Friday, June 08, 2007

Run

She stood in a cold wooden cottage along with 8 other girls. Some of the girls stood there defiantly while others looked distressed and disoriented. The girls were surrounded by a group of armed men, who were parading their weapons threateningly. The girls weren’t welcome. An abrupt questioning began.

A man, who seemed to be the leader of the group, spoke sternly, “You know what you have done. There is one thing you women have in common.”
One of the girls interrupted, “Being an Asian has nothing to do with my actions and you are fully aware of that.”

She didn’t know what the girl spoke of but there was no doubt in her mind that the girl’s words could cost all of them their lives. Why was that girl being brash? They were clearly not in a position to challenge the authority.

The man yelled, “It has everything to do with you being an Asian.” The other men get the cue. A gun is placed on the defiant girl’s throat, piercing into her skin. Then a gun is pulled on another girl’s forehead and one more into another girl’s mouth in quick succession making it clear that no one is safe.

At this point her brain kicks into survival mode. She couldn’t hear what the guy was saying…just some muffled sounds. It was clear that she had two options. Either she could stand there cowering like a sheep and hope that the men would have mercy on her and release her or die trying to save her life. She felt it in her gut that the men had no intention of sparing anyone’s life. She made a run for her life. She dashed out of the cottage, expecting bullets to shower her back. The only clear path in sight was to take the wooden bridge going downhill from the cottage. She turned around but the men weren’t on her tail yet. Maybe they were unprepared for this or may be they wanted to secure the other girls. Either way, she had a head start.

She ran some more and turned back and saw the men emerge out of the cottage. Cold, dark metals strapped firmly to their shoulders, the men sprinted effortlessly. She tried to increase her pace and by now had almost made it across the bridge. She looked beyond the bridge as the men were closing in and felt sick inside her stomach. She realized that the bridge dead ended into the ocean. The men were gaining on her. She thought of jumping into the water, but how long could she stay afloat? Drown or get shot at? She decided to jump. She hit the turbulent waters. Even though she had learned to swim as a child, the training hadn’t prepared her to remain afloat in the ocean. Swimming in the ocean was a completely different ball game. She looked for something to hold onto. After almost getting knocked unconscious by hitting against one of the pillars holding up the bridge she somehow pulled herself onto a ledge under the bridge. The men retreated knowing that she was as good as dead in the ocean. She knew she was running out of energy and would not be able to hold up there much longer. She was going to die trying…she was not ready to give up.

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She was in a house, reunited with her clan. She was a part of some organization, perhaps? It was all hazy to her now. But she remembers that there was a sense of urgency as if they were in some underground resistance. She felt a strong kinship to the group, although she wasn’t related to them. She and her boyfriend were about to leave the house to go to a regular eat out place. A close ally from the clan got word that the place they were about to visit was a trap. There were snipers waiting for her to arrive, ready to take her out. They knew that she had managed to escape alive and that she knew too much or may be she had done nothing at all. Maybe she didn’t have to be a heretic to get in trouble. The times were such that trouble found you, whether you asked for it or not.

She was on the run again. No place was safe for more than a day. She had to move constantly. This time she had an accomplice…her boyfriend. They made their way to the railway station and waited for the next train, trying to look inconspicuous. How easy it is to take a life nowadays. One click of a trigger is all it takes. It is easy…too easy. Her eyes were constantly moving across the crowd. The train arrived and just as she was about to exude a sigh of relief, she heard a loud explosion shatter one of the compartments of the train. The two of them ran out of the station. They didn’t know where to go. They got into a taxi and asked the driver to take them north.

