Border Assignment – Friday Fictioneers, November 2015

Copyright Connie Gayer

Copyright Connie Gayer

Border Assignment

“Wait, stay still!”

The little girl is stranded, her hair entangled in the razor wire, under which her mother has attempted to drag her.

I drop my cameras, shrug off my back-pack, and rummage for a pair of nail scissors. As the child sobs hysterically, I snip off her long black locks, leaving her stubble-headed but free.

Turning away I see that my cameras and back-pack have disappeared into the desperate queue of humanity snaking off to find a better life.

“Sorry,” says the mother, shrugging, embarrassed.

“Thank you,” says the child, offering me her only bruised and worm-eaten apple.

This week’s prompt comes from SWMBO, Russell’s other half.  I must confess, this one nearly had me stumped for a while.  Thank you to Rochelle for her continuing ministrations to this happy band of humanity, the Friday Fictioneers. 

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About Sandra

I cruise the French waterways with my husband four or five months a year, and write fiction and poetry. I love animals, F1 motor racing, French bread and my husband, though not necessarily in that order.
This entry was posted in Friday Fictioneers, Just Sayin'. Bookmark the permalink.

64 Responses to Border Assignment – Friday Fictioneers, November 2015

  1. Dear Sandra,

    No good deed goes unpunished, does it? You gave us a slice of heartbreaking current events with skill. C’est magnifique.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    Like

    • Sandra says:

      I’ve noticed that quirk of fate, Rochelle. I think it’s called ‘biting the hand that feeds you’ and it happens quite a lot of the time. Thank you for reading and commenting.

      Like

  2. Graham Lawrence says:

    Heart wrenching. A timely reminder. I wish the problem was easier to understand and resolve.

    Like

  3. Oh, this scene seems to have been cut right from the news… it’s hard to extend a helping hand, though a story to tell could be worth a thousand pictures.

    Like

  4. Too often in history we humans failed each other and yet again, we prevail. I wonder when will we reach the point of no return. Powerful stuff, Sandra.

    Like

  5. Sandra says:

    Thanks Lore. I liked the ‘failing each other’ part of your comment. As ever, it’s the opportunists who ruin it for the truly needy, whether it’s refugees, benefits claimants… 😦

    Like

  6. All the big important people of Europe seem capable of is having meetings at which little gets done. The only thing they succeed at is telling the rest of us they’re actually doing something. I don’t see any results though. The mess just seems to grow. Good story, Sandra. —- Suzanne

    Liked by 1 person

  7. ansumani says:

    Despite the bleakness of the scene and the depravity of some humans portrayed – kindness and gratitude stands out starkly. Well done piece.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. ceayr says:

    An excellent piece of writing exposing all sides of the human condition.
    Your standard is once again high above most of us.

    Like

    • Sandra says:

      Thank you for the compliment CE. The reason I’ve stayed with FF for so long has been the care and effort that most people put into their stories week after week. It’s a privilige to be in partnership with the FF’ers. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  9. paulmclem says:

    Just as well there was a sympathetic journalist at hand i.e. not the one who trips and kicks terrified, fleeing refugees: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/sep/11/something-snapped-hungarian-camera-operator-apologises-kicking-refugees

    Like

  10. At first I went ‘awww’, then I went ‘oh boy’, finally I said ‘oh well’. Such is life. Well written.

    Like

  11. I like this journalist and I for one will never give up on human kindness despite the odds against it.

    Like

    • Sandra says:

      The current crisis has really brought home to me the meaning of the term ‘mixed feelings’. I’ve had to struggle with myself sometimes when I see the antics of some of those who people are trying to help, but at the same time I’ve been horrified at some of the indifference exhibited by others in a more fortunate position. I really don’t see what the answer is.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. helenmidgley says:

    Great piece of ‘contemporary’ fiction 🙂

    Like

  13. A very realistic depiction. Funny that while I think you were talking about Europe, I was thinking about our boarder with Mexico. It could happen anywhere with a fence across the border.

