× Register Login What's New! Contact us

View Poll Results: Pick Your Favorite Story

Voters
19. Login to vote on this poll
  • Some Mistakes Are Worth Not Regretting

    6 31.58%
  • Small Print

    3 15.79%
  • Qareen

    10 52.63%
Results 1 to 4 of 4
  1. #1
    Ramadhan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Indonesia
    Gender
    Male
    Religion
    Islam
    Posts
    6,471
    Threads
    64
    Reputation
    52885
    Rep Power
    100
    Likes (Given)
    1045
    Likes (Received)
    1268

    LI Writing Contest 2011 - The Entries!

    Report bad ads?

    my siblings in Islam,

    Sorry for the delay, but finally we are going to read some sweet stories from our talented members. This thread is for the entries to vote for, and not for discussion (I created a separate thread to discuss the contest and the entries). All of you please vote for your favorite story and the vote will be made public.
    I will open the voting period for three weeks insha Allah.

    So, let's get some reading!

    And please do not post your comment in this thread, but here: http://www.islamicboard.com/creative...-comments.html
    Last edited by Ramadhan; 12-10-2011 at 08:22 AM.
    LI Writing Contest 2011 - The Entries!






  2. Report bad ads?
  3. #2
    Ramadhan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Indonesia
    Gender
    Male
    Religion
    Islam
    Posts
    6,471
    Threads
    64
    Reputation
    52885
    Rep Power
    100
    Likes (Given)
    1045
    Likes (Received)
    1268

    Re: LI Writing Contest 2011 - The Entries!

    Some Mistakes Are Worth Not Regretting




    Written Jan. 1, 2011

    I gave up everything for love: my home, my family, even money, in exchange marrying a man belonging to a poor family, simply because I was in love with him.

    My family gave me the ultimatum. Choose us or choose him. And I chose him, giving up our large family home, my car, the money in my bank account which I had gotten from my extremely rich but rather snobby father, which he took back.

    I still visited them. It’s not like they disowned me. They weren’t going to break the ties of kinship and risk being barred from going to Heaven. They even said I would get my share in inheritance. But other than that, I was treated as a stranger. And my husband wasn’t welcome in their house.

    And so, here I was sitting in my one bedroom house, looking out at the snow falling onto the yard which belonged to his extended family. The apartment was on the third floor of his family’s house, and, although cozy, it was tiny compared to the house I had grown up in, with scarce furnishing and peeling paint on the walls. A traditional kerosene heater was lit in the corner to heat the room, in place of an electric heater which caused high electricity bills.

    I glanced at my six-month daughter asleep in her cot and couldn’t help the worry coming over me regarding my dire circumstances. What was going to become of us? What would my daughter’s life be like? Would she go to a good school? Would she get a college education? Would she even get good nourishment?

    Money was scarce in our home. My husband, Fareed, worked for his family’s business and barely earned the equivalent of $200, while I worked a few hours a week at an international company, earning a meagre salary. Expenses in this place were high and on top of that, my husband was trying to get higher education by taking evening classes, which took a big toll on our income. It was a three-year course that Fareed was nearly done with, having less than a year to go. And then I hoped that we’d be able to save some money, that he’d get a better job, etc. But those were just hopes. And hopes were something one couldn’t rely on much.

    I had had big hopes while growing up. Particularly, from my family, but they let me down big time. They knew what I was going through but it seemed more like they wanted me to regret my decision and seeing sadness on my face was what they were looking forward to, what ever made it happen.

    And I tried hardest to not let that happen. But it was hard to resist. Just as now, I wanted to cry. What would become of our life in the next 5, 10 years? I wanted more children, but could I afford having them? Already, the pregnancy and delivery had kept me out of work for nearly six months, not to mention the expenses that a baby brought, and that nearly destroyed my small family. After all, when you have financial problems, you can’t be happy and that affects your marriage, especially when you don’t have the support of others. There were times when we’d argue over everything, simply because of the scarcity of money. My husband’s family were even unhappy with the timing of the baby, saying that I should have waited until my husband completed his education and our circumstances were better, but alhamdullillah Fareed and I were grateful for this great gift of Allah and did everything to not let it affect us or our small child. Now looking at her, I was both happy and sad. The questions kept striking me, making me wish I could do something to make things different.

    Just then the phone rang. “Hello,” I said into the phone.

    “Are you crying?” it was my little sister, Joy.

    “Why would I be crying,” I yelled at her.

    “Dunno, you just sounded sad.”

    “In your dreams.” I replied. “I’ve got the best hubby and child in the world. So what you calling for?”

    “Oh,” she shrieked, “how could I forget?! I’m getting engaged!”

    “Talk about something to be excited about.” I knew who she was getting engaged to, as our parents had talked about it often in the near past. It was their neighbour, who was totally not my type, having a reputation of practically living in the office and I didn’t think marriage with him would be any fun.

    “Well, at least he’s rich. There will be plenty of security in that marriage, insha-Allah. Unlike yours.”

    “I’m secure,” I said back. “But will there be love and happiness and fun? Or just a boring life? Why not just stay unmarried? You’ve got plenty of security living with Mum and Dad.”

    “I knew I couldn’t talk to you,“ she replied. “I wonder if you’re starving yourself. I can’t imagine how someone can enjoy life if they are starved?”

    “Well then I must not be. So when is it?” I said bringing back to the subject. Was I going to be invited?

    “Tonight!” she shrieked.

    Well, I knew it. “Thanks for telling me. Good luck.” And I hung up the phone. I wasn’t invited. You don’t call someone on the day of a party to invite them. The phone rang again but I didn’t pick it up. Just then my mobile phone beeped, letting me know there was a message. From Joy, of course.

    “It’s at 7:30. You can come if you have something to wear.”

    Well, I ignored it. I knew it wasn’t a sincere invitation. And I didn’t care what not going proved to them. I wasn’t about to waste money on some dress I would only wear one evening and regret buying, probably the rest of my life.

    ***

    A few week’s later, I was informed of the wedding. At least they had the courtesy to invite me in advance. And I went to the wedding. I didn’t want to let my younger sister down in case she wanted me there, and I didn’t want my family to think I didn’t have money to buy clothes or anything. The dress I wore was my sister-in-law’s that I borrowed and dry-cleaned. I still didn’t want to waste more than my husband’s salary to buy a dress. The dress was new, having only been worn once to a party, so no one would know, but was my sister psychic or what because she said the exact thing. “That dress looks like you borrowed from someone.”

    I just shrugged. “Whatever,” I said. “If I cared what people said, I wouldn’t have married Fareed when everyone was against it.”

    “If you had a brain, you wouldn’t have married him,” she said.

