THE SWALLOWS OF KABUL: A NOVEL. Translated by John Cullen.

By Yasmina. Khadra

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She’s nonetheless within the comparable position, afloat in a luminous blur. “I proposal you have been long past for good,” he mumbles, attempting to wake up. “I suggestion I’d by no means see you back. ” “You have been improper. ” “Where did you pass? I sought for you in every single place. ” “I wasn’t some distance away—I was once hiding. ” “I virtually went loopy. ” “I’m right here now. ” Clinging to the wall, Atiq will get to his ft. He’s shaking like a leaf. the lady opens her fingers. “Come,” she says. He runs to her and presses himself opposed to her, like a toddler lower back to its mom. “Oh, Zunaira, Zunaira, what would’ve turn into of me with out you? ” “That’s now not a query anymore. ” “I was once so afraid. ” “That’s simply because it’s so darkish in right here. ” “I left the lamps unlit on goal. and that i see no cause to gentle them now. Your face will shine on me extra brightly than 1000 candles. Please, carry your hood and allow me dream of you. ” She takes a step backward and turns up the pinnacle of her burqa. Atiq cries out in fright and recoils. She isn’t Zunaira anymore; she’s Musarrat, and a rifle shot has blown away 1/2 her face. Atiq wakes up screaming, thrusting out his palms to push away the horror. lined with sweat, his eyes bulging, he realizes in basic terms after a number of seconds that he’s been having a nightmare. open air, the day is dawning, and so are the sorrows of the area. taking a look LIKE HIS personal ghost, Atiq drifts towards the cemetery. He’s donning no turban and sporting no whip; his trousers cling low on his hips, slightly held up via a poorly buckled belt. As he walks, he doesn’t a lot circulation ahead as haul himself alongside, together with his eyes rolled up and devastation in his each step. His untied shoelaces hint serpentine arabesques within the dust. His correct shoe has burst open, exposing to the solar a misshapen toe with a cut up nail defined in blood. He should have slipped and fallen someplace, as his correct part is stained with dust and his elbow is skinned. He appears like a under the influence of alcohol, like a guy who doesn’t recognize the place he's or the place he’s going. at times, he stops and braces himself opposed to a wall: bent over from the waist, palms on his knees, vacillating among his urge to vomit and his have to capture his breath. His darkish face, below its thatch of unkempt beard, is as wrinkled as an overripe quince; his deeply coated brow and swollen eyes supplement his visual appeal of complicated deterioration; his distress is shrill, unignorable. The infrequent pedestrians who go his course examine him with apprehensive eyes. a few of them make vast detours to prevent him, and the youngsters enjoying the following and there retain him less than cautious surveillance. Atiq has no notion of the phobia he’s arousing. His head is a weight on his shoulders, his hobbies are erratic, and he’s purely vaguely conscious of the maze of little streets. He hasn’t eaten for 3 days. Fasting and grief have tired him. Saliva like dried milk stains the corners of his mouth, and he retains blowing his nostril into his cupped hand. He wishes numerous heaves to detach himself from the wall and set himself in movement. His legs buckle less than his sagging carcass.

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