    Like

  14. Cool story! Great story on the prompt! 🙂

    Like

  15. You caught the true bleakness of this picture – and the horrific times in which we live. Kudos.

    Like

  16. Dale says:

    What is more important in life? Human kindness or tools of the trade? So well written.

    Like

  17. plaridel says:

    beautiful story. i think the “thank you” from the child and the offer of her bruised and worm-eaten apple more than offset her personal loss. coming from a child, they were priceless.

    Like

  18. A dirty human view of tenderness and irony.
    Heroic moments can still be messy ones of nasty human nature.
    Well done – touching.
    Randy

    Like

  19. Amy Reese says:

    You put me right in the center of action with your story. Very gritty and realistic. I’m stumped as well as to what to write! I’ll come up with something eventually. Yours is great!

    Like

  20. Great piece and so relevant today. I really liked the girl offering her the worm eaten apple which was the only thing she had to give. That would make losing the camera more than bearable.

    Like

  21. rgayer55 says:

    I saw a statistic once about the number of “Good Samaritans” who die because they stopped to help someone else. Still, I stop when I can and hope to avoid being one of those statistics.

    Like

  22. subroto says:

    Captured the human spirit at it’s lowest and highest at the same time, The scum who would steal from a good Samaritan and the kind heart who is still willing to share despite their own wretched circumstances.

    Like

  23. He’s on assignment, and I’m sure his company can replace his lost items. What he did for the girl and her mother will last forever. Needed kindness in an unkind world! Well done!

    Like

  24. hafong says:

    I’m reminded of the refugees. I wonder from time to time what it would be like to just pack up and leave your country with what you can take physically.

    Lily

    Like

  25. A wonderful story of sacrifice Sandra. I wonder if your narrator considers it worth the price.

    Like

  26. draliman says:

    Very topical, both heartbreaking and heartwarming (with the child and apple) at the same time. It’s awful to think that things like this are currently happening. Great story.

    Like

  27. That’s very powerful. There’s so much to talk about around the current sea of people seeking life in Europe that’s it’s right to keep the matter high on the agenda.
    That bruised apple is worth a lot more than the latest Hasselblad.

    Like

  28. jellico84 says:

    Very, very poignant and powerful! Brings a tear to my eye reading and imagining how many in the world are facing this kind of thing at this very moment.

    Like

  29. mjlstories says:

    Really captures the mess and confusion that is real life.
    Bleak yes, but with a tiny Pandora’s box worth of hope at it’s heart.

    Like

  30. gahlearner says:

    This is beautiful, powerful and so timely. Europe really has to show its colours this time around, and I’m not very happy about what I see. It’s so easy to sit on the high horse and gab about human rights when people elsewhere are afflicted. Now it’s at our front door…

    Like

  31. Nothing is ever so clear cut in life. The grit and realism here really adds to the story.

    Like

  32. Jan Brown says:

    A timely story, with all its good and bad aspects, just like real life.

    Like

  33. An excellent piece of writing, Sandra, that brings into sharp focus the daily hell those refugees are going through.

    Like

  34. Sarah Ann says:

    You tell us so much with this – stories of desperation and good deeds. A pity she lost her gear (sorry, she has to be female if she has nail scissors) but the shorn child is grateful and offers all she has in gratitude. A complete tale that leaves us so many more to imagine.

    Like

  35. Judee says:

    Something tells me the gift of that apple outweighs the loss of the camera. 🙂

    Like

  36. Beautiful little scene rendered expertly as always. Sorry about your cameras and backpack but I was nowhere near there!

    Like

  37. I enjoyed the imagery here as I saw this story unfold with my mind’s eye.

    Like

  38. Indira says:

    Hi Sandra! I read it with mixed emotions. But good deed is good deed. Loved the ending. Superbly written.

    Like

I'd love to hear your views; it reassures me I'm not talking to myself.

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