Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Blue Pages — RRRAINNN Special 14 — Berendsje Westra

. . .


Berendsje Westra

     Huddled together, Dan and his friends stood just inside the door of the mosque’s entrance hall, listening to the rain that clattered against the green dome-shaped roof over their heads.

     Dan stared outside, at the fat drops that splashed onto the ground into pools of their own creation and at the roses, propped up against the stone wall. The petals seemed to come alive again by the downpour of fresh water. 

     What wouldn’t come alive anymore, Dan thought miserably, was the hog he’d spent a small fortune on. Just metres away from the mosque, it was still rotating on a rented electric spit. 

     A stab of regret pierced him. It had been killed for nothing; this whole day had been for nothing. And to think it had started out so promisingly. Muslims had glared at them in passing.

     ‘You’re bullies,’ a wild-eyed, robed man carrying white roses had hissed.

     ‘Calm down mate,’ Dan replied. ‘We’re just silent protesters. Like Dr King himself. Nothing wrong with a little barbie.’ 

     ‘It’s a free country,’ fellow activist Luke chimed in. ‘We can do this wherever we like.’

     It was already trickling then and the hog wasn’t done yet. Worse even, there wasn’t a journalist in sight even though Dan had been in the news. Hence the Muslim flowers: a counter-protest.
By the time it started pouring Dan knew it was over.

     ‘Let’s call it a day and pack up,’ he’d said. But his friends weren’t keen on getting soaked during the march back to the train station whilst carrying a pig in a bin liner and lugging trolleys loaded with BBQ equipment.

     A clap of thunder pierced the sky and the activists backed further into the hall. 

     Except for Dan. He still couldn’t believe the imam had offered them his mosque for shelter. He couldn’t believe he’d been forced to accept the offer thanks to his spineless friends.

     Forlornly he gazed at his shoes, but then an idea flashed through his mind and he quickly stooped to take one off.

     ‘What are you doing mate?’ Luke’s voice rang from behind him.

     ‘Guess what?’ Dan turned around; smirking. ‘I’m going to throw this into their prayer room. Silently!’

     A ripple went through the gang. ‘I’m not sure about that mate,’ Luke said. ‘Wouldn’t that be one step too far?’

Other stories of Berendsje's have been published by Squawkback Magazine and in a printed Dutch short story collection. Berendsje has an MA in Creative Writing from the Manchester Writing School.

No comments:

Post a Comment