Recently I met a very inspiring young writer, Lucky Grace, who shared with me one of the stories she wrote. As the story was related to the topics discussed in this blog I asked her if I could share it. Her words and her strong story speak for themselves, so let me just stop here and encourage everyone to read her short story, The Night of Terror. You can also get access to more of her work by clicking here. Thank you Lucky Grace for sharing and keep up the amazing storytelling!
The Night of Terror
When the night was dead, the woods whispering with the voices of dark whooshing wind and unknown animals, I ran down the street of our little village, sweat flowing down my face. I heaved breathless sighs out of me, felt my heart rise up, and I thought it was going to get out through my mouth. I heard the thumping of my enemy’s feet close on my heels, and the sound of gun shots sparkled my dread while bullets flew to my front missing the target. I, the target.
Just when my fright rose up to its peak, I saw him. My man, my savior. My macho best friend, who was surrounded by his friends. Relief rushed through me. All the running. All the panting. All the sweat. All the fear. It was all over. I smiled widely and cried out, “Oh! My Love!”
I ran faster, this time not thinking of who ran after me but who I ran to. I extended my arms when I got closer and fell into his. “Oh my God, Bahati, thank you so much for coming to my rescue!” I sighed, and hugged and kissed him. He lifted his hands in a slow motion, held my hands and pulled them off his cheeks, giving me a long dead stare. Taken aback and setting to get out of the way, I said “Right, men need to settle their war!”
Holding my hands in an alarmingly painful drip, he chuckled and said, “Yes. Yes we do, honey. But apparently not the kind of war that you think, Fatma.” I then realized that something was deadly wrong. No wonder his friends hadn’t smirked or whistled when they saw me kiss him.
“What’s going on?” I said in a half whisper. He let out a whistle and the men who had been running after me came forward surrounding us as they laid their weapons down. The leader, Saleh, known as the king of the county, pulled me to himself with a cruel and satisfied glint in his eye. He chanted praising himself tearing my clothes off, while I struggled and pleaded. Even though I knew how pointless that was, I did it anyway. I was forced down the ground and sprawled naked in the eyes of all those men; some of them, I highly respected as much as I respect my father. Blood tears poured out of my eyes for a fate worse than death stumbled upon me. The king of the county was the first one to feed his desires upon breaking my body and wrecking my soul. He was followed by Bahati, the man I loved and trusted. The man who was supposed to save me cheered the gang of thirty heartless men as they too went on breaking and wrecking me. The torture went on and on until numbness spread in all my senses, all my veins, causing blankness in my soul but with my eyes open wide.
In the morning that followed, vultures surrounded me to suck my blood and feed on my flesh. One of them struck its beak repeatedly on my forehead and I regained consciousness. I couldn’t move, I couldn’t speak; a carcass I was, I couldn’t shoo the vultures away. I may not have been able to move a muscle, but I could damn well feel them. I felt every throb of pain as beaks of the birds tore open my wounds. I felt the burning of the blood in my veins. I felt the excruciating pain between my legs. I bled.
With the uselessness of my body, the only thing that I could do was to think; ponder about what got me there, examine what I did to be sentenced to such fate; the despicable fate. With my eyes staring upon heaven and my mind thinking of hell, I felt like they were telling me, “Look.”
In my heart, I felt like heaven was saying, “Look! Watch how I feed the birds. After all, I give them food.” In my mind, I thought that hell was saying to me, “Look! Watch the birds savor the carcass of a being whose soul I turned to be mine. This … is my trophy!” The voice of hell ended in an echo as the sky erupted in violent thunder and a bolt of lighting. A thunder so drastic it electrified my body. Only in reverse. Because upon being thunder struck, I could move my eyes, I could move my legs, I could move my arms. I could open my eyes, and watch the light of the sun that was creeping through the cut of my bedroom ceiling.