Street Corner Majlis

Tottering at the edge of his two big toes, the sandal swung dangerously close to falling off of it’s owners dangling limb. Meanwhile, quite regally intact, the rest of the man’s body lay generously sprawled on the tattered red and brown majlis. His right arm was propped up on a hard cushion with a a clear finjan of freshly – poured, steaming shai enclosed in his thin fingers. I could still see the frothy white bubbles surfacing at the top of the dark brown liquid. The other hand, resting on his hip held a not as delectable of an article, a grey cigarettes stub of a thing, which he raised to his darkened lips between slurps from his cup and cackles between his other lazing comrades.

In the middle of the junction of sofas was a small brown table, with a badly peeling varnish that revealed an ugly tan wood underneath its once glossy covering. Draped along one edge was some semblance of a shemagh and atop that, an array of old black and blue Motorola and Nokia phones. A skinny cat of fur colour quite the semblance of old dish water, sat scrunched beneath the tassels hanging from the cloth above, tickling her fur and causing her to twitch spasmodically in relative annoyance. As I rushed passed this calm scene, my clothes rustled , awakening her from her reverie and bestowing me with a mean glare from her squinted eyes. I replied to the mumbled salam that had been offered and clutching my armload of books towards me I slipped away from the timeless scene. I didn’t have time to study annoyed cats and lazy tea sippers; in the next building my math class awaited. ūüôā

Advertisements

Mint Girl

IMG_3601.JPG

The window fogged up in hurried spasms, as the little girl pressed up closely to its pane, behind the thick, red curtains. Her nose made a smudgy imprint on the clouded glass as she impatiently waited for the footsteps to fade out of the room. Finally, hearing the click of the light switch, she stealthily crept out of her hideaway. She daintily made her way across the room to the low, cluttered nightstand. A dusty lamp, magazines, pins, hats, buttons, reading glasses, gloves, and countless other tinkerings flooded the top of the makeshift dresser, so it’s bottom was almost indecipherable. Dainty fingers carefully picked through the items, fingering each one lovingly, yet leaving no item soiled, or mussed ¬†in their wake.¬†The girls digits were indeed dexterous masters of their graceful art.

By and by, after her initial voracious intrigues in the array of goods on the table were settled, she reached for a frayed, blue plastic bag leaning against the base of the lamp. Slowly extending her hand within the bag, so as to not disturb its crinkly-noised nature, she took out a small, wrapped parcel from within. And returning the bag dutifully to its original position, she settled back against the frame of the giant golden bed behind her, in order to appreciate what she anticipated next. Peeling away the speckled cream wrapper, she exposed a perfectly round, golden ball. Her pink tongue took an irrisitable dash at the sticky goodness, tingling it’s buds in delight. The girls mouth burst with the flavors of menthol and pepper, and a sugary sweetness too, to soften the fiery sting. A smile of contentment traced its way along her face, and she curled up to read one of the big magazines. ~

An hour later, gruff footsteps traced along the same path very little ones, had patterned upon not long ago. Entering his room he found his little girl leaning on the frame of his bed, on the knotted rough carpet of his bedside, magazine in hand. His old eyes shone as he beheld the portrait of life and its curiosities before him. Gently dislodging the book from her dimpled hands, he gathered her limp body in his arms and layed her on the canopy of his bed, then bent down to kiss her warm cheek. A breath of menthol wafted up to his nostrils as he did so, and his weathered face cracked into a loving smile. She would forever be the little mint girl.

Story Snippet #4: Nights…

The rocking chair creaked back and forth over the polished old wooden floor. A purple satin dress brushed against an empty crib, in the corner of the room. But the baby who was meant to be in it was nestled deep into the folds of her mother’s clothes, her tiny hands grasping her mother’s tightly. ¬†The young woman’s face bent low over the small, warm body laying in her arms. Her thick brown curls cascaded downwards, wreathing her rosy face as the moonlight shone upon the two heads, casting a shadow over the newborn’s body.

Little gasps escaped its pink mouth and over the ticking minutes, ebbed into deep, rhythmic breaths as the baby slowly surrendered to the clutches of her nightly torment; sleep. Beads of sweat dotted her forehead, pooling into a crease of worry that had frozen on her delicate face. Exhaustion waved upon her as the heavy eyelids slowly drooped, draping a cover over her vast hazel eyes, as the last tears of defeat ebbed their way out, dampening her heavy lashes for the last time.

 

                                   ~

Story Snippet #3: Barrack Life

He painfully opened his eyes, taking in the horrifying scenes around his barracks. Flanking him on all sides were his ailing comrades. Wound around his marred head was a once – white bandage, soaked with blood, now crusty and stained. He passed his wrapped hand across his face as the scenes of combat flashed in front of him wrenching hot tears down his soot covered cheeks. He remember; he had realized the fragility of life when it was played in a panorama before his eyes, as the shrapnel pierced his body. And now as he shut his stricken eyes the effects of war were evidently imprinted, etched into his soul.

Story Snippets #2: Journey to Space

As my fellow astronauts and I boarded the space shuttle, a waft of reality hit me. Stories of people who never made it, cluttered my memory as I cling to the metal ladder. ‘It’s not too late to turn back’ I thought to myself. Glancing down beneath me I caught a glimpse of my family, looking like ants…I barely deciphered the movements of their hands to be waving. A rush of homesickness and nausea engulfed me.

Here I was, not yet begun my journey, and I was having second thoughts. With a newfound determination, I set my jaw and began the tedious process of studying my partners black boots on the rungs above me, as the train of six people slowly inched along. There was no turning back now.

Story Snippets #1: The Medical Examiner

The medical examiner walked out of the examination room. His scrubs were smudged with a dark substance, the origins of which we didn’t want to know. With his rimless glasses perched upon the edge of his bony nose, he began to listlessly read through a yellow paper. Apparently, it was his official verdict.

” I, Simon Rutherford, declare that the death of Dennis Campbell was as a result of an assault. Upon the testimony of his autopsy, evidence shows that he was strangled, which led to his loss of oxygen, proving to evidently be fatal.”

At the end of his ‘sermon’ he peered over at us and asked mechanically, “Any questions?”. Seeing our glum expressions, he creakily stood up and handed Mum the paper, accompanied with a mumble about some paperwork that needed to be completed. Then, with a fake smile exposing his bleached teeth, he gave a little nod and disappeared down the hallway.

And that was that….