The Wall by Sion Tomos Owen is the next instalment of Wales Arts Reviews’ Flash Fiction Month series, celebrating the genre with some of Wales’ best literary talents.
An exhaust backfired and a van pulled up outside the house opposite. A blue van with white triangles on it. They were finally doing it. My dad said to go and hide. I was scared. They began unloading.
I kinda knew what was happening. There was this famous guy who’d written a book and been on TV shouting about wanting to make things great again, getting people with all the best genes, like those dog competitions, pure breeds, all blonde and blue eyes, like children of the corn or something. He managed to convince people that his ideas were good ones and they elected him, but then he went a bit crazy and became the leader of this huge cult regime, saying awful things and then actually enforcing them. The other councillors were powerless to stop him and it took several different district police forces to finally get him. There was this huge shootout. He killed himself in the end, before they could get to him.
They found out that he’d been doing horrific things to a specific group of people. There had been this terrible tragedy across town where entire tower blocks of people were killed. Turns out it was gas leaks, started deliberately by this guy’s muscle. Locking them all in. He was open about hating them and wanted to kill them and go after their families. Called them cockroaches. He made them all move to this one district by passing a bill that basically said that anyone who didn’t like what his people liked, or didn’t behave the right way had to wear tags and IDs to identify themselves. Then he started surveilling them. Then arresting them. Then they couldn’t own their own stores and eventually they couldn’t do anything. He said it was safer for the population if those people were moved together.
Then he went crazy and tried to kill them all. He tried to hide it at first but then news got out that all these people were going missing. Eventually even the people who voted for him realised the guy was a nut.
It was decided, like some kind of apology for what the guy did to them, to move all these people to our district. They were told they could start again, have their own stores, their own council, even their own laws. They’d be subsidised to start out just to get them on their feet.
Thing was, we already lived here.
We said, “What about us?” But everyone kind of ignored us. Next thing we know they started moving their people in to my buddy’s house, then my aunt’s, then my whole family. They just threw us out. Then they brought in their own army. They said that the council ruled that we were being moved. Their funded army were forcing us to move. Like they were getting revenge for they guy that did the same to them.
We protested. Tried to fight back.
Then they put up the wall.
The Wall by Sion Tomos Owen is part of a Wales Arts Review series publishing original flash fiction pieces by some of Wales’ top authors in a celebration of the unique literary genre and National Flash Fiction Day.