"Conflict Zone Date" - in Consequence Magazine
“Hey, Arab! Get your dirty hands off our sister!”
A fragment from my short story, “Conflict Zone Date,” published in the Spring 2016 issue of Consequence Magazine: an international literary magazine focusing on the culture of war.
Saleh parks the car in one of the side streets in the Check Post area on the outskirts of Haifa. Saleh and Maya get out of the car. As he walks around the car in Maya’s direction, his phone rings. He fishes it out of his back pocket, looks at the screen. “My mother,” he smiles at Maya and shrugs, pressing the green button to answer the call. “Assalamu Alaikum, ya ummi,” he replies. One hand holding the phone to his ear, Saleh puts his other hand hesitantly on the small of Maya’s back as they begin walking down the dimly-lit street. They pass by a pub, loud music spilling out, several young men and women mingling outside, smoking, drinking. Saleh raises his voice on the phone so his mother could hear him. Neither of them is aware of the four young men following them silently. They turn the corner. Saleh ends the call. “Sorry,” he shrugs his shoulder in embarrassment and smiles at Maya. “Mothers.” She smiles back at him. “The place should be somewhere around here. Let me check the map on my phone.” Saleh says. His left arm is now almost comfortably draped over Maya’s shoulder, as he browses his phone with his right hand.
“Hey! Arab! Get your dirty hands off our sister!” A voice calls from behind. In seconds, a flash of metal. Saleh feels something dull hit his back with a thud. Then, the sound of breaking bones. The taste of blood. The raw of the concrete. The smell of blood. Someone screaming “Stop it, you animals.” Then, blackness. From somewhere inside the darkness, he hears someone’s voice, as if coming from under water. “Saleh, please. It’s Maya. The ambulance is … can you hear me?” He wants to say something, but instead he feels himself fading out.
If you’d like to read the whole story, you can purchase the issue through their website: http://www.consequencemagazine.org/. If you enjoy my writing, please consider supporting my work through Patreon. For any pledge over $5 a month, you will receive a PDF copy of “Conflict Zone Date,” along with other goodies, depending on your pledge. To support my work, please visit: www.patreon.com/khulud_khamis.
(c) khulud khamis | 2016
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