November 2015 - Comments Off

Syeda Rumana Mehdi

Fire

The fire sent burning sparks in the smoke filled air. Bangles were broken, a dry tongue ran over chapped lips, a baby was torn away from a feeding breast. The fire rose like a serpent, coiling and uncoiling, as ten pairs of hands grabbed a slender arm and pulled. Silent tears, louder than bomb explosions were shed. Blood flowed freely as flesh came into contact with the broken glass bangles, leaving an angry red trail of protest all over the sand. The fire was restless now, as if dissatisfied with the human it had just devoured. It was moving in for another kill. The shroud was wrapped; the quiet funeral rites interrupted by the accelerating thudding of a beating heart. The fire finally lost control. As she burned, I watched.

Published by: in Issue 1: Fall 2015, Prose, Volume 72

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