Thursday, December 20, 2012

Day 355/366

The pipes had been laid out as per the plan. No elder was left to run over it once, confirming whether the execution would be possible or backfire. There was no going back once they started, and once they started, there would be no end in sight. This had been what they had grown up doing – following instinct, avoiding landmines and losing an appendage every now and then in their battle to survive.

“Shut the fuck up and keep running till you cross” was all that he could hear as he ran past the deserted patch of land, rendered unusable by the overgrown cacti and the bombs that had been dropped over more frequently than he'd like to remember.

Get to the other side. That was all he had to do – one more narrow escape. You are not going to die today. He wanted to scream it loud enough for it to be absorbed in his head, in his ears that no longer served any purpose. It was better than having them chopped off, he'd laugh, relishing the freedom of being alive.


From where he came from, this was the normalcy. Being born to arms smugglers was a matter of pride in his family. It spoke volumes of their ability to survive, to overcome obstacles that would come their way. But there was the one family secret known to all – there was no getting out. You were in it till the end. And to try and be the black sheep would only make matters worse.

He did what he had to do and led the pack of his peers. As a child growing up, his father had sat him down and made him a man at the tender age of 6. By the time puberty hit, he could butcher a goat mercilessly or dig himself an underground tunnel if the need did arise. Among his clan, he was believed to be the one who would redeem them; pull them out of their miseries.

They called him ‘Bilal’ where he grew up. Where he died, only the vultures tended to his nameless grave.

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