Gray, all over. Silver linings abound, clouds above. The cement patch I sat on, grew into the skies. I knew this day would come. Where are their gods now? Where are the beliefs?

All the blood lost in the name of many, all the hours spent in pain and chaos. I can still see the days, printed bright and colored, in my brain for ages to come. The days when the world was very different from the monochrome that towered now. Then, the days that took a crimson red all over my eyes. Days I’ll never forget, one by one, my heart was numbed, tearing from it my dear ones. What for were all this?

Yet, the new have come, and all have flushed, the temples to mosques, the churches to stupas. The resolution makes no sense, yet the truth persists. Humans cling to their better minds, as they always have. But who can hide from what is to come.

They crushed our heads, in every sense. The world ran from it’s own surmise. They cared for none, for who were we to them? Just another species, on their agenda to clean. Their footsteps thundered into the shackles of human thought, the crack of their knuckles bulldozed the walls that we had built so high. Nothing mattered now, the humans had to survive.

I used to scream, loud and clear, and so did many of my kin. We begged for humanity, we strived for peace. A deaf ear to us then, a deaf ear to humankind now. They came, scraping across thousands of lightyears. But here they were now. What could help us now?

As I sat there on the grey pavement, nibbling to a sub that could barely keep up to the name. “No more Subway wrappers” I thought, “or chipotle sauce”. The only thing that helped my eatable from striping of it’s reputation was the distinctly shaped bread, and the stale bacon. I’ve always had the problem of jumping from huge trains of thought to the things that mattered the least, I affirmed in retrospect. Finishing the last of what I probably considered sacred, I went back into the deli to grab myself some more of the goodies. This place would probably last me a while. I saw signs of desertion all over the counters. Once I was done with Subway, the following week, the Za’atar shop would probably be my new home. I had to find my own way to life and -hey- what’s life without food? Though it’s probably somewhere around third on the list of things to survive with, not in my case. I found it uncanny how I could think of petty things given that I was living in a world that was already my dug grave.

“Perfect!” screamed the kid as he opened the door and then froze. “Great” I thought, in exasperation. As much as I cared for mutual survival, sharing my new find seemed slightly annoying to me. Given the boy was probably the age of my younger sister were she still here, my softer side took over, “What’s your name?”, and after a few stupefied seconds, “ma-ismak?” putting on as much of authenticity to the language I had barely learned in my years living here. “I know english.” came his reply, in an accent placed far away from anywhere close. “What took you so long then?” I asked. “I didn’t know if you were going to kill me.”. So let me add to that, not everyone these days were kind. The rebellious still existed in such a plight as we all were in. For that matter of fact I found it very close to humour how people could still have even the tiniest vestige of self-proclaimed dominance over anyone. “You’re safe, come on”

“They used to call me Awad…….Not everyone’s nice to me around here”, “I know” I replied, “I don’t bite.” His giggle gave us both a sense of security that was short lasted. The sudden, but muffled sound of explosion from the other part of the petrol station sent shivers across our spines. It could be them, or it could be the rebels. Since doing nothing only meant an inevitable and unwelcome build of tension, being the elder, I decided to step out.

As I opened the glass doors, the grey-black ashes that danced around in unison to the rumble of the burning machinery, created an ever more suited gradient across the gloomy sky. Not wanting to mess with my lungs for too long, I probed around the site of the explosion, to find remnants of the explosive. It was them. Fortunately, they hadn’t taken the pain to physically come this far, but it was one of their drones that exploded on impact. What used to be a green-petrol station, with the economists knowing best how to pace food joints at the right places to attract their bees in, now was just a resource, a bunker, if you will. Looking around, the sense of dismay filled me again. It didn’t have to be this way. It shouldn’t. The skies, again reflecting my honing gloom, seemed to stay stagnant, if not worsening with the added debris from the explosion. For a second I felt as though this was the same situation humanity had been in. A horrendous scheme that was digging itself into worse trenches, infinitely.

Awad’s face was filled with anguish. The shack’s lackluster lighting further emphasized the folds on his forehead, which really should’ve only showed their presence in his 40’s. The kid’s been through a lot I thought. “We’re fine, no company-just a drone.” “That could have killed us?!” He screamed in ever growing tension, “Well maybe, but it’s all fine now and that’s all that matters.” I replied, trying to push away as much as tension from the kid’s head.

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