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Collection of
Short Stories

Najwa Najati Al-Nabulsi
Damascus – Syria
P.O.Box 31240
Mobile : 00963 988917195
1- OutBreak

I palsied two years before his death. Two years after, my children decided to change our home furniture. I heard her telling her brother, " she will keep fluctuate on his bed till she dies after him!" She was almost sad and angry. "Let us change the old furniture might she forget his smell might her yearning leave her eyes and she forgets him! Oh my God! How much she had loved him!" I heard him laughing, he replied," I wish you, modern women, consider love as she did!"

I smiled.

They moved one piece of furniture after another taking them out. I did not interrupt. I sat there, on my wheelchair with a wrap on my lap. I was quite like a lamp. My eyes followed the pieces. I was sinking deeply in the waves of my thoughts, when I heard my daughter says, "Mom, do you want this picture here?" I replied, "Which one?" She signed to the wall. I followed her finger to the spot she was signing to, "This! My dad's!" I was taken! Looking at the picture amazingly, said with a trembling sound," How it comes! Who fixed it here? I did not see it before!" Astonished the two answered me," Mom, it was here all the time!"

I looked again; saw a picture with an old wooden frame. My eyes fixed on it for a while, and then moved to the picture itself, and stayed on it for a while I did not know how long it was.

His eyes, stocked all his victories in his struggles with me, a look that assaulted my soul, frightened her, then locked it up in his breast cage until his breaths shrank, and choked him. His foul hands upon his lap rose against my face every time I asked for a right or felt a need. His hands used to sustain to repress all my wishes. In addition, a yellow smile used to laugh on my feelings.
Never mind, all that is not important now. Because what make me astonished is, how it comes that I did not see this picture before?

It is amazing! How we ignore what we hate until it slaps from our minds and then defaces from our life!

I heard my voice saying," leave it, I should talk to it."
They left the room, and before closing the door, I heard him whispering to her," poor soul! How much she loved him! I do not remember any affray between them, or combat"

Then, I inducted all my heart into his face. I do not know how I reached him. However, my hands, with a black pen, closed his mouth and darkened his eyes. I take him off my throne, off my room's wall. Broke the wooden frame shred the picture into pieces.

I walked on my feet, opened the door, and faced with a wide victorious smile my children's astonished eyes and their open mouths.
They never understand that behind the false servility a dangerous hate that only destruction can satisfy.

2- Spirits

I could not sleep. I hear breaths in all the night; As if someone was sleeping beside me. The walls came closer and closer on me, until I felt the blocks on my chest. Suddenly, I jumped and told my sister:” I’ll go home.” “At this hour!” she screamed,” you are crazy!” I insisted.

Streets were almost empty, dark, cold, and dangerous. As soon as I have opened the door of my home, Jasmine jumped into my arms.” Oh, my dear girl, I miss you.” I put her food in its dish, but she smelled it, then came back to my lap, put her head on my breast and meowed.

The house was warm even there was no fire. I went to bed. Jasmine slept too. In my dream I hear a sound repeating:” God Bless the house...” Really, I was frightened.

I told my sister next day:” My home has a spirit.” “You are crazy,” she replied, “I can not sleep anywhere else, I feel its warm, and its smell too is so lovely. I like this house too much, and can not stay long in any other place.” “That is because of your nice memories, don’t forget; you have spent in this house your best years with him.”

Two years now since he had left, but I still feel he is here in every spot. His toothbrush is still there in the bathroom, his perfume bottle, half-empty, is on the laver roof. His wards’ echo still can be heard in the rooms. I remember his wedding party, and the first time I saw the girl he has married. She was young and pretty, blonde-haired person, and has green eyes. He danced with her happily; she was like a butterfly in her light green dress. I have bought him a bunch of white Lillis; knowing that he likes this flower. To congratulate them, I stepped up the few stairs, which covered with a red carpet, giving him the bunch; I saw his eyes, which I had adored for nine years. He looked into mine with pity. I do not need his pity; I know he had loved me honestly, but we had to separate. We had agreed upon this matter, he shall marry, and I will travel aboard to complete my studies, believing that I am still so young to marry.
Therefore, now I will leave within two weeks. However, can I?

My friends invited me to a good-bye party, lately at night, she told me: “You must stay this night with us; it is too late to go home.” “Yes, I will.”
Two years ago, he had attended with me a similar party, we had danced all the night, and between his arms, I always felt calm and safe. “I wish we could go on for ever!” he whispered in my ears.” But we can not, you know we can not” I resisted, “You are crazy! You love me!” said angrily. I laughed, “Yes I do, but there are many things else I like to do in my life.” Trying to explain. “I want to marry; I want to make a family.” “Good, go on, do it.” He became nervous, but he held me between his arms all the night; and I fell in deep sleep, feeling calm and safe.

