Guns

He opened the window overlooking the streets. The sun’s ray entered the house uninvited. It filled the room with light, but couldn’t invade the dark thoughts in his mind.

He pressed the button on the side of the hand grip and the magazine eased into his hands. He had been given 3 bullets for the job. He needed only one. With the rounded side forward, he inserted the lone bullet into the magazine. Lonely? Not for much time. You will soon be embedded into flesh. His malicious thoughts were infecting his brains at an alarming rate.

He pushed the magazine back in the hand-grip. A short ‘click’ confirmed it was in place. Now he waited by the window for the elderly man to step out. Blasphemy shouldn’t go unpunished, he repeated it to himself for the umpteenth time. He was entrusted with the task of plucking the weed out. He was the crusader.

Finally the moment arrived. His target was walking gingerly on the road. Two years more and he would have died anyways, he smirked to himself. Pushing down the safety lock on the top of the gun, he raised it at his eye level. Beads of sweat started forming at his brow. Wiping them off, he took a deep breath. Aiming the gun at the man’s torso, he gripped the trigger.

As he was about to pull it, his attention got diverted by his mother’s loud voice from the other room.

‘Aamir! You are getting late for school. Hope you finished your homework.’

By the time he recovered from the momentary lapse of concentration, the old man was no longer in sight. ‘I had almost finished my homework,’ he cursed under his breath. ‘Until tomorrow,’ he thought, kissed the gun, muttered the Holy name, and placed it between the books in his rucksack. He checked himself in the mirror. The school uniform was tucked in. The hair was neatly parted. The only thing missing was the 11 year old’s innocence.

In Afghanistan, they start young.