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Custodial Conflict

By Rueda Wright -


The guy at the gate is grinning as I approach. I hate that bastard. He takes a disturbing delight in delivering bad news.

"Hey, Pete. How's it going?" I ask. I don't really care. I just want to get through the gate and go home.

"It's going great. Just not for you," he says. He leans against the gate and picks imaginary dirt from his fingernails, chewing the corner of his mouth to suppress a smirk.

"Oh come on! You've got to be joking. I'm not going back. I've just done a five year stretch for God's sake! I've served my time and now I want to spend my golden years enjoying a bit of peace and quiet in the garden."

"Sorry. Boss' orders. Should have kept your nose clean like he told you."

He's examining something on his index finger. Black nasal hair is protruding from his left nostril. I want to punch his stupid nose off his smug face but I know there's no point. Instead I turn around and walk slowly back the way I've come.

"So which God-forsaken place is he sending me this time?" I call over my shoulder.

He squints at a list that's pinned to the gate. "Down South for a change. Nice place. You'll like it," he chuckles.

Four minutes later, in the place we know as Hell but humans call "home," a new-born baby takes its first breath in London and a handful of soil lands on a small coffin in Aberdeen.


Rueda’s writing journey started in 2020 when she began to blog about real-life issues with a powerful mix of reality, humour and hope. Rueda has now turned her hand to fiction and poetry, and has recently been accepted for publication in the 2021 Serious Flash Fiction anthology. She is in the process of writing her first novel. Website: Twitter: @RuedaWrites

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