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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27. My Blackened Heart

In the last chapter, Assef made a mistake that almost cost him his relationship with Saria. They soon reconciled however and now we find that Assef has plans to punish Wali and Kamal for their betrayal...

Sunlight streamed in the window. The morning was just about to begin. What would it have in store today? It was a bright and early Sunday morning and once again I obviously had no school. Not that I was complaining about this. I had to regroup and recharge. Luckily for me, Ahtrai had been away the past week with the flu. Her little bitch friends weren't so brave without their leader around. It seemed she was the instigator of most of the teasing and shit that happened to me in school. Still, I was grateful that I had been spared that for at least a little while. I knew it wouldn't last long though. I knew that eventually Ahtrai and I would come to blows once more. That girl had better watch her boundaries.

There would come a time when I would just snap. Then the consequences of her actions would come back to bite her on the ass. There would come a time when Ahtrai would just push me too far and I would have to deal with her accordingly. There was a very strong possibility that she would meet the same tragic fate as little Zainab. My mental state is out of my control at times. Sometimes I just snap and lose it. Ahtrai had better hope that I never lose control with her. Still, what were the chances? It would be satisfying to cut her throat and watch her choke on her own blood. To gouge out her eyes and force them down her throat.

To do to her what I had done to Zainab only much, much worse! Ever since the incident with Aarash, my violent side had gotten worse. I was becoming more imaginative in my ideas of torturing people. I guess perhaps such a traumatic event just had that effect on me. Ahtrai better hope someone else gets to her before I do, or that her parents decide to move back to the Karteh-Char district.

At least then she might be spared my wrath. It must have been around half ten or eleven in the morning. I woke up at the crack of dawn this morning and hadn't been able to sleep since. Just a lot on my mind I guess. I lay underneath the warm blanket. The scratchy material tickled under my chin. My window was wide open. I could hear the sounds of my neighbours going about their daily business. They were very fucking loud. Especially the family who lived directly across the road. The one with the little baby. He was always making fucking noise, especially in the middle of the night! I seriously wanted to go over there and smash his head against the wall.

The fact that this was only just an innocent baby didn't matter to me. He shouldn't be waking me up. And I wonder why I was so upset about not being able to have children. Do you think that I would have been able to handle a screaming newborn baby? Perhaps it was for the best that Aarash had damaged my Fallopian tubes.

The fucking baby continued to scream. 'Shut up! SHUT UP!'' I thought to myself. I slammed my fists against the pillow in frustration. I could hear his mother pacing up and down trying to soothe her son. From what I gathered, the little boy must have been about three or four months old. So young and innocent.

Still, that didn't matter to me. I still had thoughts of violently beating or choking the baby. His screaming was getting to be so irritating! Now I supposed I'd better get up. I ran my fingers over my scalp and yawned. My back arched like a cats. I stretched. ''Fuck it,'' I muttered. I had to get up. I would only drive myself insane lying here listening to the fucking brat crying.

I swung my legs around and placed my feet on the soft carpet. I exhaled in satisfaction as I felt the soft, fluffy fabric between my toes. I padded over to the window and looked out. There was a slight overcast today and a few clouds in the sky. Still, the sun was still shining. It was about early October. Only a month left in school before the Winter holidays again.

I couldn't fucking wait! What would my brother and I be doing on the next Kite Fighting tournament? Would it be as amazing as Hassan's rape? I honestly didn't feel that anything could top that! Sometimes I did wonder where Hassan was right now. Did he ever think about us? He was probably rotting in Hazarajat now where he belonged! I could care less what happened to him as long as he was out of our way. Personally I felt quite proud of myself and my brother. This was the first Hazara we had driven out of Kabul. 'May there be many more to follow,' I thought to myself. I slammed the window shut. 'Many, many more.'

There was no point in me bothering to get dressed just yet. Not with Mama out of the house. Apparently in her mind it was rude to walk around the house in pajamas. Well, excuse me, but we weren't a fucking hotel, were we? Sometimes that bitch of a woman really irritated me! I was glad that I wouldn't have to deal with her today. I took out my large, fluffy pink dressing gown and wrapped it around myself. It was about three sizes too big for me, and absolutely dwarfed me.

It was actually a birthday present from Fahrsan about two years before he died. I put on a pair of matching slippers and went downstairs to see my brother already dressed and waiting in the kitchen. He gave me a warm and inviting smile. ''Good morning, kiddo,'' he said. He embraced me tightly and ruffled my hair. Ever since our reconciliation we had become closer than ever. I pulled back and gave him a warm smile. He was dressed in jeans and t-shirt with the same black trainers he had worn during Hassan's rape.

I noticed he had his school bag on the table beside him. This confused me, especially because it was Sunday. I cocked my head to the side and placed my hands on my hips. I tried to grab at the bag to unzip it and see for myself just what was inside. ''There's no school today, Assef. What's with the bag?'' I asked. He grabbed the bag from me and held it high over his head. I giggled as I bounced up and down trying to retrieve it. ''Assef!'' I laughed.

He shook his head as he refused to put the bag down. I could hear something clinking inside it. Now I was curious. I grabbed my brother's wrist. ''Give it to me!'' I begged in my sweetest voice. ''Please, pretty please?'' I said, trying to be as innocent as possible.

Assef just laughed and kept me at bay with one hand. ''You know that cute act doesn't work on me, kiddo,'' he said.

''Can't blame a girl for trying,'' I quipped back. I was full of apprehension. My brother placed his rucksack high on the shelf. Somewhere where someone of my short stature wouldn't be able to reach it.

I bit down on my lip. My brother was being very secretive. I wondered why. Assef placed a hand over his mouth and laughed to himself. He was in a very good mood today. His behaviour puzzled me. ''What's so funny, Assef?'' I asked him. He composed himself after a few minutes.

