Devil with the Angel's Eyes (16+)

(Based on Khaled Hosseini's The Kite Runner)

Saria Ahmed is Assef's twelve year old sister, a charming young girl with bright blue eyes, and curly blonde hair. With her girly dresses and sweet demeanour, she comes across as the perfect child. But there is evil lying just beneath the innocent facade, a darkness that is sometimes beyond her control...

Any characters, words or plot devices taken from the Kite Runner are copyrighted by Khaled Hosseini and Dreamworks studios. I do not own them, and no copyright is intended. Saria Ahmed, and any other characters not owned by Hosseini are owned by me.

Please note that this story does contain strong violence, language and mature themes, but it is meant to reflect the violent and sociopathic natures of both Saria and Assef, and is told from Saria's unique first person perspective. If you are under the age, or maturity level of 16, or are in any way squeamish about violence, please do not read this story. Any feedback/ideas are welcomed.

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6. Cruel Treatment

Of Arguments and Beatings

Last time, Saria was delighted that she was able to manipulate Amir into bullying Hassan. Her love for the Pashtun boy grew when she saw how cruel he could be to his friend. Now, we find her bored in her bedroom during a bad rainy spell..

I lay on my bed, silently reading. My ever clean sheets were pulled taut, my pillow plumped to perfection by one of our maids. The only sound in the room was that of the rain hitting the ground outside and of the pages of my book slowly turning. I tucked a lock of blonde curls behind my ear and stared down at the words so hard that they blurred. I was reading Rostam and Sohrab, Hassan favourite book, for what seemed like the umpteenth time.

Unlike others who had read it, I rejoiced in the irony that Rostam had, in fact, murdered his own son. It was so funny. I delighted in that man's pain as he realized who it was he had stabbed. I loved to imagine the sword piercing through Sohrab's heart, to imagine the pain he must have felt. Physical and emotional pain, the best type of pain to make people suffer.

I rolled over onto my stomach and continued reading. My dress bunched up under my legs, making it very distracting while I was trying to read. It was a pink abomination with a ribbon at the back of it. The petticoat and underskirt underneath made it kick out. It was something a three-year old would wear, and I knew it too. I had to keep looking young and sweet for my parents, and other unsuspecting adults like Wrinkled Cow (sorry, Yuri). My ever wandering thoughts suddenly brought me back to Amir and Hassan. It had been a full three weeks since I had invited them over to play.

I would be returning to school in the next fortnight. It was funny how the winter flew by but the school year seemed to drag on endlessly. I was glad to be going back, in part, however, as being in school meant I had ample time to cause chaos and discord among the other children. How fun. Now, the school year would be even better, as I had Adia to "play" with. Before, the teachers used to make me sit with them, worried that I would never have a friend.

They used to "make" the other children include me, and that got me a reputation for being a teacher's pet, a reputation I was quick to shake off. I was so glad that I now had my bitch on side to play with. She was now on holidays with her family in Pakistan. She was lucky. I had yet to go on a holiday and now, I doubted that would happen. Mama and Papa truly didn't like taking family breaks, because being alone with their son for an extended period unnerved them.

I hoped I would see Amir again before returning to school. It doesn't need to be said how much I want that boy for my own. I would do anything to make him like me in the way I like him! It doesn't help that Hassan is always in the fucking way. I had never been more furious than I had when he came to visit. Why couldn't he have stayed at home? Wasn't that what servants did? Stayed at home while their masters went out! I never brought one of my servants out with me. I didn't care that Hassan and Amir were the same age! Hassan was a Hazara, a lowly dog! He should know his place in society by now, and if he didn't, I would be more than happy to teach him.

I leaned down and reached under my bed, pulling out the large carving knife I had stolen from the pantry six months ago. Mama still didn't know what had happened to it! I kept it under there just in case I ever needed to use it. I sat admiring it, wondering what it would feel like if I used it on Hassan. I would give anything to slash his pathetic little throat and watch him choke on his own disgusting blood. I knew full well I couldn't kill him though. My thoughts would have to stay a fantasy. At least for now. I stayed watching the knife for what seemed like hours, imagining all the things that I could do with it. Why only use it on Hassan? If I could, I would stab the world.

