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A Flashback of Terror

Updated on January 18, 2021

A Murder is Announced*

Gun shots rang out of their machinery wombs. Cries, whoops, shrieks, screams, yelps, yells, and yawps fascinated this scene of uproar. Such cacophonies, unfortunately, were not clamors of jubilance, but of calamity. Blood shattered; tears streamed; and mourns of our cataclysm captivated the air. He lied there, in front of my eyes, his shirt welling with cold blood. No one bore to witness the crime except our muted selves. And they ran away, aiming to reveal themselves in another homicide. Full stop. Rewind. Pause. A Murder Is Announced.

Before the protest

Rewinding. My eyes glued themselves onto Facebook’s revolution page. Our next protest is scheduled already. Grandpa, or Jiddo as we often called him, stood beside me, looked profoundly into my eyes, and asked me if I wanted to risk my life in this one. I nodded. Smiled. There shall be no detriment in the name of freedom. I know that some of the protesters might be spies for the government, but there shall be no detriment in the name of freedom! Pause. Freedom, will we ever reach you? Anyhow, maybe there is a forfeit in my case. My grandfather; my Jiddo; my grandpa―he sacrificed his life to befriend me on a day of yawps and yelps. As we were preparing, Jiddo and I ascertained ourselves into warriors ready to annex our liberty. When the time came, before my palm kissed the door, Jiddo rested his hand on my shoulder. I glanced back and our eyes interlocked. In an iota of time, my face dug into Jiddo’s chest and as we hugged each other, tears surged down my cheeks. Although I was not wailing or whimpering, I just felt it was our last hug. Pause. Skip Scene.



Fast-forward. We arrived to the capacious site of cries, whoops, shrieks, screams, yelps, yells, and yawps. Segregated into women and men, my heart sank as I stole the last glance at Jiddo. I am on my own now. The chants were louder than ever. Our count was about fifteen-hundred protestors and maybe some spies, with signs hanging above our heads, face-painted, gargantuan, and stalwart; we seem invulnerable. We attained a common goal ― freedom. Even though, it will be time-depleting, we will procure it. Even if we lose our sons, daughters, and selves, we will earn it. We are the ants willing to suffocate ourselves for a crumb of bread. Pause. The impalpable assassins arrive to decimate our communion; to contaminate our dream with bloodshed. Their tear gas weaponries impel my eyes to leak. We separate. Lost in our catastrophe. Cries, whoops, shrieks, screams, yelps, yells, and yawps fill the air. We scatter like the ants caught eating their crumb of bread. Pause. Fast-forward. He calls me, but I do not see him. Then, gun shots! I run, stand around a corner waiting for troops to evacuate the scene. I faint. I am out.

Skip Scene. An hour or two later, I find myself kneeling beside Jiddo, crying over his streaming blood. My cries turn into whoops, shrieks, screams, yelps, yells, and yawps of pain and agony. What shall I tell grandma (Teta)? As I ail in misery, the gallant protestors surround me. Muted sufferers. Ants starring down at their losses. Jiddo is dead. A Murder Is Announced.

The aftermath

My life resembles a cassette tape. Being played over and over again, my tape delineates the melancholy and lugubriosity of Jiddo’s death committed by Al-Assad’s militia. Although his death stabs me in the heart, I am relieved that Jiddo didn’t live wounded due to the horrifying fact that Al-Assad’s troops would have taken him to torture camps to finish his life off. Even though our numbers weren’t very large, but the majority of us were there for a common reason―making Syria a free country. This experience affirmed to me that the majority consists of good people by showing me that I wasn’t there alone. I am not the only one who lost a Jiddo. And I am not the only orphan. There I am suffering and Al-Assad living his life to the fullest. In my imagination, this story cassette has no stops, pauses, skips, and fast-forwards like most cassettes do. My story has only two buttons: rewind and play. This is how I live my life today. I am bombarded by nightmares and night terrors. And they play over and over again. Dear freedom, will we ever reach you? My answer: it may take a long time, but we will never give up on you even if the last drop of human blood is shed. That's my promise. My pinkie promise. Rewinding. Replay movie...

A note to you

Dearest reader,

I wrote this essay for my college application, but it turns out that none of the colleges I applied to needed such an essay topic. This story is by no means real. I put myself into a Syrian teenager's shoes only to be able to identify with what's going on over there. My friend, I have not been there, but I can tell you that it's atrocious. Through this essay, I did not intend to waste your time nor to insinuate a cause for the Syrian people. I published this essay merely to build awareness on what's going on around the world. People want Al-Assad (their dictator) to step down through peaceful demonstrations, but instead of making things easier, Al-Assad mandates his militia to go to protest sites and kill the citizens. To get a better view, watch this amazing rap that describes the Syrian revolution in more detail. Thanks!

A Murder Is Announced*- an allusion to the famous book by Agatha Christie


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