One of my friends waked me few hours later “you was screaming, a nightmare?” “Oh, sorry, no, It is my home, it is calling me to be back.” She looked at me strangely “Are you mad, to go home now! Few hours and the sun will rise then you can go!” “No, just now, I cannot stay.”
This night too; the walls were breathing in my ears, the sound called me to go back home.
Opening the door, Jasmine jumped to my arms, licked my face, “Come to bed my girl” Jasmine used to sleep under his feet; he used to play with her in the morning, “You know, you two share something” “What is it?” “My love!” I laughed merrily.

I postponed my trip for many days, until it was impossible to stay any more. I take Jasmine to one of my friends “Please take care of her, don’t let her go out” “Ok.”
I rent a home in a strange city. The first night was so hard. The house was cold, and I hear the sound all the time, day and night. I thought; I will be used to it, I will be used to the new city and the new house, also I will bring another cat to live with me. Nevertheless, every night it became more difficult. The walls of the new house come closer and closer on me; they are on my chest; I cannot breathe,
I cannot bear any more, I cannot sleep for one minute.

I believed that houses have souls, in a way. My old home has a soul, a very soft, tender soul. Moreover, it is still calling me every night, Jasmine too, I had dreams of her; meowing sadly.
So, Again, I packed my things.
I take the first trip home, straight to my friend house, “It is incredible! You are back! Surely you are crazy!” “Where is Jasmine?” I asked immediately. “Sorry dear, Jasmine had jumped out of the veranda two days ago, sorry for that, but I did not find her anywhere.”

I went home, opening the door, Jasmine Jumped to my arms. I was sure I would find her there, just like me; she cannot live out of this house. Sure; we share something. Yes, it is his love.

3- A Hope

" Has he gone" the woman asked. The two looked at the lying boy in his bed. There was no sorrow in their eyes, no merry; no meaning. "I don't know, perhaps." The man answered. As if talking to herself, she murmured: "no, I think…perhaps; he did not yet". They again do not know why they are waiting, nor for what they are waiting.
She wondered, "How long was he lying like that? Years? Many years now; and the child still gazing on the ceiling. His eyes empty, his hands cold. Had he borne dead? She could not remember. However, wait, no, she remembered; he, for many times, filed her life; smiling, cooing, playing with her. She remembered the moment she delivered him to life, the happiest moment in her life. How beautiful he was. How she embraced his so small body in her arms, how she fed him, giving him her breast's milk. Was all that only imaginations? Could not be sure. Was he alive really, or she wished to?
He wondered, "Should we wait for ever? How long should we wish him alive? Many years we were waiting for him to return to life, many years we were watching his calmness and silence; he is dead. I am bored. I wish I could get another child; wish that one day, an alive child would play with me, filed my life with his love, and made it warm. In addition, this boy is lying here, without a move, uselessly. He could not be my dream."
The woman looked at the man "you caused this. You were so acute with him. You were so hard to him. How many times he had called for you, but you did not recall?
And now what are you waiting for?"
The man looked at the woman "you! Since the first moment had tried to dispose of him. You did not want him. Now you get it. Here is he, lying with no move. You are the one to be blamed. You should have cared him and protect him, but you did not."
" if he is dead; then there is no need for him to stay here; we should burry him." The women said, and add, "His body will be corrupted, and the bad smell will fill the room. Then we can not keep him long, we should dispose of the body." The man did not reply. He thought. "If he is dead, then, no way, we should burry him."
She thought, "even so, he still fills our room, giving our life a meaning. Oh, God, if he could rise to his feet, laugh and play with us, Oh, God, if he—" a very low sound is hear in the room. They both raised and approached the bed of the child; no, there is no sign; he is still so cold and calm.
" look... He is smiling; I see something in his eyes. Look" the man cried. She looked, "yes, there is something, let us wait." She murmured.
They back to their seats. "Tomorrow, he will get up; will come to me to play, tomorrow I will take him in my arms. Oh, God is it possible?" she thought.
" I should get another child; it is my dream. Still, I hope; he will recover. Oh, God how nice he was. What was the reason for all that?"
He looked around the room, "cold and dark, every thing in it is cold and dark. The curtains on. The sunrays never entered through. May be if I drew the curtains then rays will come through, and may be I can see the trees outside, hear the voices of the birds." He stepped to the window, but hesitate "I think there is no sun outside, it is night"
" how long we were here.. Waiting" he questioned. "How long? Since the beginning" she answered. "Could we try any thing?" he questioned again. Bitterly she whispered," I tried all my best, do you think I did not?" burst in tears, felt so miserable, he is her only child, only dream, why should he go away like that? She had tried every possible way, with all the love in her heart. Now, she does not know why all that happened, may be he knows.
A bad smell filled the room, smell of corruption and death, so strong.
" if we buried him, what is left for us" he wondered" could it be possible, is any other boy able to fill my life and hers"
" Oh, God! The smell is so strong, death smell, now it will be spread out. No use, we should burry him, he should be out of here, he has really gone" the woman talked as if to herself.
" Few hours and the sun will rise. Then we will be obliged to burry him; the smell would be stronger, no use of waiting, he is really dead." The man talked to himself.

