twisted mangle shape that had once been a living man. He seemed half sunk into the mud, face down. I carried on, so use to the sight it just seemed normal now.

My feet were leading the way as the rest of me was numb. I entered one of the shelters and sunk down into a damp camp bed. I didn’t know if this was my place but it didn’t matter. I think there was someone else in the bed above me, sleeping. Without taking anything off, I lay down and feel asleep.

My wish was never to wake up again but each time I did.

Opening my wet eyes, those imagines stayed with me. Bad shakes racked through my body. Someone was saying something but in that moment I had forgotten there were other people with me. None of them had been there, so they’d never understand what it was truly like.