Monday, March 27, 2006

Kid II

Eating his timman (arabic dish made with rice), Chris was aware of his eyes aching badly, 'I cried alot last night' he thought consolingly, but he knew he was lying to himself, the real reason was the damn game, with nothing to do but play, he's played almost non stop for the past 3 days, stopping only to eat, sleep to go. He felt tired and useless, and depressed.

He should be missing his parents, he should be scared at least, instead he just wants to get past the monster in the second stage.

When he hears the crying again, he pauses and listens, a child, close to his age or younger-he thinks, crying and yelling continuosly, Chris can't understand arabic so he doesn't know what the child is crying about. 'maybe they're torturing him, maybe his daddy isn't paying the ransom', but it doens't sound like that sort of a cry, it's sad and desperate, that child wants something.

A woman tries to console him, Chris knows that because he can understand the tones she usee; begging, shouting, hitting, more begging, but he keeps crying, untill he eats or tires out and sleeps.

Ofcourse there is the kidnapper (or father?) who comes home and yells at the child, always the same "LAA" , or "WAKHAAR!" , the only two arabic words he picked up since his coming here, 'what do they mean?' he wonders.

Chris finishes his timman, pauses, this child isn't going to stop crying, no sleep then, he picks up the controller and contonues fighting the monster in the second level.

Day four, Chris is deeply involved in the game, so when he sees a mass of a person standing next to him out of nowhere, he jumps, hard, later on his solarplexus is sore.

The fright he got, and the implausibility of what he sees make him doubt his sanity for a moment, are my eyes playing tricks on me ?

Here standing before him was the kidnapper, but

not the kidnapper

A third of him ? a mini me of him ?

same clothin same headtowel wrapped around the face, but he's shrunk in size !

Chris closes his eyes, 'deep breath Chris, you're not nuts' He looks again.

Ok, the clothes aren't exactly the same, and he can see from the eyes that isn't the kidnapper because it's just a child's face peering at him from the impossible wrapping of the towel thing.

"Who are you? "

A childish voice speaks shyly


Chris is thinking, ok, it's a kid, what the hell is he doing here ?

for the first time Chris notices something in the kid's hand, a small napsack with
ninja turtles on the side.

"what's this?" Chris points at the sack, the kid understands and shows him, it's full of games, all ps2, all new, and a controller.

Chris is astounded, a small sigh escapes him, he's both esctatic about the prospect of all these new games and having a partener to play with, yet he knows this is going to be very bad for his eyes.

He looks at the kid, points to himself, "Chris", waits expectantly

The boy looks at him for a second, points at himself, "zayyoodi".

Knowing full well he will not be understood, Chris takes the kid's hand in a loose hand shake and says "OK Zayoodi, let's play some games".

Friday, March 17, 2006


Darkness, confusion, his nose is itchy, a dank smell. He sneezes and that puts his head into gear. He's in disarray, where is he ? why is it so dark ?

He tries to move, his hands are tied and there is a band covering his head. memories start coming in pieces, he was in the back seat of the car, skids gun shots -but no one dies- and he's taken, the driver (abu ali) trying explaining 'we don't have the ambassador !' a went pungent cloth over his mouth and nose; and now he's here.

Panic starts setting in, is he going to die ? are the kidnappers going to cut his head off ? flashbacks of his dad telling what to do if he's kidnapped, but this boat of logic won't float in the sea of panic washing over him. He starts whimpering quietly, the headband over his eyes is damp with his tears, he imagines his mum crying over his grave, wailing that he died before hitting 11th birthday.

A sound, a door opening, foot steps cause him to stiffen, tries to be quiet maybe they won't see him, he starts talking to himself, " I'm like a chair, he won't notice me, I am the chair, I am the bed, I am the room"

Of course the steps move towards him, he imagines a knife, a gun, will they torture me ? He imagines the kidnapper - a dark man with a large beard, he'd never seen any faces though- telling his accomplices that he couldn't use the knife 'coz the kid turned to wood'

a rough textured hand pulls the headband from over his eyes, he pulls back as best he could, now fear gripping his heart rendering him almost dead with terror.

Over him standing in a long white dress is a man, the man's face is covered by a black and white almost checkered scarf, he's big, but he has no knife or gun in hand, but a book, which eases the kid almost to a point of sanity.

The man ruffles through the book like he's looking for a passage, finds it, reads it out.

waat izz your neeeam ?

The kid has some hope, if they don't know him they might not need him ! "my name is Chris, Chris Ponde"

The man looks at the kid for a bit, he's thinking, Chris looks back, he must be wondering how he kidnapped me.

looking through the dictionary, he looks at him again and makes another effort to speak

yiour father, weear he woark ?

"At the embassy, the Australian embassy"

He looks again with wonder at this young kid with his messy blond hair and scared blue eyes.

You are hangery ?

"Yes, do you have anything to eat?"

He walks out, which gives the boy time to look around the room, it's an almost empty room, old, raggedy rug on dirty floor. No blood, he thinks with hope, maybe it's just a ransom that he wants.

There are noises from the other rooms, he feels like he's in a storage room of a house, he can hear a kid, a woman, a family maybe ? He remembers his mum, she must be so worried about him, he allows two tears for missing her, then he resumes looking and thinking.

Finally, the man comes again.

We kidnab you, yoar father bay maany for you, you steay here two weeks

"Then you'll let me go ?"


He's holding a tray with him, he sets it next to the boy and untangles his rope. The smell of the rice and the curious red soupish thing overpowers the more subtle smell of the rotting rug. immediately he starts eating.

The man seems satisfied, he walks out

"wait !"

The man turns around, he's surprised the boy has courage to talk to him like that, the boy himself is surprised, but the food and the prospect of surviving all pump more clout into him

"what will I do for two weeks?"

A simple question, but a very difficult one as well, the man looks to see if the boy is serious or not.

You steaa aliev

walks out, closes the door behind him.

Chris thinks about it, staying alive bored is better than getting his head chopped off. that'd be excitement he doesn't want.

Before his meal is over, the door opens again, this time the man has a television set with him, which he connects to an ancient power socket.

Wow, TV for me ? great !

The man walks out and comes back with a playstations2 console and plugs that to the television.

You liek this ?

"Yeah, yeah that's fine"

finally alone and full, Chris can't believe his luck as he grabs the console and starts playing the newest ps2 game around.