Migration, traveling for work or life improvement, defies borders. Migration because of war and strife, blurs borders. And the migrations of butterflies and birds, know no borders.
Human migration is big in the news with changes to travel bans and non-citizen statuses. Those seeking to live elsewhere are seeking more than a new place. What we accept as cyclical in nature, we try to curb for humans with rules and walls.
The following stories are based on the February 23, 2017 prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a migration story.
Arrival by Enkin Anthem
She’s making friends. Already.
It’s been only a few weeks. So little time, so many changes. The people are strange, but at least they don’t shoot at us.
My little girl goes to school. It’s the law. And now she brought home a boy. Where she’s dark, he’s fair – blond and pale like all of them, grey eyes lowered. She pulls him inside. “This is Nils. We’ll do homework together.” He looks confused, uncomfortable.
She changes to Swedish, gestures. “My dad,” I guess she says. He bows, stretches out a hand.
“Hallå,” I say. The only word I know.
Into the Storm by Allison Maruska
I claim my place in the boarding line. Twenty hours from now, I’ll be there.
Mom tried to convince me of the inherent danger. Grandpa argued the region’s war killed my uncle. To them, I am heading into a storm.
To the people I’ll be helping, I am rebuilding after one.
The attendant scans my pass, and I head for the plane.
In a way, Mom is right. Over There is less safe than Right Here. But my heart won’t let my able hands stay.
So, as I watch the Earth shrink beneath me, I head into the storm.
Leaving for the West (from Rock Creek) by Charli
“Pa? Are you leaving us?”
Mary glared at her husband. To avoid the new administration’s secession policies, Cobb was leaving his sheriff’s post. Her family and friends no longer visited, political beliefs dividing neighbors and kin. “Answer the boy, Cobb. He’s your son. He deserves your words, not the gossip to come.”
“Monroe, anyone asks, tell them I’m seeking gold with the Georgians.”
“What about our farm, Pa?”
“Sold, son. We’ll have a new farm out west. Uncle Leroy will bring you all out once it’s settled.”
“Out west? Where they sent the Cherokee?”
“Further west, son. The frontier.”
Blood, Sweat and Tears by Neel Anil Panicker
Makhan Lal offers one last look at the arid expanse before him.
All his weary eyes can spot are acres upon acres of barren fields.
Sweat-lathered tears stream down his heavily lined visage and die slow deaths on his bare-chested, all boned torso.
This year’s been particularly harsh: no rainfall, no crop, no food, and two deaths_ his brother and his
his grandson, all of two weeks.
His weather beaten sixty-five year old self can take no longer.
The decision’s made: migration; to the city, to any place that will get his family of seven two meals a day.
Boat People by Michael
The spring rains had not arrived, the fields were barren, prospects dim. His young family faced hunger if he didn’t act.
He made a life changing decision. He packed up his family and set sail to a foreign land. They were boat people, with nothing to keep them in their homeland they sailed for the opportunity of a new life.
It took four months to cross the oceans and when they arrived it was hot and humid. His brother met them and took them home. They began a new life, in a new land. My grateful, paternal, great grandparents.
Hathersage Welcomes Basque Refugees by Anne Goodwin
Fresh air, dry stone walls and purple heather; how naive to think it would suffice. Roast lamb on Sundays on return from the Meeting House, wide-open spaces in which to play. When we tried them with our schoolboy Spanish, their faces registered not familiarity but fear.
We couldn’t distinguish the bombing’s repercussions from culture shock, grief from adolescent sulks. Saddened that our kindness couldn’t cure them, we wandered through the village to the moors. Indifferent, they followed, until their sluggish steps segued into leaps and jumps. Gambolling among the season’s new lambs, strangers no more.
Migration by Ann Edall-Robson
Their sound reverberates across the meadow. Haunting voices carried on the wind. Finally, the recognizable V comes into sight. They split. They reform.
It seems early in the fall for their trek to have begun. Makes you wonder what they know about the coming winter that we don’t.
They’ll stop where there’s open water and feed. But, for today, they are making miles while the weather’s good. The long journey taking them south to warmer climates for the winter. Where they’ll stay until the spring thaw opens the lakes and ponds and they wing their way north once again.
Vagabond Soul by Pete Fanning
Stu checked the address and stepped out of the car. He cursed Ed, his sponsor, and his conscience. They always teamed up on him.
He was far from that kid who threw that drunken punch twenty years ago. His mind, body, and soul, had migrated, were still migrating, carving wrinkles as it sojourned out of the muck of stupidity to, what was he now, anyway? Middle aged? Tormented? Humbled?
Two knocks. Duty fulfilled. But the door opened.
Reconstructive surgery on his left eye, the guy couldn’t even cry properly.
Without warning, Stu released the two words that haunted him.
Spaced Out? by Jules Paige
Is moving around most of your life migration? Especially if you
ain’t returnin’ to that place you was born. For a the most part of
livin’ front doors seemed to always be different colors with
differing keys. An’ most them keys just don’ open the attitude
of folk to welcome you with open arms.
You think you settled as you ages. Then there’s a call to clear
outta your home world and find a new hovel, in space. But you
knowed you ain’t on that list. Ain’t migrated enough education
to lift off to one of them new planets.
Ban-ter by Bill Engleson
“Their parents are dead. That surely is a factor?”
“Not to me. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not unsympathetic.”
“Perhaps not. Still, they would have a better chance here, in our country.”
“And lose their identity? Their culture? Their language? We cannot be the world’s orphanage.”
“Is that what you think this is all about? Look, no matter what we do, how many we take in, it will never be enough. But to do nothing, under the pretext that they’ll come to hate us makes no sense, shows no humanity.”
“The risk is far too great. My ban stays.”
