FALL 2011




Solidus Online

Molly Dugas

The Crimson Rivers Surge

Doctors and nurses rush through the stark hallways. In a state of frenzy, the medical staff squeezes through the entrance to a patientís room, immediately springing into action. The seconds, minutes, and hours pass. The distressed, scarlet face of a woman relaxes in an instant, as an innocent squeal echoes through the bustling facility. The odds are already not in the newbornís favor, for itís a girl. She is extricated from the safety of her motherís body and thrust into a world of turmoil, hate, and savagery.

Grey flecks float to the ground in slow motion, covering the once lively city with a blanket of disbelief and horror. Halfway across the globe, two pillars of American prowess crumble to the crowded streets below. Courageous men and women endanger themselves in order to save others, hoping that their specialized attire will withstand the vermilion blaze. The entire country is immobilized as television sets coruscate with images of the disintegrating buildings and ghostly figures scurrying down abandoned streets. Fear mutates into rage and loathing, a poison that seeps into the hearts of bystanders. Battalions assemble, eager to inflict revenge. Back in Afghanistan, a now five-year-old girl wakes and begins to adorn herself with a black chador; unaware that life in her country is about to change drastically.

Kabul is buzzing with a torrent of uneasy civilians. Droves of people merge into orderly streams, surging through a desolate structure amid various edifices. Ballot boxes gorged, the tedious task of counting begins. Huddled with family members, an eight-year-old girl anxiously awaits news of the election results. A mournful neighbor reluctantly enters the silent household. The floor is splattered with a collage of salty puddles. Hamid Karzai was deemed the first democratically appointed president, while sanguine rivers flowed throughout Kabul.

Foreigners in green and white pixelated uniforms invade the country like bacteria gnawing at human flesh. They patrol cities and towns, callous killing contraptions strapped to their rigid bodies, anticipating an attack. The inhabitants disperse, as if proximity to the minions makes contracting leprosy possible. In their minds, bullets zip by and submerge into flesh, as a warm, crimson substance erupts to the surface. Following behind her mother, a girl of about twelve peers at the invaders from underneath her hijab. Their faces like statues, oblivious to human emotion.

The eyes of many glow with a reddish hue, reflecting the animosity churning inside them. Body upon body is washed. Body upon body is wrapped in a shroud. Body upon body is buried facing Mecca. The community is composed of raw under eyes and heavy hearts. Amid a sea of mourners, a girl attempts to drown out the recitation of Salat-al-Janazah; permanently stuck on repeat.

A woman walks, unperturbed, down a vacant dirt road. The sky above is sprinkled with vibrantly colored kites. Her white hijab gently ripples in the balmy breeze. She soon reaches the threshold of a sacred mosque. An American woman sheathed in Kevlar approaches. Without speaking, each woman reveals a smile and enters the temple. Here in Afghanistan, there is nothing but serenity, nothing.


Molly Dugas

is a student at Colby-Sawyer College.