Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Fiction and Fact

This is a short piece of fiction based on a suicide bombing that took place in Israel on the 3rd of February.

Here's a short blurb on the event from the Telegraph.co.uk:

The Middle East peace process suffered a setback today when a Palestinian suicide bomber killed an Israeli woman in the first such attack in more than a year in Israel.

The attacker blew himself up in Dimona, the site of Israel’s nuclear research reactor in the Negev desert, killing a woman and injuring 10 others.

An accomplice was shot by a police officer before he was able to detonate his explosives.
The Other One
by Megan Buff

I walked the market with my mother. Every morning we took to the streets, her chatter shrill above vendors’ calls and the bustle of friends. Vegetables, fruit, bread for the day while she gabbed on about my father, my latest boyfriend, the government’s incompetence. Can you believe the row they had at the checkpoint last week? What a pack of fools!

The explosion knocked us down. We tumbled over a fruit-stand and onto the startled vendor. Figs and shrapnel rained down on us. My mother screamed and covered her head.

I untangled myself from the wreckage first. An injured man lay nearby, blood pouring from his leg and side. A shopkeeper reached him a moment before I did and ripped open the man’s shirt to stop his bleeding. He exposed an explosives belt around the man’s waist.

The man looked up at us defiantly, frightened. He held my gaze a moment. I saw him. A tear ran down his cheek. A tear of what? Pain? Failure? Fear? Abandonment?

The shopkeeper backed away, calling for police. I saw the man’s eyes lose focus. His hand twitched and for a moment I feared we would be blown apart. Together. His lips moved in a prayer I could not hear, a language I did not understand.

The man’s eyes met mine again. Even that bit of focus seemed to hurt him. He smiled a cynic’s smile, a smirk of desperation – how crazy is this world.

Two soldiers rushed up, guns bared, pushing me away. I heard the crack of bone as one stomped on the man’s wrist. The barrels of their guns brandished inches from his face. His expression turned from failure to fear. How could he have seen anything but impending death? Even I, standing back, did not see the soldiers’ faces. He shouted but was drowned out halfway through his first word.

Four clean shots rang through the marketplace. Four shots fired into his face. His blood spattered my clothing. His face distorted with the explosions of bullets.

I could no longer see his eyes.

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