Walid stepped forward, his hands shaking, sweating. “You think you can destroy our
mosques, and murder our women, and not expect us to fight back?”
“No, no, I have never done anything; I don’t know anyone who does that. These are
Arabs from other…”
Walid stepped forward, steadied his hands and shot the man through his face. The
sound jolted everyone, including Walid. The man crumpled to the ground. Walid realized
he had been hoping the gun would jam. A pool of blood spread. He told the group to
clean up and dump the body near a Sunni neighborhood. They stared at him in silence.
He decided it was awe.
A good night’s rest was all he wanted, but his wife was giving him that look again.
“What is it?” Walid asked.
He'd been scared of killing again, so he found other things to do. Many Sunnis lived
in Hurriya. He took his group and forced the Sunnis to leave. Walid and his men
managed to collect taxes from some of the people or take some of their possessions.
His wife pulled out a poster that had his picture on it. Wanted, for 500,000 dinar. He
was shocked; first that he would be on a wanted poster, then, that he would be wort h so
“Where did you find this?”
“At the market. I tore some down, but then there were police everywhere.”
He smiled; he loved that his wife would do that when she saw his poster. Other
women would have just run away. He kissed her and caressed her smooth skin. She
turned her head away.
Walid followed her eyes to the door. There was no one there. His stomach churned.
Would the police knock his door down at any moment?
“Is dinner ready?” he asked.
She didn’t reply and walked into the kitchen.
That night, after they had made love, she stared at the ceiling in a way that let him
know that he needed to say something.
“It will be zian honey, don’t worry about it.” Walid, of course, hadn’t stopped
thinking about being caught for what he'd done. He felt small, foolish.
“You have one son and another on the way, in sha allah, what will we do without
you? Think about it, Walid, please?”
He wanted to slap her, but she was right, he had to think about his family. He could
not get arrested. He knew what happened in those prisons; sometimes people never
returned. His family would most certainly starve. In the end, she was concerned with him
turning out like Mahmud.
“I will,” he said to calm his wife down.
“But what will you do now? Your face is everywhere, and people need money.”