Even though, they both did not move.

4- The Director

The Theater is on life, loud voices are hear everywhere. Lights distributed carefully. Setting, and back pictures were chosen appropriately. Actors are reciting their roles calmly. The young director is giving her orders here and there. A balcony was arranged for the main actor to appear on it bending on its enceinte apostrophizing her lover who is playing his love’s song on his fiddle.

“It is the last test. Tomorrow the show will start! Do you understand? As if, you do not recite well the words you have to say!”
“The role is not an ambiguity! However, you are so nervous today!”
His reply annoyed her. She used to be joyful with her actors during work directing. Young men; her friends were doing the work. So, why she is treating them so different today? Ran over to spectacles chairs; sat there and take a cup of tea, to calm down. She tried to remember one reason for her bad mood.

At morning, she used to open the windows widely, as soon as she is awake to kiss the first sunbeams, but, today, she kept them close, and harried up to put on the TV before washing her face. Oh, yes, she remembered. Before she went to bed yesterday night, she hear TV news urgently, she picked just few words while she was taking dinner, so she could not see the full view . Since months, she saw the evening news; young men and kids were killed, then, why this piece of news disturbed her? The events are so far, beyond many boards, mountains and valleys, every day she is obliged to attends funeral of unknown face, unfamiliar body which she can’t distinguish its figure, those who chose to die by their free will and gave death new name…new color, it is no more an end, no, it is something else. Defending.. Resisting, what weapons they have? Old ones? Or mere stones? Are not they actors in the universal drama? However, who is the director, and why should he kills all his good actors?

Back in her mind jumped words she hear so often these days; to use the Universal Language in communication; a worldly language which units all the populations, and their interests. Who did say these words? She couldn’t remember.”

“You are talking to yourself! What is wrong with you today? What should we learn? Acting modern styles?” he asked anguish, “yes, because they are incredible actors!” replied bitterly.” They are playing coolly and convince all spectators.”

The lights brighten in the right and left corners, exactly as decided. A young, slender, tall boy, stepped on the wooden platform, his back to her, facing the balcony, where his beloved was sitting.

Her heart sunk.

Moreover, that boy, If only he turned her face to her, if they could take a shot of his eyes, of his face, if she could see him clearly, Falling on the land; under the tank’s wheels. Pity his Mom’s heart.

“Turn to me! Let the spectators see your face” she screamed loudly and unconsciously.
The young actor puzzled. “But, Ms….” The rest of his statement swings away, seeing her covering her face by her hands.
“Couldn’t we postpone the first show?” she asked her friend who was her assistance director, “Sorry, No.” he rejected. “Oh, yes the show is going on successfully every day since a long time, there, responsible men are holding meetings every where, to discuss how to finish this fight.” She said sleepy, and added, “Did you see yesterday news? “He noted and said : “Nothing new, the resistance did not stop, I wish it would not, but I bored of death’s shows.”
“That boy! I could not see his face; his back was to me, and his chest facing the tank with its cannon. He was holding just a stone! How dare they shot him! I wish I could have seen his eyes,” She said hysterically.
“Please, dear, concentrate on your work today, our show starts tomorrow, people are coming to have some fun, eager to forget their daily gray, please.” He begged her. “Do you know his name? did they clear his name on TV.” She asked.
“Yes, it was Fares.”

The final test was about to end, Juliet on her deathbed, Romeo, a young boy, slender and tall, was rising the poison bottle to his lips, chooses to die; chooses to unit with his beloved in life and in death.

Why he should have been so weak? Why he did not; in stead, raise a sward to fight for his rights? Against his enemy, he would either win or die, any way.

In addition, if his beloved stood by him, defending her love, then she might follow his funeral, might then take his weapon to fight again, refusing to yield, would not the play been more attractive?

She remembered a man of religion who was talking in general speech; he said : “The revolution in Iran won when people went out to streets carrying red roses, and calling the Shah to give up the crown, cannon bombed them, but they keep on going forward till the king was obliged to leave.”