They finally had a sense of some relief. They sat in the taxi in silence. The driver was now close to the place where she was held at gun point just the day before. Or was it a couple of days back? She had lost all sense of time. The taxi driver pulled over and declared he couldn’t go any further. She was trying to talk him into driving forward, but her boyfriend realized they were wasting time. They were in the lion’s mouth and had to find a way out. They had to hitch another cab before they were spotted. As they made their way on the street, they realized that there weren’t any cabs in the vicinity. She was as vigilant as could be. She stopped in her tracks as she saw a line of snipers waiting in the balcony of a building which was less than a block away. She signaled her boyfriend and they quickly took cover. Her boyfriend’s composure was about to break down. She could sense desperation in his voice, “My father is dead and my mother is all alone. She needs me. I don’t want to die.” How could she have been so oblivious? What had she done! She had jeopardized his life unthinkingly. She rubbed her forehead anxiously. How could a selfless act of heresy become a selfish act of a wayward child?

She decided to run back to the cab and force the taxi driver to drive them out of this mess to safety. The driver was reluctant but they somehow managed to coerce him into driving. The hesitant driver was driving too slowly and that was drawing attention in the fast moving traffic on the street. Two men accosted the taxi. The men reached for their guns and opened fire.

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I woke up…feeling vulnerable, tense like I was about to be hunted down and killed like a house rat. It was a sick feeling. Dreams have this disconcerting quality of seeming more real than reality. The colors are vivid, intentions are transparent and the emotions are gripping. My brain probably concocted this dream from what I have been reading and watching recently like Sophie Scholl (the strong defiant woman), Nazi Germany, Idi Amin’s murderous rule, the dot buster gang, religious intolerance and the recent rhetoric of patriotism in the US. Four hours after waking up, I still can’t shake away the tense feelings in my mind. What is really scary is that there could be someone out there living this nightmare…probably in one of the warring countries…being hunted down, for having the ‘wrong’ ethnicity, skin color or simply the audacity to speak their mind. I shudder.

11 comments:

Shek said...

i thought i wrote heave stuff but this is too heavy even for Shek. Will read it saturday morning after a shower.

TP said...

Shhh.. Please dont imagine such stuff, for that might turn it into reality. You get what I mean?

Our deepest fears are often true and thats primarily because they are the deepest and they are yours.

ken said...

nicely written

Drunken Master said...

Read to the strains of "Run Fay Run" by Isaac Hayes.

karma said...

that made me jump out of my skin

dodo said...

...there could be someone out there living this nightmare...

Not "could" Crys, there are. As I began to realize the cruelty of humans, the first reaction was to get scared. But there's so much pain that you'll soon become immune to the pain, and just lose all faith in humanity.

Shek said...

so is till did not have the courage to read through this post but you are tagged missy.

LL said...

hey Crys!
this was so vividly written too!! What are you trying to run away from? It's so very true that nightmares often feel like real life too.. apparently, in a lifetime, we spend 10 years dreaming, so we are in a was spending some of our life in that world too... Yours is pretty rocking i should say!
Stay away from those books for a while!

cheers
LL

Crystal blur said...

Shek,
Read it when you are in a mood to read something heavy...I always watch/read heavy stuff when I am feeling a little grim too.

tp,
I just wanted to share the load of these dark thoughts that were clouding my mind. It made me feel so much better.

ken,
Thanks!

drunken master,
That is a cool track...you should be my official blog music director!

Karma,
Me too...I was reeling in the aftermath of those feelings.

Dodo,
It upsets me every time I am reminded that such people exist but I also know so many kind, open-minded people and that tempers my pessimism towards humanity.

Shek again,
Hehe! No worries...skip this post. Aaai! Mere ko tag kiya! I still owe some tags to Joy Forever and Thalia. So you will have to get in line.

La Louve!
How are you girl? Good to see you rummaging thru my blog :) 10 years seems awfully loong! It is a good thing I usually have fun dreams...usually no nightmares/supernatural monsters or anything.

cheti said...

Very well written crys : And yes, this has the potential of being real some where for some one ! Thats scarrier !

Shag said...

really, you can write about anything Crys, even dreams lol. . .

Me, I can't remember my dreams a few minutes after I wake up .