A love story in no man's land - Chapter 3.1 in English Fiction Stories by The Kalinga Warrior books and stories PDF | A love story in no man's land - Chapter 3.1

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A love story in no man's land - Chapter 3.1

Chapter 3.1. An Alarm

21 years ago

A small village few miles south of Wazzani, a tense evening

A young shepherd was grazing his sheep on the banks of River Hasbani. Hearing a large sound from somewhere, he looked around and spotted a group of people marching with arms.

He ran back to the village and alerted all the villagers. The village had about 40 houses with a population of around 120, of which more than 50 were either studying or working in different port cities of the country.

"Get inside your homes, everyone, get inside"

"What happened?"

"A group..." the shepherd panted, "with arms... down the hill...."

"A militant attack?"

"I suppose"

"Get inside, everyone" the youngsters started running around the village.

All the villagers went inside their homes and locked their doors.

A few hours later, in the evening, some of the youngsters stepped out to check if any of the armed men entered their village. Having found no one, the villagers slowly came out of their houses. The villages assembled near the prayer hall.

"We have been suffering since the past decade. Let us leave the village and settle in the north," suggested one of them.

"Yes. Our families have suffered enough loss of life and property," sobbed an old lady in the crowd.

"But where will we go?" cried another, "Leaving behind our homes, farms and the place where we lived our lives"

"Let us move to Tripoli or Beirut," suggested another, "We can go and live with our children"

"Yes. We also have a lot of people from our community in Chouf"

"But how will we live there without any property or source of livelihood?"

"We can find some work. We may have to live a poor life, but we will at least be alive"

"Let us have a vote. We will leave or stay, but together"

The villagers took a vote and except for six of them, others voted in favor of leaving the village.

"Let us leave in the evening tomorrow. There might be attacks in the morning. So, we will travel in the night. Get your carts ready and carry lanterns along with enough food."

"We will reach Nabatiyeh and then head towards Chouf via Sidon and Damour. Those who want to reach Beirut or Tripoli can then travel from Chouf"

A few villagers however said they will leave for Syria and Israel to live with their relatives. They decided to have a community dinner that night to celebrate their last day in the village and bid farewell to each other. They lit a campfire and gathered near the prayer hall.

"Zahira Ummi is not here," pointed one of the villagers.

"I will call her," a little girl ran towards Zahira's house.

"Zahira Ummi... Zahira Ummi..."

An 80-year old lady came out.

"Ummi, the dinner has started, come"

"Yes, dear. I am preparing Knafeh and Tabbouleh for all of us. Sit here and have this chocolate. Let us leave in five minutes"

Not showing any signs of her age, Zahira is very active. She is one of the oldest people in the village right now and made sure the traditional Druze delicacies are not missed out in the dinner.

Zahira joined the dinner as the little girl helped her carry a few dishes.

"Siniyah and Kubbeh are very delicious," one of the kids jumped, "Can I have more Tahini sauce?"

"The Knafehs are very tasty, Zahira Ummi" complimented another kid

The villagers enjoyed their last night in the village and hugged each other bidding farewell.

"Pack everything before evening," one of them reminded, "We will leave once the sun sets"

All the villagers went back to their homes.

The next morning, Zahira started packing the stuff she wanted to carry along with her.

As Zahira opened her cupboard, a young boy's photo dropped on the floor.


(Move to chapter 3.2...)