Photo: Suhail Mir / Unsplash
Photo: Suhail Mir / Unsplash

Unknown gunmen

A short story.

. . . broken, Fatima promised not to let the fire of revenge consume her son

. . . the killings made the people more alarmed about anonymous gunmen, but that didn't stop Poshmarg from further tragedy.

When it was summer in the light and winter in the shade and the air was languid, an unknown gunman shot Ram dead in the open, just outside his house. Soon after the bullets were fired, the clouds began to weigh more and more heavily and came down in the form of massive rains as if the sky itself were weeping. Ram's body lay there on the grass like it was waiting for the rain to wash the blood away. The news of the murder was first broken by a young boy who, unmindful of the danger, ran to see the one who was shot. When the people saw the boy running towards the spot, they felt encouraged to assist and followed him. Confused, the boy wasn't sure if the man was dead or merely injured. But he didn't dare touch him. He waited for the others he saw coming towards him. Rain didn't stop them. Many people arrived there, and when they turned his head, they recognised him as Ram. He had been shot twice, once in his head and once in his chest. The spots where the bullets had entered Ram's body had darkened. The blood was still oozing out – it smelled like burnt almonds. The bold drops of rain that moved in a stream around his blood did not dilute the dark-red colour. It soaked his body and tinged everyone standing around him. Their feet were red with his blood.

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Himal Southasian