©2013 by Barnaby Wilde
Farrukh adjusted her niqab and studied the indifferent fruit piled on the market stall in front of her. The fat stallholder halfheartedly flicked dust off the pomegranates and oranges and wiped his hands on his grubby, grey kameez. She glanced at the heavily creased shopping list in her hand. Her mother would be cross if she bought poor quality, or paid too much.
Neither of them noticed the dust cloud from the approaching truck.
Two soldiers leaned on the wall next to the fruit stall, smoking and laughing loudly, rifles slung nonchalantly across their shoulders.
"Are you buying, or just looking?"
She bowed her head with embarrassment at the stallholder's brusque interrogation.
There was a loud squeal of tyres, a burst of gunfire and the cry of "Allahu akbar" as the truck slammed the soldiers into the wall before the world around her exploded with sound and light.
Farrukh's eyes flickered open momentarily as she lay on the ground, a spreading pool of blood surrounding her head. She saw in the distance, lying amongst the smoking debris and other scattered body parts, a severed arm, still clutching a shopping list.
She felt no pain as her world went irreversibly black.