Adia, Javid, Yuri. All of them would be begging at my feet for mercy. But there would be no mercy. I would show no remorse as I killed them all. I revelled in the mental image of my enemies lying in a pool of their own blood. By the time I had done, there would only be me, Assef and Amir left on the planet. I had no patience for anyone else, not even my parents.

I knew I would not hesitate to kill them if they pushed me too far. They didn't understand me, didn't understand the darkness that lurked within my soul. The demon that hid behind the blonde curls, and blue eyes. I was happiest when I was causing discord to other people. I wanted to be in complete control. I gently kissed the knife, running my finger along the blade. 'One day I'll get to use this on a Hazara,' I told myself.

'One day soon, Saria. Just you wait and see! One day there will be no Hazara's left!' I laughed aloud to myself at this thought! I would be able to unleash my dark side for all to see one day! I would no longer be the sweet child everyone knew. She would fade into oblivion, her innocence lost forever. I crouched down and slid the knife once again under the bed. I made sure it was well hidden underneath old clothes and things I had shoved under there. I then pulled down the covers of my bed and sat down once more. I took out Rostam and Sohrab and began reading again. I was soon distracted, however, by the sounds of the rain outside.

"Fucking goddamn it!" I swore. "Why can't it stop raining?" I got off the bed and made my way over to the window. I placed my hands on the windowsill and looked out. I hated when it rained! I hated not being able to go out! There was only so many things that an eleven year old girl like me could do. I didn't even have any dolls to play with, as I had cut them all up when I was ten.

Ah, how fun that had been. But how much trouble had I gotten into. I knew that Mama and Papa refused to buy me other dolls since I continued to break them. I could care less. I hated dolls. Hated them. All they were good for was chopping up. I used to pretend those dolls were real people who I was torturing! It was so great! I loved to torture my poor, defenseless dolls!

I opened the window and watched as the rain fell on my nose. I giggled. It was about two o clock and it had rained heavily all morning. I had read Rostam and Sohrab for what felt like hours! I was getting extremely bored. The rain was getting heavier and heavier. I just wanted it to end! I slammed my fists down on the windowsill repeatedly. "FUCKING GODDAMN RAIN!" I yelled.

"I HATE RAIN! WHY CAN'T IT JUST STOOOP?" I screamed, allowing my temper to get the better of me. I slammed the window closed and threw myself down onto my bed.

What was I going to do to get over my boredom? I knew that I had to do something, otherwise I would become a destructive influence on the household. I was going to end up destroying something valuable. My temper was going to get the better of me. I rolled over on my bed and thought about all the things I could do. Nothing. What could I do? I was so bored. My room was tidy so I couldn't even spend time cleaning that up.

Mama and Papa had gone out for the day so only Assef and I were in the house. Assef had been in his room all day. I wasn't sure why. I hoped he wasn't feeling unwell. I would hate it if my brother wasn't well. I had left him alone, hoping that he just needed to rest and would be okay afterwards. Maybe he just wanted to be alone? I had days like that too, and I couldn't blame him. But I was getting restless stuck in here. I didn't think Assef would mind if I went to talk to him. We could go downstairs and play pool together.

I walked out of my room and down the corridor. It was sixty-seven steps to my brother's room, sixty-nine to my parents. Assef was closer to my parents room than I was. I stopped outside the door and raised my hand to knock. There was no answer. I knocked again, louder this time. Again, there was no answer. I knocked again. "Assef!" I called. "Assef, can I come in?"

"Alright, kiddo, come on." I walked inside. Assef was casually leaning against his desk, looking at me with a mixture of boredom and contempt.

"Hi, Assef," I said.