''Oh nothing. Nothing at all.'' He was adamant.

''People usually don't laugh at nothing, Assef. What's funny?'' I asked again. My curiously was peaked. Assef shook his head from side to side. He tapped his nose with his finger secretively. He was heightening my curiosity with every moment. ''Assef?''

''Well, let's just say I have a big surprise for you today, kiddo,'' he grinned at me. I tried to coax an answer from my brother.

''And, what would that be?'' I asked, arms folded over my chest. Assef raised his eyebrows.

''What kind of surprise would it be if I told you?'' he asked me. I shrugged. I felt a little apprehensive after what had happened on the last 'surprise.' Still, this wasn't out of distrust for my dear brother. I trusted Assef with my life. He would never intentionally do anything to harm me. He bent down to me and gripped my shoulders.

''Now, sweetheart, I know this will make you happy. Not like... well, the last time. I know because I organised this myself.'' He said. He was keeping something big over my head.

''What is it? Tell me!'' I asked. Assef reached out and tickled my stomach. I giggled with delight, doubling over.

I pushed my brother away. ''Stop it!'' I laughed, punching him playfully on the arm.

''Well then, you stop asking questions,'' he ordered mock-sternly.

''Oh, so you're going to just leave your little sister in the lurch are you?'' I teased.

Assef put an arm around me and ruffled my hair. ''Now, you go up and get dressed and remember to wrap up warm. Don't want you to catch a cold,'' he told me. I nodded. Assef pulled away from me. ''Please fetch your switchblade as well, kiddo. I have a feeling we're going to need it,'' he informed me.

Now I was getting really excited. I was almost bouncing off the walls. Switchblades equalled pain. Pain for someone else. I nodded my head frantically, a huge smile on my face. ''Go on then, kiddo,'' Assef said.

''Okay,'' I responded. I turned and ran up the staircase. I honestly was on tenterhooks. I had to know what the surprise was. What was it that my brother was keeping from me?

I bounded up two steps at a time. My thoughts were ever racing. The door to my room swung open easily on the hinges. I'm a generally tidy person and liked to keep everything in order. That way I didn't have to worry about anyone snooping around trying to tidy up my room. There were secrets in here that would be detrimental to me if anyone ever found them.

I took off my dressing gown and slippers and replaced them back in the wardrobe. I wondered what kind of dress I could choose. Whatever I chose I knew it would look hideous. Still in all, I had to keep up the innocent facade. No matter how hideous the clothing. My closet was full. 'Now what do I wear?' I asked myself. There was a light blue dress with pleated skirt that Papa bought for me last month that I had yet to wear. I decided to wear that. It had to be one of the most disgusting things in the world. My parents treated me like such a baby! I swear, if they could they would have me in diapers!

Still drinking out of bottles and sucking on pacifiers. I rolled my eyes at the thought of it. 'Fucking cunts' I thought to myself. Now I was standing just in my underwear in front of the mirror. God I was so fucking tiny. ''Do I ever fucking grow?'' I asked myself. I pulled the dress on over my head. It was long and just reached above my knees. There was a large bow at the front.

How perfectly hideous I looked. How sickeningly sweet. I had to stop myself drifting into the negative. I wanted to find out what the surprise was. I had to find out what the surprise was. I was apprehensive. I pulled on my tights and shoes. I left the room, after neatly folding my pyjamas and placing them under my pillow. The door was once again securely locked behind me. All my dirty little secrets kept safe within. I skipped out into the landing, my thoughts always on the surprise Assef had waiting. I held the switch blade in my hand.

Assef sat waiting for me at the bottom of the stairs. He turned around in anticipation when he saw me approaching. He had a warm smile on his face. ''How about it, kiddo? Are you ready to go?'' he asked. I bent my knees in obvious excitement. ''Do you have the blade for me?'' Assef asked.

I nodded. ''Sure do.'' I extended the blade to my brother. He took it from me and pocketed it. We no longer spoke of the time I tried to use it on myself. Both of us knew it would do no good to reopen those old wounds so to speak. I knew who I could turn to when I had a problem. Any problem.

Assef knew he could count on me too. We were just that close. Assef extended his hand to me and stood up. I placed my tiny hand in his and exhaled deeply. I looked up at him in curiosity. I didn't much care for being kept in the dark. ''Okay then. All set?'' He had the bag on his shoulder. It clinked again when he stood up. Now I really needed to know what was inside. I had to know.

The suspense was killing me. Assef was kind enough to open the front door for me as we left the house. I was in total suspense. Who wouldn't be? My brother locked the door behind us. The conversation turned serious for a moment. ''Kiddo, I know things have been tough for you lately. After everything that happened. Believe me, nobody is sorrier than I that all this had to happen to you.''

''I know, Assef,'' I responded. My eyes were downcast. Thinking this way was seriously depressing me. ''And that's why I'm glad I know I have a big brother like you to take care of me,'' I said. My words were the honest to God truth. I smiled at my brother.

''That's a very kind thing for you to say, kiddo,'' he replied, returning the gesture. Looking at us now, who would ever suspect either of us of being dangerous, murdering sociopaths? I chuckled to myself at the thought. I held tightly to my brother's hand as we made our way down the driveway. I noticed the tyre tracks made by our car.

''You should have heard Father trying to reverse this morning,'' Assef told me. ''Took him about five times to do it. Fucking dumbass cunt! Woke me up at seven am!'' he exclaimed. I rolled my eyes at this statement.

''You would think that he'd be a better driver by now,'' I said.

''Or at least that he'd know how to reverse out of his own driveway!'' Assef teased back. We both shared a laugh at our father's stupidity. Assef closed the gate behind him as we made our way down the road.