    “Why? Because he doesn’t have as much money as we did? He’s religious and good-mannered, not to mention gorgeous. And it’s loads of fun being around him. What more can I want?” We had had this conversation before and I knew it would go nowhere with my sister.

    She just shook her head. “Some people never learn. When Sahr is growing up,” she said, nodding at my daughter, “not being able to go to a proper school, not being able to eat a proper dinner, you will realize your mistake.”

    “Neither her father nor I will let that happen, unlike our parents, who are willing to do just that. What good is having so much money, if you can’t help a relative in need?”

    “Who? You?” she asked, then walked away.

    The wedding went well and the couple flew to the Bermuda Islands for their honeymoon. Over the next few days I was informed that they were having the time of their life, and I was happy for them. But I wondered if that was possible. My brother-in-law, Asim, was the most boring man on the planet who spent more time at work than anything else and I wondered what type of life he would give his wife? Would he change now that he was married or would it be the same and he would be home late, go to work early, and be too tired to pay any attention to his wife?

    And it seemed, unfortunately, that that was exactly what was happening, just two months after they were married. My sister was constantly calling me, asking me for advice to spice up their marriage.

    “Tell me what to wear,” she said once. “I’ll even pay you for the advice. What ever you ask.” Well she was desperate to be saying that.

    “Umm, wear something revealing. And a little makeup, to make it seem natural. but not too much makeup. And don’t forget the perfume. It does wonders.” I replied. “or you could go for the mysterious look and wear a black dress.” Black really worked for me. I even had black furniture in the bedroom and the wall near the bed was painted black to give it the mystical effect. “And I don’t want any money.” I added. “What do I look like to you?”

    Another time she said, “He’s never home. Not even on the weekends. What should I do to change this?”

    “That’s news to me. “ I said sarcastically. “Nothing you can do to change boring people, except for not marrying them.”

    “Give. Me. Some. Proper. Advice.”

    Soon the couple were going to counselling, and less than a year after getting married, they were separated. My sister was back in my parent’s house and considering divorce, while parents were trying to solve her issues. It wasn’t working.

    “I could give it another try,” Joy said to me once.

    “And get more headache,” I replied. “Look, make your own decisions, but if I were you I would end things when there’s still a chance. Not that I would’ve ever married him in the first place.“

    “What do you mean?”

    “Before you have any children, stupid.”

    Well, that drove the message home, and a few days later Joy was divorced. Her divorce even changed my family’s attitude toward me. It seemed they finally understood why I had made my decision to marry the man I loved and that it wasn’t just to defy them. I got back the money that had been in my bank account and things changed for the better. My parents started welcoming my husband more. And soon after, Joy remarried. This time to someone who came from a middle-class family but who wasn’t boring or a workaholic. And someone Joy was in-love with.

    And so, alhamdolillah, mine and Joy’s problems were solved and our futures looked bright. Joy had a happy marriage and my financial troubles were over. My daughter would have a good upbringing, insha-Allah.

    The End.

    Last edited by Ramadhan; 12-21-2011 at 08:24 AM.
    | Likes PurpleCup liked this post
    LI Writing Contest 2011 - The Entries!






  4. #3
    Ramadhan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Indonesia
    Gender
    Male
    Religion
    Islam
    Posts
    6,471
    Threads
    64
    Reputation
    52885
    Rep Power
    100
    Likes (Given)
    1045
    Likes (Received)
    1268
    Small Print


    Haroon locked the bathroom door, silenced the electronic muezzin blasting the call to prayer from his phone and hoped Asiyah hadn’t heard. He didn’t have the energy for the discussion that would follow if she had. Besides, he’d just installed Price Tag.

    The terms and conditions blurred into digital hieroglyphics rocketing past the top of the phone’s screen as he scrolled through to select ‘Accept’. Black lines spiralled across the grey background and transformed it into a camera shutter which dilated to reveal the bathroom.

    Haroon nodded, pointing the phone at the sink. “Nice animation.” Took a photo. “Let’s check this thing out.”

    The picture of the sink was briefly obscured by onscreen instructions through which he skipped, whereupon the image sprouted a price tag that dangled from the tap, characters forming from the simulated shadows which licked the tag’s blank face with each slow spin.

    He wondered how close the app’s estimate would be. Two hundred quid here or there was acceptable, but then Price Tag did take depreciation into account…

    “Best 50 pence I ever spent,” he said as the phone chimed and the animated tag stopped twirling. The characters on its face curved and twisted into an oval that housed a pair of black orbs below which a horizontal line stretched into the path of three vertical marks like stiches.

    It looked like a skull.

    Haroon said, “Huh?”

    Three knocks on the bathroom door. “Are you leading Maghrib or what?” Asiyah’s frustration vibrated through the woodwork. “Can’t even pray a few nafl without your silly adhaan app interrupting. Why can’t you just come for namaz when I remind you?”

    “Just doing my wudhu.” Haroon turned on the tap. “Is Lukhman with you?”

    “He’s playing downstairs. Would you hurry up?”

    He slipped the phone into his pocket and rolled up his sleeves. “Five minutes.”

    “Every single time.” Asiyah’s frown was audible in her words, even as they faded, her footsteps receding.

    Haroon performed his ablutions. Asiyah would keep for another ten minutes. He’d probably be able to figure out what was wrong with Price Tag in that time. He dried himself off and stepped into the corridor, glancing into their bedroom where Asiyah knelt on a prayer mat and read the Qur’an.

    “I’ll fetch Lukhman,” he said and she nodded, her face a half-moon against the starless sky of her hijab. He smiled. Six years since they’d married and she still poured beauty into simple gestures.

    The fact she was wearing one of the designer headscarves he’d bought her didn’t hurt.

    He found Lukhman in the living room. The boy crashed toy cars together on the floor. On the television, animated automobiles traded flaming missiles. Haroon shook his head. The kid loved this DVD. Cartoon violence - the ultimate babysitter. He stroked Lukhman’s hair.

    “Daddy!” The boy beamed at him. “Is it my birthday today?”

    Haroon laughed. Lukhman had been asking the same question for the past four weeks. Never got old. “Only 11 months to go.” He picked the boy up. “It’s namaz time. Go do wudhu like I showed you.”

    Lukhman went silent, screwed his face into a contemplative mask. Then: “Can I splash?”

    “No splashing.” He kissed his son and watched him scamper upstairs. Then Haroon’s phone chimed three times. On its screen was a picture of the three of them laughing at the park, Asiyah holding Lukhman who pumped both fists in the air while Haroon held his wife and son close with one arm. Around each of their necks hung a price tag. Lukhman was worth three skulls, Asiyah two and Haroon, whose image’s free arm joyously reached for the camera phone beyond the picture’s border, was valued at one.

