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.


30. Plots and Plans

In the last chapter, Saria got some measure of revenge against Adia by cutting her up with an old china doll that Masood left her.. She then poured salt into the wounds and cauterised them. Now we find another few days have passed but it won't be long before another plot for revenge gets underway...

The air was filled with a tense quiet as Mama called us for dinner. I skipped into the room, feeling like an utter twat. Appearances had to be kept, I guess. Ugh, family mealtimes are not something I enjoy doing. In fact, they're at the bottom of the fucking list! Playing innocent for my cunt of a mother and father isn't what I'd call fun. Trust me, if you had my parents, you'd feel the same way. My brother and I liked to eat dinner around 6:00 so that we could avoid Mama and Papa. Papa often worked until 7:00PM or even later, so many nights he would just skip dinner altogether. Why the fuck couldn't this have been one of those nights?

'Stupid fucking retards,' I thought, adjusting the luminous pink ribbon on the side of my hair. Sure enough, I looked grotesquely charming, as if that even needs to be said again. Mama gave me a huge smile, opening her arms for me to run into. I pressed my face up against her floral apron. Her long blonde hair smelled of cinnamon, for whatever reason. It disgusted me.

This woman's very presence disgusted me. Yes, I know, she's my mother. I should love her, but, as I have mentioned countless times, I only love one person, and that's my brother. Mama's gentle hand patted my head, like I was some fucking dog. I rolled my eyes, though, of course, she didn't notice. Worthless bitch.

''Hey sweetie, you're looking gorgeous as usual,'' she complimented.

I bowed my knees in delight, giving her the perfect curtsy. ''I thank you kindly, Mama.'' She gushed, blue eyes welling up, hand placed over her chest. 'That's it, Saria, you stroke that cow's ego!' I reminded myself, laying my head against Mama's torso in a half-assed method to seem 'cute' or 'endearing'.

Papa laughed, a sound that honestly got on my fucking nerves, and clapped me on the shoulder. ''A true charmer, our little girl,'' he teased, jabbing my ribs and underarms. I giggled, ducking away from him. To be clear, I am not known for my sense of humour, and being tickled (except by Assef) rather irked me.

I glanced down at the steak knife that rested on the dinner table, wishing I could jab it right into my father's heart. God, if only I could murder both of them, right here and now. To cut them open, watch them bleed on the carpet. It would be perfect. Assef took care of me a lot more than Papa or Mama could fucking dream of. He was the person I told my deepest secrets and fears to.

Do you think my parents would still love me if they knew who I truly was? They'd disown us both without a second fucking thought. Ship us to the police for questioning. I may hate playing innocent, but when it came down to it, I had no other fucking choice. The smell of Aushak wafted through the air from the kitchen, filling my nostrils with this orgasmic scent.

Mama was quite a good cook, though, of course, her Aushak was dog shit compared to the one my brother cooked last Friday. I took my place next to him at the dining table, which had been perfectly set by that cunt Hamilra. Mama always wanted things to be as neat as possible. I guess that's why she liked me, I was the poster child for neatness. Assef placed a hand over my arm, rubbing it up and down.

I reached up and kissed his cheek, taking genuine delight in being with him. Papa cocked his head slightly, biting his lip. I bet every parent wishes their children were as close as us. Assef leaned over to whisper in my ear. ''I fucking hate these dinners,'' he said, anger evident in his voice.

''Me too,'' I replied, keeping my tone in a low octave so I wouldn't be overheard. That was another irritating thing about family dinners; since Mama was German, I couldn't talk properly with my brother. 'Let's just get this over with!' I thought, as Hamilra walked meekly into the room, four piping hot bowls of Aushak balanced on each hand.

She kept her eyes low, genuinely unnerved by our presence. Assef often tormented her whenever he got the chance. Slapped her around with his brass knuckles, belittled her. I stifled a laugh, thinking of how utterly petrified she was of him. 'You deserve it, worthless flat-nose!' I narrowed my eyes menacingly, turning up my nose at the bowl Hamilra placed in front of me.

''AH!'' I gasped loudly, jerking backwards as part of it spilled out, landing on my new cream pinafore. 'Oh fuck!' I thought. Hamilra's eyes grew wide as saucers, frantically dabbing at me with a napkin.

''Saria khanom, I-I'm so sorry,'' she grovelled, hands wiping my skirts desperately. I held my palms up in a forgiving gesture, looking deep into her coal black eyes.

''Nay, Hamilra, it's okay. Just an accident. Nothing more, nothing less. Don't sweat it.'' I glared behind the artificial smile. A murderous look passed Assef's features, before he too gave her a broad smile. Hamilra scurried out the door without acknowledging my words, knowing that she'd probably receive a beating for this later. I hoped Assef would let me join in!

My dress was now ruined. Brown sauce dribbled all over my ruffled cream skirts, landing on the floor. Mama clicked her tongue in disgust. ''That woman, I swear...'' Papa grumbled angrily, looking back where Hamilra exited. ''I'll buy you a new dress. My treat, pumpkin.''

''Why thank you, Papa.'' Oh joy. Another hideous piece of clothing to wear. I cursed myself for having such a tiny body. Every girl in school looked their fucking age except me. Honestly, sometimes people asked me was I lost, did I want the younger class? Fuck sake, I was not a child! Not a baby! Sensing this irritation, Assef squeezed my fingers gently, an emphatic look in his blue eyes.

I remembered to observe the rules of proper etiquette, cutting my food up small and using the appropriate utensils. 'Fuck it, this is delicious.' The Aushak melted on my tongue as I heaped a large portion onto the spoon. Despite all her faults, Mama was a great cook. I had to give credit where it was due.

