By Simko Ahmed
Revised by Mark Phllips
Ali and Omer were best friends from childhood. They wereborn in the same year and spent all their childhood and primary school years together. They loved each others a lot, and they had many adventures together. They were both 12 years old and in the last class of primary school in the city called Mosel in north Iraq.
Ali was Shia Muslim and Omer was Sunni, but they both preferred play stations over their boring religious classes. They never understood the difference between their twofamilies’ faiths, but they understood their games and PlayStation and the time they were spending in front of the TV screen was the best time of their lives so far.
Ali asked Omer, “Do you know that PlayStation was made in Japan? I wonder if they are Shia or Sunni?”
Omer replied while his fingers were dancing restlessly on the buttons of the control in his hand replied, “My Dad said they are Buddhist, they pray to cows and foxes, they are ignorant and unbelievers and Allah will burn them all in the fires of hell.”
Neither Omer nor Ali understood the difference between their sects of religion, if the older people hadn’t told them that they were different, they would never have known that they were different?
The grey cloud of ISIS was moving in the area, any places they touched disintegrated into ashes and people were either killed or became refugee if they were lucky.
ISIS reached the city of Mosel and in just few days the city became a very hard place to live in, and many people were killed and displaced. Isis solders were targeting any other religions expect their sect of Islam which was Sunni, even Shia Muslims were captured and detained including Omer’s best friend Ali . Omer was very sad as his fiend was no longer around to play with and spend all night playing and making jokes.
Omer begged his father to do something about their neighbour, to go and talk to the ISIS commanders to release them. But he soon realized that it was not going to happen, and
Even having a PlayStation became illegal under Isis’ new law.
He had to burry his play station in the garden so that they wouldn’t find it when they came to check the houses for alcohol, cigarettes, none Muslim citizens and ShiaMuslims also.
A few days later very bad news came from their neighbour, that the following day they were going to behead their Shianeighbour in the square close to their home. Omar was very sad and depressed about the news he couldn’t fall a sleep that night. Creating many fantasies just like the hero of his computer game, Imaging himself to have the power of spider man who could release his best friend from the evilhands.
That night, Omar, in his short sleeping time, saw in a dream, that he became a Spider Man and strangled all the ISIS murderers and released the hostages including his best friend. He announced to everyone that nobody should kill, nobody should hurt others, and everybody must be free to choose who they pray to. But alas, when he woke up he was just a normal boy with no super power, and that made him very sad.
The next day people in the neighborhood were forced to come to the square to witness the elimination of the so-called bad people and enemy of Allah.
Omar saw his soul mate Ali blind folded with the rest in the line; they were on their knees with their hands tied from behind.
While the imam was reading the Quran and justifying his action with the lines of the holy book in his hand, Omer found an opportunity to get close to his friend and whisperinto his ear that he was there and he missed him a lot, he even told him about the last game they did and the difficult level that they hadn’t managed to reach, and how he had found the code and he could now pass that level. He also told him that PlayStation like any other sports and games had become illegal and that he had hidden his game set under ground.
Under Isis rules life was only two shades of black, women, nature, the cloudy sky, everything was black just like their minds, nothing smelled of life anymore in the town. Even the animals were killed and were stinking dead in the streets. Girls and woman vanished from streets; it was like history went back to the Middle Ages within a week.
People were sad, you couldn’t see any smiles or joy in peoples’ faces. Water and power all cut, nobody was collecting the garbage, streets smelled like a big garbage bin.
Life was just about to end in that town and people were afraid of anyone knocking their door.
Isis brought the evil spirits out of many sick people. Pedophilia became legal, while smoking cigarettes and alcohol became illegal. Rape and slavery became heroic;music and art became illegal and people were punished severely, ISIS even killed a group of young guys because there were watching the World Cup.
That dark and bloody evening of the town ended up with Isis solders chopping off the heads of the every Shia family in the neighborhood and giving their heads to the children around encouraging them to play football with them; calling them pigs and unbelievers.
Omer managed to get his hands of his best friend’s head and run with it out from the crowd.
He took the head in a plastic bag. Nobody noticed, not even his father. He took the head to his home, nobody was there, and he managed to wash the head in the bathroom trying to make Ali look like he did before, but the face was expressionless, it was more like an angry face, the one he had seen a few times previously, especially when Ali was losing the game.
Omar spoke to the head as if Ali was still alive. “Don’t worry, I didn’t let them kick your head like football, those people are insane. I’m sure your soul is now around and you hear me. You know they say that after you die you will still be close. If you are here please give me a sign, I miss you a lot, without you nothing is fun anymore. I still don’tunderstand why they hated you”.
He was mumbling to himself like he had lost his mind.
Omar hid his friend’s head in his bedroom without his family noticing for two weeks, every night he put the head on the pillow next to him just like old day, talking to him. After a couple weeks his mother found it due to the bad smell in his room. And they gave him a proper burial secretly.
Omar never understood what the difference was between him and Ali, why he has to be killed in that brutal way, and for what?
Since that day he never believed what the old religious people said about God and their religious books. He kept playing the games and his online name was Ali the Hero.