Wednesday, November 9, 2011

All Those Babies, Chapter 3

I've started posting the chapters of Resolution 786. I'll post each successive chapter roughly every 3 or 4 days. Here's Chapter 3:

The Nairobi streets dozed under a blanket of moonlit night by the time they started their drive home. Albert Hueghlomm drove, his wife to his left, sitting in the black leather passenger seat. Adam sat in the back of his parents’ comfortable car, a white Corsair.

“That was nice of Marty and Rachel,” said Fatima.

“Yes it was,” her husband agreed. “Thanks for coming tonight. I haven’t been to a Passover Seder in a while. They did a good job with it.”

A block of streetlight moved through the car, lighting Fatima’s face for a moment. It brushed across her husband softly, over Adam, and then quietly stole away, stepping outside through the back window.

“Mommy, I didn’t like it,” said Adam, staring into the dark.

“Jewish food isn’t spicy, Adam,” said Fatima. “We’ll get you something spicy at home.”

“No, the seder,” Adam mispronounced it see-der.

“What about the seder?” his father asked, curious. He glanced for Adam in the rearview mirror, finally finding his young eyes.

“The dead babies at Passover,” said Adam, staring back at his father. “Why did Allah kill all those Egyptian babies? Why do we celebrate the killing of babies?”

No one answered. No one said another word.

They drove home quietly, swimming through the peaceful African night. The tires crooned a soothing hum as they swept across the cooling asphalt, a thin sheen of evening dew forming on its smooth, black surface. A forest of enormous trees zipped by on one side, a dark, surrounding rim of thick trunks and wide, floppy leaves hanging like elephant ears, dimly lit in the silvery shadows of moon. Blocks of streetlight took turns coming into and out of the car, sweeping over them like an endless caravan of silent, faceless nomads. Adam watched the side of his mother’s face. The light did a sultry dance with the shadows around her eyes and nose.


  1. I love the atmosphere you've captured in this piece. Nicely done.

  2. Thanks, Lynda. I had to draw from my own childhood in Africa to get some of the images.

  3. Awesome imagery.

    Celebrating Passover has always been a creepy tradition to me, actually.

  4. Thank you, Jay. Imagery and mood have always been important to me in my writing; that said, I'm sure I've been off mark on one or both in many pieces. Good to see that this one may have been OK.