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.