''Now you have to tell me what this surprise is!'' I giggled. Assef shook his head. ''Nope. Not telling you.''

I pouted. ''Aww, please, please tell me!'' I begged. I was a ball of energy.

''I wish I could, Sar, but that would ruin the surprise. And I would hate to do that,'' he explained to me. We continued to walk down the road hand in hand. Whatever the fuck was in Assef's bag kept on clinking.

Perhaps it was glass or something. I wondered. It was a warm Autumn's day with the sun beating down on us from high overhead. My feet started to sweat in my black shoes. Maybe wearing tights wasn't such a good idea. I noticed people watching us passing by. They smiled at me as they went about their daily business. I knew I must have looked adorably and sickeningly sweet.

If only they had insight into the dark thoughts of my mind. What would they think then? Surely they would run screaming for the heavens! The dust from the ground covered the tops of my feet. I glanced at the trees, all barren of their leaves. Children played and frolicked up ahead. My brother continued to hold my hand tightly in his. I was in complete suspense.

He was keeping something huge over my head. What could it be? We passed by the cafe where we often went for something to eat after a just because. The place where I first seen Aarash. No. I wouldn't think about him now. I wouldn't ruin a good day with negative thoughts. I had to focus on the positives in my life. ''I suppose you're never going to tell me what this surprise is!'' I lamented.

Assef shook his head. ''You hit the nail on the head right there. I don't want to ruin this for you. Still, all in all, sister, I worked so hard to make this happen for you. I just know it's going to put a smile on your face,'' he told me. He had me hanging on his every word. We had walked for about fifteen or twenty minutes. Now I really needed to know where we were going.

I just couldn't wait to find out. There was a beautiful little creek just a few yards up from where we stood. The water flowed over the tiny pebbles and rocks. I spotted two figures sitting up ahead. Assef placed a finger to his lips. ''Shush now, kiddo,'' he hushed me. We walked ever closer to the two figures. No! No way! There had to be some sort of mistake.

My eyes widened in total shock. Sitting just a few mere yards away from us were Wali and Kamal. The two cunts who had played such an active role in my torment. They sat skipping rocks by the creek. Not all that different than you would expect from two teenage boys. Assef nudged me. ''Let's go and say hi,'' he suggested. I nodded my head frantically. I could tell where this was going. We slowly approached the boys who had betrayed us both. Neither of them had any clue we were even there. Stealthiness is one of our gifts after all.

I waited with baited breath as Assef snuck up behind the two of them. Neither of them noticed that he was there. He stuck his head in between their shoulders. ''Think I could throw the next rock farther than you?'' he asked. He placed a hand on each of their shoulders. Both boys whipped around as though startled by a loud noise. I now stood directly behind them.

Kamal nearly overbalanced as he cowered away from his worst nightmares come true. Wali shook his head from side to side in total disbelief. He was too scared to even blink as Assef stared at him, a wicked grin on his face. ''A... I.. A..'' he stuttered. He was too scared to even utter my brother's name. Kamal lowered his eyes and trembled in sheer horror. He backed away from my brother's touch.

He whimpered like a frightened little dog. ''Why yes, my friends. It's Assef. Assef and Saria,'' he gestured to me. I smiled and waved maliciously at the two terrified youngsters.

''No, it's not you! Not you!'' Wali exclaimed in fear, trembling. Assef smiled and cupped the younger boy's chin with his hand. Now the backstabbing cunt was truly trapped. He couldn't even get up to run away. We had them both surrounded like wild animals circling their prey. Kamal's terrified eyes flickered from me to my brother. He began to gasp in short breaths.

''Why do you look so scared, Kamal?'' I asked innocently. ''Is there something wrong with good friends just chatting to one another?'' I pondered.

''How.. How did you even f-find us?'' Wali managed to get out. Assef smiled. ''Oh, you know, I rang your mother and asked her where her son was. It didn't take a genius to know Kamal here would be with you,'' he explained. ''Now, I think the four of us should take a little walk. Don't you?''

Wali and Kamal both shook their heads in unison. Their fear of Assef and I was evident in their eyes. Assef cocked his head to the side. He reached into the front pocket of his jeans. He materialised the switchblade he had made me fetch for him upstairs earlier. Kamal gulped in terror as my brother held the blade to his throat. He squeezed his eyes shut.

Personally, I truly didn't care for this little weasel any more. He had betrayed me and now he was going to get exactly what he deserved. I could only wonder what my dear brother had in store. Assef gently traced the blade along both of their exposed necks. ''Now, I'm going to ask you one more time, Wali, Kamal. Will you come with us?'' It was not a request, it was an order and I think they knew this too. Slowly, ever so slowly, they got to their feet.

I noticed Wali's eyes drawn to my brother's school bag. Assef chortled. ''Oh, I see you must be wondering why I've got my book bag with me when it's a Sunday afternoon?'' He asked. ''Saria here asked the same question, didn't ya, kiddo?'' I nodded in answer. My brother smiled with sadistic intent.

''Well, I can only say we're all going to have lots of fun with what we have inside. I have something very special planned for us today.'' He explained. I walked side by side along with my brother and his friends as we meandered down the dusty road. Assef kept the blade close at hand. Not that he needed it.

Both Wali and Kamal were too scared to do anything but follow us like obedient puppies. ''Where are we going now, Assef? Or is that a surprise as well?'' I asked. My brother tapped his nose in reply.

''Somewhere very special to all of us,'' was his only answer. We continued our walking in total silence. I knew that Wali and Kamal were both apprehensive as to what my brother had in store for them. The day was getting off to a great start for us at least. We continued to walk. Assef didn't even say a word to me or them as he led us all this way and that.