She stand up, a little creature with strong ability, takes her decision, shouts to her actors “ Re-arrange the stage, “Fares will have a rose in his hand, and instead of the balcony we will put a cannon, then his slender body will be carried by his beloved, who might be killed after him.” She spoke so calmly and continued, “Oh, God, please stop this silly drama; there is no more a time for old fashion love.”

5- The Mirror

The way was cold and crooked. I sensed by body but did not find it. The mirror was in my hand, looked at my face, it was reflected broken. I hear a mourning voice behind me, walked faster, something being shut; might be a door.
Saw a lightened corner up road; run there, my steps were faster than I had used to. The light dazzled me; closed my eyes, looked again; images flashed, turned my face refusing to see their severe.

Two strong hands were rocking my swing, I shouted merry:” More; higher.” Coming backward, the swing touched his chest, I smell his perfume, seized it in my lungs, then expelled it out into the air, the perfume evanesce, his hands too. The swing was broken.
Slipping down, my feet touched the ground, raised the mirror; two large dark eyes of a little girl flashed, showing pain and a wish to fly.

I turned the corner. City seemed worm and lighted. Stepped on wooden platform; a strong hand withhold me, leading me forward, there were loud claps, the hand spoke, I hear it talking, saying:” you are the star, you must play your role well” I did not know what my role was, but I understand that the sound was the director’s.

Strange cloths on me; I looked odd, beautiful, colored, and tender, dared not look in the mirror, afraid, might see that woman, whose broken face dwells in the mirror.

Sited on the swing again, was my role to sit on it forever? Strong hand pushed it up, frightened; I clutched its ropes, yet, when it was backward, it touched a chest, I smelled a perfume I have known, I have loved once. I discovered that the hands were his, also the smell, was his too. Swinging in the smell, I lost my conscious. I became that little girl, singing and dancing. Happiness’ drums were hitting, the wooden platform echoed the sounds. Grass grew around me; wet and green. His hands around me, and his perfume made me boozy. I forget my mirror. I danced with everybody. Roads were brightening, earth jumped joyfully. I called him to sit by my side; we two are on the swing, slipping to the sea, thrown on the rocks. The longing blue is calling out to its shy sun, raising its waves toward it. The shy red brushed its golden hair around its head, and lazily stretched its beams.
I shouted”: Look! We are there, two shadows in its center; you and me.” The bright beams of the loving sun neared, slept on the hands of the sea, and buried itself within its body. The sea calmed down embracing its beloved, slept; the world was drown in darkness. I dared not sleep afraid if I did then I might wake up to find that the sea and the sun were only a dream, afraid I might go back to the mirror and dwell in the broken face. I hear his hands laughing at me jockeying my fair. I asked him”: please tell me, who is I? Am I the kid of the swing? Or the woman of the broken face? The drown sun of the sea? “His voice replied:” look in the mirror, you will know.” Hesitated, if I looked, I might return to her, whose eyes frightened me. He asked me
“Do you want to know the truth?“ I nodded. Holding his hands tightly, they pushed my swing up, I hear my voice” Higher..up..up” and I laughed joyfully, the mountain neared me, the forest’s trees approached, I singed with the clouds, the lightning brighten in my heart charging me with a strange power, as if I have born new, live once more.

Suddenly, the director shouted”: Stop! Go back.” I refused, go on, fetch for his hands, hold them, and inbreathe from his chest my favorite smell.

The director screamed”: Stop! You will be punished for breaking the game’s rules, you should not be solved in the role, and you should just act it perfectly.”

I pointed to the hands, begging them:” why should you let me down twice? Why should you break my swing twice?” I hear his hands’ voice saying,” go back to the mirror and you will know.”

I am afraid to go back, afraid I might freeze in it, afraid to be broken within two worlds. I said angry”: Why? If I am from the mirror’s world, why did you lead me to this theater? Why should I back now?

At last, looking in the mirror, I saw myself brighten with wild truthfulness. I stopped the swing, cut its ropes, break the mirror, and declared loudly” You are but a fail! You; Director.”

6- A Modern Vision

Sitting in her rocking chair, she stretched her body, feeling restful; she enjoyed the touch of the tender fresh air on her face. The opposite widow was widely opened, and the evening tender wind was playing with the curtains. Before few years, this same window was ever close; afraid the dust could spoil the clearness of her home, throw, and break her precious objects.
Few years ago, the wild wind had turned her life up down; today, she yields to it, let it plays with everything, and enjoys it.

I taught him language, he was my student, it is not a strange story, and not rare; neither in the past nor in today, there are many similar love stories, which now seem to me less than normal. A schoolteacher falls in love with her young student; a teenage boy and a few years older woman. Divorced by a man who had packed his belongs to travel; she encouraged him to find his way, to succeed, but when he picked the fruits, he lost the way home. The West civilization has tempted him to stay there, A sand, Coming from the thirsty desert, to sink in the ocean.