Migration to ‘TRAPPIST-1’? by Liz Husebye Hartmann
“You’re telling me there are seven new human-habitable planets, a mere 40 years away light-speed distance?” She looked at him, eyebrow raised.
“Yes! No more worries about ruining our natural resources here on Earth,” He squeezed his sweaty hands together. “We can leave today and arrive in time for retirement!”
“Once we fund and develop the advanced technology?”
“We can easily rewrite Universal Healthcare, and the tax code! It’ll be huge! What could go wrong?”
“Okay, Donnie,” she sighed, looking at the armed border patrol. She flipped open her copy of Kim Stanley Robinson’s Aurora. “We’ll just wait here.”
Flash Fiction by Pensitivity
They come in their hundreds, if not thousands.
Families, young adults, those seeking a mate, returning to the same grounds year after year by instinct.
They travel up to 200 miles a day, with a maximum speed of 35 mph, to arrive in April / May and depart in September / October.
Not for them the comforts of planes, centrally heated homes, and an endless food supply in the freezer.
I’ll be here to photograph their presence, listen to their chatter, and marvel at their sky aerobics.
We shall also have our mops and buckets ready to wash away the swallow bird poo.
Deported by Luccia Gray
‘You’re Magwitch, the convict at the graveyard.’
‘Wrongly convicted, Pip. Compeyes was the mastermind.’
‘Miss Havisham’s groom who abandoned her at the altar?’
‘He was imprisoned and I was deported to New South Wales.’
‘You tricked me into helping you.’
‘I’ve paid you back generously.’
‘You’re my anonymous benefactor?’
‘I worked hard at the Penal Colony. My money is yours now.’
‘I don’t want your soiled money!’
‘Are you planning on giving up your fancy life and going back to being a blacksmith?’
‘You’ve ruined everything. I hate you!’
‘And yet, Pip, you have Estella to thank me for.’
On the Move by KL. Caley
The packing had begun again.
I knew what meant; new house, new town, new school.
It hadn’t been a problem when I was younger but now things weren’t as easy.
Making friends became harder and harder.
Being the new kid, the stranger in a class that had been together since primary was like being a cat in a room full of dogs.
Still, I loved my dad and this was the life he chose, the army was all he knew.
When I’m older I think I’ll do the same.
He says in the army you make friends for life.
Adventurous Plans by Norah Colvin
His bag was packed. He was ready. He stopped at the door for one last look, then stepped outside, pulling it closed behind him. At that moment, he was certain; he would never return. There was nothing for him here. Exotic places and untold adventures awaited. At the stop, he hailed a bus and climbed aboard. “Where are you off to?” asked the driver. “I’m on an adventure,” he said, tendering a fistful of plastic coins. “But only if you take me with you,” said his out-of-breath mother, smiling. “Okay,” he said. The driver winked as she climbed aboard.Adventurous plans
Migration Watch by Geoff Le Pard
‘Oh for f…’
‘I’m trying to migrate my website and it’s an utter disaster.’
Penny, his daughter, laughed. ‘First world problem dad. Be glad you have power.’
Paul growled. ‘Easy to say.’
‘We had a new kid in school today. From Darfur. His English is amazing. He said he learnt it from listening to music.’
Paul switched off his laptop. ‘You’re right. I don’t know when I’m born.’
Penny hugged him. ‘Glad you’re getting perspective.’
Mary barked as laugh. ‘All it means is he’ll get his people to fix it at work. He hasn’t migrated that far.’
Migrating by Irene Waters
“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.”
Vagabond Vampires by Scarlett Sauvage
We flew towards a better life, seeking something more than the rubble of our ruined world. Our nearest neighbours welcomed us with open arms. They’d never seen a vampire before, but they soon realised that our bad reputation was the result of wild imaginations. We worked alongside the natives to build our shared world. Then the salesman came. He told tales of wicked vampires that brought fear and terror around the world, of the horror we would one day inflict upon their children. He pitched it perfectly and sold the natives silver bullets for the price of a soul.
Thinly Veiled by FloridaBorne
“Women freed from ISIS are burning their veils,” I said, staring at the video on-screen.
“I just watched a classroom full of girls learning how to wear one,” My husband chuckled.
Aghast, I asked, “Where was this?”
“If you put oil and water in a blender, they’ll still find a way to separate once the whirring stops,” I frowned.
“What does that have to do with veils?”
“Migration! We’re the USA, not the dark-ages,” I said.
“What do veils have to do with migration?”
“Why don’t you ask Native Americans what happened when they adopted European clothing?”
Migration (Jane Doe Flash Fiction) by Deborah Lee
Jane snaps the gate latch shut and unsnaps Troubles’ leash. She’s making her way toward the back door, picking her way automatically around weeds and old bricks before she notices in the dim moonlight.
The weeds and bricks aren’t there.
Her fingers are shaking as she turns on her phone’s flashlight, casting a circle of light around her while Troubles sniffs around the door.
The rhododendron trunks are cleared of blown-in trash, the old bricks and broken furniture have been cleared out. In the bright wash of phone light, the brown grass even looks raked.
Oh, God, no.
Is Guilt Not Enough by Cheryl Oreglia
I follow the same, excruciatingly predictable pattern, almost daily, traveling from home to work, to home, to mom’s, to home, like a migrating bird, I wonder when my wings will fail? Although I take the same damn roads, I remain neutral, aloof to my surroundings. Sometimes traffic forces me to stop, it’s like being stuck in an elevator, I’ll glance around just to avoid making eye contact with my fellow travelers. Today I not only notice a new homeless encampment on Southwest beside the light rail tracks, but on the same expressway, where the old White Front used to be, a new housing development is springing up. The simultaneous construction of housing for humans living worlds apart yet across the street from each other gives my heart a savage twist.