He will be killed and she will be killed and everyone except for me will be killed as a Muslim, as an alien, as an intellectual, as a homosexual. And I stroke my chin and chuckle in agreement with whatever crude thing is under discussion to cover a sudden watering of my eyes, because shit, they’ve just caught her with a bomb, the policemen say.
They march her in handcuffs up to the table where the commander and I are playing checkers, my silver coins against his gold (plastic is too precious). I am unable to look at her and she does nothing to acknowledge me, whether from contempt or because she wants me to live, I don’t know.
The commander prescribes his usual panacea: one bullet. They take her away. I pray to the ground in which I somehow still believe: open under my chair, swallow me whole. But it doesn’t. The moment passes. I relieve the commander of another gold coin.
Dave Bonta (bio) crowd-sources his problems by following his gut, which he shares with 100 trillion of his closest microbial friends — a close-knit, symbiotic community comprising several thousand species of bacteria, fungi, and protozoa. In a similarly collaborative fashion, all of Dave’s writing is available for reuse and creative remix under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. For attribution in printed material, his name (Dave Bonta) will suffice, but for web use, please link back to the original. Contact him for permission to waive the “share alike” provision (e.g. for use in a conventionally copyrighted work).