Returning Home

Entry for MWC Reentry

Muhammad Nasrullah Khan
10 min readAug 19, 2021

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Image by Photo Mix from Pixabay

The sun slowly hid itself behind the earth as Rafeel, grey haired and with short wrinkle lines on his face reached the old bus-stop of his village. He glanced up at the sky and nearly smiled at dark shadows hovering over the earth, his grandmother would have called it a sign of evil darkness.

With a head clouded with brown dust of travel, Rafeel took a deep breath and turned to gaze around him. The air was calm and moist but sweet with the smell of fires made from tree branches.

The smell of his motherland made him very excited, he took in his surrounding and felt a light buzz in the pit of his stomach, he couldn’t wait to meet familiar faces, faces he hoped would still remember him even though he still felt like an outsider most times.

Twenty years had gone by since he left this portion of the earth. He left in his prime, when his blood was boiling in the heat of the rebellious nature of youth. He was declared after some years as an Enemy of State and his options were to either surrender to the Taliban or be exiled. He chose the later and took the long road out of his birth home.

Standing at the bus-stand, he could see that nearly everything had changed except the black rock that shielded the sun at every dusk. Before his return, he heard that the Taliban had seized power again and with every face he looked into, he saw nothing but emptiness and poverty. Each person he looked at wore despair like a heavy cloth, their shoulders sagging with its weight. These poor scavengers were vultures in their own land. They were slaves to a culture of brutality. Still at the same spot, his legs shaking and anger threatening to erupt out of his chest, he shock his head in disappointment because suddenly everything reeked of chaos and hunger.

People they chose as leaders had sucked the blood from their bodies and raped the country, over and over, leaving nothing to be scavenged.

Nature probably repelled at their existence, because it bestowed upon them great and violent floods, earthquakes, and famine.

This land was a remnant of spiritless bodies, living because death was slow and refused to come: these neglected souls were the scapegoats of every government. Regime after regime had been the same…

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Muhammad Nasrullah Khan

His short stories are well-recognized internationally for his unique prose style. nasar_peace@hotmail.com