This short story is loosely based on the plot and characters of William Shakespeare’s, Macbeth.
Parental advisory- this story explores adult themes and contains horror.
“Masha Allah Bro!”
After bursting into Sarfraz’s room, Zubayr and Abbas marvelled at the sight before them. Sarfraz sat piously, white skullcap wrapped around his head, a guidebook to Muslim prayers in his hand.
“I guess you won’t be coming out…” Zubayr began.
Sarfraz looked up from his book. He was reading prayers the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, said to ward off evil spirits and Satan himself. He now glanced at his friends’ immaculately presented, tight, designer jeans, polo tops and gelled hair: “Depends what you mean by out.”
I don’t have much time, my sentencing is in a few days, so I will cut to the chase. I am sorry for not speaking to you or Benjamin throughout all of this. I have sent him a separate note… But now that I’ve had some time to think, I want to tell you about recent events from my point of view; from the way I have experienced things; in contrast to the secondary tales from social media (like The Net- I have much to say about them later).
As you know, your son, my older brother, has been spreading the news that I was attacked by a wolf and that I may never return. The wolf of insanity. He has told you all that he tried to help me, but I was dragged away by this fiend.
Becalmed, the wide rubber raft floated aimlessly on the choppy waters, far from any sort of assistance. Huddled and shivering, refugees and migrants from a plethora of regions rubbed their hands and bodies. Mothers swaddled their children around their own meagre coats, while the irascible captain yelled and cursed at the steaming motor at the back. Holding his walkie-talkie close to his heart like a keepsake, he barked at his accomplices back in their base, demanding to know why his rescue boat had not arrived. Crackling voices responded, urging him to stay calm and wait.
“Hey, Mr Syria!” Yelled a young man, with deep dark skin like a killer whale and piercing eyes; the whiteness shone like the moon in the night. “We have some time. And we hear you can tell some stories….”
Red light, in a traffic jam. A swirling, rich, lollipopish red. Good enough to bite a chunk out of, not red like blood, but sweet red. The red light shone in front of him, in a tiny revolving ball, which seemed to be growing at a gradual pace. First the size of a pea, now grown to a draught piece, spinning and circling before him, as he sat, twiddling his thumbs under the steering wheel, in this sweltering day, with no end to the relentless congestion and blistering heat.
(Author’s Note: First and foremost, this is advice for myself)
A nervous, young soldier, waited impatiently underneath his trench. Listening carefully, he held his breath. For a whole minute he heard silence ruling above him and it seemed that the bullets and bombs had stopped. Hope rising in his heart and feeling the strain of this long, hard, protracted war, he was sure this was a telling sign. Inwardly, he wrestled with his conscience. Fear stated that he should remain cautious and in a state of ever present alertness. Hope said, this was just rewards for his long hard slog, for holding the fort, for his indefatigability. Fear, hope. Hope, fear. Fear, hope. Hope, fear. Oscillating for a while, he sat against the mud and the stench of his trench, becoming increasingly exasperated. He gripped his rifle tightly, clenched his teeth, closed his eyes, then looked up at the sky for help. The silence and peace was just irresistible. Fear, hope. Hope fear. Fear, hope. Hope, fear. Hope. That was it. Resolute, he thought it was now safe to chance it above.
Since its sudden appearance one morning onto the Arts corridor decades ago, the “Captivation” painting, a wonderful view of the countryside through a gigantic window perhaps in a stately home, had mystified academics, students and visitors to the university.
When mummy and daddy go to sleep, I am still awake. Awake and alone in my bed. I haven’t got a brother or sister; I’m an only child, but I’m not sad about that. My parents love me lots and lots. I know I’m lucky to have such wonderful parents, and I do get to play with friends at school and outside in my area.