Smoke by Taiba AlOtaibi

I was at my grandmother’s house on that sun bleached, washed-out day. It was the day that the women were to wear their black abayas and file into her house in majestic order. They kissed my loved ones and gave blank condolences with such robotic precision, then sat down and watched the tick-tock man tick with their vacant heads and twiddled fingers. Their faces were sallow and lacked make-up, their heads bowed down in depression; it was a shame that I could read their Gucci-filled minds and their Prada obsessed fingers. The smoke from the bokhoor wafted through them, enveloping them in a sleepy, musky haze. Slipping through their noses, it fills their impassive lungs that breath oh so easily. Each of these black creatures tries to outdo the other in showing their grief as their eyes hood over, heavy from the sandman’s touch. Soon they shall file out into the sun, laughing wildly while I sit here to contemplate my own fate as it slips through my fingers and disappear like smoke into the night-sky.

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