Little Miss Caramello

As the bell signals the end of another tedious and sultry day, there is hurried gabbling, shuffling of papers, textbooks squashed with little dignity into bulky schoolbags, a snatch or two of nervous laughter, leather shoes thundering across the carpet, and the door closing with its plaintive squeal. Silence. She remains at the desk, in the right-hand corner of the classroom. A bead of sweat trickles down the side of her cheek, but she brushes it off before it lands on the grid paper. She scratches the paper with her pencil; solid, consistent strokes of a well-practiced swimmer approaching the final lap. She finds the last coordinate, plots the last point. As expected, the points join in smooth curves. The hyperbola and parabola intersect perfectly. Satisfied, she takes her time …

Read more →

  Draft 1 Sand. It was a merciless creature, squirming into the smallest gaps, whipping holes into robes, weighing down the men who were foolish enough to go to the marketplace during Jumu’ah. There was no clink of coins, no hustle and bustle, no children weaving through, throwing their heads in merry laughter. Only the man, the wrinkled plum, was seated sedately amidst the beast which reared and tossed and clawed. He grasped his keffiyeh and wound it tighter around his head with brittle fingers. He had sat there, through incessant clamouring and days where if he laid down with sun-dried eyelids closed and allowed the beast to trample over him, he could hear his heartbeat, the rhythm of a feeble spirit trapped within a decaying shell. In front of …

Read more →