‘A Slaughterhouse In Camouflage’ by Asfand Mohiudin

It was just an ordinary weekday morning. I woke up at 6:30 in the morning. A little before that, my mother’s voice came welling from downstairs to wake me up for school.
A few hours later a memory will be stitched into my brain for the rest of my life.
As I woke up and then left in a moment’s time for school, I could feel a bit eerie and chilly. I had gotten goose bumps in the back of my body but didn’t know why. I knew something wasn’t right. After a short while I reached school and the sky above looked bleached with gray. It was cloudy.
My friends waited me in the hallway and my heart had that slight ache of excitement you get when the school bell rings. So, as the time passes by , and the third last period  that was English was left, our teacher, ma’am Sadia , came in at the exact time the bell had rung .
In English we read an extract from “The Winter Olympics Massacre Of Berlin” . It was rather suspensful. A while later I sighed and looked out of the window. Suddenly, a man in a black jacket passed by , running. It felt strange to see that. I looked again carefully – another man in a black shalwar Kamiz – with a gun !
I told my teacher of what I saw . She wouldn’t believe me , of course, to what we read read in English today.
My palpitation increased with my knees shaking.
The whole atmosphere had gotten very mysterious and not soon afterwards , an exasperated, echoing voice came down from the corridor. We ignored thinking that it was just juvenile students being obstreperous.  The same voice, exasperated and echoing , came down from the hallway.
After each minute, that voice got clearer and clearer.
Soon, that voice said something that didn’t make us move muscle .
 It was “We are terrorists and we have come to massacre those who do not cooperate “
Those words wrung into our hearts like a tuning fork with metal. We panicked and stayed in our classroom – agog.
Ma’am Sadiastood there in shock and her eyes kept rolling without balance.
Soon, about a minutes past, we heard the creaking of a door. That was one creak that made us skip a heart beat.
What appeared before us was a built figure – a beard, black shalwar Kamiz, a semiautomatic weapon and an assessing squint. Whe didn’t know what to do. If we talked, they’d kill us. If we moved, they’d kill us. I could see that even the bully in my class had tears swimming down his cheek that reached till his mouth. He had the courage to lick his tears with his tongue. The situation was collateral and critica
There was no escape .
“Where is the principal’s office ! ” , one of the gunmen demanded. “It’s ..its down the cor..ridor …. ” and that was ma’am Sadia who replied with a squeal . The gunman took her by force, as hostage , and there upon – she cowardly escorted him to the principal’s office.
The two of them reached the office in the blink of an eye and we couldn’t even think what was going on in the office downstairs. “No….oooo! ..Nooo…o” screamed the principal .
Her scream was so loud that even if we could see what was going on downstairs, the horror was left to our own imagination.
The classroom door was bolted from the outside and even if we attempted to escape by breaking the Windows , there would be gunmen standing down .
A minutes past later, we could hear screeching sounds as f someone was walking towards us. The door of our classroom unlocked. It was the same terrorist but this time there was no Ma’am Sadia.
His guns muzzle smelled of ash and coal as it had been fired. The gun was so close to my eyes that I could utterly feel the bullet and see through the barrel within.
The whole class had a strength of twenty-eight and there was only one man. We could have taken him down and beat him up. But, that gun provoked us from doing so.
Everything was silent, too silent perhaps . We were in a dystopian zeitgeist at the moment until a miracle  occurred .
As the gunman was standing and pointing his gun at us ,a bullet went straight through his head, we all screamed and got giddy . My eyes got blurry. The screams echoed into my ears , so many mouths were screaming at once that almost all about what I could see was white teeth.
The bullet that had entered into the gunmans occipital lobe was fired from the rifle of a
“You kids are safe, you are now in the hands of the Islamabad City Police”
Our relief was almost like a yawn with an airy stomach.
Quietly, prestigiously , the police force led us throughout the hallway. On my was as I passed through the ICT lab , there were computers with cracked glass and wires bound though them . There were bodies that looked of ragged dolls and even when they lied there, lifeless, their cellphones kept ringing in their pockets with ‘Ami’ and ‘Abu’ on the contact numbers. The primary year classes had bodies that were so still , that they looked like mannequins for clothing , and on the storybooks, the blood that was splattered,resembled raw cranberry juice . It smelled sweet.
It was too hollow, too dense and too quiet again. We couldn’t cry due to dehydration.
As I reached outside of the school, there was no traffic and no sound. Distant cars were coming to get their children . I waited for my parents to get me. I saw two policemen having a conversation. I eavesdropped on their conversation and one of them said that town of the six terrorists escaped. I blinked restfully. I could feel a burning sensation in the edges of my eyes whenever I shut them.
The only thing I could hear was the clang sounds of construction from a distant building. It was 2:30 . Time kept passing in seconds , the perpetual clang sounds of construction kept  increasing in my mind. 
I waited silently for my parents to arrive.
                                             “dedicated to the APS children” 
                                                         THE END

About froebelianwriters

I am an English Language teacher teaching O'Levels Edexcel and CIE A Levels at Froebel's International School, Islamabad. I am also working as a Subject Specialist Literacy consultant for the same school. Writing and reading has always been a passion and I try my utmost to instill these habits and hobbies in my students as well. I can be reached/contacted at fabbas227@hotmail.com or 03365287335 Happy reading!

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