He smiled and waved at me. "Hey, kiddo, how're you doing?"

"I'm so booored..." I wailed dramatically. "I hate it when it rains. There's nothing to do!"

"I know, kiddo. At least the rain will be gone tomorrow."

"I wish it was gone today," I said, flopping down onto a chair in my brother's room.

Assef smiled tiredly at me. "I wish it was gone too, Saria."

I sat up suddenly. "Would you like to come downstairs and play a game of pool with me?" I asked.

Assef shook his head. "No, not today, kiddo, maybe some other time?" he suggested. I was bored, however, and not going to take "no" for an answer.

"Aw, come on, Assef!" I begged. "I'm so bored and I know you are too! What else is there for us to do stuck inside. Please, can't you just play with me for a little while at least? Just one game is all I ask of you! Please, please!" I jumped up and down childishly. All I wanted was to spend a bit of time with my big brother, my hero, my idol, who I loved more than anything in this world. I stomped my feet on the carpet. "Please, Assef!" I was begging now, giving him my best "puppy dog" eyes. "Please play with me! I'm so booored! I just want to spend some time with you!"

"I said no, Saria. Another time maybe. I just want to be alone today."

I shook my head. "No, you don't," I quipped. "Nobody wants to be alone! You're my brother, you're supposed to spend time with me!" I was getting in a bad mood now. Assef never denied me anything! Why should he start now? All I wanted was some time with him. It was raining and I was bored. I needed someone to talk to, to play with. Somebody that I could be myself with. "PLEASE, ASSEF!" I begged. "Please, pleaaaase!" I was being pathetic and I knew it but I just needed to be with somebody. I was so bored on my own.

"I SAID NO!" Assef screamed at me. He was suddenly in my face, his breathing harsh and ragged. I leapt from the chair, terrified. "I DON'T WANT TO SPEND TIME WITH YOU AND I DON'T WANT YOU IN MY GODDAMN ROOM!" Assef screamed. I backed into the wall, shell-shocked. Assef sighed. "Goddamn it, Saria, can't you just leave me alone for five minutes? All I want is to be alone! That's all I want! Stop fucking following me! Stay away, you insufferable bitch, just stay away!" I felt tears sting my eyes. 'I won't cry' I told myself. 'I will not cry!' I couldn't move from my spot, pressed up against the wall. My brother was scaring me. He was actually terrifying me!

He had never lashed out at me like this before. Sure, I could remember times when I had witnessed his legendary rage but it had never been directed at me before! I loved him and he loved me, right? We would never hurt each other knowingly. We never had. I was reeling from the horrid words my brother had screamed at me. "Assef..." I started. I made to go to him but something in me made me hold back. I was scared of being hurt, of my brother putting his hands on me. I shivered.

'Please don't let him hate me,' I begged to the heavens. Assef's fists were clenched at his sides, and he looked like he was going to charge. With a jolt of fear, I noticed that he wore his brass knuckles on his right hand. Assef would never hit me with those, would he? I couldn't believe I was scared of my brother. The person I trusted and loved more than anything else in this world.

I could feel the tears building up but I would not cry. I would not cry. I was stronger than that. I knew that I was visibly shaking with fear. I couldn't hide my emotions around my brother. I was never able to. Assef was glaring at me now, and the look in his eyes was frightening. What had I done wrong? Why was he being like this? Why had he called me a bitch? Is that what he thought of me now? Was I some other nameless victim to him now? Someone he could pick on and hurt?

"I..." I couldn't even say anything. What could I say to make it right again? To make Assef stop hating me, as I knew he must do? I wanted to wake up and this horrible fight to be a nightmare.

I wanted my big brother to come and hold me and tell me everything was going to be alright! "Are you still here?" Assef snapped at me. "God, you really are infuriating, aren't you? What's the matter, cat got your tongue?" He raised his fist. "It would be in your best interest, Saria, if you just FUCK OFF and leave me the HELL ALONE!" I stood frozen. Assef walked closer, fist still raised. "Go on, GET OUT!" he screamed at me.

