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A Tent in the Afghani Desert

Story ID:5061
Written by:John Ward (bio, contact, other stories)
Story type:Fiction
Location:Near Kabul Afghanistan
Year:2008
Person:The Holy One
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A Tent in the Afghani Desert

A Tent in the Afghani Desert

The following is true; I swear it. It’s important to start that way because the tale I am about to tell is so fantastical, that anyone might doubt its veracity.

I am a Moscus Domesticus, also known as a household fly, although I prefer the Latin name for reasons of self esteem. One day, I was just dissolving some left overs and slurping them down, when a mighty wind blew into the house spontaneously and I was carried aloft into the sky. Beat my wings as I might, I was helpless and soon I was caught in the dreaded Trade Winds.

My friends, even if you are as big as Gus the Blue-Bottled fly or as nasty as Magumba the Tse-Tse fly, you have no chance against the Trade Winds and you can only hope that you’re over dry land when the Trades get bored with you and drop you like yesterday’s news.

It was no small measure of luck that found me over a remote part of the Northern Afghani desert when I was unceremoniously hurled against the outside of a large tent, which glowed in the evening gloom. Exhausted and battered I knew I had better get inside, as the desert was starting to get cold. I walked and then flew, lopsidedly, until I found the tent’s opening.
There were only two people in the tent and they weren’t paying any attention to me so I affixed myself to the inside of the sloping canvas and started the long and arduous process of rubbing my legs over my wings, wiping the dust out of my eyes and licking it off my arms. Here’s the strange part: As I was cleaning myself I heard the men begin to talk. At first I couldn’t understand them but after a while they were joined by a third man who spoke only English. His name was Hamid and he was born and raised in London, England!

“You should be ashamed, Hamid, that you do not speak the language of your fathers” said the tall one with the lovely beard. I could see delicious food particles glistening within.

“You are right as usual holy one, I am taking lessons, but it’s not easy to learn the language of Allah!

“His name be praised” said the holy one and all three bowed their heads. I kept listening because I noticed that they were eating some sweet and sticky fruit from a bowl. They swatted at the local flies which seemed oblivious to my presence in the tent, so I thought I’d wait and see if I could get some of what was left.

“We are here, my friends, to discuss ways to destroy the Great Satan!” The holy one was speaking again. He stood to his full height and his head dented the top of the tent, making it look like they were meeting inside an enormous sombrero he was wearing. “Hamid, you and Ali-Ali bin Ali are my most trusted advisors when it comes to destruction and havoc. I want your feedback on some ideas I have to destroy Amrica” – “Death to Amrica” they all screamed in unison. I thought it would sound better in harmony, but I held my proboscis.

“Brothers” said the holy one, although he looked old enough to be their grandfather, “I have a plan, based upon a plan that was used in the Second World War!” Their eyes gleamed as they looked up at the holy one. “Not that I read anything but the Holy Quran, but I once read Life Magazine, in a moment of weakness, and it said the Germans found a way to destroy the economies of the allies, by printing millions of their currency, both British Pounds and Dollars of Amrica.” “Death to Amrica!” They shouted in unison. “By printing all this extra currency” he continued “they could flood the market and destroy the economy by making their money worth nothing. We can do this too! What do you think of that plan?!?”

The silence that followed was confusing, but finally Hamid spoke up: “Holy one, I am afraid that idea is not original!”
“I know it is not – I just said it came from the Germans!”
“Yes, but it’s already being done.”
“What do you mean? Is Hammas doing it? I bet it’s those sneaky Mujahadins!”
“No, no…We don’t have to do anything…. Mr. Bush is printing so much money for his war in Iraq; he’s destroying his own economy as we speak. He prints 200 Billion every four or five months!”
“200 Billion? Billion - Shmillion. I get confused” said Ali “what is the difference?”
Hamid was happy to explain: “A Swiss banker in Geneva once told me that a million dollars in $100 dollar bills would be about 14 to 16 centimeters high. Then he pointed to the 450 foot fountain in Lake Geneva and said: “A billion would be as tall as that water spout!””
“Holy hummus, is it so?” Asked Ali. The other two nodded.

“OK fine!” barked the holy one, “Bad idea, but I have other ideas! Let us try to make it uncomfortable for the Amricans…” “Death to Amrica!” They all shouted in unison. I really felt like saying “Try a 3rd and a 5th harmony fellas, but I kept quiet.
“How can we do this Lofty one?” asked Ali.
“We make them hate to travel. We send a message that we will hide explosives even in our holy socks so that they will be harassed at their airports and hate flying! This will slow the economy and.... What? What is that look?!”
Hamid blushed. “Ah… that is already being done holiness!
“Oh God!”
“They have a company called TSR and they, together with the immigration people make the lives of travelers miserable, searching their baggage, their carry on, their clothing, even their shoes and socks. Apparently someone tried to get explosives on in his shoes and now everyone must remove their shoes. BUT, because they are trying to prove to the world that they do not pick on people by race, I have seen them harass and bully a lady of about 85 with white hair and a walker while young Arabs walked through!”

The holy one thought for a moment, then he thought for another moment, but the two were too close together to distinguish between them. A woman entered, was ignored and left. Then the tall one spoke: “If they let Arabs through, how about if we could get some Alcaida operative into the airports with explosives in his underwear? Then the idiots would make everyone take their underwear off! I would laugh my head off!”
“Well….” Said Hamid “we would have to find someone in Alcaida who knows what underwear is and train them how to wear it….” “True…. Oh forget it!”
“Esteemed One!” chimed Ali, “I have it! If we can get the Amricans…” “Death to Amrica” “Yes, if we can get them to ignore their constitution! That would be wonderful!!! If we can make them pass laws that take away their civil rights they could no longer boast that they enjoy freedom in the greatest society…. What is that look Hamid!!!???”
“So!” said the Eminent One knowingly. “You are saying that they have already gutted their constitution, eviscerated their civil rights, hindered travel, destroyed their economy… it seems we only need to sit here on this rug with our arms folded and they will destroy themselves for us.”
“That is my point O Limpid One” said Hamid “As long as people like Mr. Bush, Mr. Cheney and Mr. Rumsfeld run the government, we have nothing to worry about. I don’t know about this new man.”
“Yes but I worry about one thing.”
“What is that Exulted One?”
“What of all the brothers who are captured? If they find out that life under the Amrican system….” “Death to Amrica!” “Yes, thank you, but if they find out that democracy and free enterprise is a good thing, if they are treated well, with kindness and dignity, they might change their ideas and their allegiance…. They might not hate the west! What then?”
“No need to worry on that account Magnificent One. The Amricans…” “Death to Amrica” “Yes, well they are treating them so badly that it just increases their hatred for anything and everything Western.”

With that the men stood and embraced. I noticed the other flies had retired so I made a bee-line for the bowl and found some dates. I ate my fill and made plans to return home by way of a bus to Khartoum, a camel to Karachi and a pet carrier to Berlin. From there I planned to catch a train to Brugge and a Carnival Cruise to Miami. As it turned out, none of my plans came to pass, but I made it back and have told my tale to John Ward, so that the world might know of my adventure. Yes, it is true, we flies speak, but I know none of you will believe it, so I won’t get in trouble with the Concilio Alto dei Mosci Domestici.