    “What the hell?” He must have accidentally selected the photo album when putting the phone in his pocket, but he didn’t know Price Tag applied to pictures he had already taken. Another chime and the image flashed scarlet letters that read, “You win!”

    The lights flickered. The floorboards trembled. The house’s guts scraped and creaked, snapped and cracked. And somebody clapped. Twice. Sounded like they were in the basement.

    He sprinted for the cellar door, beyond which something padded up the steps. His right hand made a fist. His left hand reached for the door.

    It opened from the other side.

    From the darkness emerged a hand, an arm, a rolled-up work sleeve. A startled face.

    The man in the cellar doorway lurched backwards. Protesting shouts echoed from the basement in response. The man exhaled, wiped his hands on his overalls and said, “Jeez, think you could warn me next time?”

    Adrenaline made Haroon’s voice oscillate somewhere between fear and rage. “Who are you?”

    The man looked down the basement steps. “Boss!”

    Male voices echoed in the darkness and the man stepped into the hallway. Somewhere beneath the cloud of panic that rooted Haroon to the spot, he knew he shouldn’t really have let the guy out of the cellar. After all, the others down there might follow suit, like the line of blokes in identical overalls who then filed out of the doorway, a surging centipede of removal men.

    Some of them entered the living room; others the kitchen; upstairs, bathroom, bedrooms, and all of them trailing black footprints and the stink of singed carpet.

    And up the cellar steps walked a suited man who smiled, doffed his hat and said, “Hi.”

    Who the hell did this guy think he was? He and his boys couldn’t just barge into Haroon’s property without cause, warning or identification. Haroon had a good mind to shove him down the stairs. “Hi,” Haroon said, wittily.

    The suited man produced a card from his pocket. “Always a pleasure to meet our customers.”

    Haroon took the card. He couldn’t tell if the five-letter word on its surface was the name of the company or the suited man. It didn’t make sense either way. Unless…

    Haroon spun around, glaring into each corner of the ceiling for hidden cameras.

    The suited man cleared his throat. “What are you doing?”

    Haroon shook a finger at him and grinned. “This is a prank. A reality show or something, right?”

    The suited man grinned back. “Wrong.”

    Haroon tried to laugh. The anxiety wriggling through his gut like larvae made the chuckle more of a shudder. “Come on. You can’t be who this card says you are. That would be ridiculous.”

    “Why?” The suited man raised his eyebrows. “Didn’t picture me carrying business cards?”

    Haroon forced a smile as the larvae in his stomach metamorphosed into razor-tipped butterflies. “Doesn’t fit the, um, traditional image.”

    “You bet it doesn’t.” The suited man stepped past him and entered the living room. “We’re rebranding. We’ve been terribly misrepresented over the years, you know. I mean, the religious iconography was weird enough, but the secular versions?” He shook his head. “The only red a man should wear is on his tie, am I right?”

    “You’re actually him?” The butterflies in Haroon’s stomach burst into flame. “You’re actually…”

    “Iblis.” The suited man bowed his head. “In the flesh.” His brow furrowed. “Well, temporary flesh really, and I’m only known as ‘Iblis’ to our Muslim customers, but you know what? ‘Lucifer’ just doesn’t have the same ring to it.”

    Haroon saw Iblis approaching the workmen who carried the coffee table out of the living room and into the cellar; heard other workers cracking kitchen cabinets from the walls; felt them push him out of the way so they could take a rug into the basement.

    None of it registered. It carried on around him and he allowed it, because it couldn’t be, it made no sense and: “Satan is in my living room.” The words came out of his mouth but sounded as if they were spoken by some other Haroon, one who lived in a faraway land with pixies and talking bunny rabbits, so it was easy to say, “I’m having a nervous breakdown.”

    Iblis looked at him. “Nope.”

    “Then it’s a dream. A nightmare. It’s the simplest explanation. Cut away the impossible and all that’s left is the truth. Ockham’s razor.”

    Iblis scoffed. “Ockham took shaving far too seriously.” He picked up the remote control and increased the television’s volume until the animated carnage of Lukhman’s cartoon thundered through the room. “Great movie, but I prefer the first one. More innocent, you know.”

    Haroon inhaled. “I want you to leave.”

    Iblis laughed. “You didn’t read it.”

    “What?”

    Iblis jabbed a finger at him. “The agreement.”

    “I don’t have time for this.” Haroon didn’t believe in those words. They just seemed to be the right thing to say. Even if this was a lucid dream, it needn’t be too nightmarish. One call to the police and his subconscious would follow through to either help him out or wake him up. All he had to do was exit his mobile phone’s photo album -

    Which he couldn’t.

    Nothing worked. Nothing responded. Nothing happened. His phone was a brick decorated with a picture of his happy family.

    “Locked.” Iblis sat in the armchair and sighed. “Clause 26-a of the terms and conditions you agreed to without reading.”

    Haroon didn’t reply. To do so would be pointless. Nothing was real. The locked phone was probably his subconscious spicing things up. Besides, he could still use the landline, a cordless telephone on the shelf next to the armchair in which Iblis reclined. Haroon picked up the receiver and dialled.

    He wasn’t entirely surprised that the line was dead. Nor did he comment when Iblis gestured to the workman holding the telephone line’s severed end.

    “Clause 26-b.” Iblis tilted his head. “The thing is you don’t need any help, not that anyone would be able to provide any if you did. However, since the terms of the agreement and its implications seem to have escaped your attention, it behoves me to remind you that you have in fact won a prize.”

    Haroon was emotionless. “A prize?” Yippee. As he spoke, fire-heeled demons in overalls trudged around his house to shove his possessions into the basement, and he had won a prize. What a strange nightmare life had become.

    “Well, a trip, really. A preview.”

    “Of what?”

    Iblis smiled, explosions from the cartoon glinting in his eyes. “Of your eternity.”

    Haroon said nothing and turned for the stairs. He’d forgotten that his wife and child existed in this unreality.

    “A potential eternity, and don’t worry, in accordance with Clause 12-e Asiyah and Lukhman will come along too,” Iblis said. “Father, mother and son, cosy among their worldly possessions, basking in the warm glow afforded by a weekend excursion in Hell.”

    Haroon stopped. Faced Iblis. If reality was Haroon’s nightmare, he may as well sound awesome. “Over my dead body.”

    Iblis grinned. “That can be arranged.”

    Haroon headed for the stairs but could not ascend them. Workmen descended, lugging a lamp, a looking glass and Lukhman. The boy’s fists were balled above his head. He did not move. At the rear, other workers carried Asiyah, also stiffly paralyzed, her arm curved around an imaginary child. Haroon wondered when he’d wake. The workmen drew nearer and he saw the smile frozen on Lukhman’s face, the silent laugh framed by Asiyah’s mouth. He saw their eyes.