We ate in silence. I knew our parents had a deep, profound sense of turbulent fear being around their son. He was in control around here, and they knew it. I suspected they were quite jealous of the attention we showered each other with. Assef, in my eyes, truly loved and cared for me when they really couldn't give two shits. ''Are you glad to be finished school?'' Mama asked.

''Why yes, most certainly!'' I responded, bouncing up and down on my seat for good measure. God, I felt like such a total idiot! My teeth clinked against the spoon. I knew Mama really detested this habit of mine, but what could I do? This was something I'd been doing since weaning. Just another of my little quirks.

''Did Mullah Fahsir Khan give any homework?'' Papa asked sternly. I rolled my eyes, the bastard was too fucking serious for his own good. Always wanting me to revise.

''No, Papa,'' I said truthfully.

''Well, in that case, perhaps you and I might spend a bit of time at the library. Is there anything you'd be interested in learning about?'' He asked. 'Yes, how to murder you and get away with it.' I snickered devilishly in the dark recesses of my psyche.

''Let Saria have fun, it is the holidays, Father,'' Assef interjected.

''I'm just offering. She's a lucky girl to be getting this education. Many women don't.'' It seemed that Assef and Papa were quickly becoming at loggerheads once again. Mama quickly tried diffusing the situation, glass raised high in the air.

''A toast; to family!''

''To family!'' we repeated, the sound of glasses chiming together echoing in the resounding quiet. 'To my brother!' I glanced at him, love warming my heart. Assef reached out, pulling me onto his knees. I giggled, rubbing my head against his neck. This wasn't just me being innocent for Mama and Papa, I genuinely was this affectionate to him. I'm not just some cold blooded killer, as many would have you believe.

''Are you two finished eating?'' Mama questioned, giving a rather annoyed look to Assef's bowl of half eaten food.

''Yes, can we be excused?'' I remembered to be a kiss ass, of course.

''Not until Assef's finished his vegetables,'' Mama ordered, jabbing her fork in his direction.

''I'm not going to eat something I don't want to, just because you cooked it. That's ridiculous.'' Assef pushed back his chair, eyes locking unwaveringly on Mama's. She tensed, wanting to chastise his rudeness, but holding back. Smart move.

''You're excused, Saria,'' Mama informed me. I knew she was pissed off at us. Her face was like an open book. Smiling, I got up, not bothering to fold the napkin that had rested on my lap. Just another thing for Mama to go ape shit over.

''I'm going for a bath,'' I said, leaning over to kiss Papa on the cheek.

''Alright baby. See you in the morning.'' I didn't bother to acknowledge him as I casually strolled upstairs. Half way up, I bent down to remove my shoes and socks. Now barefoot, I padded towards the linen closet. Hamilra had washed some towels early this morning. I exhaled, rubbing the fluffy white bath towel up against my skin.

There was a large butterfly resting on the ceramic bathtub, it's wings fluttering irritably. 'Stupid thing.' Making a fist, I squashed the bug with ease, wishing I could squash my human foes like this. Water splashed onto the ceramic tiled floor, as I dipped my foot in, testing it. Once satisfied, I got into the bath, closing my eyes in pure relaxation.

Bathing was perhaps the only way for me to relieve any tension in my body. That and causing pain to other's, I mean. I lathered a generous helping of shampoo onto my long blonde hair, taking care that none got in my eyes. It fucking stung like a bitch whenever that happened! I hissed, squeezing the edges of the bath with one hand as I came to a fucking snag.

''Ugh, I hate my fucking hair!'' I swore in German, angrily kicking the mat, unbridled rage filling me up. Yes, I am a spoilt little child, what of it? Picking up a tall, clear bottle of Shower Gel, I growled like a wild beast, flinging it across the room. It landed with a resounding thud, echoing in my fucking eardrums. Perhaps Mama and Papa heard, maybe not. I really couldn't give two shits either way.

The consequences of my actions meant nothing when the inner demon within awoke. ''Just my fucking luck!'' I half-screamed. The night was fucking ruined. I could hear footsteps passing, stopping right outside. I held my breath, praying it wasn't Mama. Whoever they were, they left pretty damn quickly.

''I try fucking relaxing, but nooo!'' Extremely pissed off, I moved the bath plug around the still running taps (which I turned off after), stood up, and jumped out. Big mistake. My feet gave way, I tripped, landing smack on my ass, hands behind me in protection. 'ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME!' I thought, holding fingers to my aching skull.

Wrapping a towel around myself, I angrily thundered down the hall, ruined dress under my arm. If someone were to cross me now, there was no fucking telling what I'd do. The bedroom door slammed loudly as I crumpled onto the freshly made up sheets. ''UGH!'' I bit down onto a nearby pillow, feeling tears sting the corners of my eyes. To be honest, I didn't know what exactly annoyed me so much!

Did I just have a short fuse? Well, that question doesn't need to be answered, does it? 'FUCK! FUCK! FUUCCKKK!' I screamed inwardly, deep in the midst of a severe breakdown. Fist punched, legs kicked. I hit everything I could find. 'Where's Adia when I need her?' Thinking of my bitch calmed me significantly. She had now become more terrified of me than ever before.

Last Saturday, after our little ''talk'' I was delighted to see the full extent of my handiwork. Adia's lower abdomen, her chest, were littered with scars. Dried blood had set on her tan skin, a few grains of salt littered here and there. The pain she must be in was unfathomable. Ha! Good. It warmed my heart to see an innocent person suffering due to my handiwork. Adia knew now who her master was. If she ever betrayed me again, then I would have no choice but to murder her.

I could fill a book with how I'd torture her should I need to. My little bitch flinched now if I even attempted touching her. She was truly petrified of my very being. This monster, lurking under her bed, waiting to strike, to drag her under. Still, don't get me wrong, I will protect dear Adi if she needs it. Nobody else got to humiliate my bitch! Nobody!

