Prose from Abdelsalam Ibrahim

The worms lady

Abdelsalam Ibrahim

It was the dooms day like.

Behind the big lake of Abu elgoud.

The boys who hid between the clothes of their mothers, stood shivering, and each one of them began to shake his head right and left. The shake’s degree varied from one to another. One of them shocked his head once, others shocked many times during closing eyes. Some of them affected by the shaking, so they fell down under foots and began shivering due to strong pain. Their mothers, who accompanied them, kept catching their gowns for fear of paroxysm attack which will finally oppose them to run and throw themselves in the lake to put off the flame burning in their ears. But the paroxysm overwhelming them, is unbearable, so that their mothers began to retain their fainted strength, and each one of them pulled her son off her clothes and pushes him forward. Boys began swinging, and one of them was about to fall down due to the swinging. When they heard one of them’s cry, they stuck to their mothers. Therefore mothers pushed their sons forward, but the boys who moved backwards faced a severe struggle to be constant.

Soraya entered the old house, which the sun penetrates its collapsed walls, to meet the worms’ lady. She was shivering with her son and he was almost to touch her thighs. At the meantime she managed to force him to be constant. But he fell down crying, so she pulled him again and dragged him in front of her.

When she put him in front of the old worms’ lady, he silenced, but still whooping coughs come out of his mouth repeatedly, and avoided looking at her sharp eyes.

The worms’ lady put her hand over his right ear, and began reading the mysterious rhymed exodus incantation, so the boy twisted and his mother stuck to him. He began crying. The worms’ lady raised her voice and held back his shoulders tightly.

The struggle between her and the boy came to a critical point, and resulted in the disembarking of the first worm out of his ear, so he swayed to the left, so that his cries diminished. The worm dropped in the worms’ lady’s hand, and looked at the boy, his mother, and the attendants who kept looking astonishingly. The boy looked at the worms’ lady with a revenging look which couldn’t last long against her mighty look that overcame his pains and swaying.

 The obscure reading which she recited over the ear of the boy, continued until leaks of red worms came out, so he endured the raising pain successfully. Sweat appeared over his skin, so wet his gown, dropped from his head, and mixed with his mucus, which in turn, united with the drops of saliva of his open mouth. His mother removed this mixture with her sleeve, then it began to remix again. The worms’ lady seemed exhausted, and tried to evoke the dense worms in his ears. She called the so many worms that were hidden, so that they came out with great anger.

When she finished incantation, the last worm was in her way out of his ears paths slowly, as if it was imposed to come out. It was pushed to get out from the deep alcoves. The slow exodus went up with the convulsive catching of breath of the worms’ lady. She breathed loudly. She fell down upon her back. She was about to faint.

The boy closed his eyes and slept deeply during the exodus progression of the last worm, which it eventually stopped in her way out, and did not make any progress due to the abrupt stop of exodus incantation. The worm turned round with a narrow circle. Soraya was about to catch the worm, but it was too faster to get back to the empty ear of the boy. He opened his eyes and began to swing and struggle against pain again.     

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