Where was it we were going? My curiosity was getting the better of me. I'm not that patient of a person and needed to know these things. Wherever this place was it seemed to be taking an eternity to get there. Wali walked at my side, his eyes lowered in complete fear. I really didn't care less what he thought of me. He was about to get his very, very soon!

As was my dear Kamal. I thought about how much I had given that boy. How much I had cared for and wanted him. Still, I guess that's just the way that life goes sometimes. Sometimes that's how it had to be. Both boys were way too fucking scared to even think of doing anything. Their worst nightmares were about to come true.

''Cover your eyes, kiddo,'' Assef ordered me.

I looked up at him. ''Oh, so are we nearly there?'' I asked. He nodded, placing a gentle, guiding hand on my shoulder.

''Now, close your eyes and no peeking.'' I quickly obeyed him. My heart was in my mouth. Assef guided me along, his hand resting on my shoulder. We crossed over a barren strip of land. I could feel the dust under my feet. We started to make our way down a narrow road. I was on tentherhooks. I had to know where we were going. Assef gently placed my tiny hand on a smooth surface. I felt that I was touching a wall. Beside me, I felt Wali and Kamal shudder and gasp in horror. Assef bent over to whisper in my ear. ''Now you can open those eyes, my sister.'' I did so. Only to be met by a glorious sight.

We stood in the alleyway where Assef had raped Hassan. My favourite place in this Earth! I let out a little gasp of total delight as I spun around in excitement. My brother laughed at my enthusiasm. He was as joyful as I was. I started to bounce up and down, squealing in total excitement.

I bit my lip in total anticipation that things were about to go down. I ran my hands along the wall and bent down to touch the ground. My brother really knew how to surprise me! I covered my mouth in total shock and amazement. There were literally no words to describe how joyous and delighted I was. I spun around in circles until I was dizzy, my eyes lighting up with pure unbridled joy.

Assef chortled at my mannerisms. ''What did I tell you, kiddo? Didn't I tell you this would be a nice surprise?'' he asked. I could barely string a sentence together. That's how utterly amazed I was. Beside me, Wali and Kamal weren't having the same reaction. Together, they both stepped tentatively into the alleyway, their eyes flickering this way and that.

They shuddered in total fear. Assef smirked at me. Now I knew what he had in store. Revenge for the cruel treatment of his precious baby sister. ''Come on, boys.'' My brother beckoned. He gestured with his finger to Wali and Kamal. They hesitated for a few moments. Assef glowered at them. He sighed deeply. ''I'm not going to ask you AGAIN!'' he exclaimed in frustration. My brother's temper was a ticking time bomb. When he was angry, he was angry!

He caught them both by the arms and frogmarched them right down the back of the alley. Somewhere where nobody could ever see or notice us. I bit my lip in excitement. I honestly felt happier than ever. Wali and Kamal trembled in fear as my brother pushed them both against the wall. He clenched his fists in fury. Now both of them were totally trapped. If they even attempted to escape, they would run straight into us.

I bit my lip and giggled, looking into their fear filled eyes. They were truly trapped. Like animals in the zoo. Caged by their own fear and terror. Wali whimpered as he closed his eyes. He couldn't even look at us. My heart soared. Assef paced up and down in front of his friends, his arms clasped behind his back like a security guard. He radiated power and authority.

''Isn't this nice, now? Taking a trip down memory lane,'' he said. He walked briskly in circles around them. ''Tell me boys, wasn't I a good friend to you? Didn't I try to help you both out in any way I could?'' Assef asked. He cocked his head to the side. ''Remember when those other boys would mock you, Kamal, when they would tease and hurt you? And who stopped it? HUH?'' he exclaimed, his eyes narrowing. Kamal shuddered in utter terror.

''You... It was you, Assef.''

Assef continued to pace. ''That's right. Clever boy.'' He said in the same patronising manner one uses when talking to a dog or other pet. ''What about you, Wali? Do you think I was a good friend?'' He asked. Wali lowered his eyes as he shifted his feet from side to side.

''Uh, I... Well, um, you.. I...'' Assef folded his arms across his chest. ''You, uh, yes. You were,'' Wali finally managed to get out.

He knew his life depended on this answer. Assef smirked. ''You see, boys, this is what I'm trying to understand. From what I can gather, friends don't hurt other friends. Do they?'' He asked in faux confusion.

''But we didn't hurt you!'' Kamal blurted.

Assef's eyes narrowed into two slits. He gritted his teeth. ''No, but you hurt Saria. And when you hurt my baby sister, you hurt me too.'' He pointed to me and then himself in emphasis. He smiled, a cold, evil grin. I glowered in their directions. Kamal looked at me in fear.

''W-What are you going to do? What do you want from us!'' he asked in trepidation. Assef licked his lips. He had a mischievous look on his face. He placed a gentle hand on my shoulder. He looked at me, and smiled warmly. My brother reached into his front pocket and pulled something out of it.

Whatever it was sparkled in the midday sun. He pushed it into my open palm. ''I think Saria deserves to punish you first, seeing as how she was the one you beat and tormented.'' I looked down at my hand. My face broke out into the widest of smiles. There, sitting in the palm of my hand were my brother's brass knuckles. I slipped them onto my hands.

Wali and Kamal both looked fearfully at each other. I placed my hands on my hips. ''Do you remember watching Aarash use these on me?'' I asked. They both huddled up against the wall. ''Oh, I see it's not so much fun now is it? IS IT?'' I snarled.

''Saria, please don't use those things on us!'' Wali blurted. I smirked; I had found my first victim.

''Well, since you're so eager, Wali...'' I said sarcastically. I revelled in the look of fear in his eyes. Grabbing him by the collar, I swung my fist down and nailed him right in the stomach. WHAM! He wheezed and doubled over. I chortled in delight. I hit him again and again.

