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Life reflecting art: ferry blockade at Dover

Updated: Dec 20, 2023

My 2017 collection “Militant Factions” includes 26 short stories of which eight were unpublished including “Fumes, Hope & Love”, which depicts a UK on the verge of civil war as Brexit leads to chaos. The story seems weirdly prophetic in the light of recent events and ends with the protagonist trying to smuggle a young refugee back to France where he will be relatively safe:

The M2's riskier than usual but Nathaniel knows the back roads from childhood and by dawn they reach Dover's outskirts. The Picasso's fuel tank has coughed since Norwood: dies.

The roads into town are blocked by troops with machine-guns so they park in a wood and crawl to the cliff-tops, look down.

"Where's the camp?" whispers Nathaniel. Helen points, finger steady.

"Beside the ferry port."

He's stunned: momentary hope.

"There are ferries?"

"A few. Not easy to get aboard. The French are refusing to allow anyone with a British passport access."

"What the hell's it got to do with the French?"

"They have checkpoints, keep out undesirables."

Read this and my other short stories, plus seven of my longform creative non-fiction pieces and extracts of my three published novels, in Militant Factions. Available on Kindle for just 99p at:


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