Deep in the Valley

Ahmed was conscious but decided to play dead. A bullet had ripped through his lungs, but he managed to breathe the gun powder laden air. It was freezing as he lay down in the snow-covered valley of Kashmir. He could hear the military retracting. The blood from his forehead dripped over his lashes, making him want to open his eyes, but he tried not to.

Suddenly, it was pin-drop silence. He could hear nothing but the murmur of a faraway stream. Ahmed wanted to get up, but his muscles and bones felt weak. The pain in his chest was excruciating.  The sub-zero temperature numbed his hands and feet. Snowfall had begun and slowly it would become difficult to move. Ahmed opened his eyes. The snow around him was red. He thought of forcing himself into a nearby house for first aid.

As Ahmed started to rise, he began to hear random radio chatter and distant whirring of a helicopter. Gasping for breath, he reached for his Kalashnikov. Before he could pull the trigger, a shower of bullets pierced his body. Ahmed slumped in the snow with a shuddering thud never to rise again.



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