“A Deafened Cosmology.” – A Short Story

A Deafened Cosmology.

It wasn’t a foreign sentiment to sit beside the invigorating wood-carved window and look beyond the verdancy that glimmered like the Stars of Eden, to look at the overarching beastliness of existentialism and wonder incessantly of a vision fleeting by. The only alteration this time around the corner included the battered, bleeding knuckles held tight against Mustafa’s resounding will as he stuttered the ancient folklore back to life, the one that Hameed would often murmur to sing themselves to sleep every night. It was special, not in a nostalgic manner, but more like the fading ideology of a past life unlived as he chanted irrevocably, “Over yonder seas and winding rivers, under shadeless trees and barren gardens, I finally found a lone trader, under the guiltless moon and the shameless sun, he once traversed and breathed his last, under a warring tree and a blood-filled abode.” 

It was all ever-present, those fateful days as Mustafa and Hameed, two brothers lost among the mountains of Chitral would struggle to come to age. Hameed two steps ahead and Mustafa never immensely behind but always at a safe distance, a visible shadow accompanying his brother, his only counterpart. It wasn’t astounding when Hameed’s friends would often be the only people Mustafa would see apart from his brother, it was an invisible life but always happening in the silhouette. The valley of Chitral was the only soil their feet had ever known and the gushing river was the only sound that had greeted them at their birth, but the tribesmen were often more curious in the division under their fundamentalism rather than the integrity of all inhabitants. As they drew artificial boundaries to claim but the land of gold and initiated the tribal police to terrorize and illegally prosecute rather than to protect and console. 

Their father, Mr. Raaziq was a nomadic trader up North and they along with their mother would reside with their uncle who was not only a teacher at one of the government colleges but also ran a hotel for tourists in the summer. Their family were well-known, however not in an optimistic sense but as more of an inhibition to the fundamentalistic tribalism that overpowered all vacant sanity left around them. However, often as Hameed would impersonate in his father’s voice, “Only one who is left starstruck at the chaos, can initiate its prepossession.” It was all an act bound together until the dwelling sheds its blood.

On the night of March 2006, a series of terrorist attacks rooted out in Chitral and though many didn’t breath their last, the following prosecution and xenophobia were suicide bombers of their own kind. The liberals, the conversationalists and even the outspoken were all labelled liars and spies of a foreign kind as they were bullied and pursued only to be shot in the heads in the shadowed alleys. This monotony repeated itself on the fateful day of Asif’s birthday, who was a dear friend of Hameed and Mustafa. As the three musketeers made their way to the local bazaar, another terrorist attack bloomed out on the west side of the town. It all seemed like a deluging spectre, vanishing and metamorphosing in plain sight as an hour later the tribals arrived and shoved the three of them into the secluded town square. Asif’s father had been falsely accused as a terrorist spy for he was a professor at a nearby non-profit and the tribals had declared their ode of murder. 

Mustafa remained numb and motionless, like a self-conceited, invisible shield pretending to be non-existent as the nozzle of the rifle nudged into his spine whereas Hameed outraged and revolted over the corpse of Asif that lay bleeding into the nudges of the cemented bricks. He had blood on his hands of a vice none of them committed and as he tried to tackle one of the tribesmen in his manic, a single shot concealed the act. Mustafa had seen Hameed die or had seen him being murdered, or maybe had suffocated him to death by his own hands, or had stolen his breath to breathe in his own selfish life or perhaps had been given a fleeting look at death in its harrowing vice. It all reincarnated in his conscience as the chorus began once again, “To walk the milestone by the trader’s cart, to gaze at the wildflowers sprouting by the river, beneath the raven’s scythe and the dove’s ode, towards an unhindered cosmos and a transient liberty.”

Even though the memoirs remained hazy in Mustafa’s clogged brain, he still remembered his first fistfight after this, or the first time he yelled at his mother, or perhaps the first time he beat his class fellows up in a closed alley or perhaps the first time he loaded a gun and fired a bullet at the neighbour’s window. It was all as visible in his brain as Hameed’s liberty in death. It was not a resoluting influence left behind, but rather some dormant anguish set ablaze among the deafening silence in hopes of a concluding outrage. 

It all slowly fell into place on that single day as Mustafa headed back home from college when he laid eyes on a wandering tribesman harassing a group of children playing in the street. The ode rang in his globular organ and he headed towards the misfortune, dodged the antagonist’s lower punch, grabbed him by the neck and descended him to the ground as incessant fists followed one by the other, the knuckles cracked and bled and the life beneath him scrambled like a dying insect. Mustafa’s head though vacant of any sane tenant refused to cease the movement that felt like bravery, the murder that felt like freedom until his hands stopped feeling the tug of life and his sight saw for the second time, the petrification in death. And as he gazed away from the obscenity, his dampened eyes lay on the group of children lost in trepidation and the sky behind them turning crimson from the commencing act. He tried to stabilize upon his feet and managed a few stumbling steps to the town square’s concealed alley where he crumpled to his knees and wept for the first time. An iota of tears and blood once again bled into the nudges of the cemented bricks as the cosmology deafened over the weeping justice.

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