Wali slid down against the wall, curled into a terrified ball of fear and pain. Like I gave two shits! I hit him again and again into the stomach and sides. Wali whimpered and shuddered as he felt the full extent of my wrath. I wondered did he feel any remorse now? After beating him for about ten minutes, I focused my intentions on Kamal. A wicked grin on my face. ''Now, don't want you feeling left out, Kamal.'' I said sweetly.

He held his hands up. ''Please, Saria! Didn't I stick up for you when Aarash was about to.. to hurt you!'' he said in his own defense.

I shook my head from side to side. ''That may be, Kamal, but the fact remains that you still hurt me. You still stabbed me, stabbed us, in the back.'' I gestured to my brother. I backed Kamal right into the wall.

He gulped. ''Please, don't hurt me.'' If I had a penny for every time someone said that line to me! I viciously decked him right in the stomach. He buckled from the pain. I hit him again. ''Ah!''

Assef sniggered in unbridled joy at this sight. Their pain was our pleasure. I continued to brutally pummel Kamal, beating every inch of him I could find. I was a lot tougher on him than I was on Wali. Simply because I had had a soft spot for him and this made his betrayal hurt more. Therefore, he deserved more pain. More humiliation. I punched him again.

''Stop, please, stop!'' he grovelled, tears spilling from his eyes. He crumpled into a pathetic ball. He looked up and caught Assef's eye. ''P-please, don't let her hurt me anymore, Assef! PLEASEEE!'' he begged my brother.

Assef shook his head. ''I won't be one to deny my sister the chance to have some fun,'' he said in a mocking voice. I smiled sadistically as I continued to violently pummel the shit out of Kamal. He deserved every bit of it. I could hear Wali groaning in pain a few mere feet away. Good. Music to my ears. The perfect symphony. Assef folded his arms as he watched me beat up his ex friend.

I was letting out all my anger with every punch. I had truly cared for Kamal and he had thrown this love back in my face. Just like Amir. Just like everyone who isn't my brother. I felt I was purging myself of Kamal and the feelings I had for him. Now he would suffer. Payback was a bitch, wasn't it? I hit him again and again in quick succession. Assef placed a hand on my shoulder and cleared his throat.

I turned around to face him. ''Saria, I need you to do me a favour. I need you to get me that brick over there.'' I nodded and walked to where the brick haphazardly lay at the end of the alley. I wiped the dust off it and picked it up. I took it back over to my brother. ''Thank you very much, kiddo.'' Assef stroked my head. He bounced the brick up and down in his hand. I looked up at him in confusion.

He stepped over to Kamal. ''Saria, kiddo, what hand did Aarash break?'' he asked.

''Um, uh, the left one,'' I informed him. He nodded, seizing Kamal's left wrist. He placed it down on the ground. Assef looked from the brick, to Kamal's hand, then back again.

''Oh God...'' The dark haired boy shuddered. He shut his eyes. Kamal let out a shriek of pain as my brother slammed the brick down onto his left hand. His eyes rolled back as he gagged. Assef had to have done severe damage. I could even hear the bones crack. He then turned his attention to Wali.

''No, no, Assef, please, no!'' Wali begged. He curled into a ball, clutching his left hand for dear life. Assef loomed over him, an unforgiving look on his face.

''Give me your hand,'' he ordered.

Wali shook his head defiantly. ''No, please..''

''Give me your hand, Wali jan, or would you prefer if I used this on your skull?'' my brother asked. Slowly, ever so slowly, Wali extended his left hand to my brother. Assef took it from him and placed it on the ground. He kept one hand on Wali's wrist to stop him from moving. The other hand swung the brick high up into the air. Wali bit his lip in anticipation. WHAM! The brick hit his hand with a resounding crack.

He let out a gasp of pain. I clapped my hands together gleefully. Assef straightened up and tossed the brick aside. He looked at me. ''Wanna see what I've got in my bag?'' He asked. I nodded frantically. I bent my knees in obvious excitement. Assed picked up his bag and unzipped it.

''Let's see... Let's see,'' he said, rooting around inside. ''Aha! That's what I was looking for.'' He materialised a large glass bottle. The kind the milk man leaves on your doorstep. He held it out to Wali and Kamal. ''Break this for me, please.'' He smiled at them. They looked at each other in confusion. Kamal obediently took the bottle from my brother. ''Now, make sure you really smash it into little pieces.'' Kamal nodded as he threw the glass onto the hard ground.

The noise echoed off the walls of the alley. My brother smiled gleefully. He inspected the glass. ''Wali, will you break some more for me?'' He asked. He took another glass out of his bag. Wali obediently took it from him and smashed it onto the ground. It shattered into a million pieces.

Assef cocked his head to the side, inspecting the glass that surrounded him. Wali and Kamal were backed a few feet away. My brother pointed to the glass. ''Kneel,' he commanded. ''On the glass,'' he added. They shook their heads in unison. Assef looked at them, glowering in fury. ''Don't make me ask you again. Get on your knees. NOW!'' They hesitantly obeyed, lowering themselves onto the ground. Wali was the first to lower himself down. He bit down on his lip in pain. Kamal followed suit. They both knelt upon the broken glass. Both shifted uncomfortably, tears filling their eyes. The glass must have been excruciatingly painful. All their weight was on their knees.

I folded my arms over my chest. Assef came up behind me and stood at my side. He put his arm around mine. I could tell both Wali and Kamal wanted to get up. Fear of my big brother kept them where they were. Fear of him and fear of me too. Wali and Kamal whimpered in pain. I looked down at them. I truly felt like a god, watching these boys kneel at my feet. I smirked, feeling the power coursing through my veins. I was in control of these two older boys.

