The Journey or The End

I shift uncomfortably, jammed between boxes and packing crates, my limbs tangled into ratchet-ribbons holding everything down, and anxious sweat slicks across my brow and cheeks, stinging my eyes, trickling down my neck and soaking my t-shirt.Trapped in the dark with only the soft, weeping murmurs of the others, and the scent of too-close, unwashed humanity (and fear) reeking in my nostrils, I allow my mind to wander down corridors which seem to double back on themselves and arrive at the same inevitable solution: failure.

It was my only chance – it took all I had – I can’t do this again – I’m going to fail – It’s over; the pattern replays, speeding up to keep time with the elevated beating of my heart as terror grips me, my chest spasms again, and the darkness becomes weft through with hallucinations rising from my fourth panic attack since climbing in.

The driver has all my money – if this doesn’t work, I can’t go back, and I can’t leave, and the reality is that my life may be ended for me.

The panic attack slows and I catch my breath again as I try to decide whether it was serendipity or a cruel twist of fate that I was shown to these lorries in that dockside car park. A small, desperate whisper reverberates throughout the oppressive, suffocating darkness of the container, followed by a smell which climbs into my throat and makes me gag – the stench of someone having shat themselves now also destined to be our travelling companion for as long as the journey lasts.

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This week’s prompt was PARK, and my story was inspired by the current hot-topic of illegal immigrants being brought into the country on lorries, and all the controversy surrounding their entrance, and the way they get (in every sense) taken for a ride.

31 thoughts on “The Journey or The End

  1. I don’t know why I’m always amazed at how well you pull me into the story. I didn’t realize I was sitting here breathing in my nose, out my mouth..the way I do when I’m anxious…until I was to the end. Very vivid and so, so much for just six sentences. Bravo!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great writing, Lizzi. The inhumane things that so many people have to go through to try and build a better life for themselves is maddening and horrifying and so so sad…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Is there a prize for getting the most out of six sentences, because if there is, you won it!
    I’m with Vince; my arms ached, my breath quickened, I could smell the many odors, and I felt the darkness pressing down on me in those 6 sentences. Magnificent!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Despite the horror of escaping poverty and discrimination in this way the privations of the journey are nothing compared the relief at having survived the journey and being accepted as genuine refugees.

    Liked by 1 person

    • No – I guess the dream is worth the risk, but I just wish more made it, rather than being jettisoned to die, or being hauled away by authorities who aren’t very sympathetic.


    • Nope – genuinely this was imagined in 20 minutes this morning after the prompt, and letting my mind wander over recent things in the news.

      I’m excited to meet my friends’ families but also nervous. And I hope no-one shits anywhere near me!


  5. My sister’s sister-in-law married a man who came to America from China in a container ship as a small child. The pain and experience were worth it – Freedom (and adoption) was the prize.

    Liked by 1 person

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