I didn't need to be told twice. I bolted from his room. As I ran I could hear the door slam shut behind me. I was shaking and I ran right past my bedroom. I just wanted to get out of the house for a while! I couldn't stay in there. I took off my shoes and ran like hell out into the street. I had no fucking clue as to where I was going, and I didn't really care either! I just wanted to be alone! To collect my thoughts! I ran like the wind through the street, my shoes in my left hand.

Even though my feet were aching and my stockings were starting to rip, I continued to run faster and faster. If I ran fast enough, I could get away from everything that had just transpired! The rain water came down heavier and soon my hair was plastered to my face. I could care less about rain. Why should I? Everything that could go wrong today was going wrong, so what did it matter whether I got a little damp or not? Damp was not the right word, I was saturated. My dress hung limp like lettuce around my legs! I ran until I reached a deserted alley way.

"NOOO!" I screamed in utter frustration. I fell to my knees and began pounding the ground with my fists. I could finally let the tears fall! I bowed my head on the ground in utter despair. "NO! NO! NO!" I shouted. I was in utter pain and misery. I was a miserable, worthless girl. My own brother wanted nothing to do with me. "YOU BITCH!" I screamed to myself. "YOU FUCKING BITCH! COULDN'T KEEP YOUR BIG MOUTH SHUT, COULD YOU? IT'S ALL YOUR FAULT!" I chastised myself. "IT'S ALL YOUR FUCKING FAULLLLLLLLLLLLT!" I threw my head back and let out an animalistic shriek. "AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!" I screamed. My brother hated me. My only friend didn't want anything to do with me anymore. I just wanted to curl into a ball and die. I wanted to die! Misery was the only emotion I was feeling now. I was in complete despair.

I was barely aware of someone coming into the alley way until I saw the shape standing over me. I looked up. "Hello, Saria," said the girl. Zainab! I clenched my fists and leapt to my feet. I shall explain who Zainab is in detail. Do you remember how I said that I had been bullied by a girl in my class? Do you remember how I had locked her in the closet at the cinema and left her alone for a few hours without food or water? Yeah, Zainab was that girl. I couldn't believe my luck. Of all the people to see.

"What do you want, Zainab?" I asked. I was in no mood for pleasantries with this bitch. I gritted my teeth and faced her head on.

"I could ask you the same thing, Saria," she teased. "Why are you here? Crying no less. I didn't know the evil Saria Ahmed could cry," she laughed. "What's a matter, poor baby? Where's your Mommy?" she teased. Damn, this girl knew how to push my buttons. "Where's your big brother, hmm? Where is the cunt?"

This was too far. I slammed into her, knocking her to the ground, slamming her head into the ground repeatedly. "YOU LEAVE MY BROTHER OUT OF THIS! DON'T YOU INSULT HIM!" I screamed. Even though he hated me, I was not going to allow anyone to insult my brother! My eyes bore into hers. I gave her one good slap across the face. Suddenly, I felt myself flying through the air as Zainab kicked me off her. I landed with a "thump" on my back.

"OW! Fuck you, you whore!" I swore loudly. Like lightning, Zainab was on top of me, slapping my face and slamming my head repeatedly against the rocks on the ground. I clawed at her eyes in retaliation but she just pinned me down and continued to beat me.

"THIS IS WHAT YOU DESERVE!" she was roaring at me. "YOU MADE MY LIFE HELL! DO YOU KNOW HOW SICK I WAS AFTER YOU LOCKED ME IN THAT GODDAMN CLOSET? YOU HAVE NO IDEA! YOU'RE SUCH A GODDAMN BITCH! WHY CAN'T YOU JUST LEAVE US ALL ALONNEEE!" Damn, this girl had a temper to rival mine! I could do nothing as she punched and kicked me!