I commanded them. I owned them. Owned them like a master owns their dog! I felt so smug watching them both grovel before me. Assef turned his nose up at them. I could tell he felt just as in control as I did. I smiled up at my brother and he returned the gesture. Neither of us said a word. We just wanted to revel in the moment.

The glory of it all. I could already see the blood forming on Wali's knees. Kamal groaned with every passing moment. Still, they didn't dare to get up. I felt about ten feet tall. The feeling of joy surged through me. I smirked. ''Oh, if only you had thought about what would happen before you decided to betray us.'' Assef said sarcastically, cocking his head to the side.

Wali looked up at him with tears in his eyes. He shifted slightly, crying with the pain. Beside him, Kamal did likewise. I knew both of them wanted to jump to their feet but didn't dare to do so. I laughed at their pain. It was the funniest thing ever. They deserved this, you see, because of how they treated me. Every action has a consequence and this is theirs. I bet they never thought they'd one day end up kneeling before the very same girl they beat and tormented.

''Please,'' Kamal begged, eyes squeezed shut. He extended his hand to my brother. ''Please, let us up.'' Assef looked at me.

I shook my head and stared at them. ''But I'm enjoying watching you so much,'' I said innocently. ''You don't want to ruin the fun, do you?'' Both of them gulped back a sob as they bent over and sobbed in pain. I could see specks of blood forming on their knees already. I knew that walking would be painful for them for weeks to come. Perhaps they would even get an infection from the broken glass. I could only hope this would be the case. I began to pace around them. I put my tiny hand on both of their shoulders.

''Isn't this fun, boys? Just us friends together?'' I asked in a patronising manner. I shoved Wali forward. He extended his hands and landed right on the glass. He let out a gasp of pain as he cradled both his injured limbs. ''Oh, I'm sorry, Wali. Clumsy me,'' I said in false sympathy. I bent over and lifted his chin to face me. ''Filthy little cunt. You know where you belong,'' I sneered.

He couldn't even look into my eyes: that's how ashamed he was. Kneeling at the feet of a twelve year old little girl. I spat right in his face, much like he has done to me. My lip curled in disdain. Assef began to pace up and down. ''Do you remember the last time we were all here together?'' my brother asked. He ran a hand through his messy blond hair. Wali whimpered and looked up at my brother.

He didn't like where this was going at all. I crossed my arms and smirked. Assef continued to pace. Kamal bit his lip in pain. Neither of them dared to move. Assef placed a hand on Wali's shoulder. ''You remember the last time we were here, Wali jan, don't you?'' Wali couldn't even open his mouth to answer.

He mumbled incoherently. Assef turned back to face me. ''Saria, you remember the last time I brought you here.'' I nodded vigorously, bouncing up and down. I felt like a little kid on the first day of Eid.

''Yes, yes I do.'' Assef was enamoured by my behaviours. He cupped my chin.

''And do you remember what happened? What I did?'' he asked. I nodded vigorously.

''Yes! Yes, Assef! You raped Hassan. That little Hazara cunt,'' I exclaimed with pure joy. Assef placed his hands on my shoulders.

''You really enjoyed that, didn't you?'' He asked. I giggled. Wali shifted slightly. He bowed his head down in total fear and shame. He began to sob uncontrollably. Assef turned to face him. He narrowed his eyes in disgust. ''Kunis,'' he hissed. My brother squatted down in front of me and placed his hands on mine. He gently squeezed my tiny fingers.

''I promised you that one day someone else would get raped. Didn't I?''

''Uh-huh.'' I was so excited, my eyes widening.

''Well today, I intended to make good on that promise, my sister.'' He told me. Wali and Kamal cowered backwards in fear. They both looked at each other wide eyes. Assef tucked a lock of hair behind my ear. Not bothering to look at the frightened little fucks kneeling mere feet away.

''Please... please don't rape us, Assef!'' Wali begged. He clasped his hands in front of him a though in prayer. My brother cocked his head. ''Did I say I was going to rape you?'' he asked. ''Well, did I?'' Wali trembled as my brother cupped his chin and leaned in close to his face.

''No my dear, I don't intended on raping either of you. Wali, it's your turn to have some fun with Kamal,'' he smiled with psychotic intentions. I bit my lip and waited with baited breath. Wali's eyes widened. He shook his head from side to side.

''Oh my God...'' he cried in desperation. ''No, noooo!'' he sobbed.

''What was it you said, Wali jan? That rape was sinful?''

Wali began to sob uncontrollably. He crumpled into a pathetic little ball of shame and sadness. ''No, please, I beg of you. Don't make me do that to him. Please don't.'' He sobbed. Assef's face hardened. With a sadistic smile on his face, my brother reached into his pocket and retrieved the blade again.

He caught Kamal by the hair and forced his head back. He pressed the blade right to Kamal's throat. Kamal shuddered. My brother directed the conversation to Wali. ''You will do as I say. Or would you rather I cut his throat right here and now?'' He threatened ominously.

Slowly, Wali got to his feet. He bowed his head in total shame. I clasped my hands under my chin, anticipating. Kamal began to whimper, his eyes flickering from Wali to Assef. My brother gently ran the blade across his exposed neck. Wali stood, fists clenched at his sides, tears streaming down his face. He didn't want to do this, but what fucking choice did he have? He knew what the consequences would be if he didn't go through with it. Wali looked into Kamal's eyes.

''I'm sorry, Kamal. I'm sorry!'' he cried out. I stayed stone faced as I watched the scene unfold before my eyes. Assef placed a hand on Wali's shoulder.

''Tell me, Wali, have you ever dislocated someone's arm or hip before? Hm?'' he asked. Wali shook his head frantically.

''Uh, I.. No,'' he said.

