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The fourth victim

The fourth victim
"The fourth victim"

The frigid, hard floor. The hot atmosphere. The flashing blue lights. The smear in his vision.

Hussein woke up.

Police cars swarmed the scene like ants, while officers emerged from their patrol cars. Their worried eyes glared deep into Hussein’s soul, as their blue caps framed their sweating foreheads.

Rain droplets trickled down as flashes of lightning and loud thunderclaps struck with unhinged ferocity.

The tension was palpable.

Hussein reached out to wipe off rivulets of liquid running down his face. Rain? The texture felt different. He was groggy but managed to look at his hand. Red? Blood? Was he bleeding?

Blood oozed out of his left eye as he felt numbness overwhelm him, paralysing him to the very core.

He was tearing up. But only from one eye. The other was gone, lost in the depths of oblivion.

He blinked, reacting to someone running towards him. It was his friend Ali. It was the last thing Hussein saw before he blacked out.

“Kawan? (Friend?) You there?”

Hussein bolted upright, knocking Ali off balance. He tried to shake off the confusion and remember where he was.

“Why can’t I see?” he whispered, terrified that something had happened. He groped around, trying to get out of bed.

“It’s okay, Hussein. You’re in hospital. I’ll call the nurse,” said a familiar voice.

Ali embraced Hussein, trying to calm him down. He called for the nurse, who arrived promptly to help Hussein get back in bed and drink some water.

When she went away, Hussein asked, “Ali, what happened to me? Please tell me the truth. Am I blind?”

Ali sat down and started relating what had happened to him.

“Look, the police are still investigating. All I know is that your neighbour heard a loud scream. When she went over, she found the grille open and the door unlocked. She went in to find you on the floor, writhing in pain, your face covered in blood. One eye was … was … gone.”

Hussein swallowed hard. He heard Ali let out a long sigh and shift in his seat.

“You’re the fourth victim.”

Editor’s note: This is an excerpt from ‘Fresh Eyes’ by Davina Sanjna. It is part of a series of short stories – The Eye: A Young Writer’s Anthology. Priced at RM31.90, the book is available at BookXcess. All royalties go to Yayasan Chow Kit, a non-profit organisation serving the needs of children and teens in the Chow Kit area of Kuala Lumpur.

To give the younger generation an avenue to express themselves, Twentytwo13 has a dedicated space called Young Voices. If you are a young writer (aged 17 and below) and would like your article published on our news website, send your contribution to editor@twentytwo13.my.

All articles must be accompanied by the young writer’s full name, MyKad number, contact number, and the mobile number of the young writer’s parents/guardians for verification purposes.

This is the personal opinion of the writer and does not necessarily represent the views of Twentytwo13.

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