I see something on the side of the road as we pass in a blur.  What was that?  A body?  Uneasiness creeps up as his foot presses down on the accelerator.  Prickles begin to creep down from my sweating head.  I look around.  All seems quiet.  Normal.  The beautifully manicured countryside is as picture-postcard perfect as I had expected.  It’s quiet.  So quiet.  There’re no farmers in the distance.  No traffic coming toward us.

It must have been a body.  A dead body?  No.

Turn around.  We must go back, help.

No.  We can’t.  Something’s happening, something’s wrong.

Where?  Where can we turn? The road’s so narrow.  Just a strip of black, snaking off into the distance.


Bodies.  Lying on the road.  On the verge.  In the fields.  They’re moving.  They need help.  Conquer fear.  Conquer fear.

There must be snipers.  We must turn back.  Here.

Oh God.  Fear.  Get down, lie down.  Adrenalin swoops through my brain.  Through my leadening limbs, fingers.  Breathing stops.  Hold my breath.  Eyes close.  Shakes set in.  Cold.

Later.  Hours later.

We’re safe..  I don’t know where.  Darkness all around, silent, still.  A light, a small flickering light.  The nightmare begins again?  No.  There’s someone there.  A small, creeping bundle of white.  It’s a child.  No.  The blood.   Quickly, bring him here.  Hide him.  Oh no, there’s someone else.  Who is it?  My father, he gurgles.  Take him, I must go back.  The village’s been hit.

No time for the shakes now.  Get the car.  Gat a blanket.  Lie him in the back, on the floor.  Throw that over him.  I’ll sit back here.

Drive!  We flee through the darkness with fear on our tails.  Pounding silence above the roar of the engine.  No lights, no traffic.

Later, much later.  Hours?

A hospital.  The Doctor?  The Doctor!  The boy, Doctor.

22 thoughts on “Imagined?

  1. Good grief no, I can’t even imagine having a fear like that. I’d rather imagine me lying on those beautiful clouds. Stunning photo! 🙂

      • Mmmm…getting days that it makes you think of war. Now that is quite an interesting concept and well put for sure. 🙂

        Yes, love that photo and love clouds as well. Oh, I love the sunsets and sunsrises and those colours. Those amazing, gorgeous colours! Nature is one hell of an artist for sure. I wish I was. 🙂
        Have a great weekend. 🙂

  2. Now, that was a ride, no doubt! You built the tension wonderfully, M, and I love the interiority in the clipped, blunt sentences. All that said, what a horrific experience for one to go through . . . I hope this wasn’t inspired from any of *your* real life situations.

    Hoping you’re sleeping well, friend.

    • No dear – it was thinking about war yesterday, and how it spills over into everyday life, how easily one might be caught up in the terror of it. I remember once being in Anuradhapura with a friend and we came to a crossroads with a sign pointing north to Jaffna and us both looking at each other and thinking – we could go. And then a moment later turning back to look at each other again, and thinking no, too dangerous. I guess this was an imagining of what might have played out. I’m glad the interiority came through – just what I was hoping for. The terror, the coping mechanisms.

  3. After reading your blog for so long, its a rather unexpected and sharp turn! The story has very good flow – have you considered writing more fiction? After reading this I sure hope we get to read more of it 🙂

  4. Awesome picture and awesome story! I was almost sure it was real, considering your location! The horrors in Jaffna were multiplied tenfold by the media and politicians in the Tamil state we reside in. Agree with Kasturika….you should consider fiction!!

    • Bless you Madhu:) I don’t see how anything could multiply the horrors of 30 years of war – though I’m sure there was propaganda galore in Tamil Nadu, especially after the Indian peacekeeping fiasco. The piece was certainly an imagining prompted by what was happening up the Jaffna Road.

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