I refused to follow him, my dreams should be executed here; on hard ground. I built my special world, systematically. He promised to come back, but he never did.
My bitter despair darkened his image in my memory, so I asked for divorce, to complete the frame of this picture, spiritually and mentally.

I continued to live according to my plans, a language teacher. I buried the seeds of sorrow, which this miserable experience planted inside me. There was a spot of hope helped me to wait for a true love, in which I still believe.

Days and weeks elapsed, curtains still dropped on the heart, preventing the worm beams of the sun, and the light wind of the spring. Even there were various calls; but my heart has turned to be an old fashion machine, the modern signs seem to be strange, unacceptable, and dim. My spirit died, but my body still working and working, collecting money, getting more luxury, in my home, my car and my cloths, thus cannot turn the hard metal in my eyes into tears, any type of tears; happy or sad, tears which may let me feel that I am still a human being, effecting life either positively or negatively.

His presence was remarkable, his eyes were bright and wit, interrupting cleverly, he was not dull to snub him, and his jests made me laugh long. Staring at him abstractedly; handsome, smart, and merry, his character was attractive. Many times, he kept me long after the lesson, asking question then wittily slap into a long conversation.

He entered my life with a cup of coffee, to know all my details, until his presence became a necessity, I did not hesitate to accept his invitations, the reason might be my long solitary, or it might be his specialty, the most important: the difference between our ages made me feel save.

Gradually I fell in deep love, and thought he is too; may be I convinced myself that it is true. Is it right that our affection are but a reflection of the other? Alternatively, is it only an illusion? My mind did not take any protective process in consideration, as if he has damaged all the warning systems in it, or may be I did. My heart has woken beating strongly with life, receiving his burning beams, without asking me; he draw off the curtains. I found myself in his deep sea; a lost ship with no wing, no direction, no oar. A sinker who did not know how to deal with the wild waves; trying to push my head out- his salty love in my eyes- pushed again to the deep bed by the heavy patience I suffered long from. The only safety hoop thrown to me was his neck, and to hold it fast was the sole solution.

He recognized my fondness, and realized that my resists had drained, and that I have gave up to what I had thought fate but was only a net he was knitting wittily, became sure that I had used to his fresh blood going into mine; requiring him everyday to irrigate my thirsty garden with his water.

At first, the required amount was little, cannot be refused; there were no limit between us, love united us, money would not differ, coins with no value, and I have a lot of. This no value amount, had increased day after day, the last request was to buy him a car, which dazzled me, made me stand unable to understand, unable to reply his desire; he left me for days.

I recovered from a fever hallucination, to see the fact nicked, on which he put a silk coat for so long, and understood that I was paying him in turn of his love. Burst in long mad laugh, until I cried long. Turned down all my furniture, precious masterpieces broke expensive pots I had. I was angry with myself not with him, me who believed him, who was so stupid, a big fool to think he was true. Then, calmed down, my entire house was in mass. Looking at these flinders, I thought deeply, closed my eyes and looked inside me; I still love him? He still Satisfy me. Then, I will pay him until I recover.

Seven months were enough. The amount I was paying would not bother me, nevertheless, my senses of him as a whore faster my recovering. Unimaginable fact; a wonderful, well-built young man, uses himself to get money. I know many girls who do so, why should I disapprove it for a man? He is free to do so if he is satisfied with; he had chosen it a way to live. Should a whore be a woman? He is making love to get what he wants, a modern vision.

He get out of my life same way he entered I, gradually. Time kisses our wounds blessing us. I pushed him away exactly as any man might do with a whore after paying her. Swam alone back to the shore, something has been broken inside; my belief in love. It is just an illusion in which, women only, believe, they create it to put a frame around their stories, giving a romantic color to their lusts, exactly as we usually do to our pictures putting them on the walls.

I opened my windows widely. Enjoyed life to its extremes, now, I understand the modern love, there is no need, any more, to put illusions around it, there is no need for love’s words; the time is so fast, and can not wait for them, there is only a momentary lusts, rapid fulfillment, going so fast.

The remains, are shots taken during my journeys and travels; souvenirs signed by different names, what is the benefit of names if shots are same; showing any young man, any wonderful younger who might inspire me short love poem, who might put me on fire for may be days or months if I like and me. On intention, I never allow it to be for long, as traveling lonely is my favorite, and to transport among stations is my hobby. Always I finish my journey, or you may say, my relation, with a precious gift to the short road companion, the most important thing, is that he should be young, and let him, after my leave, fetch for another woman, who is still believe in love, I mean, the old fashion of love.