Friends looked out for each other, yes? Adia should consider herself fucking grateful to be my friend. Do you think any of those brats in school would jump to her defence with Ahtrai? Do you think she'd have survived the academic year without me? I know how bullies get. There are some who might call me a bully, possibly even fear me. Dear little Ara certainly would agree with this.

Yet, would you rather be my friend or my enemy? The answer is obvious. Only a retard would defy me. 'I'm so glad we're friends again, my Adia,' I thought, sitting up on my knees. The white towel fell away, revealing my stark naked form. Even in the privacy of this room, my body was a humiliating sight. I couldn't even look at myself in the mirror. I pulled my lavender coloured nightgown on, taking care not to upset any loose strands of hair. It probably needed a fucking trim, really. As I put my dirty clothes into the wash basket, I couldn't help but think of my newest school foe; Ahtrai. She must have been one of the stupidest people I ever met.

Even after I had let her know her place, she was still insisting on acting like a brat. Pushing me down, spitting on me, calling me names. Why this was I had no fucking clue. She knew what I did to her little blind friend, and must be aware that I was capable of worse! My tormented psyche was full of unbridled ire. Stupid fucking Ahtrai! Why did she pick on me? What had I ever done to her? It seemed that nobody in school ever wanted to befriend me. I was the black sheep, the lone wanderer in the deserted hallways. If I were as good at making friends as enemies, I would be so fucking popular but I could give a monkey's uncle about that. Assef was the only person who I needed.

I brushed a strand of golden hair out of my eyes, trembling with cold. November was here, and snow had already begun to fall. Delicate little flakes swirling through the air, each one unique. 'I wonder how Adia's blood would look on the snow?' I thought, making it a goal to find out.

There would be another Kite Fighting tournament, something I couldn't wait for. I highly doubted Amir would participate this year. The little asshole probably couldn't even look at a kite anymore. Must remind him of poor Hassan. The memory of what Assef did remained fresh in my thoughts. Rape was one of the funniest ways to hurt someone on the planet. That and using their precious heirlooms against them. I wanted Assef to rape somebody again. Maybe Amir.

The cunt did pick a Hazara over me. He needed to face the consequences of his rejection. I would not let Amir treat me like this. Stupid fucking dickhead. I had all the love in the world for him, and, even knowing who my brother was, he dared to ignore me! Amir could either be my lover, obey my every whim, or nobody would have him. That's just how I am with people.

I yanked the covers up high, snuggling down in bed. I could hear the rain and hailstones clanging loudly against the garage roof, just adjacent to me. The wind was very fucking noisy, and lightning illuminated my dark room every so often. Our little neighbourhood was prone to a frequent storm or two, especially during winter nights. The cotton material of the nightgown I wore did little to help warm me. Today had drained me entirely. Putting up with Ahtrai, defending Adia, tormenting little Delbar. It was all too much for one little girl to handle. At least now I had the 3 months of winter to recouperate. I shut my eyes, tossing and turning, kicking my leg out, unable to get comfortable.

''Fuck!'' I swore, jerking upright, then leaning back against the headboard. Why couldn't I sleep? Angrily, I punched the side of my head, hissing in frustration. Self abuse was not unknown to me. Perhaps it was the visceral fear that whenever I closed my eyes, the dreaded nightmares would begin anew. They came every fucking night, each more horrific and graphic than the last. More often than not, what scared me were the ones in which Aarash hurt my brother in my place. Was it my subconscious visualising my deepest terror? ''Blast it, I'm sleeping with Assef tonight.'' I grumbled, swinging myself around.

Tentatively, I placed my feet upon the dense, linty fabric of the off-white carpet. I tried to avoid the spot where my bitch pissed herself, though it had long since been cleaned. It must have been about 9:00 or 10:00PM, but I didn't care to know. Placing a hand against the wall, I staggered my way to the doorknob. My tiny fingers grappled for a moment before I got the door open, taking care not to slam it against the fucking wall. I padded in bare feet across the deserted hallway, counting each step. One, two, three, four...

At step number fifteen, I reached his door. There was no real need to knock, Assef would let me in anyway. The knob creaked as I slipped inside. Assef sat perched on the edge of his bed, dressed in flannel black pyjamas, tired eyes heavy and listless. I crawled onto his lap, the way I've done since I was a toddler.

''Oh hello,'' he yawned, leaning across me to switch on his bedside lamp. We now sat bathed in dimly glowing light. ''Is there something wrong, kiddo? Can't you sleep?''

I shrugged, laying my head on his. ''I just can't. I'm scared of having another bad dream.''

Assef clicked his tongue, pulling me closer. ''You wanna sleep in here tonight, kiddo?'' he asked softly.

I nodded. ''Okay.'' It was funny how we could read each other's minds. Assef placed a gentle hand on the back of my head, nuzzling against me.

''Time is it?'' I asked.

''About 10:00.''

My face fell slightly.

''We don't have to sleep right now, Sar. If you'd like, we could just talk.'' Assef gently deposited me on the bed, running a hand through his messy blond hair. My brother slid under the covers of his large double bed (this used to be a spare bedroom) and patted a space for me to lie next to him.

I felt so much better here, knowing I had Assef to comfort me. Gently, he caressed my forehead, a soft look in his eyes. The sound of Hamilra's voice echoed as she hummed an old Farsi song, busy at work. ''Bitch ruined my dress,'' I grumbled irately.

''She nearly fucking burned you too. Can't she be more careful? I was afraid you'd wind up in A and E with scaldings.'' Assef sounded like he wanted to cut Hamilra open right now, a desire we both had many times. ''That Hazara needs to learn her place,'' he said with conviction.

''Ah, nothing your brass knuckles can't teach her!'' For the sake of not getting in trouble, we spoke in hushed voices, and in German.