    He staggered backward, slipped, slid to the front door and gripped the handle.

    His hand burned.

    He screamed and held his smoking right palm before him, the reddened, bubbling skin rank like fried meat. The pain and the stench were too vivid for nightmares. Everything that had happened was real. And the smug, suited king of this chaos stood in the hallway.

    “Sorry about the door handle.” Iblis adjusted his hat. “Clause 85-b. Preventing escapes.”

    Haroon charged for the cellar door, into which the workmen carrying his family had already vanished. Haroon lunged through the doorway. Strong arms wrapped around his chest and dragged him out. He shouted incoherently at the workmen restraining him. His words returned when he caught sight of Iblis. “What are you doing to my family?”

    “Not sure I like your tone, mister.”

    “They’re alive. I saw their eyes.” Haroon leaned toward him. “Give them back.”

    “Give them back?” Iblis burst into laughter. “This is precisely the problem. Possessive scumbags like you install Price Tag, blatantly ignoring its implications, then have the cheek to make me the bad guy!”

    Haroon struggled against the workmen. They didn’t budge. He wasn’t in the mood for rants. “Give them back and get out.”

    Iblis looked as if Haroon had turned into a giant spider. “Clause 23-h. We’re transporting them, along with your possessions, the entire house, brick for brick. You’ll feel right at home on your little getaway. Come on, don’t act surprised. You made the agreement. You invited us in.” Iblis shrugged. “You didn’t read the Ts and Cs? T.S.”

    “I want my family!”

    Iblis shook his head. “You’re a toddler crying for his favourite toy.” He gestured to the workmen holding Haroon and entered the living room. “Bring him in.”

    Haroon flexed his right hand as they walked in. Pain erupted from his burn, keeping him lucid. Keeping him livid.

    Iblis stopped and ejected Lukhman’s DVD. “I don’t suppose you’ve figured out what those skulls mean.” He put the disc in its case and looked at Haroon. “On the price tags.”

    “They mean your app is a crock.”

    Iblis nodded to one of the workmen, who pulled Haroon’s mobile from his pocket and threw it to Iblis. “What a nice family picture. Shame about the price tags. I mean, look at this. Lukhman is worth three souls? Ridiculous.”

    Haroon set his jaw and squeezed his right fist. The pain would help him to humour this idiot. “A skull is worth a soul?”

    “Yep. To you, Lukhman is worth the total of your soul, your wife’s and his own.” Iblis reached into his jacket pocket. “Asiyah is so important to you that she’s worth your soul and hers. Romantic.” He pulled out a DVD. “And you? Worth your own soul and nothing more. Simple.”

    Haroon dug his fingers into the burn. “My bathroom sink is worth my soul?”

    “At the moment you took the picture, yes. At that moment you were more interested in playing with a mobile phone app than praying.” He spun the DVD on his finger. “The irony is that if you’d just gone and prayed, Clause 73-j would have kicked in and stopped all this from happening.”

    “I was going to pray-”

    “But you didn’t.” Iblis put the DVD in the player. “And them’s the rules.” He picked up the remote and gazed at the television admiringly. “Nice setup. Ever think about upgrading to an HD player? It would look amazing.”

    Haroon glared at him. “Why are we having this conversation?”

    Iblis sat in the armchair. “Because you need to calm down.” Pressed Play. “And you need to see that you’ve only got yourself to blame.”

    The television displayed a supermarket, within which Haroon picked Lukhman’s DVD off the shelf. The screen showed Haroon chatting with the shop assistant while paying for the DVD, saying, “This will keep the little ‘un quiet for a couple of hours.”

    Haroon jostled with the workers holding him and leaned toward the TV. The DVD Iblis was playing showed true events from weeks ago, but they played out like a movie rather than cobbled-together CCTV footage. “How did you get this?”

    “Modern technology.” Iblis paused the DVD. “See how selfish you are on this thing? You didn’t buy Lukhman the movie to make him happy. You bought him it to shut him up.”

    Haroon didn’t give him the satisfaction of a response.

    Iblis shrugged and clicked the remote. The Next Chapter icon appeared in the corner of the screen and the scene changed to Haroon buying that designer headscarf for Asiyah, him holding the fabric and saying, “She’ll look amazing in this.” Pause.

    Iblis raised an eyebrow. “That’s all your wife is to you? An ornament to be adorned?”

    “You’re taking it out of context-”

    “Am I?” Next chapter.

    The park. Smiling. Laughing. Asiyah holding Lukhman, who pumped his fists in the air, Haroon taking a picture of the three of them with the phone in his right hand and holding them close with his left. Pause.

    “Here we go.” Iblis cackled. “Here’s the clincher.”

    “What’s so selfish about a father embracing his family?”

    “Not just any father.” Iblis reclined. “I watch our customers for a long time. Meet them in disguise. Get to know them. And I know you. The kind of guy who buys gifts for his wife so she can look pretty for him. The kind of possessive creep who buys his kid violent cartoons to sate him, like giving a bone to a noisy dog.” Iblis pointed at the screen. “It’s all in the body language. Given your personality it’s obvious you can’t even hug your family out of selfless love. You can only hoard them like the prized possessions they are.” Iblis looked at him, solemn. “Your love is greed.”

    The blazing butterflies in Haroon’s stomach fell dead, extinguished by guilt. By sorrow. Iblis was right. So Haroon focused on the pain in his right hand, for in pain there was refuge and there was strength. He said, “Good work, Sigmund.”

    Iblis nodded tiredly. “Go on, deflect. Deny. Justify. Our customers are so utterly predictable when faced with their own sinful stupidity. They do everything they can to avoid the problem and nothing to solve it.” He stood, ejected the DVD and slipped it back into his pocket. “But I feel sorry for your family. They needn’t suffer. Maybe I’ll wipe their memoires of you after your little family break and set them up with a new life.”

    Iblis stepped out of the way of two workmen who picked up the TV. “You personally can stay on your little trip a while longer, like one of those oblivious saps trapped there until Judgment Day. I think you’ll even enjoy it. It’s just like daily life, only more, pardon the pun, hellish.” He followed the workmen carrying the television into the cellar and signalled to the workers who held Haroon.

    “The worst day of your life for the rest of your afterlife,” Haroon heard Iblis say while the workmen dragged him through the cellar doorway. They trudged down the steps.

    Orange glowed in the semi-dark, illuminating cabinets, bedframes, clothing, electronics. Everything he owned, bunched against the cellar walls, spilling across the floor. In the centre of the room stood Asiyah holding Lukhman. Both were still frozen into their poses from the photograph. Haroon wished he was dreaming, or that he still thought he was. Delusion would redeem this depression. “Don’t do this. I didn’t know. Please.”

