A lack of light

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Thrillers  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: June 08, 2016

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Submitted: June 08, 2016



His name was Salem and he was a Saudi.  He was at that time of night sitting in his car, wondering and waiting.  He had been there for a long while when the child inside him convulsed, remembering its early years, their normality and intense singularity.  Any step onward, towards adulthood, was as hard as breathing through the wet rug of a friendly enemy soldier asking for answers he never knew.  How intensely he wanted to claim prior suffering while there was none of it, no abuse, no tears, no hunger, just a whole bunch of indifference and nothingness in his past.  His eyes were closed but even when opened an instant later, his name was still Salem and he was still a Saudi, feared by few and hated by many.

The darkness that had been a close companion throughout his existence, the darkness from the outside then reached in and without effort acquired his heart.  The faith, the credo he so much entrusted disallowed him to drink but fear forced him to do so.  His hand stretched for the heavy, bitter, amber alcohol sitting in glass on the floor of the automobile, and he drank with frenzy until the crystal container was empty. Ah, this Johnny was never to be a walker, more like a crawler.

“I am too young to disappear, too ready to end a life that never really started.” But life already started since there was anger to be felt and even more, he was past regret, the prospect of final demise leaving him blank, indifferent.  The state of his mind already transcended into the mentality of a martyr and it was too late to stop the desire of death.

As if in a scripted existence Salem heard footsteps, the shy sounds of a civilized being, too afraid to be and too afraid to die.

“If you cannot be famous, be infamous,” Salem repeated to his own self the words of his grandfather, Kunta K. 

Or was it Toby who once murmured that platitude?

He could not remember.

Half dreamy and half drunk, Salem stepped out of the car, following the random man who just walked by.  He soon caught up with the stranger, matching his rhythm to the steps of the other, getting ready to strike.  The blade came out, lazy and sharp, as black as the moonless night.  One of Salem’s hands reached from behind to the throat of the passerby, while the sharp iron of the knife plunged into an innocent kidney.  A ritual and useless killing of a somewhat guilty human being was taking place.  The slayer’s field of vision narrowed to just him, then to only his hand and the man jerking on the asphalt.  There was blood and there was screaming, but Salem could not see and could not hear any of it.  He was detached already, a now empty vessel waiting only to be broken, cherishing its inevitable conclusion. 

He dropped to his knees, next to his random victim, and shouted:

“Allah Akbar!”

Truly the words meant nothing to him, their saying was just a way for Salem to waste his time while waiting.  Without any apparent reason, he remembered a movie he had seen not long before while flying over the ocean, a film about an unlikely president, George W.  By then, the flashing lights of civilization were visible, the red, white and blue was there to serve its punishment.  They never forgave, the reds, whites and blues, they never forgot, never stopped speaking, always asking for more, one’s soul, unwelcome democracies, freedoms that no one gave a damn about. 

At the sight of silly justice, Salem lifted his hand clutching the steel and a rain of lead instantly poured over him.  Hot metal penetrated the face and exploded in his brain.  He smiled at the expected heaven, at the brightness of Allah, at the seventy virgins from God, but the end of his time answered back by closing his eyes and obliterating his memories.  The darkness he always perceived on the outside had fully conquered him and Salem suddenly but tardily understood that it was not the darkness doing the killing, the suicide, the martyrdom.  It was the absence of light.

© Copyright 2018 Dr. Tudor. All rights reserved.

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