Copyright 2012 by F. Ghazi
For Nora and Rasheed
Qabil wanted to
die. It was the only memory he possessed upon awakening to find
himself alive and breathing on the white, cratered surface of the
Earth’s moon. He could not recall how he had gotten there or how he
was still alive. He wore no suit or helmet. As far as he could
discern, he was defying nature. It was impossible.
A sense of deep unease pulled at Qabil. As he stood staring up into the stars, memories began to surface as though they fell from their sparkling light. The recollections of what had transpired between himself and his brother, Habil, slowly returned to him in vivid detail. Shame weighed down on his soul as he remembered with horrifying exactness the appalling lines he had crossed.
Qabil surveyed his surroundings with fear and skepticism. The pale terrain of the moon extended out as far as he could see, and the cold star lit night above now glittered sinisterly in his loneliness and confusion. Up ahead, on the lip of the horizon, Qabil could see Earth similarly to how he remembered seeing the moon from his porch at home. Home. Something Qabil had irreparably savaged.
From the distant horizon Qabil heard a voice calling his name. He felt compelled to reach it, to seek forgiveness from it despite knowing it was not the voice’s to give. He reasoned that he had nothing to lose now, except his life. Something he intended to rid himself of anyway.
The voice was both abrasive and melodic, as how Qabil envisaged the saccharine choir of angels to be. It called out to him, and for reasons he could not explain he knew with irrevocable truth that in order to make amends he would have to meet this voice.