    Iblis didn’t look at him. “Your toilet might contain the last crap I give.”

    The workmen shoved Haroon toward his family. He looked into their eyes, then lowered and closed his own. “I get it.” Quiet. Delicate. Confessional. “None of this junk matters. I can’t take it with me. Even if I could, it wouldn’t matter.”

    “That’s nice to hear.” Iblis sounded as sympathetic as a brick through a window.

    Haroon opened his eyes and faced him. Behind Iblis, two workmen dropped the 1080p HD TV into a glowing amber hole in the floor. The television was worth half a grand. Haroon did not care. “You’ve made your point. Let us go.”

    “Nonsense. How would you enjoy your prize?” Iblis cracked his knuckles. “Now we’ve got all three of you, let’s prepare you for transport.” He held his hands wide. “Under the power vested in me by Clause 91-c, I beseech you - turn that frown upside down.” And clapped.

    Haroon opened his mouth to speak. His tongue would not move. His limbs would, against his will, and after they had done so, froze into place. His legs had positioned him beside Asiyah so his left arm could hold her and Lukhman close. His right arm had raised, burned palm facing them, fingers curled around a non-existent mobile phone. He didn’t want to smile. His facial muscles made him.

    “Glorious!” Iblis laughed and fiddled with Haroon’s phone. “Just to unlock this in accordance with Clause… oh, it’s not like you’ve read it anyway.” He raised the phone to eye level. “Two days in Hell lasts a lot longer than it sounds. I’m sure you’ll love it. Just stay alert. Keep sharp.” Iblis grinned and took a picture of Haroon’s smiling family. “Read the small print.”
    Last edited by Muezzin; 12-08-2011 at 10:35 AM. Reason: Posts merged
    | Likes Ernest liked this post
    LI Writing Contest 2011 - The Entries!






  5. #4
    Ramadhan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Indonesia
    Gender
    Male
    Religion
    Islam
    Posts
    6,471
    Threads
    64
    Reputation
    52885
    Rep Power
    100
    Likes (Given)
    1045
    Likes (Received)
    1268
    Qareen

    318. That was the house number Aziz was looking for. In it he would find what many of the locals described a mental institute escapee. However, the nearest mental institute was thousands of miles away

    Over the past few days, the locals reported a number of noises coming from house 318. Mainly screams, although on some occasions household items had been thrown out windows.

    As is common amongst small towns, news travelled fast eventually making its way to the local imam. He hired Aziz as part of a joint operation with the local police force to investigate and if needs be deal with the problem.

    The officer sent, however, was reluctant to investigate after several large objects were thrown at him. He figured he would wait for back-up, because he couldn’t decide whatever was in there escaped from a mental institute, or a zoo. Aziz noticed the patrol officer in his car and made his way towards him.

    “I was hired by the imam to investigate the incidents taking place at 318. Name’s Aziz.”
    The patrol officer responded “Oh right, the joint-operations thing. Sure, go on right ahead. Me, I’m staying right in this car; where it’s safe!”

    “Can you believe this guy?” Aziz mumbled under his breath.
    The officer took note of Aziz seemingly talking to himself, but realising how late it was he brushed it off.

    The front door had been broken open – most likely due to the escapee’s violent behaviour, deduced Aziz. He could hear the escapee shouting unintelligibly as he preceded towards the living room.

    “Hi, honey. I’m home. Love what you’ve done to the place”. He took note of a broken coffee table, vases and holes in the wall made by various house-hold items thrown into them; standard-affair.

    Admiring the rest of the escapee’s handiwork, Aziz pressed on through the front room, listening intensively to the undecipherable babbling in a hope to trace the escapee’s location. As he made his way closer towards the kitchen, the babbling intensified.

    Entering the kitchen, Aziz finally came face to face with the escapee – standing right in the middle, arms stretched out and looking upwards towards the ceiling, pots, pans and various forms of cutlery circling him in mid-air.

    “Told you it would be a possession case. One point to me, B.” He made eye contact with the escapee “Listen up Betty-boo; we can do this the easy way, or the hard way.”

    The pots and pans dropped as the escapee’s body found a new posture. Hunched and poised, he was ready to attack. Hard way it is.

    In a split-second, the escapee tackled Aziz, ramming his spine in to one of the kitchen walls. Locked in by his bear-like grip, Aziz tried to break free. Unsuccessful, he pounded on the escapee’s back until its tight-grip released.

    The escapee recovered almost instantly. With a twist of his wrist, a nearby kitchen chairs flew towards Aziz at great speed. He was able catch it, but the sheer force caused him to stagger backwards. A second twist bought a knife to hand which soon came crashing down on him. He caught it mid-air and punched the escapee in his chest and then in the face until the knife dropped. Grabbing him with his other arm, Aziz threw him to the floor. Lights out!

    Aziz knelt down besides and whispered into the left ear of the battered being. “In the name of Allah, the most beneficent, the most merciful. I command you, jinn, to leave this human’s body.” The Jinn screamed and shouted in response. “You will leave this human’s body!” Aziz said again with greater force. The jinn screamed a second time – its arms flailed but were quickly restrained. “I exhume you from this body!”

    The jinn finally gave in to the exorcism. Aziz caught a look of its floating apparition as it left the human’s body and slowly began to disintegrate into nothingness. “That’s two for not using any equipment.”


    Aziz left the house, making his way towards the patrol officer and gave him the all clear signal. “He’s a little shook up about the whole thing. Get him checked out at the hospital. And fix his front door – don’t want to give Mr Smith any more hassle than he already has.”

    The officer acknowledged and called it in.
    *****


    Heading towards the mosque he passed through the town’s bazar gloating to himself. “And another one bites the dust. I didn’t even need any equipment”

    So you keep saying a voice inside his head replied

    “Or your help.”

    Oh really? the voice continued

    “Yeah re – wait a second” He felt the temperature surrounding drop suddenly. A cold wind shivered down his spine.

    “I can’t see them. Eyes and ears, B”

    Half a dozen jinni appear to have surrounded us

    “Capabilities and ailments?”

    Telekenisis. Iron and holy water.

    There was no malice or hint of sarcasm in Bubbles’ tone of voice. But Aziz knew he wouldn’t let this slide. He changed the subject quickly “There’s a tool stall nearby – should have plenty of iron. Locate it fast, while I cast an enchantment”.

    He knelt down, with his right hand touching the floor and began reciting a small prayer. A glimmer of light, visible only to the eye of jinn could be seen emanating from inside his chest. The light channelled down his right arm before turning into a shockwave spreading in all directions.

    Like moth to flame, the jinni surrounding him drew closer. Four of them were incinerated instantly; the remaining two pulled back to avoid the blast and re-grouped, Bubbles had confirmed to him telepathically as well as the exact location to the tool store.

