Flash fiction – The Waterseller by Gary J Byrnes

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The Syrian War, the Libyan conflict, and the ongoing unrest in Africa collectively triggered the largest flood of migrants since World War Two in the 2010s. Europe is the destination. And it’s easy to understand why. Are we ready for the flood?

The Waterseller

The waterseller sings ‘Agua, cerveza, Coca-Cola’. Heavy bags cut his hands. He thinks How do I get off this beach? Thousands on hot Malagueta today, and many sellers.

A boat, suddenly. Five sunburnt men. The waterseller watches as a wave flips them into the surf.

He runs, drags one, another ashore. Soon, others help. The waterseller tears open his bags. Ice spills out. He opens bottles of water.

‘I was you, once,’ says the waterseller. ‘Now drink.’

‘We are only five,’ cries a man. ‘Behind us, five million.’

Sirens. Seagulls. There! Another boat! The waterseller opens a beer.


Image credit

LE Eithne rescues migrants in the Mediterranean, 2015. Irish Defence Forces [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)]

Gary J Byrnes
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By Gary J Byrnes

Gary J Byrnes is a bestselling thriller writer by night and a tech marketing guy by day. Extensive international experience in software startups, SMEs and multinationals. Find on LinkedIn. Has researched hemp, climate change for over twenty years. Writer, blogger, parent, animal lover. 2021 is about building a new business model to enable mass planting of hemp through easy carbon offsetting at Hempoffset.com.

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