Assef chortled loudly. ''Yeah, wanna help out?'' he asked.

I nodded my head like it was on a spring, wide eyed in joy. ''Let's do it soon.''

Assef's mouth opened wide in a yawn, and he stretched his arms over his head. He kissed my temple lovingly. ''Fuck, I'm wrecked. Goodnight, kiddo.'' I leaned over him, flicking the light-switch off.

''Night, Assef jan. I love you.''

''Love you too, Saria.'' We always told each other this as much as possible. A reminder that no matter what, nothing could break our loving sibling bond. Assef wrapped his arm around my waist, drawing me in close. I rested my head against the soft, feathery pillow, my eyes slowly closing. The sound of Hamilra's irritable humming became almost like white noise. I pulled the blankets up, taking care not to steal any from Assef. So groggy, so lethargic... I eventually nodded off...

It must have been around midnight when I heard those noises, insistent rustling coming from directly outside the window. My heart beat frantically, like a hammer against cloth. I shot up in bed, eyes flicking left to right. Placing a hand over my chest, I tried to bring myself back to reality. 'Stupid!' I chastised myself.

I knew these fears were unfounded. Did I expect Aarash to be lurking outside the window? My whole body trembled as I jumped with every loud knock that came from outside. I reached a hand across the bed and shook Assef's shoulder. ''Assef! Assef, brother, wake up!'' I whispered in a high pitched voice, panic setting in.

Assef jerked away from me, almost hitting against the wall, but he didn't stir. My tiny hand fumbled around in the pitch blackness until I eventually felt the smooth texture of his brass knuckles. I put them on my hand, feeling instantly safer. The noises continued.

''Come and get me, Aarash, you fucker!'' I threatened, waving my fist in the air.

My brother sat up, a confused look on his face. ''Saria, what in God's name? Keep it down before Mother and Father hear you.''

I turned suddenly. ''Oh, you're awake now. I've been calling you for ages. God, Assef, you know, I've never heard a person snore so loudly in my fucking life,'' I teased.

He rubbed his eyes. ''Why are you up, kiddo?'' My whimper at the next thud was enough of an answer. ''I'm scared of the lightning.'' Grumbling irritably, Assef threw the covers off himself, crawling across me to get up.

''There's nothing here, Saria. Do you expect Aarash to come in, or what?'' I couldn't answer him. Assef pulled back the curtains, revealing the source of the noise; a large poplar tree, branches hitting against the glass with every gust of wind. ''See? Everything's fine. Would you like me to check for monsters under the fucking bed as well?'' He snapped, annoyed.

I suddenly became deathly quiet, turning away from him, as my brother came to the realisation that he had been too harsh with me. Assef sighed deeply, his expression softening as he climbed back in next to me. He reached out and I felt his body press against mine. ''I'm sorry, kiddo. I'm just overtired, I didn't mean to be so rude to you,'' he said into my ear.

I turned to face him, any hurt or anger towards his behaviour now dwindling. ''It's okay,'' I said, feeling like a small child.

Assef grinned and held me tight. ''It's okay if you're scared, little sister. I mean, look at what you had to go through, what we both went through. But I promise, nothing is going to hurt you. I swear to you, Saria.'' I hugged Assef tightly, feeling my unfounded worries slip away, like grains of sand trickling from my open palms.

He always knew how to calm my frazzled nerves. ''Vielen Dank, Mein Bruder. Ich liebe dich,'' I said.

Assef kissed me gently. ''Ich liebe dich, meine Schwester. Guten nacht.'' With that, he cuddled me tightly as I felt my body go limp. I still heard the noises, though Assef's protective grip soothed my fears. His body heat provided warmth for us as the storm ravaged everything outside. Nothing could hurt me so long as Assef were here. I felt my mind become clouded with sleep once again...

KNOCK! KNOCK! KNOCK! Rolling over, I grumbled loudly as I heard Assef shifting next to me. ''Uh, come in!'' he called.

Mama poked her head round the door, smiling widely. ''Is Saria there with you, son?'' she asked. I looked up at her, giggling.

''I'm here, Mama. I couldn't sleep last night because of the thunder.'' It wasn't a lie. Mama pursed her lips. I knew she hated the bond I shared with Assef. SHE ought to be the one I crawled into bed with after a nightmare. But she wasn't. Too fucking bad.

''Oh. Alright, sweetie. Well, your father and I are just about to leave for work. Um, I'd say we'll be home by around 8:00. Hamilra will cook dinner for you. Okay?''

''Okay, Mama,'' I replied, wishing she could just leave. Everything about this woman got on my nerves. Mama took nine steps forward and caught me in an embrace, breathing in my lavender scent.

''I love you, Saria.'' 'The only way I will ever love you is when you're a rotting corpse in the ground where you belong,' I thought vehemently.

With a voice sweeter than candy, I replied, ''I love you too, Mama.'' She nodded and seen herself out. Once she was gone, I let myself fall back against the pillow, giggling loudly. ''She's such a bitch!'' I managed to spit between peals of laughter. Assef rolled his eyes. We could hear the distinct revving of the engine, as Papa drove away. My heart lifted; alone with my brother, just how I liked it.

''I hope they both crash and die!'' I exclaimed, punching the air. Assef laughed and drew me in close.

''Aww, you know you love them, really,'' he teased.

Now it was my turn to roll my eyes. ''You know who I love.''

Assef nodded, placing a hand on the back of mine. ''Now we have the day to ourselves, kiddo. Run and get changed, then we'll go do something fun,'' he suggested. I nodded.

''Alright then. Something fun, I'll hold you to that.'' I stretched my arms back, flexing my toes as they sank into the carpet. Making the journey back to my perfectly tidy bedroom, I quietly closed the door. I felt so happy to be able to spend time with my dear Assef. I hoped we'd be going on another just because. There was so much inner rage, I needed to let it all out.