    The shockwave had paved a clear way to the tool store, Aziz wasted no time in finding and brandishing an assortment of iron-based tools. Wrench and spanner in hand he turned to face the remaining jinni – Bubbles had tuned his eye-sight so that he could now see them in their ethereal form: half-bodies black as the night sky with arms stretching out ready to pull his body limb from limb; their faces contorted and their eyes glowing.

    Aware of his tricks, they approached cautiously still. Assessing their surroundings, they noted their target had backed himself against a wall. Weaving intricately between one another they gained ground and spiralled towards Aziz.

    Works every time. He charged forwards the jinni, striking, stabbing and slicing as he met them half way. They howled as every hit that landed tore parts of their ethereal body apart, until both of them had completely disintegrated.

    ******


    Making his way to the prayer room he found the imam alone sat in deep meditation.
    Greeting and then sitting beside him, Aziz informed the imam of the events that transpired earlier that evening. He sought comfort in a friend as much as he sought payment for his duty.

    Upon learning of his recent encounters, the imam constantly checked his student to see if he was alright – much to his annoyance.

    “See? I told you, I’m perfectly fine” he declared.

    “The last time you said that, a snake dropped out of your pocket. So excuse me if I take extra precaution this time!”

    Aziz rolled his eyes, even if the imam had a point. The imam finished patting down his student before they both sat down; student for his pay and the Master for another scolding.

    “Did you use him?

    “Only once. But I still don’t see what the problem is, he’s taken shahadat. It’s no different than you or any other muslim brother helping me when I’m out doing my thing…” Aziz mumbled.

    “Every being on this planet has their own personal Qareen assigned to them, you know this. And Allah has granted you a great gift in being able to communicate with yours. To rely on him as you do, however, is borderline shirk.”

    “Yeah bu-” his plead was quickly interrupted as the imam continued.

    “In any case, I am deeply concerned about tonight’s events. Jinn do not normally attack in such large groups, or in such an orchestrated manner. I am convinced they are being summoned to target you specifically, using Mr Smith as the bait to lure you out. Do you know anyone who might have a grudge against you? ”

    “Jealous exorcists, maybe? Or imams that ‘don’t approve’ of my methods?”
    “They would bare such grudge; enough to summon jinn? Not likely.”

    “Well, it could be the Magus Brothers, I mean they’ve got plenty of motives – especially after the last time I gate-crashed one of their private dinner parties.”

    “But no means – you said you took out the elder of the four, the dimension-crosser?”

    “I did. But, who knows maybe they’ve recruited a summoner - in this region? Know anyone who’s been involved with dark arts lately?”

    “I have my suspicions.” The imam checked the time on his watch, “But it is getting late. I think it best we all get some well-deserved-
    “-Pay?”

    A smile forming, the imam continued “I was going to say rest, actually. But thank you for reminding me”

    Pulling out an envelope from his pocket, he passed it towards Aziz.

    “That’ll do nicely”

    A joyous Aziz left the masjid, heading home. Unbeknownst to him, a cat lurked in the shadows, watching him closely.

    ******

    Iqbal was one of the oldest residents in the town and the proud owner of the local book shop. He had always been known for his cheeriness but the past few months had changed him considerably. Sifting through the many book shelves, with topics ranging from agriculture to zoology, Iqbal came to a small section on the Occult and soon located a book, a gift from some acquaintances, he had use over a dozen times this month alone. He took it down and laid it on the table, flicking through the pages.

    Reaching the end of the book, disappointment soon turned to joy as he read the last entry: Demons.

    Demons, the book read, had power on par to that of devils. This power, however, was extremely difficult to control, the book warned. Iqbal looked towards his pet cat and remembered about his early summonses – after all the hours spent creating a portal to an entirely different dimension, even the weaker, lower-class jinni had proven to be notoriously difficult to control. Some did not even grant him a request, and many of those that did often flew right back into the portal from whence they came.

    But that was in the past and he was a changed man now, in more ways than one. His persistence eventually paid off by gaining him a minor reputation amongst the jinni as well as immense experience in the dark arts, making it easier to open a portal into this world. Reputation would not so easily sway a demon, however.

    To control a demon this powerful, the book informed him he would have to bind it to an item, which held deep personal significance. As long as this bind was intact, the book continued, the demon could not attack him and it would be forced to obey his each and every command. Around Iqbal’s neck was a gold rimmed green crystal amulet, a gift from his beloved who passed away earlier this year. This would be more than enough to bind a demon, he thought.

    He made his way towards the shop’s basement. Secluded, dark and completely isolated, it had proven to be the most ideal place for a summons. He placed four incensed candles, one in each corner and in the middle lay a circle drawn in chalk, slightly worn out from previous uses. Lighting the candles, the room soon became incensed as he sat inside the circle and began the ritual.

    Many hours passed. Thousands of mantras were spoken. The room temperature dropped significantly as a gateway to the jinni dimension tore open in front of him. Although Iqbal could not visibly see the demon, he could feel its presence coming from the portal.

    “Reveal yourself to me!” He commanded. His ears traced a mighty roar, and his eyes followed. He saw nothing. Rubbing the amulet he commanded “Oh powerful demon, I have bound you to this amulet! Reveal yourself to me!” In a matter of seconds, the demon manifested itself into a visible form. It took the shape of a very large and intimidating human being; broad shoulders and long, thick black shoulder-length hair. Iqbal estimated at least 7 feet tall. Impressive

    “What is your command?” enquired the demon, kneeling before its master.

    “There is a human being I wish for you to slay. In exchange, I offer you asylum on this planet.”

    “Complete freedom for slaying one man” The demon laughed to himself, disgusted that a tiny old man would summon a being of his nature, of his stature, for what he considered nothing more than play-time.

    Detecting rebellious attitude from his new slave, Iqbal was quick to respond “Know your place, demon! This is no mere mortal we are dealing with. He is an exorcist and has killed many of your fellow kind, including several only hours ago. His name is-”

    The demon finished his master’s sentence. “Aziz... I have heard of him. He has a reputation amongst the jinni…almost as great as I. Those he has sent back have told tales of him. Some even fear him. I do not” This was not bravado talking, this was sheer honesty. Iqbal found it rather amusing. That and the fact his new slave spoke so eloquently.

    “Do you accept our agreement?”

    “He will make for a worthy adversary. I accept”

    *****

    Aziz awoke and made his way to the bathroom. Various books, articles and paraphernalia on jinn littered the floor. On his desk lay a tome that he had recently updated. Over the years, he had encountered and exorcised a large amount of jinn - the tome helped him keep an up-to-date record.

    On the wall hung a steel sword concealed in a sheath, the blade was embossed with an Arabic prayer. Over the years, with the help of his Qareen, they had developed a unique fighting style designed specifically to dispatch jinni.

