Deserted

Prompt: Write about you or one of your characters walking through a place that was once filled with activity and now is deserted. Be sure to describe the feelings that are there now compared to the ones felt when it was active.

Abdul could still hear the laughter of the children, playing cricket in the alley. He could see the trinkets the various street vendors were trying to sell. He could smell the snacks being prepared in the small shop at the corner of the road. He still remembered everything like it was yesterday, probably because it actually was yesterday.

He had never thought that my life could change so drastically in the matter of a few hours. Just yesterday He was strolling down the same road with his friends. Today he was anxious to get home. He remembered their complaining about the crowd and the heat. Today despite the gray skies giving us a respite from the scorching heat there was no one in sight. There was glass on the road from the windows that had been broken. He could hear the faint cry of someone in pain.

He rushed past the local bookstore. He could hear Ahmed bhai’s voice telling me that a new stock of books has just come in, and that he knows that there are a few that he knew Abdul would like. Abdul told him that he would come the next day to see them; not anymore in fact Abdul did not even know if he was all right.

Abdul thought that he had been naïve in thinking that the fighting would not come there. They had all heard stories about it happening in the neighboring villages. They had come across people leaving their homes in a desperate attempt for safety. It would be a lie to say that people had not already began censoring themselves even amongst their closest friends. It would be an even bigger lie to say that they weren’t becoming more and more suspicious of their neighbors, the people they grew up with, and the people they had known their entire lives.

It all happened so quickly, in the span of hours Abdul had been told but to him it seemed to have happened in minutes. The men came, they destroyed. They do this in the name of Allah without ever realising that Allah would never condone the loss of innocent lives, he would never want people to live in constant fear. Without understanding they kill.

Abdul saw a militant, he quickened his pace. His Amma had begged him not to go out, so soon after it all had happened but he insisted, he had to go to school. He had to study it was the only way he could ever get out. He reached home, he did not die today but who knew what tomorrow would bring.

I wrote this story keeping in mind  the violence that some people have to live with everyday, in places like the Middle East due to militant groups like the ISIS. Feedback of any kind is appreciated.

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Dear Diary,

I finally find an empty seat in the crowded metro as I make my way towards it I spot a small black notebook in the corner. I pick it and I can’t help but wonder who it belongs to. And if curiosity really did kill the cat, thank god I’m not a cat.

Dear Diary,

It feels weird talking to an inanimate object but here goes nothing. I like talking a lot but nobody wants to hear every insignificant detail of my rather ordinary life so I’ve decided to tell you. Also mom if you’re reading this STOP.

xoxo Alisha

Each entry began with ‘Dear Diary’ and ended with ‘xoxo Alisha’. Through the diary I learnt a lot about her. She’s a dog person, she loves red velvet cupcakes, she has read ‘ Paper Towns’ by John Green too many times and she can’t wait for the movie. I rather liked this Alisha. The woman on the opposite side was looking at weirdly. That’s when I realised I was laughing out loud, she was actually that funny. I realise that I should probably stop reading but it’s just a few more pages.

Dear Diary,

I’m so nervous. My job interview is tomorrow. I don’t know what to do, what to say. I’ve always wanted to work at vogue and tomorrow is my chance to make it happen. I don’t even know what to wear, but I think that I’ll wear my favorite peach pant with my white shirt and of course that one charm bracelet that I keep losing. You know the one I keep ranting about.

Wish me luck. xoxo Alisha

Yeah she did talk about that charm bracelet a lot. I think it was her favorite. Apparently it kept disappearing. Wait that entry was written yesterday, that means her interview is today. And if I get off at the next station I walk where her interview will probably take place and return this diary her. I also want to put a face to this person I think I’ve gotten to know pretty well.

As I enter the building I see a reception and just a little left of it there are 5-6 twenty something year old girls waiting. Thankfully only one of them was wearing peach pants. I go up to her and tentatively ask her if the diary is hers. She looks surprised and she said that it was in fact hers, she seemed relieved to have found it.

” You have read it haven’t you?”

“Yes”, I reply sheepishly, looking down at my shoes. ” I didn’t mean to read the whole thing but once I started I couldn’t stop.”

” It’s okay, it’s not the first time I lost something. I’m just glad that I got it back. Thanks.”

“Best of luck for your interview and at the risk of sounding even more stalkerish, do you wanna have coffee sometime, maybe?” That came out as anything but smooth in fact it was painfully awkward but miraculously she said yes.

Soo yeah, I would love to hear what you guys think about this short story.