Assef gestured to Kamal. ''Well, today you're going to do just that,'' he said smugly. My brother really did come up with the best ways to torture people. That was one of the things I loved about him. I watched with an avid interest. Wali frantically shook his head, backing away, his hands up in defence.

''No, Assef, no.. Please, you're already making me r-rape him, please I'm begging you don't make me hurt him any more.'' He pleaded with my brother. He was truly terrified and disgusted by us. 'Stupid Wali. You knew what my brother would do to you if you ever hurt me,' I thought to myself. They deserved everything we gave them and then some. Fucking faggots. Assef showed no sympathy as he once again pressed the blade against Kamal's throat. He smirked cruelly.

''Are you disobeying me, Wali? Huh? Are you!'' he hissed. Wali slowly approached again. What choice did he have? He had no choice but to go along with what my brother told him. 'Ha! Let's see how funny he finds it now!' I thought to myself. Assef bent down to whisper in Kamal's ear. ''Give Wali your hand. Your right one. Not the one that I broke,'' he ordered. Kamal shuddered in absolute terror. He was still kneeling on the shards of glass. I couldn't wait for Wali to rape him!

I laughed at the thought. I was so devilish, wasn't I? Assef hissed into Kamal's ear. ''NOW!'' he ordered. Slowly, with great hesitation, Wali seized Kamal's outstretched wrist. He gripped it tightly. Assef smirked at me. He directed his attention to Wali. ''Now, Wali. One good pull should do it,'' he said. Wali nodded. He knew there was nothing he could do. There was a sickening crack as he tugged on Kamal's arm.

Kamal fell forward, screaming in pain. He was now slumped in the broken shards of glass. His arm was twisted at an odd angle. I let out a laugh of delight. Kamal began to scream from pain. Thank God there was nobody around at that time. We were quite secluded in that regard. I could rest assured that nobody would come in and see us. Still, anxiety is part of my disposition so part of me did worry over shit like that. Wali covered his mouth with his hand and started to weep. ''Oh my God, oh my God.. Kamal, I'm so sorry. Oh God!'' he whispered.

Assef rolled his eyes. ''We didn't come here to listen to you faggots wax poetic with each other. Wali, get on with it,'' he pointed to Kamal. Hesitantly, Wali made his way behind Kamal. His friend looked up at him with forgiveness and reassurance in his dark eyes.

''It's not your fault. You have no choice,'' he said in hushed tones. Wali fingered the buckle of his jeans. He hesitated for a moment.

''SOMETIME BEFORE I'M DEAD!'' I screamed in frustration, fists clenched at my sides.

''You heard her. Get on with it,'' Assef snarled. Wali shuddered. He lifted Kamal's buttocks up and pulled down his friend's pants and boxers. Kamal began to struggle as Wali undid the belt of his own trousers. My eyes filled with happy tears. Wali positioned himself behind Kamal. A lone tear made it's way down his cheek. I grinned gleefully. I looked at them both in disgust.

'This is the price you have to pay,' I thought to myself, watching Wali sob as he raped his friend. ''Such a good boy, Wali.'' Assef teased, his voice dropping with sarcasm. ''Now, why don't you dislocate his hip for me? Another hard pull should do it.'' He ordered. Wali almost broke down on the spot. Kamal let out another shriek as Wali obeyed my brother's orders.

He fell forward, tears pooling in his brown eyes. I slapped my knees and laughed in ecstasy. Assef surveyed his 'friend's' with a keen interest. He nodded to Wali after about ten minutes or so. ''That's enough now, jan,'' he held out a hand to stop him. I looked up at my brother. Assef gestured for Wali to come to him.

Wali obeyed without hesitation. With a wicked grin on his face, my brother gave Wali's arm a good hard yank, dislocating it. He kicked the sobbing boy hard, causing him to fall backward. My brother then dislocated Wali's hip as well. Wali covered his mouth as he sobbed from shear agony. I didn't give a fuck! I had NO sympathy for either of them! Worthless assholes!

Assef backed both sobbing heaps of shit into a corner. He placed his hands on his hips and surveyed them, the veneer of a remorseless psychopath on his face. He cocked his head to one side, then the other. ''Having fun, boys?'' he asked sarcastically. ''Well, I'm certainly enjoying myself. What about you, Saria?'' I nodded.

''Yes!'' I managed to get out between peals of laughter. My brother gently stroked Kamal's face and hair. ''Tell me, Kamal, what did it feel like to have Wali inside you?'' He asked mockingly. A look of rage passed Wali's face for a brief moment, and then it was gone. He knew better than to challenge Assef. My brother drew back his hand and slapped Kamal right across the face. ''You worthless pieces of shit, both of you!'' He snarled. His eyes were cold, furious. Wali and Kamal shrank backwards, petrified. They were now backed right against the wall. Where could they go? There was nowhere for them to run to. Nowhere to hide. They had brought all of this upon themselves.

I bet now they were regretting ever even speaking to Aarash. Serves them right for hurting me. Serves them right for thinking they would get away with it. Assef paced around them, exuding authority. They had no idea what he was going to do next. They were truly scared out of their wits. I could sense their terror like a shark sensing blood in the water. I'm surprised neither of them had shit themselves yet.

The thought made me snigger. Assef surveyed his friends with a psychotic interest. He crossed his arms over his chest. ''Look at you, disgusting pigs,'' he hissed. I could see the blood forming on Wali and Kamal's knees from where they had been pressed up against the shards of glass. My lip curled at the sight of it. I felt as though I had truly purged myself of any feelings I had for Kamal.

He simply no longer meant a thing to me. He was merely another worthless victim. Seeing him and Wali in so much pain lifted my spirits, and I could tell it lifted my brother's spirits too. Assef licked his lips sadistically. He tapped his foot. ''Hmm, what to do with you now? What to do?'' he muttered to himself.

