BY KING KHARS / FREELANCE WRITER
She traveled a lengthy journey across the sand dunes. Sand violently assaulted her eyes, blown by the vile winds, and her feet swelled with every aching step. Elisa wore her torn scarf around her neck after the ship wreckage at the Warbah Island saw her escape. She had been on board the SS Refugee Rehab, among many others like her. They had been deported following national security measures put in place across the globe after oil reserves had been depleted to null in their ethnic homelands.
Elisa persevered on her journey to the Euphrates River. She was disillusioned by the turmoil, shielded from worldly atrocities, being protected like the young of cattle. The cries of children and thoughts of bleeding bodies circled her thoughts. The trauma could not escape her sixteen year old mind. It was as if she was tied to a noose, hanging from the sky. The suffocation felt like a bite was taken out of her soul; every second she imagined herself sewed to aerial space. She wondered if there was any escape from her inevitable death.
A flashback locked her attention on one antique memory. She was perhaps about two years old then and was just beginning to walk. Elisa had stumbled on one step but her father held her up firmly and encouraged her, “When you fall down, keep on moving forward. People are too naive to think outside simplicity.” The thought had emerged in her mind like a tidal wave crashing and returning back.
A tug of her arm took control of Elisa from behind. She thought her time in the desert had been in solace, secluded from society. A gasp let out to validate her situation would only justify harm towards her. She knew better than to show vulnerability to a man who credited his worth on the basis of ill treatment towards women.
The man wore a lavish, plain white coat, complimented by a branded golden belt and watch. His pants were made of an illusory neon silk fabric. Elisa was prepared; submit yourself, then jerk him with a fist to the patella once the seduction had hypnotized him.
She struck her chance and was reassured of her innocence. Had her innocence been plagued, she could have been made subject to public scrutiny, thereby subjecting her to slavery. She ran at the speed of a rocket at the instant her knuckles cracked against his knee. The excitement made her run erratically, like particles bouncing around in a gaseous state, and she found herself kneeling in the ground. Her traditional Turkish şalvar was spoiled like a backyard garden after a drought. It was covered in dried mud and scratched to shreds, but as though God spoke to her, she heard her dead sister Iman: “Remember what Baba said…remember and keep moving forward!”
The Hour will not come to pass! She reminded herself of her pledge to morality, and how humanity would succumb to its own defeat if she did not complete her journey to guard the mountain of gold. She motivated herself, “The Hour will not come to pass!” Even if it was self-hypnosis she would not let humanity die. It must prevail!
Elisa sought the debauchery of intellect. Her thoughts time traveled to another past memory. She had been swallowed mindless by the contrast of her childhood curiosity. Elisa remembered looking up as a toddler how the palm trees basked in the Mediterranean sunlight. She adored the way they towered over her, and the intricately patterned ferns which cast a slight shade over the city paveway. It astonished her the magnitude nature cast upon her that day and as she gazed in awe, a sense of relief brushed over her. She didn’t adore nature, but nature itself had adorned her to what knowledge was concealed from her, like ornaments placed on the backside of a Christmas tree.
It seemed a sandstorm faltered her way en route to the Euphrates river. She was stricken in disbelief at the momentum of the storm. Another calamity had revealed itself, like an email without an inbox. The invitation by nature itself to consume her life was harshly welcomed by her. Sand vigorously swirled in front of her and stirred a new memory into her mind.
She was eight years old at the time it had happened. Her family resided at a farm and lived their lives secure of societal threats, independent of geopolitical and socio-economic interests of course. They lived on flat, fertile land, with a grassy hillside encompassing the perimeter in the distance. It was sunset, and the horizon had turned a hazy pinkish, settling in for peak twilight. The light cast the browned grass to a golden hue, and sank the atmosphere of the farm to shed off a solemnity to those living there. The flaked off red paint of the barn became more visible in the lighting and only reflected more of its slumped edges at the corners, with the hay all the more complimenting the colour scheme of the grass.
A whirlwind of gray transpired narrow and thin at the bottom, expanding its diameter as it grew taller. It was called a tornado, something which Elisa didn’t know until then (perhaps because Elisa and her family had been exiled to an internment camp–but she could not recall).
A sharp, wooden object flew past, nearly carving a scar on her face along the left side of her jaw. Baba saw Elisa and carried her to the basement where Ami wrapped her arms around her, burrowing the young girl’s face into her chest.
Elisa found tears rolling down her face after the memory vanished. The regret she had endured for not being able to ensure her own security, for her parents’ sake, had caused her despair. She believed in retribution through consequence, and persevered with Baba’s words in her heart.
She lost track of direction and found herself falling into a pile of gold. Elisa had not come too late, and rested for the brief while before her purpose consumed her in moral vengeance. The war had now begun!
She stood in front of the golden mountain and saw the first soldiers advancing. She closed her eyes briefly, and wore the scarf on her head now. Elisa submitted and became the Guardian of Morality, as a blade slid into her gut and spilled a puddle of blood from her ruptured abdomen. She lay there with her eyes open, and the soldier left, decidedly not shutting them.