All Stories, General Fiction

Still A Child by Kwan Kew Lai

Crossing the curved wooden bridge over a small river, I reached the Kutupalong Refugee camp. The temporary tarp and bamboo dwellings of the refugees stretched endlessly over the deforested undulating hills. The morning humidity settled, a cloak of haze, making breathing heavy and labored. Smoke from outdoor cooking curved and lingered in the air.

Swarms of children quickly surrounded me, holding my hands, skipping alongside me. My guide and I climbed up the dirt steps carved into the slopes. In the monsoon rain, these would all be washed away. It had already left its legacy; deep cavernous grooves furrowed the fragile slopes.

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All Stories, General Fiction

Here Come Grandfather’s Goats by Antony Osgood

Ahmed falls from the steel deck thick with diesel oil and malice, through a rain unlike anything he’s known, and he glimpses an almost touchable shore, shameless, sharp and cruel, unreal and foreign, rich with waste and electricity, though the air’s not a thing to loiter in.

I’m flying to a distant destination.

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All Stories, General Fiction

Odyssey of Tears by Titus Green

We move forward, dragging our punished, callous-covered feet in the vague direction of a hypothetical salvation. It is freezing cold, and this spiteful European wind spits rain into our faces. The storm strengthens, and the droplets turn to hail stones, which sting our cheeks like the words of the people who line the roads to curse us as our pathetic procession shuffles through their towns. “Stay Out!” and “We Don’t Want Your Problems!” scream the placards. “Stay Away Terrorists!” reads another forceful imperative. I look at the scholarly looking woman in wire-framed spectacles holding the sign, and wonder if I should stop and offer her advice in how to recognise real jihadists, since she’s clearly a novice.

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