Nazemih, Goodbye

You know how I tell you life gets in the way sometimes?  Yes, that happened last night.  Damn life:  it should just leave me alone and let me get on with my business, right?  It really wasn’t that bad, however, as I was helping out a person–a transwoman who I am friends with on Facebook–to get through an issue at her work.  So it really wasn’t that bad an issue, but that was like twenty minutes in the middle of the night, and when the flow gets interrupted, it hits you.

I was also out running around a bit as well, and that cuts into your time, too.  Still, six hundred and fifty words I’ll take.  And it’s a nice little set up after the death rattle from yesterday.  Well, sort of . . .

 

(All excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Two: B For Bewitching, copyright 2015 by Cassidy Frazee)

They walked up the stairs in silence while Annie absorbed the last of their conversation. At the beginning of her A Levels she had never expected to find herself in the middle of an attack that resulted in the deaths of nine students and one instructor—after all, why would one expect to find themselves close to death only two months after arriving at their new school?

There was a part of that equation that she tried never to consider: that the number was almost eleven students and two instructors, and given everything that happened in the aftermath of Kerry’s fight and flight from the Abomination, it was possible he could have died. She never considered that because she didn’t want to remember that event.

The strangest part was that when they were together in Kansas City Annie didn’t fear either of them dying, not even when they were under attack. We spent six months learning how to live at the school while putting the Day of the Dead behind us. We found each other and we trained for the field operation. We knew the risks and were prepared. It was a far different situation.

The first floor wasn’t completely dark, but this corridor—which ran east and west along the north wall of the building—was far gloomier than the ground floor hallway, without any windows and only a few light points to allow people to see where their were going. There were four doors along the south wall of the corridor: two on the east side of the stairs, two on the west. Deanna walked straight ahead from the stairs and waved open the closest door on the west side and held it open for Annie.

On the other side was a room much larger than the classrooms on the floor below. It was all pillows on the floors and bare walls, and Annie instantly noticed there wasn’t a single window, not even along the south wall, and as with the hallway outside about a half-dozen light points provided illumination. The other thing she noticed was the dryness in the air, something that wasn’t common around the school, or back home in Pamporovo. “It’s like—”

“The desert?” Deanna shut the door and joined Annie. “I guess I’m drawn to this kind of environment.”

“Were you born in the desert?” Annie, like most everyone else in the school, knew Deanna was born in Iraq in the 1980s, but opinions varied as to where she lived.

“Well . . .” She chuckled. “I was born and grew up in Nazemih, which is a sub-district of Karrada, which is one of the main districts of Baghdad. And since Baghdad is in the desert—” A bright grin appeared as she slowly tossed her head from side-to-side. “You could say I was born in the desert.”

Annie began laughing. “I’m sorry: I don’t know as much about you as I thought.”

“That’s because I don’t talk about that part of my life. When my parents moved to France in 1989 I was four, so my recollections of growing up there are limited. I can remember walking with my mother along the banks of the Tigris a few times, but not much beyond that.” She lightly tapped Annie on the left shoulder. “But we’re not here to talk about me—” She motioned towards the pillows at their feet. “I think you’re here because we want to talk about you.”

“Yes.” Annie nodded. “That was the reason I came to see you.” She dropped down into a lotus position, sitting upon the pillows behind her.

“No, no.” Deanna sat to Annie’s left. “The idea is to lay back—” She positioned several pillow under her torso and head and stretched out. “—and relax.”

Annie followed Deanna’s example, and twenty seconds later she, too, rested upon pillows while staring up at the ceiling. “This is so comfortable. What is this room?”

 

Well, I didn’t say what that room is, because it was ten-thirty PM when I wrote, “What is this room?”, but I did manage to offer a little bit of information about Deanna and where she’s from.

Currently she lives in France, and yes, I know where.  I know a lot about my people, do I not?  But as stated she was born in Iraq, in Nazemih, a sub-district of Karrada, which was and is a middle-class area of Baghdad, the sort of place her parents would have lived.

If you look closely, you may see her.

If you look closely, you may see her.

Since the Tigris River is right there, you can imagine Deanna didn’t live far away.  And as you can imagine, it’s hot there.  And dry.  In fact, go a few kilometers to the east and–

Sand.  Lots of sand.

Sand. Lots of sand.

So when Deanna says she sort of grew up in the desert, she did.  Just like Wednesday did, if you think about it, because she’s from Arizona.  And Isis lives in Palm Springs, which is kinda desert.  so that’s three people who like it hot and dry.

But what is this room?  You know the answer to that–

Tune in tomorrow.