A Mother’s Requiem 1999-2017 #microcosms #shortstory

This is my latest response to the Microcosms prompt; it also takes its ideas from a  piece I heard on the radio this week

Ariana pushed the child at the smuggler: ‘Take him, please.’

‘How much?’

She held out the rings. He turned them, sniffing before a single nod. She enveloped the boy in her tears and hopes before bundling him in the car. She sang as the hot wind blew dust in her eyes.


‘I need to go, mum. I just do.’

Ruth hugged herself, her tears falling freely on the marble counter. She nodded her understanding.

George picked up his rucksack. He hated hurting his adoptive parents but he had to find his roots.

‘Is it safe? Kosovo?’

George shrugged. ‘I’ll call.’ He picked up his guitar and left.


They found the hidden guns. Ariana sat in the schoolyard, knowing the end would be soon. She wondered if her boy was safe, somewhere north, somewhere cold. Please make her cold and keep him warm.


Sweat beaded his face. He’d never experienced 40 degrees. Bring back Birmingham, he muttered wryly.

‘Here.’ The official, Elira, was pregnant. ‘We found your family.  A village in the mountains. Teachers. Muslim.’ She stopped, ‘You okay?’

‘Sure.’ George’s tears joined the river of sweat.

‘There was a mass grave.’


The bodies were treated with contempt. No records kept. They would never be found, never remembered. No comfort, knowing they’d be mourned. The final indignity.


Elira waited as he collected the remains. ‘What will you do?’

He didn’t know. Him born Muslim, adopted Jew. He thought of Elira’s child; soon she would hold her baby, something taken from his mother.

‘She wrote songs, your mother. Maybe you can play them?’

He scanned the scores. The language escaped him but the music held his heart lightly in its grip. ‘I’ll take her to the mountains, let her sing with the wind.’

About TanGental

My name is Geoff Le Pard. Once I was a lawyer; now I am a writer. I've published four books - Dead Flies and Sherry Trifle, My Father and Other Liars, Salisbury Square and Buster & Moo. In addition I have published two anthologies of short stories, Life, in a Grain of Sand and Life in a Flash. More will appear soon, including a memoir of my mother's last years. I will try and continue to blog regularly at geofflepard.com about whatever takes my fancy. I hope it does yours too. These are my thoughts and no one else is to blame. If you want to nab anything I post, please acknowledge where it came from.
This entry was posted in creative writing, flash fiction, microfiction, prompt and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to A Mother’s Requiem 1999-2017 #microcosms #shortstory

  1. Ritu says:

    Sad but beautiful, His Geoffleship!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh, my. Oh, my. Oh, my. I agree with Ritu. ❤ ❤ 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Yes, very moving – profound even!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. willowdot21 says:

    This is great Geoff , did you listen to On Kosovo Field – Chain of Keys Radio 4
    you captured the tale so succinctly!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. jan says:

    Singing the verses of tragedy to the wind. Lovely read albeit sad.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Norah says:

    Sad story, Geoff. Too sad.

    Liked by 1 person

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