July 25, 2021

KITAAB

Connecting Asian writers with global readers

Short Story: The Refuge(e) by Sabiha Huq

1 min read

Vultures or the army, who were the worse predators? 

They came in huge numbers when the Myanmar Government ordered the evacuation of our village. Do vultures heed government orders? Perhaps they do, why else would they accompany the military jeeps through the nights? I saw them sitting on the branches, witnessing the military slowly march into the villages, hunt all the young men, ransack the houses, and finally push the families through the Bangladesh border. 

I did not want to leave but they entered my house, looted our valuables, and… oh, the physical torture is unspeakable in public. I was gang raped in front of my speechless children who forgot to cry after waking up at midnight. When the military left and there was graveyard silence, only the vultures screeched, feasting on the dead bodies lying in the yards and streets. In a petrified village, I and the other women were preparing for our unknown journey to a foreign territory.

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