I would not cry, though. I was in agony but I would not give her the satisfaction. Zainab head butted me, her nose whacking my left eye. "I HATE YOU, SARIA AHMED!" she roared. As if beating me wasn't enough to let me know she hated me. "YOU SWAN AROUND SCHOOL LIKE YOU OWN THE PLACE JUST BECAUSE YOUR BIG BROTHER HAPPENS TO BE A LITTLE TOERAG BULLY! WELL, I'M NOT SCARED OF YOU, AND I'M NOT SCARED OF HIM EITHER! I WISH YOUR WHOLE FAMILY WOULD JUST DIE!" I was scared then. Would Zainab really kill me? I wasn't sure.

Zainab continued to pummel me for what seemed like hours. I was soon too weak to even attempt to retaliate! She got up from over me, and began kicking me in the side. My ribs were in utter agony as I struggled to breathe. "If you beg me, I'll stop... maybe!" she mocked me.

My response was to spit on the ground beside her. "I'm not begging you!" I screamed. "So FUCK OFF, BITCH!" Zainab laughed as she continued to kick me.

"I see this little vixen still has some bite left in her. Don't worry, Saria, I'll make sure you get everything you deserve, you STUPID LITTLE BITCH!" she roared at me, continuing her merciless assault. I kept my lips tightly shut through the attack. I just wanted to die. I was in so much pain. My ribs ached, I was certain they were broken. My wrist was probably badly sprained, and everywhere ached! I couldn't breath properly from the pain in my lungs. I was going to die here in this alleyway, I just knew it. I let out a feral scream.

"NOOOOOOOOOOO!" I howled, letting all my misery and anger come out. I wanted the pain to end! I just needed to die! Death had to come soon, didn't it? My vision was beginning to get blurred. I knew this was the end. Zainab continued to slam her fists into my face. I knew I could stay awake no longer... I was going to die here... Alone... All alone... In pain... 'Assef, I'm sorry! I love you!' was my last thought before I slipped into the black oblivion.

When I came to, I was lying in a hospital bed with my parents sitting by my side. Mama was in tears. A strange man who I didn't know was standing in the corner, looking akward. I looked around me. Was I dead? Was I dreaming? What was going on here? The last thing I remembered was being beaten by Zainab. I looked at the pained expressions on my parent's faces.

"Saria, oh my baby girl," Mama wept, taking my little hand in hers, tears streaming down her face.

"Mama.." I said pathetically. "What's going on?"

"You were beaten, Saria!" Papa informed me. "Do you remember?" Of course I remembered. You didn't forget a beating like that very easily. "Somebody, some sicko beat my baby girl!" Papa growled. I was well aware that he didn't know about the beatings I had doled out.

"Do you remember who did this to you?" Mama asked.

"I didn't see his face, Mama," I lied smoothly. "I was just so scared!"

"Well, you can thank Umair that you are still with us," Papa informed me, pointing to the man in the corner. "He's the one who brought you here. Without him, you certainly would have died."

I smiled over at Umair. "Thank you, Umair," I said sweetly. Indeed, I was grateful to him.

"It was no problem at all, young one," he said.

"Am I really sick, Mommy?" I asked.

"Yes, you have a black eye, a split lip, sprained wrist and bruised ribs. You also have a ruptured spleen," Mama wept. God, would she ever give over crying?

"I figured," I said. "Oh, Mommy, it really hurts!" I began to cry. Part of this was just crocodile tears, but on the other hand, it still hurt like hell. Mama stroked my hair and Papa rubbed my shoulder. Assef said nothing. He just stood at the end of the bed, one hand on my foot through the sheets. He had a strange expression on his face. Was he still angry with me? I wondered. I couldn't bear it if he was. I looked into his eyes. He turned away, looking at the wall as though it was the most interesting thing on the planet.

"Saria," said Papa. "Mama and I are going to go to the shop by the waiting room. Do you want something?"

I shook my head. "Nothing at all," I said. "Thank you for the offer, though."

