The day all hell broke loose

by Zeinab S. Fayyad on January 13, 2011


The author sent us this is a short story he wrote about his brother’s death in 2001 during the second Intifada. He was shot by an Israeli soldier.

I was only nine years old. In the street, there was I playing with our neighbors’ kids when about nine black-dressed – women came approaching our home. Some of them looked soaked with tears, and others had a big sympathetic look drown upon their faces. Yet, little petty me was too confused and ceased to comprehend. In less than a minute, they stood, a circle around me, and one of them tried uselessly to ask “is your mom home kid?”…. Instead, she stormed into tears and my heart beat started racing and my knees felt they were letting loose …. I could sense something was wrong ..the game had to end … I led the women whom I later named as “the black owls” and who could barely walk up the stairs to our house. There was my older sister, a high-school junior crammed between her chemistry and physics books…. Wordless, I ran up to her, and once she saw the worn faces and the killer glances of defeat upon the black-dressed, breathlessly she asked them….in……

Ten minutes later, my mom showed up carrying dozens of food baskets; she had a long day shopping in order to fix us one of our favorite ritual meals. However, her bright blooming face soon turned into a bitter darkness of a roaring night ….Before they could spit a word, the phone’s ringtone broke the dreadful calm before the storm. Then, in a vague compelling rush, my mom hurled to answer. I could swear that my aunt’s voice is still piercing in my ears, as I stood still… near mom…”He’s been shot dead” !!! He’s been. shot……. DEAD !!!

Then the seven skies emerged to cram apart. The two steps between my mom and me seemed like a ravaged distance with her screaming mixed with the owl’s weeps !……And there I was sucked into a whole different zone of time…a different reality which destiny vowed upon me … What once seemed to be a purple world of red roses, white horses and happy endings, flashed upon my eyes as a fleeting mirage of blood and mess.

Zeinab S.Fayyad, 20, lives in Gaza City and studies English literature at the Islamic University of Gaza. His hometown is Haifa, Palestine.

The day all hell broke loose.

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