Thursday, September 20, 2018


Food & Water
By Chris Coleman

Ninety days passed since the attack. Sixty days passed since they successfully overthrew the government. Forty days passed since Khalil’s wife was one of the thousands who were killed.
Ten days passed since he or his little Zoe had a meal that didn’t consist of scraps from a trash can. Four days passed since they tasted even a drop of water.
Zoe was only 7 years old and witnessing the mass chaos plus the brutal murder of her mother was enough for a child her age to bear. Khalil missed his dear Layla. He missed her voice, her smell, her touch, her kiss… Khalil was a wreck, but he didn’t have time to come to terms with his emotions, let alone console his daughter; right now, all that mattered was getting food and water. Unfortunately, that task involved getting past three-armed soldiers and sneaking into their compound. A knife and two bullets were his only line of defense.
As Khalil and Zoe hid behind a car that had been turned into a burnt marshmallow, he began to construct his strategy. The only way he was going to be able to get food and water for Zoe was to use her as bait. It was either that or die of thirst and starvation.
“Okay Zoe, see those men? I want you to go to those men and tell them you need help,” Khalil instructed.
“Bu…..but…they look like the scary men who killed mommy” Zoe uttered. Khalil looked at his baby girl with desperation, he reassured her that everything would be okay.
Reluctantly, Zoe approached the soldiers in ski masks. “Help please! I am scared, please help”
she cried as tears ran down her face. The masked soldier said nothing and ominously charged towards Zoe at full speed when Khalil suddenly jumped from behind the car and tackled him down. With all his strength, Khalil thrust his hunting knife into the soldier’s flesh right under his neck. As the blood spewed out of the soldier’s neck like a geyser, Zoe drew into the corner in the front of the building; wide eyed, taking it all in. Khalil quickly drew his gun and dumped his first bullet into the soldier’s forehead, causing his brains to decorate wall behind him like an Andy Warhol painting. The remaining soldier rushed Khalil to the ground, attempting to stab him with his knife. While the struggle ensued, Khalil’s gun fell out of his pocket. Suddenly, the loud clap of his Glock pierced his ears as the soldier collapsed on top of him. Stunned, Khalil rose to see his innocent little Zoe, still pointing the smoking gun after she ended the soldier’s life.
“Give daddy the gun, baby girl” Khalil instructed. As Zoe still stood numb, he reassured her “You did good baby, daddy loves you.” He grabbed his little Zoe by the hand. As they walked in, with his arm bleeding, Khalil was just glad to have survived another day.

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