“If it was not for that lone tree, I would…” by Rafia Sajjad


Lying there, above the soft, water-sprinkled grass, I bring the tips of my dirty fingers to my crusty cheeks. Red was all that I saw accumulated on my fingers. I licked my chapped lips that were threatening to burst; salt was all I tasted.

The masked man was still inside the house, searching through the rubble of clothes and furniture. I did not know who he was. Thoughts of my family escaping or trapped inside ran through my tangled mind.

I stood up, seeing nothing but shades of dark grey bundled with purple up above, accompanied by the house…my house, in the middle of nowhere and the lone honey locust tree in a rather peculiar area 20 feet away from the entrance of my house. Feeling dizzy, I close my eyes, trying to keep my balance but falling once again. This time, I grab the trunk of the tall tree for support.

The texture felt rough under my palm. The hard wood seemed to have scraped the front of my hand as I dragged it. I was weak; I felt sick before the patches of dry blood on the pavement. I decided to walk towards the house, get inside, look for my family, search for them. Tears suddenly started rushing down my veined eyes.

I moved slowly, a limp in my leg, but then in the distance, through the crystal clear window, I caught a glimpse of a body moving swiftly. I halted, gasping, then picked up my pace feeling absolutely furious for what the man had done. I felt the urge to confront him and ask him why he did this.

As soon as I took a few more steps forward, the door gradually creaked open…

I waited there with my dilated violet pupils. To my right, a cricket bat lay. I instantly strode to pick it up for defense. The door, now fully opened, revealed nothing but shattered pieces of glass vases.

Tensing up, I moved one step ahead, the cold hard ground sending shivers through my feet up my spine. I, then, heard the click of a gun loading. Before realizing, the masked man was running towards me, his black suit cut from places, revealing his tanned skin. I let out a highly screechy shriek followed by a ‘Help!’ even though I knew no one would come to rescue me from this devil.

Limply, I strode back to the tree. I heard a gunshot swishing past my right ear, making me jump. I did not stop though. Behind me, a deep voice spoke loudly, “This is my last one. Better make it count.” With that, he fired again but I had already approached the side of the isolated honey locust. The bullet went past my side, touching it slightly but not fully injuring me.

Heaving, I was behind the tree, grabbing the parts of my wounded skin. I heard him throw his gun, angrily letting out a grunt. Heavy footsteps pacing away filled my ears like music. Five minutes of just standing there like a statue, assured me that the man had gone.

I let out a deep sigh of relief, sneakily peeking from both sides of the North-American tree, thinking that if it was not for this lone tree I would not have survived.


About froebelianwriters

I am an English Language teacher teaching O'Levels Edexcel and CIE A Levels at Froebel's International School, Islamabad. I am also working as a Subject Specialist Literacy consultant for the same school. Writing and reading has always been a passion and I try my utmost to instill these habits and hobbies in my students as well. I can be reached/contacted at fabbas227@hotmail.com or 03365287335 Happy reading!

Comments are closed.