Mar 7, 2012

Cerpen Syria: My Name is Erythrocyte

My name is Erythrocyte. I know it's quite a mouthful to pronounce, and most people would get it wrong. So, I prefer to be called a Red Blood Cell.

I used to live in a human body; an honorable Syrian male teenager, circulating through out his body. Due to my elastic biconcave shape, I managed to travel almost every branch of his capillaries, delivering oxygen to and picking up carbon dioxide from the tissues.

But today I’m just one amongst several millions erythrocytes that are now forming a smudge of blood on the Quran pages. I was told that I’m usually capable of living up to 120 days, performing my task. But somehow I got expelled from the circulatory system earlier than I expected. What a shame.

How did I end up on a page of a mushaf, you ask? Hmm, let me tell you my story.

As you probably know, I have lived in my host's body for about 100 days now. Since I was first formed in Kamil's bone marrow, I have witnessed more than several occasions that have made my acquaintance, The Heart, beat like those of racehorses’. When The Heart beats more than 200 beats per minute, then I'll know that something is not right.

Life was not easy here in Syria. Ever since The Syrian Revolution started a couple of months ago, many Syrians now live in hiding. Like refugees in their own land.

You would snort in disbelief or laugh skeptically when you heard how it all started. How a couple of school children were said to playfully write, "The People Want The Government Overthrown", who were later on captured and tortured by getting their nails removed til some of them were dead.

The catchphrase was later on shouted allover the Arab countries who were long suffered under the dictatorships of the so-called democratic leaders.

My Host; Kamil, you see, was a very special teenager. When most people his age would get drunk, smoke weed, explore their sexuality, and enjoy their youth, he would risk his life participating in demonstrations against the cruel Basyar Assad. Ughh, that bastard.

He knew about all the risks. He knew that during the first 42 days of the revolution alone, almost 4000 Syrians had gone to meet their Creator. He knew that more than 9000 people had been captured and some 413 of them had died while in jail.

But he insisted. What a stubborn boy he was.

He said he had a clear vision. A vivid goal. A hopeful dream, that his country would someday be peaceful and habitable. Everybody would live happily, performing their respective roles as Khalifas. He really hoped that, if not for himself, then for the future generations.

But he also knew, that he was fighting a good fight. He knew that if he died, he would die protecting his family, his country, and himself. He knew that he would die as a syahiid, as the fatwa from Rabitah Ulamak Syria said he would.

So on a sunny Friday morning about a week ago, he snuck out to the city after he had prayed Duhaa. He had taken his ghusl and made his wuduk earlier, as most of his people would before going out to march, because they were convinced that they would never to return home ever again. Not alive, at least.

I didn't blame his pessimistic attitude. I understood his tendency to expect the worst. He did not exactly have anything to lose, lately, since his hometown in Homs was surrounded by Basyar's army. Food and water had become scarce. Death had become a normal sight ever since the snipers swarmed the city, shooting innocent bystanders.

Both of his younger brothers, dead. Bullet in the head. His mother, captured and raped in front of him before she was killed mercilessly. His father, thrown in jail without so much as a citation of rights.

Now he was determined to fight back. After reciting a few verses of the Quran that morning, he put the mushaf inside his front pocket, before making his way to join a group of martyrs who were at that time gathering behind a building that used to be a post office.

I remember that day vividly, because I had to work harder than usual. His heart pumped heavily. He was nervous, I guess. He knew he didn't have much against the soldiers. Only a couple of small rocks and a slingshot.

He knew he didn't stand a chance, but he thought that it was the least he could do. When he was little, everybody kept talking about how good his aim was with the slingshot. So he thought maybe he would use that to his advantage. That ought to count for something in the eyes of God, right?

He then took a deep breath, pulled the slingshot, aimed it at one of the soldier's eyes, and with a brief loud yell of 'Allahuakbar', the slingshot made a thwiiiit sound as he released it. A soldier suddenly screamed his lungs out, rolling on the ground side to side, shrieking. He put his hands where his left eye had been just a moment ago. Blood oozed between his fingers.

A series of gunshots were then heard soon after that, as a response. One of the bullets had hit Kamil right in the middle of his chest, which instantly rendered him immobilized on the ground, gasping for air. During his last few breaths, he managed to cry out, 'laailaahaillallah muhammad rasulullah', before the internal bleeding and pneumothorax took his precious life.

And just like that, my wonderful 100 days of sheltering in an ahlil jannah's body finally ended. I splattered out proudly from his blood vessels onto the mushaf, and ended up being right there on top of verse 111 of Surah at-Taubah, that reads:

إِنَّ اللَّهَ اشْتَرَى مِنْ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ أَنفُسَهُمْ وَأَمْوَالَهُمْ بِأَنَّ لَهُمْ الْجَنَّةَ يُقَاتِلُونَ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ فَيَقْتُلُونَ وَيُقْتَلُونَ  
"Verily Allah has purchased from the believers their lives and their properties for (the price) that theirs shall be Paradise. They fight in Allah's cause, so they kill (others) and are killed.."


This 'cerpen' is written for Lets Save Syria program organized by PERUBATAN. Since 60% of the marks depends on the number of 'likes' received, do visit this link and click 'like' if you think it deserves a thumbs up ;) Thanks

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