    Inside the cupboard next to it contained a plethora of vials of holy water in addition to numerous forms of throwing knifes, darts and daggers made up of different types of metal, insuring he was prepared for any and all types of jinn, regardless of their weakness.

    On a physical level, ablution cleansed his body. On a spiritual level, it washed away his sins.

    He left quickly towards the masjid for the Morning Prayer that he was late for and met several of the locals on the way, greeting them all. Most enquired about his recent series of exorcisms the night before. Others gave a quick hello and rushed into the masjid. They were also late.

    *****

    In prayer, he could find some peace and calmness – especially after the events last night. It enabled him to fully let go of this world and have a sense of tranquillity. With his mind cleared, and body fully rested, his prayer took him to what seemed like an entirely different dimension where he was at peace.

    His surroundings changed; the carpet where he stood turned into luscious green fields that seemingly stretched for miles. Book cases turned into forest trees with the religious literature placed on them turning into hundreds of brightly coloured fruits. The walls of the masjid morphed into waterfalls of what looked to him like honey. His blissful experience would be short lived as the prayer ended, and Aziz was back to reality.

    The imam made his way towards and knelt beside him, a concerned look on his face. “I have a report of another jinn sighting. Brother Iqbal said he saw one in his bookshop, across town. He’s had to close it down for the day in fear of wide-spread panic. There was something odd about his message though. He asked specifically for you and you alone – no police.”

    “Not like the police have ever been particularly helpful anyway” Aziz mumbled

    “I fear my initial suspicions were correct. I think he is the summoner and I think this is a trap.”

    Aziz looked puzzled. “Wait, Iqbal? Wasn’t he diagnosed as clinically depressed? You know after his wife’s funeral?”

    “Yes. I fear that in his depression he sought comfort from the wrong crowd. I tried to reason with him on several occasions, but to no avail.” The imam shook his head in despair – for months he had tried to console Iqbal, only to be turned down each and every time. "I had no idea he was this involved with the dark arts”

    “I’ll go see if I can get through to him. And if it’s a trap, I’m going in well prepared.”

    “Take care. And please refrain from using your Qareen this time”

    “Here that Bubbles?”

    No skin off my nose

    Hearing the knock on the front door, Iqbal got up from his seat and glanced towards his newly recruited demon. “Meet us in the astronomy section. Let’s give him some space!” he quipped. The demon responded with a respectful nod to his master and vanished leaving a puff of smoke.

    Iqbal greeted Aziz with a cheerful smile; an eerie cheerful smile but a smile nonetheless. Guiding him through, he took note of the exorcists’ armaments – You’re going to need them.

    “Heard you’ve got a jinni on your hands?”

    “Oh It’s a definitely a jinni.” A real powerful one, too. “Please, through here” he gestured, leading the exorcist towards the astronomy section.

    “You sure it’s in here?”

    “Yes. It is most definitely in this room” Backing away slowly, Iqbal continued the fa├žade. “Keep looking. I’m sure you will find it”

    “How big is this thing supposed to be anyway?”

    “Oh he’s huge! You won’t miss him!”

    Aziz thought he heard something heavy slam behind him. Hand by his side, he turned clockwise, unsheathing his blade to find a bookshelf had fallen blocking his path between him and Iqbal and a giant materialise in front of him, fire burning from its hands.

    *****

    Iqbal was elated. This past month, he had summoned so many jinn, even he could not count. Today, he had even summoned a demon, who at this very moment was in the process of killing the exorcist that had been for so long a thorn in his plans. With new found power in the dark arts, he could now open and sustain a portal large enough for the entire jinni population to cross from their dimension into this one. He was one step away from finally reuniting with his beloved.

    *****

    Aziz had for a long time wondered about comets. What they looked like from up close, how hot were they exactly? What was their physical mass? Today he found out the answer to all three as one hit him square in his chest, burning and then sending him spinning to the ground.

    Alight, he began rolling on the floor putting the flames out. The giant raised its finger and lifted the exorcist high up into the air. Suspended, Aziz reached into his back trouser pocket and drew out several throwing knives. Before he could throw them, the giant waved his finger and sent him flying into a nearby book shelf. Noting its instability, the demon gave a slight pull and the bookshelf came crashing
    down.

    *****

    Iqbal sat in the middle of the now incensed book shop, reciting mantras as fast as he could. His body now fully charged with the dark arts, he no longer required seclusion or isolation to create dimensional gateways. Looking towards his pet cat, his Qareen, a smile formed. Soon, very soon

    *****

    The bookshelf that pinned him to the floor lifted up and his lungs filled with air. He had precious seconds to move before it came crashing down on him again.

    Pleased and annoyed at the fact his target was still alive, albeit barely, the demon raised his left hand. Several books lifted up from the ground. Aziz took this time to get some oxygen back into his lungs and refocus – he wasn’t used to working without Bubbles and he wasn’t used to getting his tossed around like some child’s plaything.

    Shaping its hand into a gun, the demon fired at the books setting them alight. In seconds a firestorm rained down on the exorcist. He rolled to avoid them, picking up his sword at the same time only for the firestorm to quickly intensify. With sword in hand, Aziz was able to swat them away and returned fire with a cluster of throwing knives into the demon’s chest, putting a stop to the fire storm.
    Whilst the giant recuperated, Aziz managed to find a clear line of sight and sped up. With the momentum, he leaped and performed a clockwise back-hand slash in mid-air only to hit a pocket of smoke as the demon teleported then re-appeared. A second, faster slice was just as fruitless - the demon tricked him again. Aziz changed tactics and went for a flurry of strikes, altering the timing of each, but to no avail as the Fire-Giant ported and laughed in-between each and every blow.

    Tired of this game, he reached out and grabbed Aziz by the throat, lifting him several feet off the ground. With its remaining arm, it punched Aziz in his already burnt chest relieving him of breath and blade.

    *****

    A cold wave blasted Iqbal in his face, almost knocking him to the floor as the gateway opened. At last, his work was complete. The jinni would soon flood this world and rid it of pain, sorrow and loneliness. No one would ever have to carry his burden or his loss ever again.

    *****

    With his life slowly being squeezed out of him, he used what precious breath he had left to recite a short chapter of the Qur’an. “I…seek…refuge…in…the…lord...of...daybreak” The demon paused for a moment, unsure of what it was hearing. “From…the…evil…of…that…which…he…created”

    Noting a tiny sparkle of light coming from the almost life-less body in its hand, the demon became suspicious. “And…from…the…evil of darkness…when…it settles” The grip around his neck loosened as the demon’s hand began rapidly increasing in temperature. “And… from…the…evil…of…the blowers in knots.”

