Daily Archives: November 11, 2015

‘Natural Disaster’ by Muhaddisa Ali


I can’t believe my eyes. The tip of the mountain simply crumbles away like a fragile biscuit broken by a hand. The broken rocks tumble down what is remaining of the once giant beast that penetrated the clouds, toppling over one another to try and reach the ground first. It is an earthquake. A huge one.

The tremors resonate beneath my feet, throwing me to the gound with an overpowering force without any warning. People bolt out of their little huts. Men trail behind herded children clutching their mothers’ clothes, eyes wide in fear and confusion. Parents who have lost sight of their precious children yell out their names anxiously, eyes darting here and there, searching.

All of us who had had the misfortune of living on this wretched hill, round up like sheep and try to carefully make our way down, away from the mountains which keep crumbling and roaring in anger, destroying our homes in which we spent our lives in the process. As tremors shake the land beneath our feet, breaking our contact with the surface momentarily, some people are not able to regain their grip and tumble down the unscaled hill like rolling pins, knocking into each other and the rough, rocky surface. Cries pierce through the already chaotic air as people lose their loved ones to the wrath of the earthquake.

I keep tripping over my feet as I hold onto trees that now serve the sole purpose of supporting the many people hustled around it, trying not to get killed. No one here has ever experienced such an earthquake before. The earthquake violently shaking us till our very bones rattle in our bodies.

As we manage our way down the hill, we gather together near the shallow river that snakes away from the mountains-or at least what remains of the mountains. The tremors keep coming, however, they have slowed down considerably, and  come to a stop as the moon emerges from behind the clouds, taking over the gloomy sky, and the families who have lost their members cease from wailing, shrinking instead into curled up, shivering balls.