She is still sitting there, on her cradle, rocking forward and backward, and the wind; the wild wind is still striking the curtains..

7- The Flames

Crying, he fell into the earth. The hills, valleys, and mountains hear his scream, “was it a wounded wolf’s scream, or a goat?” The universal creatures confused. He was shouting, “It is not me!” Green leaves of palm trees trembled, roses’ heads turned. All closed their eyes helplessly.

Knowledge sprang up, flashed; he saw that he had been created for a purpose. His fiery nature inquired him to soar, to test his superiority; exactly as flames always does; it cannot understand the reason; but it, while burning, ascends to skies. The more it is high; the more it burns. He refused to yield, his fiery nature refused to kneel. So, unconsciously- or with blind conscious- he resisted, sure, he is the best; he is the purer.
“From flames knowledge springs” he assured himself.
The universe belly; the forest, embosomed him. However, he forgot the sorrow of his exile.
Speculating the beauty of the surrounding, the green of the trees, the waves of the rivers, he dazzled. The roses’ beauty is tempting him to step nearer, to touch them. However, he was afraid that he might put it on fire. His fingers are but flames; so where to go, and what to handle? His solidity was a detention torturing his soul.
As a response to his instinct, he prayed for the universal mighty, felt calm, full of hopes that there should be a way to return to his world. The universe smiled ironically.
Wandering among the groves, listening to the songs of the birds, he saw them both lying on the grass, so bright like innocence; which never grows up, the secret of the babies, which defaces from memories. He glared at their faces, the splendor of their details dazed him, wondered who the charm was. He approached; he can see their inner facts; trembled, among their cells they hide potential power, passive currents, he was sure these would be raised soon. To know more; he stepped nearer, just few steps.
Passed by them like a quick lightning, they were sleeping, so they did not see him, but felt the fire inside them, opened their eyes, turned around, something like fear, like running in the forest, has create a new beats in the hearts.
She run to his chest, threw herself between his arms; seeking protection from the unknown. He received her on his breast; hold her hard frightened too, a strong strange current slipped between their bodies, a new beat of life, they united again back to origin.
They wondered how they were separate all that time, and each one of them completes another. Laughed joyfully; the forest trembled, the voice was newly discovered. “For this we had been created; to laugh together.”
The flames was scared; the trees and animals pointed at him accusing him, telling “ He, when neared them put on the fire inside them” he shouted in vain” It is not me, I saw the fire inside them and I knew it will burn soon, “even if I did not pass by, it is a matter of time.” He said, but none understands.
“Yes, you caused this; you have frightened us, and by fear we discovered our first call” They said.
The forest was angry, so they all banished away to the top of the mountains, roads were so rough, and all was tired. Each was trying to set his special world of illusions, might forget the calm forest they were living in.
Cursed by all, the flames wished he had not been created,
His longing for knowledge still acquiring him to fetch, to see their happiness; once again he approached, gradually near them. Unfortunately; the old bright has disappeared, forwarding more, he understood that the passive currents have started to turn into inner conflict, into acute sneaking struggle. Passing by them, they felt the glow, turned to each other, in rage, fights, separated each one went in a different direction. “How could we be united all these days, each of us is a unique glory?”
Fighting, a red river emerged, covering the green, a huge wave advanced. Seeing him hidden among the palms, they accused” It is him, the cause behind all this!”
” It is not me! I just passed by!” he screamed. They run, following him. Trying to escape, he run until he is executed. Stopped, almost sank in blood; “You two! It is enough; you should know, you and me are only a tool in his hands! Only means in his play”
They did not listen.
The red river swallows them all!

