They flew off the roof, I stared in awe and horror and shock and... I stared. A death rally, mobs clad in black setting alight crimson fires and a celebration of the utter morbidity reached by mankind. They stood there with last goodbyes on their lips, reckless and loud, eyes screaming vengeance and rage. I stared still, waiting, immobile.
The crowd jeered, the noises clashed and collided, like a deluge of misery washing over me,and I was mesmerized. A row of men and women, preparing to propel themselves into thin air as the ultimate act of rebellion. The most profane of sacrifices, lined up as they were on that rooftop. Oh, it was such a convoluted joy then in that mob.
And then,"Allahu Akbar", an explosion.Or was it cheering? The shattering bodies, bloody fireworks and sparks and ashes. Orange red gray. Guts, concrete, fire, smoke. Alarms.
A declaration of our own funeral, a collective suicide song ringing high in the charcoal air, and then, silence. For the dead and departed, for the pieces of flesh and bones strewn in the mob's feet. They coloured their foreheads with burning blood and let go of the inhibitions tying them to this half baked sanity. Incited, ignited, they cried "La Illaha Il Allah, Muhammadur Rasool Allah!", a chant eerily disturbing to me after being used for a lifetime as a confession of my faith. Who was I then, in the face of this unknown Islam?
Who were these people I saw, and when had this happened?
Swords were unsheathed, and criminals who looked like me were brought out. Women, girls, little children, made to stand right there in the middle of that circle, and still I stared. I stared as they began slicing here and there, watching the blood spill out, as the mob warded off satan from the souls of these infidels who hadn't donned the nameless, faceless black garb of these apparent revolutionaries.
And then, I snapped out of my trance. Backed out of the balcony, ran inside to protect my family, because I had seen what they remained oblivious to. Knowing, even in my desire to save, the futility of it all. Because I was not nameless, or faceless. I was not covered. But I ran. And just as I was reaching that lock, the door burst open.
I saw the metal stained red. I smelled the blood and soot on their clothes, I saw the hatred in their eye for us. I wondered which God I should pray to, because they had claimed mine for their own and excluded me from faith.
And then my eyes flew open.
The clock said 11 am.