Needed to find a human punching bag to vent my frustrations upon. Maybe I could blind or disfigure someone again. I laughed at the memory of Ara's terrified face as I punched her fucking lights out. Was I the last thing her eyes saw? Was it my face that swarmed the darkness of her fragile and traumatised mind?

I opened the door to my wardrobe, perusing through my selection of dresses and pinafores. Each as ugly as the last. I cocked my head slightly, taking a glimpse at the child in the floor length mirror. I was struck by just how grotesque I was. Physically the size of an eight year old, with a fat tummy, bony legs, disgustingly pale complexion. I leaned forward, reaching out to touch where my scars rested.

I felt like vomiting at the mere sight of them. They were as clear as day. Surely the mirror would crack at this horrific reflection. ''You're so ugly,'' I hissed. ''Can't even bear a child now!'' I lifted up my nightie, running a hand over my stomach. I would never get to feel the joy of a baby kicking, or hold them in my arms. My teeth clenched.

''Ugly, stupid, fat, WORTHLESS!'' I screamed, tears running down my face. God, I looked even more disgusting when I cried. ''No wonder Amir turned his back on you. There's nobody in this world that could ever love a monster! And much less a monster that can't even have a child! You hear me, Saria Ahmed, you FILTHY WHORE! You're worthless and nobody loves you!''

With a feral scream of rage, I picked up my wooden hairbrush and flung it across the room. I was like a mini tornado, chucking everything I was able to get my hands on. ''You're so ugly, so worthless, disgusting...'' I repeated over and over as I sank into a pathetic ball on the floor. Tears stained my cheeks as I buried my head in my knees.

If I could have died then and there, I'd have done so willingly. Every part of me was grotesque, the outside reflecting the inside. I angrily tugged at my hair, letting out an animalistic scream of pure despondency. My eyes rolled back as I shook with every pain filled cry. I was vaguely aware of footsteps approaching and heard the sound of my older brother's concerned voice.

''Saria? Oh, kiddo, why are you crying? What's wrong?'' He dropped to his knees beside me and gathered me into his arms, crooning to me. ''Tell me what's up, Saria, come on.'' I could hardly get the words out. I just gripped the front of Assef's grey t-shirt, wailing pitifully.

''I'm such an ugly, disgusting, h-hideous excuse for a person. Abysmal. L-look at me, Assef. I'm twelve years old and I look eight or nine. I'll never be able to give birth. I...''

Assef's eyes took on a sympathetic look. ''You know, brother, I'd give anything so people c-could understand. All I w-want is to eliminate the filth in this country, to make it better.'' I somehow found the courage to look at myself once again. ''Look at these fucking scars. Just say it, I'm nothing and I'll always be nothing!'' I made to punch the glass but Assef grabbed my wrist and stopped me.

His eyes sharp with a fiercely protective look in them. ''God, kiddo, do you really hate yourself that much?'' I couldn't answer; I felt so unworthy of him. Ever since the Aarash incident I had been feeling a lot of self-loathing. Maybe it was just the trauma of what had gone on. Assef lifted my chin. He wore the most heartbroken expression on his face. ''Saria, please, look at me.'' I finally managed to keep my eyes locked on his. ''You are beautiful, okay? You always were and always will be, scars or no scars. It doesn't matter one bit that you can't get pregnant; I'm sure there are a lot of women who can't.''

He sighed. ''Kiddo, if I could turn back the hands of time, could take everything Aarash did to you, I'd do it in a heartbeat, you know this. Nothing.. There's nothing in this world I wouldn't do for you, little sister.'' Assef gently pulled me onto his lap, resting his chin on my head.

''I love you unconditionally and I promise, you and me, we are going to eliminate the Hazaras, and fuck what anyone else thinks. Okay? Please stop thinking such awful things about yourself, Saria. You are worth ten million of Amir, or any other kunis that dares to hurt you.''

My brother cradled me like a baby in his arms, rocking back and forth. ''It's okay, kiddo, it's okay,'' he repeated over again. I finally managed to calm myself, swallowing down the bile that had been lurking in my throat.

''I love you too, Assef. So much.''

Once I was significantly relaxed, and my hyperventilating had stopped, Assef began talking. ''Sar, I've been doing some thinking. We've already punished Wali, Kamal, and your little Adia. It's high time we focused our attention upon the person who deserves to suffer most. Aarash.''

At the sound of his name, my eyes became two narrow slits. ''What, exactly, do you think we should do to him, my brother?''

A cruel smile played on Assef's lips. ''Saria, Aarash beat you to get at me. He knew that nothing would hurt me more than seeing you in pain. So, we'll hit Aarash right where it fucking hurts. Let's torture Farsef.''

I cocked my head. ''You mean beat him up and stuff?'' Assef laughed, slapping his knees, the image of a person who had lost his mind.

''Beat him up? Ha! After what you and I went through, that would be fucking merciful. No, Saria, we're going to torture him in every sense of the word. Beating, whipping, skinning, strangling. Everything.'' I felt my heart glow. Torture. Neither Assef not myself had ever done such a horrendous act. Yes, we had raped (Assef had, I mean) beaten, and humiliated our enemies, but torture? As brutal as he suggested? I almost wanted to scream from happiness. My emotions could turn on a dime. Utter sadness had turned into pure, unfathomable joy.

''I want him to die, Assef. I want Aarash to watch his baby brother suffer and die in the most horrific ways possible,'' I said casually, as if merely speaking about the weather.

Assef nodded. ''Of course, my dear.'' He placed his hands on my shoulders. ''You know, Saria, apparently if you freeze skin, then immerse it in boiling water, it will peel right off. Like the skin on a pomegranate. Right down to the bone.'' My eyes became wide as saucers.

''It's already snowing, brother, we can do that easily.''

