God take me as I made You take my brother

The little girl sat hugging her knees in the courtyard. She had been there for several hours, her hysterical sobbing eventually trailing off into soft weeping. Tears now dry, she rocked silently back and forth. She had killed her brother, now she must die too.

Her twin brother Jawid had teased Mina mercilessly all morning, pulling her hair and frightening her with a captured insect. Mina loved her brother but sometimes he made her so angry!

She often accompanied Jawid and his friends when they went to gather firewood. Combing thru the mountains for wood was a brief respite from the boredom of village life, and Mina was as strong as any of them. But when she went to join them he told her no, you can’t come along this time. The eight other boys laughed at her, but Jawid did not laugh. He only stared, stared at her with a strange look on his face.

Mina shouted that she hated him, she hated her brother and she hoped he would die out there, before turning to run thru the courtyard into the house.

As she rocked she thought of the times her brother protected her from bigger boys, how he brought back oranges and nuts and candy from the Eid-al-Fitr celebration, how he always shared his prize, giving the bigger orange to his twin.

She remembered the words of the sheikh, that sinning in thought is the same as sinning in deed. She had wished her brother dead, now Jawid was dead. She had committed a deadly sin. She recalled the strange look on his face, as he stared back at her.

Jawid had been afraid.

Once inside the house Mina helped her mother prepare rice and bread. Walking back into the courtyard and chewing on a piece of the bread she’d made, Mina felt the hair on her arms rise up. She dropped the crust of bread and hugged herself as she grew cold. She began to shiver, finding herself in a clearing between two mountain ridges. Boys were carrying sticks and branches. A clap of thunder caused her to look into the sky as fire began to rain down on them. Screaming, she turned to run as pain tore into her back….

Mina and Jawid had once hidden and listened to the sheikh tell her father of God’s wrath, how He would strike unbelievers down on Judgment Day with fireballs from the sky. The sheikh had also said one must atone for a deadly sin before God could judge one worthy of entrance to paradise, or one would be condemned to eternity with the Accursed One.

She had seen them, she had seen the fireballs come down from the sky to strike her brother dead. She had committed a deadly sin, and must atone for it before God. But how?

Mina thought she knew. She arose, lips barely moving as she whispered the opening surah of the Quran. Walking swiftly into the street, she turned and headed towards the mountains.

November Echo Whiskey to base, single target spotted at the same coordinates as last night. Say again, single target spotted at same coordinates as last night. Request permission to engage.

Copy that, base. Weapons free. November Echo Whiskey out.

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About osori

Too old to know better.
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12 Responses to God take me as I made You take my brother

  1. Gwendolyn H. Barry says:

    probably fitting for sunday morning… the quiet tears. Oso, Spirit Brother, you are gifted. exquisite sadness. this is a teaching story … that oldest of old in the rule book. great work.

  2. desertvoice says:

    All there really is is love. When that is gone, there is a hole. Many times the hole never fully closes and emptiness reigns. Many times the hole is filled with…hate. Many thanks, Osori.

  3. Krell says:

    Another tremendous story from Oso!! If this doesn’t produce some feelings, you’re inhuman.

  4. The Beekeeper's Apprentice says:

    Back around…I dunno, 2004, 2005, I saw this show on Link TV (back when we had a sat dish and not this damned Comcast cable), about Patch Adams (the guy Robin Williams played in the movie by the same title) in Afghanistan trying to patch up kids caught in firebombings. I, who normally don’t flinch at much of anything, had to turn it off when a 3 year old was screaming bloody murder because of the 3rd degree burns all over her backside, from head to foot, and damn, I thought “I don’t give a shit how many terrorists they think are out there, it isn’t worth this.”

  5. anonymous says:

    Good post.

  6. Oso: What a great story, albeit heart-wrenching. A little girl stuck in the middle of two wars– one produced by man, and one by religion. She doesn’t understand either as they ravish her body and soul. The saddest part…it happens in REAL life!

  7. Morgalla says:

    You certainly captured the psychology of a child- they blame themselves for things that are not their fault. It’s bad enough when it is their parent’s divorce they feel responsible for, let alone the death of family. You have to feel for any child being raised in a war-torn country under the thumb of Islam. Especially girls who will never have autonomy over themselves- just because they were born there instead of somewhere else.

  8. Barbara Russo says:

    Excellent! All war brings about needless destruction and death. Do you think mankind will ever evolve? The innocents that get caught in the middle are the ones my heartaches for the most.
    A very touching story. Thank you, Oso

  9. Beach Bum says:

    First just let me say this touched me deeply, I saw a picture of a group of little Afghani girls recently and was thrown by the Hell that not only are they living through now but what will happen to them when we finally leave that country. Politicans in the best of times are weasels but these are not the best of times leaving us with sick examples of a nation that can’t for the sake of all that is good pull its collective head out of its ass. I feel sick at the blood that we ahve spilled and which will only get worse.
    This was an unbelieveable story, one of the best I have ever read.

    Secondly, totally before I read your story I finished one of my own that echos yours in several ways. I’ll have it up no later than Tuesday.

  10. John Myste says:

    First of all, don’t your characters ever have names like Mike and Susan and live in New York?

    One day after Oso has passed from this world, people will say, yes, “that’s an Oso” and point to one of these works.

    And Oso will look up a smile, “Yes, one of mine. I wish I had published them in a literary journals.”

  11. B. Evans says:

    Perhaps the most chilling ending to a story that I’ve read in a long time. Superb.

  12. Lorie DeBehnke says:

    Wow great story.

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