It was the end. The end of forever, the end of an old man’s dream.
The trumpet sounded. The walls came tumbling down.
Billowing, twisting smoke rose, pillars holding aloft the blue dome of the sky – it was a beautiful day, glorious. It shouldn’t have ended. Not like this.
They were singing their dirges, their dreadful battle-hymns already – God’s Children, they called themselves, carrying before them a bleeding Christ, an emancipated prisoner-of-war still alive, crucified. He shouldn’t have looked.
He turned to face Mecca, and the speakers blared out the muezzin’s call over the battlefield in high fidelity.
“Sam’i Allahu liman hamidah,
Rabbana wa lakal hamd…”
Today he would join Allah in Paradise. He knelt, prostate before his God. Let the heathen come. Prostate, he saw her in his mind’s eye, that bloody vision nailed their cross. Idolaters.
Monsters. Yet we are all God’s children.
She was bound, gagged – sticky, red-black blood smeared across her breasts, delirium in her eyes. She had confessed, then. Recanted. She had thrown away her faith for the chance of physical salvation – he wondered when she realised it wouldn’t come. Was it with the kiss of that barbed-wire crown? Or was it not until they hoisted her onto the crucifix that terror first touched her heart? She must have confessed to be allowed the gory ‘glory’ of such a death. Oh, sweet little Fatima. He would put her from her misery.
Slowly he climbed the spiralling stone stairway, muttering his prayers first in the direction of Mecca, then away. Around and around – although all prayers would wing their way to Allah, he supposed. He shouldered his rifle. He shot his daughter.
God’s Children roared, in reply to the rifle’s crack.
They were battering against his door, now – the stout oak would stand awhile yet. He eyed the daisy-chained blocks of explosive, a halo around the doorway. Mentally he connected the dots, saw each explosive packet, hidden beneath the courtyard cobblestones, in the garden beds, on the driveway.
The thudding on the door changed its tone, the thud…thud….thud replaced by the sound of splintering.
The world caught aflame.
Written for this week’s BeKindReWrite prompts: Old Man’s Dream and The End of Forever.
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