They drove together in silence, Amatullah gazing out of the rain streaked window, taking auspicious glances at the worn down shops from which spicy aromas wafted, greeting her nose pleasantly.
Her brother, Abdullah, was gazing out the window also, paying the least attention to the road as possible. His thoughts wandered to food – what will mum be cooking tonight I wonder… – and he smiled mischievously as he remembered the roast chicken tradition – only on Fridays – that they had acquired not too long ago.
He parked the car with his signature swerve splashing some poor passerby with shed loads of cold water. Abdullah jumped out of the car to look at the damage he had caused, and seeing it was pretty bad, immediately apologised sincerely to the middle aged woman. He was appalled at the reply he got however – it consisted of the words “stupid” and “terrorists” – and sighed knowing that these people aren’t going cease this nonsense anytime soon.
Amatullah caught up with him, helping take the shopping out of the boot.
“What was that about?” she asked, looking at her brother.
“Oh, just some women calling us ‘stupid terrorists’ that’s all.” He replied matter-of-factly.
Amatullah – barely shocked – nodded her head knowingly. “The only terrorists around here are themselves, terrorising us like that. Oh, and the dogs.” She added, the memory of her first encounter with a British dog searing her mind.
She was just walking along, her dark purple jilbab flowing out behind her, creating a wonderful sort of cloak effect, when the savage bulldog that lived down the road from her smelt the fish and chips she had in a bag, and made a run for it.
She had turned around, noticing someone (or something) coming after her at ridiculous speed, and was welcomed by the honorary lick in the face, from the great big sloppy monster people call dogs. Amatullah had shrieked, and started running away, as far as she could from the beast. Bad idea. It had started to run after her, and she was slowing down, nearly tripping on her new cerise jilbab. After a while, however, the dog tamed a bit, and went back to its owner, who patted it and said, “Good dog!” as if it had done a good thing! Fuming, Amatullah had spat on the ground, disgusted by the people she lived around.
A raindrop woke her from the terrible memory, slithering down her face, leaving a streak down her cheek as if she had been crying. She hastily wiped her fingertips over her golden skin and set of inside after her favourite sibling.
Exhausted, Amatullah plopped down on the nearest sofa she saw, thinking about the commitment she had made, which she very much regretted now. She twiddled with a small, thin piece of thread that was intruding from the blood-red velvet materiel of the sofa she was sat on. Her attempts to pull it out failed, and she finally gave up, feeling her strength waning and surrendering to food. Mmmmmm, roast chicken….she thought, her mind clicking awake.
The delicious smell wafted from the old overused cooker, seeping into her mind and poisoning her senses, the way drugs would. She walked like a zombie to the kitchen, and brought the steaming hot tray of marinated chicken that made everyone in the tumbled down house feel like they hadn’t eaten for days.
The whole family gathered around the table, feeling the need to fulfil this desire. Within minutes, the food was finished, leaving nothing but the carcass of the poor – but dead – chicken.