8- The Blue Flies

Silence.. No word, TV’s herald presents the recent progress of today news. Sinks in her seat, holds her legs between her arms, as if afraid they will antecede her running away far, coughs; feeling the dust in her lungs. Whispers: “it is a stifling atmosphere.”
Glances at her with absent look, his voice so deep; replies: “another play we should witness.” His legs fail; wants to stand and go; he dare not. Confused, he thinks : “how many times I decided and failed, she did not fulfill my dream, she could not give me one child, many years I was waiting for a hope never came true, there should be a solution.” “I will marry.” He says. She shrugs her shoulders; hear this many times, what can she do?” Another woman will occupy you; a stranger will enter your life.” She says. “Will not fail you; I will be available.” He replies. “What is the use of tender words, she knows how it would be.’ she thinks. Listens again to the TV; one channel announces victory news, crafts being crushed; another says that confederacy arms went deep in the city. She is confused; does not know; should she believe his promises that he will always love her, be friends forever, or should believe her knowledge about his nature; a man who adores beauty. He said: “Beauty of soul is more important, and memories are stronger, belongness, history and...” She laughs “And Geography? What about it? What about discovering new continents, green hills, and virgin spring.” She replies him.
Defenders fight crafts, blue flies fall down by shots of an old man. She defends the invasion of a young woman to the heat of a man whom she loved all her life. Her weapons are old. Her sister shouted:” leave him and ask for divorce, do you accept your humiliation!” At evening, she returned to his chest, smelled his land and shadow, his grass and trees, asked herself:” can I?”
One fighter shouts:” I’ll defend until my death, to last drop of my blood.”
He was her homeland. “Is victory possible?” She asks. “Impossible!” He replies.
She chokes; powers are not equivalent. Should she fly away? Should she leave him? Could she live without him?. Feels so weak, she knows how it likes to face reality. It is so bitter.
He thinks”: this time I will execute my decision, but if she wants to stay here, what shall I do? I do not have another home; where to live with my new wife? In addition, will I be used to live with another woman? I love her, but still I want a baby. Her love was like a great beautiful edifice, strong and controlling, was it her fault that it was not fruitful? Despair makes me feel weak and drought. There is no other solution; there should be another woman.
She thinks : “I’ll stay and accept his conditions; no need to try, I can’t, what is the use of defending? He will not recoil; I know his headiness and his strong will.”
The blue flies surround the city, some fit fire to make them fly away; they attach through holes inside the smokes. TV sound is high; one channel says: Important points fell, another says: we surround their armies, unconsciously, she murmured: “Isn’t there any way?” “Need a miracle!” He replies. “How realism you are!” She says. Laughing loudly, he reverts: “that is the truth.”
“Yes I need miracle,” she thinks, “My belly is dry and unfruitful”. He notices her thoughts; stretches his hand to her; “you are the edifice of love; it is neither your fault nor mine, may be it is fate.” He says. Bitterly she asked : “No choice?” his eyes darken; “No other choice.” He answered.
The herald says the confederacy want to turn down the controller, want to change the policy’s system.
Oppression is hard, and she will not be injustice to him; the deficiency is hers, she has no right to take him away of his dreams, she will assist him as sign of her real love.
“I accept your conditions; and stay with you.” She suggests. “A new building could not be settled upon the old one; we should break down the old to build the new.” He replied.
The voice of the herald becomes higher, the city is empty, and confederacy army occupies the city. The blue flies cover its sky.
Putting his head between his arms; he remembers the young girl he saw before few days, pretty like a dream, he anticipate his child inside her belly.
The dream becomes so strong controlling his days and he no more is able to resist. he wants her and him. Glanced at her, his eyes full of tears, her love, his memories with her, and the happy past, all that he should forget, but he feels weak, feels the strength of fate. He feels the bitterness of life.
She can understand his thoughts, their past together, unity of body and soul, love that she considered so great, never could be broken, is falling down now!
The herald is announcing now the end of the war.
“I will leave tomorrow,” she says.
“The play is finished” replies absently.
“It is hard,” she says.
“Hardness is a necessity, when we feel drought.” He reverts.
“It is a drought to be hard, not to control other solutions,” she says, but he did not hear her, he was giggling loudly, following the felling down of the statue.
The blue flies fill the square of the city, fetching for a new target.
She picked up her memories with her cloths, putting them in bags.
He sits down waiting for the coming days.

9- The Rat

There is a rat in my home! I saw it lingering at night in my kitchen, put on the light it did not run away; sneak to the laver, held the soap between the forelegs, and started gnawing.
Hidden in my bedroom; I hear a voice. Was it his or theirs?
Closing my eyes, the voice take me to the past, I saw myself returning home late to find my two kinds waiting for me;
- Mammy we are hungry!
The rat is lingering in my house; I too lingered for long, begged for their food, cloths, and books.
One of my neighbors said:
- Believe me, you will not find any job. I did search long. You may know; my husband’s salary is enough for only six days. Come with me; one hour and you will get much money.
- Is not it disgusting?
- It is just mechanical job same as others.
I considered her advice, but I could not accept it. My tender memories prevented me. I still love my late husband.
The rat has turned something up-dawn.
If I leave a piece of cheese for it, would it come nearer? If I touch its head, would it look at me with love?
I feed them many years; dried their tears, their smile was true and promising; I did not ask for love, theirs was natural response to mine. Their shades still here, kids as they were. I want them out! Out of my home, and of my heart. I wish I could forget that I delivered them into my life.
Is it possible to teach the rat something?
They studied at good school; I wanted for them a good future. When he was a little boy, he asked me to let him work, I refused, he must study to be a well-educated man, to have a good job, and to live with dignity.
My daughter finished her studies at high school, one day she came home joyfully, told me:
- Mom, I will marry a rich man.
I was so happy, hold her between my arms, as usual she pushed me a little away, I did not believe! Even if she was pretty, but how it comes, that she will marry a rich man.
- Tomorrow, will go with him to the court and marry their, there will be no
party, no need for you to come. I will bring you the marriage paper to see.
I hear the rat lingering freely in my home. Would it bring its female to my home? Oh, no it is a terrible house.
I blessed her and she went, some times, she came to visit me, sat there in the corner, showing me her jewels, silently.
The rat too has no voice, or may be a very sharp low one could not be hear, I f I tried to speak to him, would he reply?
My son graduated, then found a job, when he got his first salary he bought new cloths for himself, no one had used before, he said:
- I will move to live with one of my friends, I want to forget this place, I feel all people pointing at me.
Well for me, I want to forget that there is a rat in my home!
I still need to work, my legs became weak, cold weather causes me pain. I need to visit my daughter. Asked about her house, and went there, rang, a beautiful woman opened, may be she were mine, she flustered, asked me:
- How did you come! Afraid my husband would see you!
I left, did not cry, not to loose my way.
I used to beggar, food and clothes, but never for love.
I closed my eyes, trying to forget the rat in my home. If I begged for him it some cheese, would it remember me after?