''And we'll strip him, so his chances of getting hypothermia increase. Maybe even rip his heart out. Believe me, kiddo, I know how much you wanted to have children some day, and if Aarash thinks he can take that right from you, well, I think it's only fair we castrate Farsef in return.''

At this, I let out a squeal of delight, hands clasped together as if in prayer. ''I want him on his fucking knees. You hear me? I want Aarash on his knees and I wanna see the bastard grovel.''

Assef poked me on the nose. ''As you wish.'' He released me and stood up. ''Now, kiddo, why don't we take a little journey to that hospital you stayed in. Maybe take a few needles and what not to use on Farsef?'' he suggested.

I raised my eyebrows. Assef had the best ideas! I did have a more pressing question for my older brother, though. ''But what if someone catches us?'' Assef shook his head.

''They won't. Now, I need you to do something for me. Get your school bag, and some of those plastic bottles for water. That way you'll be able to put medicines in them for us to use on Farsef.'' He really did think of everything, my wonderful brother. I was high as a kite.

''Okay! Well let me get dressed then!'' I exclaimed, almost ushering my brother out in my desperation to get ready.

''I can't wait to see what adorable little dress you put on today!'' he teased. I picked up a nearby t-shirt and chucked it at him, laughing. He dodged it easily, leaving me to my own devices. I bounced over to the wardrobe. It honestly didn't faze me about choosing a dress. I was in the best possible mood. This dress I put on was light blue in colour, large collar and ruffled skirts, with, actually, no bows this time. I probably looked fucking ridiculous, but now I didn't care. Assef had managed to cheer me up immensely. I laughed sadistically, thinking of exactly what Farsef would have done to him. I felt no remorse.

Aarash deserved to watch his brother's pain. It was about noon as I reached under my desk for the bag. I unzipped it and materialised two medium sized empty water bottles. Perfect for hiding medicine in. My heart was glowing with joy as I traipsed down the stairs to meet Assef. ''Won't it look suspicious for me to be carrying this?'' I tugged at the straps. Assef placed a hand on my arm reassuringly.

''Let's just say we're going for a picnic on Gharga lake,'' he said. ''And we decided to come thank the nice doctors for taking such good care of you.'' We both laughed at this statement. Like I'd ever thank those fucking cunts. Gratitude just wasn't in my nature.

''Well okay, Assef! Come on!'' I literally dragged my poor brother out the door and along the path. These were not forced emotions on my part. I was genuienly delighted at the idea of hurting another person. Aarash deserved what he'd get and so did Farsef. The memory of Farsef's little 'crush' on me remained ingrained in the corner of my brain.

He would learn how wrong it was to love a monster. I could taste the first snowflakes as they landed on my outstretched tongue, melting like butter. I giggled, clasping Assef's hand. We trudged our way down the road. I wore my blue duffle coat, buttoned up to the last. Assef was very particular about me keeping warm. Honestly, he was more of a father figure than brother at times.

This protective streak was one of the reasons I loved him so much. ''Can we light him on fire too?'' I asked, of course in German.

''We can do anything you like, kiddo. No holes barred. This is your revenge. Just say the word and I'll make your desires come true.'' We continued to meander along the winding road, paying no attention to men, women or children who passed by. Each with their own worries, not knowing they passed within a hairs breadth of a rapist and a two time murderer.

Yes, I do count Fahrsan's death as murder. The smell of cooking naan from a close by stall permeated the air. My stomach began to rumble; I had not had any breakfast, something I now regretted. Assef clicked his tongue, eyes travelling between me and the stall owner. ''I'll buy ya lunch after.'' He promised.

''Thanks.'' I wanted to break into a run, but I knew this would come off as suspicious. People tend not to run towards hospitals. From my peripheral, I caught a glimpse of Yusef, Amir's father. He wore a dark striped business suit, hair slicked back with a fuckload of gel. I tried getting Assef to hurry up, but it was no fucking use. The smarmy bastard waved happily, his footsteps thundering as he walked briskly over to me and Assef. Yusef really had that larger than life quality, something I truly detested him for, given that I am a reserved person myself. Or so I think.

Assef kept his finger intertwined with my own as Yusef stopped in front of us, hands resting on his trouser pockets. I exhaled deeply; being so close to Amir's father genuinely unnerved me. Maybe it was because I had a crush on his brat of a son. Maybe because of the rumours. That he once wrestled a bear, and won. Either fucking way, Yusef pissed me off. I ducked behind Assef, partly acting 'cute'.

Yusef laughed, a bark-like sound that honestly irritated the fuck out of me. ''Hello, Saria. Feeling shy, are we?''

I had to muster up the courage to speak. ''A little. Salaam, Yusef jan.'' I bowed my knees, the picture of innocence.

''Salaam akyum, dear.'' He ruffled my hair, pissing me off even more, and grinned. ''Where are you two going?'' he asked curiously.

''I'm taking Saria for a picnic on Gharga lake. Just to do something a little different.'' Assef placed a hand on my back. I was becoming more annoyed with each passing second. Each moment wasted could have been spent getting our equipment. For a seemingly intelligent man, Yusef obviously couldn't read people, or he'd know we didn't want to fucking talk.

''You know, Saria, I've noticed you haven't been up to play with Amir in a while. Is everything okay?''

'Besides the fact your son rejected me?' I thought, balling my hands up into fists. I wanted to deck Yusef for having such a kunis for a son. My smile never faltered. ''Um, everything's fine. I apologise; I've just been real busy with homework,'' I lied. Yusef was understanding, placing a gentle hand upon my elbow.

''That's fine, Saria. You're welcome to come play anytime, just ask. I'm sure Amir would love to have a friend to spend time with.'' I almost wanted to ask where Hassan was, but realised I couldn't do this, not without seeming rude.

