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Showing posts from January, 2020

Snapshot of the Calais jungle

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Joram’s eyes flicked open as a rat’s sharp teeth bit into his leg. At 2am, the Calais Jungle held terrors both real and imagined, but there was no mistaking the searing pain. Joram slammed his fist down on the rat’s head and winced as its skull cracked. Fumbling for his torch, the rat still attached, he shone the dull beam of light, pulled apart its jaws and threw it in the corner of the shack. Hasan was still sleeping, and Joram noticed a gathering pool of water next to his son’s pillow. He would scavenge some tarpaulin in the morning after he had taken Hasan to his makeshift school.   At 8am, he and Hasan joined the breakfast queue in the aid workers tent. Most days, they had bread and jam, on rare occasions a croissant. Calais was a dump, but at least they wouldn’t starve. The Jungle was a melting pot of nationalities and languages, united by the dream of a better future. If Joram could get regular work, he would smuggle himself and Hasan over to England, although it might take year

The Suitcase - a horror story

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As I’d predicted, the office party was rubbish. I had caught the last tube home, wishing I was already in bed. My carriage was packed with late-night revellers, but I manage to nab one of the last few seats. My eyes were closing in blissful anticipation of a quick doze when a man in his early sixties sat down next to me. Apart from his lumpy physique, no doubt the result of a dubious lifestyle, the only thing of note was his oversized suitcase.            The black canvas cover was fraying at the sides and covered in unpleasant-looking stains. I didn’t want it near me, but he attempted to park in front of him, spreading his legs on either side to accommodate it. There was little room for anyone to get past and he seemed oblivious of how annoying he was.  Worst of all, he wanted to chat. . There was little room for anyone to get past and he seemed oblivious of how annoying he was.  Worst of all, he wanted to chat. ‘A good evening, was it?’ he leered. Don’t make eye contact, keep i