Q. Recall a time when you find yourself in a perilous situation. Tell the story how you got into the situation and how you survived. By Fasih-ul-Hassan Taqvi.

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Assef watched with repulse and sorrow as a man, lined against a wall, was yanked by his hair into an eerie looking alleyway. The strict, mullah regime had started a brutal, vicious crackdown on anything deemed not fit to mullah law. This frail individual had been caught in the clandestine act of consuming alcohol. He yelped a phrase in the crude local tongue, raising his hands in a plea for mercy.

The Mullah army officers snickered to each other and one proceeded to land a kick in the petite man’s gut. It was like he hadn’t anticipated it at all. His face appeared to have all air sucked out of it. He collapsed, groaning and grimacing in agonizing discomfort. His humiliating condition was deemed comical by the officers watching him. He seemed to raise his hand to protect himself from another assault, but conveniently was punched right on the nose. Plum coloured blood spurted all over his mouth and cracked lips. Assef tried to cover his mouth, to silence his grief for the man, as he knew what fate lay for him. 

Collectively each army officer standing delivered a ferocious storm of kicks, slaps to the man. He lay limp, motionless. His cries and whimpers of torment that resonate through the concrete jungle in Lambuksh now had fallen silent. Despite his overwhelmed state, the officers continued their attack until one of the officers raised his hand. His peers complied, fixing a wrought-iron whip in his palm. 

“They’re going to kill him”, Assef simmered and mumbled to himself. The Mullah regime had formulated a barbaric tool of torture, a whip that would transform your back into a heap of squirming tissue and flesh. 

“I have to stop them” he irritably whispered. 

In the midst of all the tyranny, he had an idea. Assef couldn’t sit in the shadow, always engulfed by fright and perturbation. His friends and family had been killed and tortured in front of his very eyes. Assef could not see another individual, punished for their ethos and varying morals, be robbed of their existence. He could do nothing then, but on this occasion, he was adamant that an end to this injustice be brought. Though his heart had crawled up to his neck, his arms twitching and shivering in horror, he mustered the audacity to bellow 

“Bas stop”.

The wild pack of jeering officers slowly turned towards him. Assef knew what he said was daunting. Perilous. Perilous enough for him to be killed. Yet he stood firm. The previous months of indignation, anger, that had steadily bottled up like magma in a volcano, let loose. Like a tiger in a cage of lambs. He shuffled through his waist coast, pulled out his pistol and began a wild west duel. With the flick and motion of his wrists, six bullets flew towards the 5 army officers. For good measure, Assef blasted three more rounds. The small battalion stood perplex, unknown to what struck them. The sky darkened, birds fluttered away in panic and the dogs barked in distress.

They crumpled within seconds, like a domino effect. Their faces screamed bewitchment and confusion. How could have they pre-empted, after endless years of harassing others and dominating them, could some un-portentous man like Assef finish them. Assef, the boy who routinely was hassled with whips and at the receiving end of their mockery. Assef, who urinated himself when he neared their pet lions. The boy whose family they finished. 

Now that boy had become a man and stood right before them, bending over their dead corpses. Snickering and cursing their name as the army handcuffed him.

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!

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