As if I cared. Wherever the flat-nosed donkey was, I hoped his suffering increased. Yusef clearer his throat. ''Well, I'll leave you two be. Have a nice day.''

''And the same to you,'' Assef replied in his most charming voice. ''Come on, kiddo.'' He led me away. I bared my teeth like some wildcat at Yusef's retreating form. He was making his way up the list of people I'd like to murder. Amir was lucky I had to punish Aarash, otherwise you can be sure he'd be the guy facing all this horrendous, violent torture.

''Is everything alright, kiddo?'' my brother asked. I kicked at the pebbles furiously.

''Seeing Yusef, I guess just reminds me of what Amir did. I want that boy to pay for ignoring me.''

''I'm sure we can think of something. He won't get away with hurting you.'' We continued to trek slowly along the road, my sack bouncing with each step I took. Assef kept a gentle but firm grip on my tiny fingers. I spluttered uncontrollably, thinking of the horrific acts we'd be performing.

My brother squinted at me, his mouth parting. ''What a happy little girl,'' remarked a nearby old bat, waving at me. 'If only you knew!' I thought cruelly. My perpetual smile never left. After what seemed like forever, but was probably only twenty or so minutes, we reached the huge iron gates of the hospital.

Even months after the incident, the sweat from my fears still dripped down my neck. All the horrific memories. My brother inhaled sharply. ''Kiddo?'' I continued trudging across the ankle-deep snow, like a zombie, deadpan. The last time I was in this hospital, I lost the ability to be a mother. I had just been sexually and physically abused, my life irreversibly changed.

Could I help the sharp breaths escaping my lips? ''We don't have to go in there of you don't want.'' It was unbelievable how Assef knew exactly what I had on my fragile, tormented mind. I shook my head.

''No, no, I'm fine. Honestly. It's just.. tough. But I'm good. Let's.. eh, let's go.'' He nodded, gently rubbing his thumb along my knuckles. The large white building got closer into view. The ringing of ambulance sirens drilled in my ears, nurses raced past with stretchers, almost knocking us to the asphalt.

One happened to contain a young girl of about 14, her face covered in blood. Her moans of pain satiated the devil within me. I only wished I could be the one to have done this. The nurse began yelling orders at her coworker, hands moving at a frantic pace. ''GET HER TO ICU STAT!'' they commanded.

Assef directed me past. The air smelled of vomit, blood, antiseptic. Just what you'd expect in a hospital. Glass doors creaked noisily as we entered, patting the snow from our clothes and shoes. My brother kept a firm hand on me. 'Game face on!' I reminded myself. Moaning patients hunched doubled over on plastic waiting room chairs, blood splattered the usually clean floor.

Doctors and nurses whizzed past, like buzzing insects, roaring incomprehensible orders to each other. I fidgeted with the hem of my dress. Assef leant casually against the reception desk, his arms crossed, while I positioned myself up against his legs.

''Saria? Saria Ahmed?'' Oh, joy. Joy of fucking joys. Nurse Fareiba, who I affectionately named 'Fat Nurse' hurried towards me, a grin as broad as the horizon on her face. She leaned forward, wrapping her ginormous arms round my much smaller body, lifting me clean off my feet.

'Stupid cunt.' I wanted to punch her fucking lights out. ''How lovely to see you again. You're healing well I notice. Wonderful.''

I nodded. ''I'm doing much better, Nurse Fareiba. Thank you.'' Assef reached over and shook hands with the ugly cunt. Only I noticed the murderous look in his blue eyes. The look, not directed at Faireba, but rather at the tall, lean doctor casually approaching. His very prescience irritated Assef to no end. Dr Behnam, the idiotic twat who denied my brother the chance to go into the operating theatre with me. Why again? Some shit about 'parents only' If I recall correctly. This man would get punished; the Ahmed siblings do not forget even the most tiny of disrespects.

Not today, however. He may count himself lucky today. Dr. Behnam squatted down so he was level with me. He gripped my hand in both of his much larger ones. A kindly look crossed his features. ''Hello, Saria. It's nice to see you again. How have you been?'' I knew he was referring to both my physical and mental well being, neither of which had been fantastic.

I managed to lie, a talent I really ought to win a medal in. ''I've been coping well, Dr. Behnam. I'm very lucky I have a great brother to look after me.'' You'll notice I said 'brother' and not 'family' I need not speak further on this. Assef smiled down at me.

''You flatter me, kiddo.'' He nudged me in the ribs. I giggled and ducked away from him. Fareiba beamed, overjoyed by the perfect relationship laid before her. Dr. Benham's dark eyes travelled along my pinafore until they came to rest upon my tummy. He didn't say anything, but I knew he pitied me.

What good is a woman if she can't bear children? I touched my stomach gently, eyes narrowing. Out of the corner of my eye, I spotted Assef bending forward to grab Dr. Behnam's keys from the tray near him. Idiotic jerk and his whore of a nurse were too busy fussing over me to notice.

''I don't mean to be pushy or anything but um, have you found the bad man who hurt me? I only ask because I don't want anyone else to suffer like I did.'' God damn, Saria, you are the best liar!

Fareiba shook her head. ''No, darling. We are out looking for him, though. We'll find and punish him for.. for...'' She broke off. ''It makes me sick that a grown man could do this to an innocent little girl.''

''This innocent little girl here is about to do something more brutal than you could ever comprehend'' I said in German. Nobody bothered to question my odd language. The high pitched squeak of a wheelchair grated in my ears. I wrinkled up my nose in disgust. Disabled cunts.

Time to plan. I tugged on Assef's hand, bouncing vigorously. ''Assef! Assef! Aasseff!'' I pestered him.

Assef looked down. ''What is it, kiddo?'' he asked, grabbing my arm to steady me.

