Migrating: 99 Word Flash Fiction

“The Spaniards rejected us.”

“Bastards won’t let us put out deck chairs!”

“The Aussies want us. Only cost us ten pounds.”

They arranged migration interviews, arriving late.

“You boys better make it to the ship on time,” the embassy official warned.

Their mother’s packed clean underwear, hankies and saucepans; crying as they waved goodbye.

Within days they hated ship life as they rounded Cape Horn and faced the days at sea. Finally docking in Freemantle they hit the pub, horrified by the white walls, straw strewn floor and beer served from a hose.

“Perhaps we might need those saucepans.”

In response to Charli’s prompt where she asks:

February 23, 2017 prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a migration story. It can imagine the dusty or arctic trails of the frontiers past or look to the travel across the galaxy. What issue about modern migration bans might influence an artistic expression in a flash? Migrate where the prompt leads you.

Respond by February 28, 2017 to be included in the compilation (published March 1). Rules are here. All writers are welcome!


About Irene Waters 19 Writer Memoirist

I began my working career as a reluctant potato peeler whilst waiting to commence my training as a student nurse. On completion I worked mainly in intensive care/coronary care; finishing my hospital career as clinical nurse educator in intensive care. A life changing period as a resort owner/manager on the island of Tanna in Vanuatu was followed by recovery time as a farmer at Bucca Wauka. Having discovered I was no farmer and vowing never again to own an animal bigger than myself I took on the Barrington General Store. Here we also ran a five star restaurant. Working the shop of a day 7am - 6pm followed by the restaurant until late was surprisingly more stressful than Tanna. On the sale we decided to retire and renovate our house with the help of a builder friend. Now believing we knew everything about building we set to constructing our own house. Just finished a coal mine decided to set up in our backyard. Definitely time to retire we moved to Queensland. I had been writing a manuscript for some time. In the desire to complete this I enrolled in a post grad certificate in creative Industries which I completed 2013. I followed this by doing a Master of Arts by research graduating in 2017. Now I live to write and write to live.
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12 Responses to Migrating: 99 Word Flash Fiction

  1. Charli Mills says:

    Beer from a hose! Funny, too, the things their mothers packed. Not well equipped for a new life, but are we ever? Fun take on the prompt!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Pingback: Tales of Immigration « Carrot Ranch Communications

    • Thanks Sherri. This is a little bit of memoir but not my own.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I just read your reply to Charli Irene, and now I see that it was indeed a BOTS! How amazing that Roger came for a visit and ended up staying. So many what if’s generated by this flash… amazing to think about…

        Liked by 1 person

      • It was quite common for quite a number of English people to return when the year was up. They got the name whingeing pom from these migrants. roger told me that in the boarding house where he was initially placed there were people there that never went outside (and they were in the best part of Sydney with magnificent views over the harbour). They just thought it was horrendous and couldn’t wait to get home to the UK. They couldn’t go earlier or they had to pay full fare for their passage out as well as back.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Wow…what a fascinating account of those early immigration experiences. I’ve heard the term ‘whingeing pom’ but wasn’t sure where it came from. Now I know! Obviously Roger was not one of them…good for him! What great stories he must have. For those who returned, Australia must have been a huge shock, nothing at all like they expected or hoped for. But those attitudes towards foreign shores took a while to dissipate. The advent of cheap package foreign holidays in the 70s had a lot to do with it I think. I had a relative who refused to eat any ‘foreign muck’ back then – and he was talking about pizza, never mind anything else! Oh how things have changed. That same relative has now travelled all over the world in his retirement years thanks to something called the Friendship Force and eaten far more than pizza…and enjoyed it! I remember when I was getting ready to leave for the USA in the late 70’s, a work collegue, an older man who had fought and travelled in WWII in the Navy couldn’t understand why I would want to go to such a place as America with ‘all them yanks who live in shacks and drive big cars’!! He never drove, bicycled everywhere and thought going to Ipswich, a few miles away, by bus, was a big outing!! I wonder what today’s immigrants think of Sydney and it’s magnificent harbour. I would absolutely love to go there…and to think, both our grandfathers emigrated to Australia. Although mine was only temporary, as a minister, for 7 years, as may remember, but I wonder now what he thought about his life there. From what I can remember from my Granny, she loved it, but she always was adventurous even as a girl. I loved hearing all her stories. I wish I had written them down though! Oh I could talk to you all day Irene! 🙂 ❤

        Liked by 1 person

      • It was interesting that many of those that returned ended up coming back. They had idealised the life that they left and on their return found Australia was better than they thought it had been whilst they were there.
        I know some English people like you relative. A family (Roger’s) friend travelled with him to Germany. Walking past one of those delicious looking patisserie type shops Roger said “I have to go in and get a pastry. What would you like?” The old woman said “A scotch finger biscuit please.” “I don’t think they sell Scotch finger biscuits” Roger replied. “Well they could if they wanted to.” she retorted. We have used that phrase so often over the years now it has become a private joke with us.
        Just imagine the stories that have been lost over the years. At least you are writing yours down, as am I. I’m looking forward to hearing about America from the eyes of a young Brit so don’t give it up. ✍🏻❤️🚶🏻

        Liked by 1 person

      • Oh that is so funny Irene – ‘Well they could if they wanted to’!! I can see why it’s been such a long-standing private joke between you and Roger, so typical of that kind of British attitude abroad, sad to say! Ahh…yes, we are indeed writing down our stories…and thank you again my friend, I won’t give up so long as you’re there cheering me on 🙂 And I can’t wait to read your book…I will be first in line! 🙂 ❤ ❤ ❤


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