Issue 35, Final Fringe

The Ghoul That Ate Smiley’s Summer

by Tagreid Abu Hassabo Issue 31 08.13.2012

Consider this.

It is the hottest time of day when the sun lights the entire sky so bright that one cannot be certain of its bearings. The girl lies on a rattan chaise lounge in the garden veranda listening to loud tunes from purple knobs buried in her ears. Suddenly, the sun no longer shines.  She looks to the sky and sees a red mountain moving rapidly toward her. It is mystifying. Ominous. She is struck with an overwhelming certainty that within minutes everything will vanish. She will vanish, the villa will vanish, the tennis court will vanish, the prison, the school, and her entire world will be buried under the forthcoming red wrath.  Soon she is not able to see.  Countless needles pierce her skin.  She inhales the blustering sand by the mouthfuls. Almost choking, she pulls her top over her face and breathes in small gasps through the fabric. Flying objects slam on her. Then just as fast as darkness has come, the sunlight returns. She sees the backside of the mountain moving away.

Through the window the mother observes. The girl approaches and the mother receives her at the door. When she enters the mother tries to hold back but she is not successful. She laughs and laughs hard.  The girl is unsure, but amused.  She turns to the mirror in the foyer and sees that she is covered with fine red powder, like a giant moth.  For a moment, she too laughs.

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Tagreid Abu Hassabo

Tagreid Abu Hassabo

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Tagreid Hassabo is a writer and translator of fiction. Before she relocated to the United States, she lived in Egypt, the Sudan, the United Kingdom, and Greece. In New York she attended the Columbia University MFA program. She spent many years working and travelling as an international development expert on the Middle East and North Africa. She currently lives in Columbia, Maryland and is devoted to writing fiction full time. Her work has appeared in Kolliope, a Journal of Women’s Literature & Art and was a finalist for the Glimmer Train Short Story Award for New Writers. Her translations include a novel by Egyptian Nobel Laureate Naguib Mahfouz.