''I'm thirsty. Can I have a Rupia for the drinks stand?'' I asked innocently. My brother nodded. He reached into his pocket, materialised four Rupia, and I felt him press them against my hand.

''There you go,'' we shared a knowing look. ''Don't be too long.''

As I walked down the crowded hallway, I heard Assef talking to Fareiba and Dr. Behnam. ''She really is the bravest little girl I know. Honestly, it breaks my heart to see her in pain. But she's getting through it, day by day. It was her idea to come here, you know. We're going for a picnic but my Saria told me she just had to visit the heroes who helped save her life.''

Fucking hell, Assef was a talented sociopath. I could hear the sweetness that dripped from every word. It was kinda creepy. Fareiba caught Assef in an embrace, tears pooling in the corners of her eyes. I wanted to run back, to help my poor brother out, but I knew I had to get these medicines. I walked briskly down the hallway, singing an old German tune in a failed attempt to mask out the pitiful wailing of onlooking patients. I wanted to bash their skips in with a damn flower pot or some other weapon. I couldn't imagine ever working here. Ha, can you imagine me as a nurse? Pretty frightening thought, Caa?

I kept a benevolent smile gracing my lips as I walked by. Something jagged and sharp dug into my palm, and I winced. 'The fuck?' I noticed Assef had given me the keys stolen from Dr. Behnam. A cold look marred my face as I peered down at them. The nurses beamed, some reaching out to clap me on the shoulder.

''You okay, honey?'' one asked.

I nodded. ''Why yes. I'm just going to get a drink.'' She nodded, obviously too busy to give a shit. A little boy of six or so began spazzing out upon his gurney. Panic erupted.

''CODE 99 ICU! CODE 99 ICU!'' I watched with detached interest as doctors frantically shocked his little chest, again and again. 'Ha! Stupid little brat!' I thought, fighting the urge to shoot the finger at his grieving parents. I noticed the lab technicians up ahead, chortling and gossiping as they made their way to lunch.

Rounding a corner, I ducked behind a wall, heart beating so loud I was positive they could hear me. 'Let's go, Saria.' I tiptoed up to the large steel door, keys jangling. The hall was quiet, perhaps there was an emergency elsewhere. Not like I cared. I wrapped my tiny fingers around the doorknob, eyes moving left to right, checking for any doctors or nurses approaching.

When none came, I shoved the key into the lock, my little body pressed up against the door as I turned it clockwise. Thankfully, it opened easily. I darted inside, closing the door as silent as I could. My eyes brightened, taking in the scalpels and what not that were placed carefully on trolleys. How ironic was it that something used to ease pain, would now be used to cause it? I knew I had to act quickly.

I grabbed about two syringes and scalpels, just enough so nobody would realise they were missing, and placed them in my bag. I don't need to say how much of a fucking risk taker I am. If anyone were to come in, I'd be done for. There was a large cabinet, just level with my waist. I got down on my knees and opened the doors wide, taking out medicine bottles and inspecting them, wanting to know which caused the most pain, had the most severe side-effects.

I came across a medium sized bottle with the label 'Syrup of Ipecac.' My heart lifted, remembering how Mama once used this, when she got food poisoning. It left her puking for hours. Taking my water bottles out, I carefully unscrewed the lid of the Syrup, pouring a copious amount of the clear liquid into the medium sized bottle in my hand.

Because I am a fucking genius, I mixed water from the sink in with the Ipecac to ensure nobody realised any was missing. I must have taken at least half the bottle. My arms ached from shaking it so fucking vigorously. I hoped Assef was distracting Behnam and his nurse. My eyes wandered until they came to rest upon a few vials of liquid nitrogen. This, I knew, could break a finger clean off within seconds. I had to stop myself from laughing. Fucking perfect! I grabbed the vials and put them in the inside pockets of my duffle coat, grinning coldly.

The door knob shook violently, and I gasped in horror. 'Oh no! Oh no! God, please!' I swallowed back the tears, crawled under a nearby gurney and curled in a ball, hoping to any god out there, anyone who'd listen, that I wasn't seen. My eyes blurred, I could just make out the thin figure of a woman, leaning over the sink to wash her hands. Thankfully I had closed the cabinet door only moments before her arrival.

'Just leave, just leave!' I begged. What options did I have, if I were seen? I knew my only choice would be to take all the blame. No way in hell I would let my Assef get hurt. Five agonising minutes later, I heard the door slam, and footsteps echoing in the opposite direction. Safe.

I knew I had to get outta there. After checking that everything was as I had found it, I hightailed the fuck out of the lab, closing and locking the door behind me. Of course. It would be very odd if I didn't get a drink, so I happily bounced up to where the elderly man at the stand handed me a bottle of cola, eyes misting at the image of this sweet child. Little did he know I was having fantasies of disembowelling him right that moment.

I handed over the money, thanked him, and walked up to my brother. ''That queue was huge!'' I exclaimed, fabricating this as the reason I was so late.

''I guess hospitals just make people thirsty,'' Assef joked. He addressed the conversation to Dr. Behnam. ''Well, I'm going to take Saria out for her picnic now. It was so nice talking with you again. You really are a blessing to our whole family. Thank you.''

Lies, all lies. With this, Assef drew me in close, leading me out the doors. ''What ya get, sis?'' he asked.

''Oh, just some liquid nitrogen, scalpels, Ipecac, that kinda thing.'' We broke out into helps peals of laughter, almost falling over as we trudged home. ''When, when can this happen? I NEED TO HURT THE LITTLE BRAT!'' I proclaimed in German.

''Soon, kiddo. Soon.'' Assef kissed my forehead lovingly. ''He'll get what he deserves. They both will. I promise.''

Next chapter, Saria and Assef put the first part of their vengeance into play. Please comment, PM and subscribe. Thank you :)

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