''Uh, l-let us go?'' Wali offered. My brother whipped around and jabbed his finger in Wali's face.

''Fancy yourself as a bit of a comedian, Wali?'' he snapped. Wali shrank back, terrified.

He shook his head frantically. ''No, uh, I.. I.. No,'' he stuttered. Assef nodded, satisfied by this answer. He sighed deeply.

''As I was saying, what to do with you now?'' he asked rhetorically. ''What other fun things can us friends do together?'' he pondered to himself, tapping his fingers against his chin.

''Ah!'' Assef exclaimed, the broadest of grins on his face. ''I know just the thing.'' He bent over to retrieve something from his book bag. With the most evil of smiles, he materialised a long piece of rope. He twisted it in his hands as he approached Wali and Kamal. Their backs were now pinned against the wall. They had nowhere to go. Assef gestured with the rope in his hand. ''Scoot a little closer together,'' he ordered.

They obeyed without hesitation. Such good little dogs they were. Assef squatted down and quickly wound the rope around their waists, pulling it taut. He then kicked them backwards. They landed on their backs on the ground, like turtles out of their shells. Assef pulled two other things from his pocket. The first I recognised as being a large bottle of whiskey from Papa's cabinet.

''Don't worry, I've replaced this so no one will know it was missing,'' he told me. He unscrewed the lid and meticulously poured the liquid all over the two tightly bound boys on the ground. He then opened his palm to reveal the lighter that he had bought me for my birthday. ''I had to sneak into your room last night to get this, kiddo. I hope you don't mind.'' He told me.

I shook my head. ''Not at all.'' Assef flicked the lighter on. The flame flickered as he approached the boys. ''I wonder how fast this will react with the alcohol?'' he asked. Wali's eyes grew as wide as saucers. He began to shake his head frantically. Beside him, Kamal did likewise.

''No, no, NOOO!'' Kamal cried desperately. They slumped forward in a heap at my brother's feet. ''Please, Assef, don't, please, we'll do anything, anything you want. Whatever you want. Just please please don't do this!'' Kamal sobbed. Assef paused for a brief moment. He extended the lighter to me.

''I'm not the one who's going to decide,'' he told them. I gripped the lighter with my tiny, nimble fingers.

''Please, Saria!'' The begging had started again. Please, don't hurt us!'' I turned my nose up in satisfaction at their pleas. Assef smiled.

''Hm, decisions, decisions,'' I muttered, walking in circles around them. I weighed up my options. Kill them or let them live? After what I'm sure was a tense wait for Wali and Kamal, I decided they would be allowed to live. After all, who knows when they might come in handy? I handed the lighter to my brother.

''Let them live,'' I said.

Assef nodded. ''Well boys, aren't you going to thank my sister for being so merciful? You know you don't deserve it after all,'' he insisted. They both turned to me.

''Thank you, Saria, thank you, thank you!'' They grovelled. I smirked.

''Now boys, there are going to be some changes around here. You two are going to be treating both me and Saria with respect. We own you, is this clear?''

''Clear, crystal clear,'' they sobbed.

Assef nodded, satisfied. ''That's all well and good my friends, but now we have to make sure you know who you belong to. Don't we, Saria?'' He materialised a tiny little poker from the bag. Assef heated up the poker with the flame from the lighter. He slowly approached the pathetic cunts. He bent down and lifted Wali's shirt. I couldn't see what he was doing. My brother's silhouette blocked my view. I could just hear Wali's pain filled screams.

His eyes rolled back into his head. Assef pulled back, smiling at his handiwork. He then turned his attentions to Kamal. Kamal let out a cry of agony as my brother tortured him. His eyes widened as he gasped like a fish out of water. Assef gestured for me to come over. ''Look sister, now they're truly ours.'' I approached and saw that Assef had branded his initials into his friend's chests.

Right above their hearts. I laughed happily. ''Would you like to try?'' Assef asked. I nodded. Slowly, meticulously, I branded my initials into both boy's chests. My face broke out in a huge grin.

''NO! OH GOD STOPPPPP!'' Kamal cried out. He flopped like a fish out of water. I surveyed our handiwork. 'A.A and S.A' Both carved upon their hearts. I looked up at Assef. He bent over and leaned right in their faces.

''Now, here's what you're going to say if anyone asks what happened; you fell out of a tree. Do not, and I repeat, do not let anybody see the markings we just gave you.'' He grabbed the rope and pulled it towards himself. ''I'll ask you just once. Are you going to tell on us?'' He asked ominously. They both shook their heads frantically. Assef twisted their arms and hips back into their sockets.

''OH GODDDD!'' Wali screamed. My brother untied their ropes. ''Let this be a good lesson to both of you. I don't want to ever hear of you disrespecting Saria again. She owns you, I own you. Let this branding serve as a reminder to that. Now get out of our sight.'' They didn't hesitate. They half crawled out of the alley, tears streaming down their faces. Assef extended his arms to me.

I placed my head on his chest, my warm embrace speaking my gratitude louder than words. I cried from genuine happiness. Assef stroked the back of my head. ''Is this a thank you? Well, you're very welcome, kiddo.''

''That was one of the best things you ever did for me,'' I told him. I pulled back and smiled at my dear brother. ''Thank you for letting me brand them.'' Assef took my hand.

''You own those filthy dogs just the same as I do,'' he told me. I beamed at him.

''Let's go home,'' Assef suggested. I shook my head, my hair flying from side to side. I clasped my hands under my chin.

''No, let's stay for a few more minutes. I want to remember this moment forever.''

In the next chapter, Saria returns to school, but Ahtrai once again has an old score to settle and an old, lost friend of Saria's makes an appearance.. As always, PMs, reviews and comments are always welcome. :)

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