The Rain In Medina Baye

An almighty, streaming, surging downpour enveloped Medina Baye, flowing onto the streets and roads, washing away the memories of past days. It showered through homes, upon the elderly, upon mothers and fathers, upon children, drenching them in a water that they could not see, and clearing the air, and refreshing the hearts…

Idris Wuld, with the troubles of the world resting on his shoulders, rushed by Medina Baye, on his way to meet an official of the municipality. A singular old man stood in his way, raising his hands in the air and rubbing his face, as if catching the rain. Idris halted.

“What is wrong with you, old man?” He asked unkindly, regarding the clear sky and shifting his shirt in the spring heat.

“Oh! the rain! The rain! It’s everywhere!” Cried the old man, once again, staring at the empty sky, and welcoming the air into his arms. Idris sighed with irritation and moved briskly ahead, “Crazy fool…” He muttered.

Two hours later, Wuld passed by Medina Baye again, a wide smile on his face; his eyes confident and contented. The meeting went splendidly, and his financial troubles had been taken of. And once again, the strange old man came into his path, shifting from side to side, raising his hands in the empty, stifling air, rubbing his palms on his eyes and cheeks, while the awesome, majestic minarets of Medina Baye, stood behind him, like tower giants watching them. Wuld stopped in his tracks.

“So, what is it with you and this rain old man? Have you gone mad?” He joked.

The old man lowered his hands and looked deeply and intensely into Wuld’s eyes. “You will understand the rain I allude to if you do this one thing…”

“And what is that?” Wuld smirked. “Go to Sayyida and say what needs to be said…” And he walked off.

Wuld stood frozen, as the minaret giants looked on. The old man had spoken the name of his wife, and of the thing which was hidden cancer in his soul: his pride. He understood immediately and rushed off.

At home, whilst the children played outside, and his wife was engaged in the labours of her life, suddenly, she dropped her work, for her husband, Idris stood before her; his eyes in a way she had never seen before for a long time. He spoke: “Sayyida, my wife, and the mother of my children…” She leaned against the washing machine, her fears growing- had he found another woman? Another woe upon the woe this man had given her. “What I mean to say, my wife, and I mean this, I have been a cold man to you, for a while, and you have been a good woman to me. Forgive me. Let me make amends. I will take you to see your mother and kin on the weekend…” His eyes were remorseful and true- she could see it… She could see the shame and discomfort in every trace of red in his eyes. Finally, he saw her, the way he used to see her before. And she collapsed in his arms, the tears not stopping, the pain leaking out into his frame, being replaced by warmth, and love, and cheer.

Later, Wuld, having lost track of time and place, since his revelation to his wife, wandered over to Medina Baye, and suddenly, without warning, water fell from the sky, enveloping the whole expanse, covering his head, and washing away the pride. He looked up, feeling the rain flow over his head and face. The old man appeared next to him. “I told you it was raining,” he said, as people walked by, regarding them whimsically, on this, the driest day of March so far….

MACBETH ZUBAYR

Cash is king.

Witches artwork copyright of SChalabi

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.”

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Joe And His Technicoloured Servers

Dear Father,

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.

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The Flood

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….”

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Red Light

By Novid Shaid, 2011

Wa kulla shayin hammana yahuna bismika Ya Azeem

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.

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The Soldier

A Lesson On Spiritual Laxity

By Novid Shaid, 2004

(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.

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When Mummy and Daddy Go To Sleep…

By Novid Shaid

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.

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