10 - The Tableau

At last, I furnished my house, I was keen to buy only what I like much, but some thing was missing. I searched everywhere until it surprised me: a fantastic tableau. I thought; it is what I need to complete my home décor. I believe painting as an art is life itself reflecting its beauty, glory, and love.

It was an old tableau showing the spring of the first light, its green mixed with blue’s purity, and tender, its red is the determinate end of the shine. I looked at it, breathing fast, heart beating; I paid a lot of money to have it.

I was so proud and happy, carried it like a treasure, hung it on the saloon’s wall and stood their receiving my guests and friends who came to congratulate me, some of them stood for moments gazing at it expressing their admiration, others hiding their mockery smiles, knowing that I paid a treasure to get this piece.

It has failed me when its painter visited me, seeing it on the wall he denied it, said it is only a false deformed copy of the original. I did not know what to do, I hated it, hated each piece of furniture in my home, each beautiful piece seemed to me so ugly. I felt every person was quipping at my blindness and ignorance. It seems that all knew the fact except me.

However, still I could not take it off, without it, the house would appear empty and dark, even if it was false, but for me, it was more beautiful than all others.

The walls of my home shake, the furniture welt together, all statues and masterpieces are broken, the wall itself falls.

Urgently, I start counting my loose, only the tableau is safe, no harm caused. I hold it in my arms, laughing deeply, while strolling among the wrack” that is the truth, nothing remains but it.” I screamed.

11- Together ..On the road.

“Let us throw the dice, if it is single; we departure and if it is couple we go on together.” He suggested.
Her smile narrowed, she hided her eyes,” should we leave our destiny in fate’s hand?” she asked bitterly.
“Had not it decided our meet? We wouldn’t without it.” He said “But he chose us for a different meeting” she explained, “because it was different; our departure will be so too.” He reverted.
They throw the dice like two kids playing a game. The number was single. She looked at him challengingly. He was about to retire, but her challenge evoked his headiness. Nodding his head, he said: “Will arrange a farewell party, celebrating our final night together.”
As she prepared dinner, he busied himself with the glasses. They did not discuss the departure. He held her tightly and she kissed him, in the usual way. Looking into her eyes, it revealed no sorrow, which would have satisfied his ego. Their brightness did not fade.
“What shall you do tomorrow?” He asked. “As I used to do every day. And you?” She asked too, “As every day.” He told her.
To forget is like to swim against waves, sometimes up, others down; pictures of the past were so salty in their eyes, struggling against oneself is the hardest war. They rested on the island of dignity
for a while, then retuned back to the sea.
She wished she were a pearl hidden in a shell as a treasure love story, lost forever.
He wished he were a sailor, fighting her love’s waves, until he is broken, until the taste of her days is faded forever.
Studying sciences, he tried to fetch facts, which explain the emotions as chemical effects of glands; the mechanics of love and that tenderness is but an illusion.
One thing he could not understand, he had forgotten many women, why she is blinking from each woman eyes, and says, “She is not me!”
She occupied herself with other people’s sorrows, trying to lighten their misery, she saw her pain in theirs, wrote their stories, tried to find all possible solutions. One thing she could not understand, every character jumps up and says to her, “it is not me.”

Many years elapsed, they met again in a party held to celebrate success, shake hands, and they congratulated each other. Went out together;
he said, “Should we throw the dice again?”
“No, by my will I leave.” She replied.
They two returned to the sea.



The following comments are for "Outbreak"
by najwanajati

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