Amir or the insectthatdidn'tgivewatertoitsmother, flash fiction
hi all, here's a flash fiction piece i'm thinking of submitting to a magazine so please critique.
Ah, how lovely it will be if it rains today. The soil is parched, the trees are ravenous and dust billows like smoke with the wind. There’s no water in our tanks; July hasn’t brought the storms. This dry spell is affecting my thoughts; they’ve become brittle and break into fine powder, and it is through this mind-mist that I glimpse them: my ghosts.
When I was a child, we’d walk barefoot in July. Because our slippers would slip from our feet, they were like fish, our slippers, in those happy, watery streets. We’d play in the puddles, enjoying the soft texture of mud in our hands.
Ah, here he appears from the murk as he often does now. Amir, our erstwhile friend, who ate some mud on a dare and a few days later had to be wormed. He was called worm for a time, until we thought of another, crueller nickname for him.
There used to be an insect that would come out in the rain; we were told, by our mothers mostly, that it was the insectthatdidn’tgivewatertoitsmother. It was cursed to surface whenever it rained because god had made water a plague to it.
It would eventually get eaten by the chickens.
Naturally, we dubbed Amir insectthatdidn’tgivewatertoitsmother. Not that he deserved it but children being children will always be cruel to children.
When he was older, Amir asked our friend Bagir if he could see Bagir’s penis.
We called him something truly horrible then, and the word and deed spread around school. He became a pariah. In time, he fled from our memory.
I didn’t think about him until a few years ago, when we crossed paths at the airport. I recognised him at once. He was in a pale blue Lacoste shirt and tight beige trousers and blue suede shoes. Like the Elvis song in a sense. His complexion had lightened, he had a five o’clock shadow, round-rimmed glasses. He also had a first class ticket on the Emirates. He was going to Paris, France, where he’d been living for the past ten years as a curator at a private museum. He was courteous, nice even, but there was an aloofness. Perhaps that was expected.
I wish we hadn’t done that to Amir. Now that our sensibilities have been impressed on by the West; by Humanisms, by Rights of all kinds, now that our worldviews have suffered a paradigm shift…it was unforgivable, what we did to that boy. Ah, Amir – successful now, so much more than the rest of us –enjoying the passage of four seasons, bare chested in summer, expensive pullovers in autumn, thick, tasteful coats come winter, and in spring, exquisite shirts under old-fashioned tweed. Amir, sipping Parisian coffee, nibbling on croissants, drinking mulled wine in the evenings…our Amir, one of us, once, yes, I am happy for him in my heart of hearts, tendrils of envy curled in my chest, I truly am, ah, dear God, how I wish it would rain.
when in doubt, whisper non sequiturs.
Last edited by chippedmonk; 11-06-2017 at 11:29 AM..