"Alright, baby. You rest here!" He gently kissed my forehead.

"I'll see you in a few minutes, alright, pet?" Mama gave me another kiss.

"I should get off too," said Umair.

"Yes, Umair and thank you a million times over for what you did for our daughter." Papa shook Umair's hand and they went out the door.

As soon as they were gone, Assef slowly crossed the room so he could sit down on the chair my mother had vacated. 'He still detests me!' I thought sadly. I slowly sat up, ignoring the pain in my ribs. I reached out and grabbed my brother's hand, squeezing it tightly.

"Please say something, Assef!" I begged him, tears now spilling down my face. He just looked at me in utter disbelief. "Please don't be mad at me!"

Assef began to laugh madly. "Mad at you?" he asked. "Mad at you?" He shook his head at me. "Goddamn it, Saria, you wouldn't even be in here if it wasn't for me! I have never been more disgusted with myself in my entire life! This whole mess, you being hurt, you almost dying, it's all my fault!"

Well, I hadn't expected that outburst. "I'm so sorry for what I said, Saria! I didn't mean it, kiddo, you know I didn't! I don't think any of those things about you! I was just frustrated because of the rain! I don't even know why I took my anger out on you."

I gaped at my brother. "You scared me, Assef," I admitted. "It was like I didn't know you anymore! I was so scared you were going to hurt me!" I sobbed.

Assef put his hand under my chin and lifted my head so I was facing him. "You listen to me, Saria Ahmed," he ordered. "I would never never harm one hair on your pretty little blonde head! I love you, little sister, more than anything else in this entire world! You are the most important person in my life and I am so, so sorry I ever made you think otherwise! I love you, Saria, do you understand that? You and me, we're a team, kiddo!" I nodded in understanding and forgiveness, and flung my arms around my brother's neck. He stroked my back comfortingly.

"I love you too, Assef!" I cried. "I love you! I love you!"

Assef could only nod as he rocked me back and forth. "I know, kiddo. I know," he whispered gently in my ear. I felt my anxiety and fear instantly evaporate. I was going to be okay! I just knew I was! But there was something that still plagued me.

"It was Zainab!" I blurted out. "Zainab Qualmari! She beat me up!"

Assef pulled away from me, keeping both hands on my shoulders. "Zainab, the girl in your class, Zainab?" he asked in a furious tone.

"Uh huh." I nodded my head. "She cornered me in alleyway and just attacked me!" I informed him.

Assef looked like he was going to march over to that girls house and commit a homicide. "That bitch, that fucking goddamn cunt!" he swore.

"My sentiments exactly!" I laughed.

"Why didn't you tell Mother and Father?" Assef inquired.

"I want my own revenge!" I informed him. "Do you remember that carving knife that went "missing"?"

He nodded. "I think I'm really going to like where this is going!"

I looked around to check we could not be heard. "It's under my bed!" I said. "I had it all along. I was just waiting for the right time to use it! And, Assef, I think this could be the right time, don't you?"

Assef smiled at me. "I think, kiddo, there would be no better time than this to use that knife!" He pulled me into another loving embrace and kissed the top of my forehead. "I love you," he informed me in German. "We'll make that girl bleed. We'll show her what pain truly is."

I smiled contentedly from my brothers arms. No more nice Saria. No more! Zainab had well and truly crossed the line with me. She was going to pay for what she had done. She was going to be an example to the other children. No one crosses Saria Ahmed and lives to tell about it. I would have my revenge on her.

I would make her beg the way she had wanted me to! I would not allow her to live after what she had done. She was going to know fear in its truest form. No more would I allow her to dominate me!

No more would I allow myself to be a victim. I was going to kill her, and there was no doubting that! No doubting it, at all...

Thanks again to anyone who reads this. Coming next, will Saria get her ultimate revenge on Zainab? And if she does, can she pull it off without being seen? Please leave any feedback. Reviews, PMs and subscribers are always welcomed and appreciated.. :D

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