By Adania Shibli
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Extra info for Touch
The girl lay on her bed inside the silence, and the mother beside her every once in a while put oily drops in her ears. After several days the mother took her to the doctor, who sent them to the nurse. The nurse wrapped a plastic apron around the girl, attaching a cold metal saucer to her neck below her ears. Then he pushed the biggest syringe in the world into her ear and water began to flow in torrents in and out and onto the metal saucer resting on her shoulder. After that, the paradise of silence disappeared and the world of sounds returned.
The ambulance arrived in the courtyard. She pressed her face against the post, despite the roughness of its peeling paint, her eyes still glued to the rear door of the ambulance, which was going to open and the brother was going to jump out and fly to the veranda so he could rip the scarf off her ears and scream as loud as he could into them and then she would die. The door opened, but the brother did not jump out. Instead, he was carried out and rushed into the house. A short while, then she snuck in there.
The shepherd boy looked in the direction where the girl was not sitting, so the hay stub did not go into his ear after all. She moved to the other side and tossed her head very close to the golden nose. It was all she could see. Maybe the sun would push the shepherd boy’s head again in the other direction. As the secret movement began, smoke started to rise. She lifted her head and saw the source of the smoke spreading over the fields, gobbling up their yellowness, while the children jumped and cheered as they fled.
Touch by Adania Shibli