    Slowly recovering Aziz was now able to get the word of God out loud and clear; his entire body encased in light. The demon let go of him completely. “And from the evil of an envier when he envies!”

    The light surrounding Aziz burst. It’s area of effect wide. Blindsided, the demon checked his body. Though he couldn’t quite place it, he knew something was missing. Upon further inspection, he noticed it was his entire left arm, from shoulder to hand. Letting lose a howl of pain, the giant knelt down clutching its phantom arm. Aziz swung his blade stopping it inches away from the demon’s face.

    “You’re one limb away from looking like a Shiqq. Start talking!”

    Insulted and humiliated, the fallen giant barked in disgust. Aziz responded by smashing a vial of holy water against the demon’s head.

    “Plenty more where that came from. Talk!”

    Thinking for a moment, the demon spoke.

    *****

    By now, hundreds of jinni had entered through the portal and spread across the world. His work done, he sat cosily basking in the dark energy with his pet cat curled up snugly next to him.

    You should let them know of your work.

    “I have been so tired lately, I almost forgot. I will contact them immediately!”

    You will be reunited with Miriam soon.

    Hearing her name, his body revitalised and he jumped to his feet. As he did, a figure approached him carrying another on its back. This figure had a limb missing, Iqbal had noticed.

    “It is done, master.” The demon placed Aziz’s body onto the floor.

    “They were clear on one thing: to make sure he was dead.” He knelt down to check Aziz’s pulse. In the blink of an eye, a hand shot up and grabbed the amulet around his neck, tugging hard. Before Iqbal had a chance to speak, Aziz was up on his feet, amulet in hand.

    “Look what I got” He taunted as the green crystal reflected the book store’s light.

    Iqbal’s retort came thick and fast “There’s nothing you can do now anyway. You’re too late!”

    The Giant gathered fire in its hand as Aziz stretched his arm out into the portal, the amulet dangling from his hand. “Close it or I drop this

    Seeing the last remaining piece of his beloved, of his humanity, his lips began to form a word; Miriam.

    “She’s gone. I'm sorry, but she's gone.”

    “That’s where you’re wrong. You see I know of the Magus Brothers, I know of their magic prowess. They can bring her back to life.”

    An ethereal-like hand tugged at Aziz’s from the portal. Reflexively, he chanted a small prayer under his breath causing it to let go. The tear slightly decreased as a wave of light rippled through it.

    “They’re using you. They can’t bring back the dead, no one can. But, I know of a place where you can meet her”

    “Don’t offer me fairy tales, boy

    “It’s no tale, it’s real.

    “Is that what the Imam taught you? What you read in some Islamic classes?”

    “I’ve been there. Saw it with my own eyes”

    “I’m not convinced”

    “But you’re convinced a bunch of hooded freaks can resurrect the dead, right? Why didn’t they resurrect their leader? You know, the one I killed?”

    “You’re lying!” The tiny old man fired back.

    “They’re afraid I’ll kick their butts again, so they hired you to do all their dirty work. Iqbal, don’t you see, they took advantage of you”

    Iqbal began to crack. “They…they…promised. All I had to do, was kill you….and…and…”

    “Create a gateway to another dimension; let a whole bunch of their inhabitants take over this world and then they’d magically resurrect your wife?”

    “But…But…”

    By now the demon had conjured up enough energy to create a ball of fire in its remaining hand, razing it towards Iqbal. “Really, I should kill you, old man for bringing me to this forsaken place.” He then turned to face Aziz. “But you, you who scarred me for life, who humiliated me, you will die fir-” a throwing knife to his forehead stopped his sentence. The demon fell.

    Iqbal stood frozen still. Seeing Iqbal’s resolve shatter, his Qareen pounced on Aziz who reflexively let go of the amulet as the cat tried to maul his face. With both hands he was able to throw it into the portal.

    “No!” Iqbal screamed as both the amulet and his loyal companion were tossed into another dimension. It brought him to his knees – the pain too much for his increasingly weakening heart.

    Surrounded by a ring of fire, a parting gift from the demon and now quickly spreading, Aziz rushed towards the broken book store owner.

    “Oh Miriam…” Tears began streaming down his face as memories of his beloved played through his mind.

    Comforting him, Aziz spoke “If you let me, I can help you. But first I need your help to close that portal.”

    The old man tried to utter a response but it was unintelligible. The constant summoning and now the recent revelations had finally taken their toll on his body as he collapsed out of sheer exhaustion.

    Frowning, Aziz turned to face the portal with his arm reaching towards and began chanting a number of prayers. Light continually pulsed from his hand into the portal decreasing its growth and reducing its size rapidly.

    Eventually, the portal shrunk to the size of his hand. A final prayer sealed it shut. His body weakened – closing a portal of that such size had drained him considerably. The fire around him intensified as it spread further throughout the book store and up the walls. Pull yourself together.

    A boost of energy surged through his body, jolting him to his feet. He picked up Iqbal onto his shoulder and navigated his way through a maze of fire. He noticed the wounded-demon that a moment ago was laying on the floor had gone. He cursed under his breath. A piece of the ceiling dropped to the ground, narrowly missing him. He cursed again.

    ******

    Outside, Aziz placed the old man on the floor to catch his breath and fully recuperate from his latest encounter.

    You owe me

    “What…for?” The fumes of smoke were still fresh in his lungs.

    Xaphan nearly killed you, on more than one occasion.”

    “Oh so that’s his name?”

    I stopped the burning before any internal damage was done. But was unable to fully heal the scar on your chest, sorry.

    He looked down at his chest seeing a star-shaped scar “Meh, I kinda like it. Plus, it looks pretty bad-ass, don’t ya think?”

    No

    Aziz frowned. “Well, at least one good thing came out of this. I saved a man’s life.”

    Don’t you mean we?

    “You patched me up, but let’s be honest: I took out the demon. I talked down a mad-man, closed a portal to another dimension and then I carried said mad-man on my back, which was injured might I add, out of a burning building.”

    The only reason you’re even breathing is because of me you…big-headed jerk!

    “Sorry, I didn’t quite catch that?”

    Never mind!

    “Yeah that’s what I thought. Now, where’s the nearest hospital? Bubbles? Bubbles!”
    Last edited by Muezzin; 12-08-2011 at 10:35 AM. Reason: Posts merged
    LI Writing Contest 2011 - The Entries!







  6. Hide
Hey there! LI Writing Contest 2011 - The Entries! Looks like you're enjoying the discussion, but you're not signed up for an account.

When you create an account, we remember exactly what you've read, so you always come right back where you left off. You also get notifications, here and via email, whenever new posts are made. And you can like posts and share your thoughts. LI Writing Contest 2011 - The Entries!
Sign Up

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
create