It was not a parade day but people lined up to watch a jeep, followed by two or three trucks. A man was tied upside down on the hood. He was still bleeding, probably a fighter of the F.L.N (National Liberation Front). Standing on his Jeep, Lieutenant JIBARD wanted either to be greeted by the crowd
“_.... the bastard .... he dared .. _” said Albert KASSOIR the notary of the city
“_... he is not the only one who would dare to do that ... _” replied Catherine, a young teacher who was standing right behind him. Albert turned his head and it was immediately a love at first sight. she was beautiful. Albert’s house was located at the eastern edge of town, at the bottom of a small hill, half hidden by a few fir and cedar trees. He was the only heir when he married Catherine. Few people went to the Kassoirs, probably because of rumours, it is said that one found the manservant dead, jagged by wolves while little Albert was sound and safe and still playing in front of her. But the most recent was this mysterious accident which cost the lives of three French soldiers who, coming down from the house of the Kassoirs, went crashing down on the river with their vehicle, there was a bridge, their brakes would have probably released . At that time the city had only three or four beggars or homeless. One of them was all the time at the entrance of the church and another was also giving a hand, asking for charity at the exit of the mosque. The third was a madman laying all day long on the sidewalk who consumed alcohol and cigarettes. Few people knew that these people at night were hosted at the Kassoirs
“_ ..oh... thank you mistress ...”
Catherine immediately recognized Maurice the tramp. She was serving the dinner, a hot soup, it was cold, a piece of bread and a bunch of grapes. It was not the first time that she was generous with him. Every time she left the church on Sundays, she gave him a few coins
“_...did you hear Albert… he spoke…. You recognized him? it’s Maurice…
The city people believed that he was dumb. Albert turned to his wife’s astonished face, walked slowly, then hugged her, until she realized that Maurice was only talking to his master. Sometimes, Mr. and Mrs. K went to the movie theater in town, and from time to time they were among the guests at galas and wedding ceremonies like everyone else, they led a peaceful and quiet life. However no one was invited to their house, it was so, something like that.
Here comes another drama this Sunday, day of the year 1957, in the same places on the same turn below the bridge. At the edge of the river lay the body of Jibard the lieutenant, slaughtered from the left ear to the right ear, hands and Here comes another drama this Sunday day of the year 1957, in the same places on the same turn below the bridge. At the edge of the river lay the body of Jibard the lieutenant, slaughtered from the left ear to the right ear, hands and feet tied up, half naked (no pants, no shoes), the beret still adjusted on his head, his shirt soldier decorated with braid was spotted with blood. Although the Kassoir couple were thoroughly interrogated, the track of the F.L.N (Algerian National Liberation Front) was the only one that was plausible. Then it was Madame Jibard’s turn who was also going to undergo interrogations by Commissioner Mirou
“_... do you know where he was supposed to go this night? ...._”
“_.... he told me he was invited… .but I don’t remember where exactly… ._”
“_ .. you must, Mrs. Jibard…. Make an effort
“_.... sorry he don’t told me, otherwise I would have remembered
“_.... did he say that he was invited to the Kassoirs?
“_... surely not, he didn’t get along very well with this notary
It was not only the Kassoirs who were not very community in this city, There was also Gertrude the witch, her house was located just at the entrance of the Arab quarter, surrounded by a small garden. Although the children were much more reputed to be turbulent, no one dared to cross the barrier of this house, it was their parents who forbade them access. although Gertrude lived alone and was often absent. On the other hand, all the kids rushed by jostling each other, shouted and clapped their hands on the hood of Albert’s black jaguar. It’s not the first time he comes to visit Mrs. Gertrude
“_... then master… you twisted his neck this time and once and for all to this pretentious lieutenant
“_... I would need an alibi ... .. were you here this night? ...... Commissioner Mirou is really starting to tape me on the balls
“_.... well....I can put a spell on him .... you will only have to tell me the name of his mother .._”
Not very convinced the master, he knew that this kind of thing, doesn’t work every time. (do not tell your mother’s name to anyone)
One always believes in witchcraft, but few people know how Abracadabra is accomplished, there are some who think it’s by stirring from the magic potion in fire that one can bewitch whoever we desire. they are inside and nearby, all around and far beyond. I challenge those who claim to have seen a demon.
the only means of communication between humans and these invisible creatures is an audio contact. It started many millennia ago. before the prophet Soliman (Sullivan time), sorcery did not exist yet.
The two angels who held this (science) were called Harot and Marot. They came down to earth in Babel or Babylon in Iraq. They are the ones who since that time taught humans how to cast a spell on another and what to do to sow discord between husband and wife, between parents and offspring, but; being angels, they warn you ” we are damnation, do not be disbelievers ”. if you want absolutely to play Harry Potter, go ahead, they will tell you what to do, things you you will not dare to do. Like for example; go to the grave of one of your loved ones and cut off a hand or fingers. after that, you have to take it with you on Sunday to a church. sometimes you have to shit downright on such page of the bible, or such verses of the gospel. If you are Muslim, the Arab sorcerers will ask you to do the same for the Coran. to be a sorcerer you must completely dedicate your soul to the devil. Many people have given up, there are times when faith prevails.
came the day when Albert and Catherine had a child, that did not prevent them to commit another crime. Always the same category of victims (french soldiers). About Commissioner Mirou, he didn’t feel well at all, he was no longer the same; his teammates noticed that during his investigation long before his retirement. one can say that Gertrude had known how to find the right magic potion. but the French military secret services took the matter in hand this time. Some information here and there, some indication collected near the indigenous people where torture was used, and sometimes until death. one absolutely had to react or set a trap and wait for whole nights.
it was said that the murderers were two masked persons, according to the confessions of the natives subjected to torture. The eighth night of mobilization inside and around the city, they finaly hit the target.
“_.... halt ... halt .._” Albert stopped, but Catherine pulled out her gun and even before had time to shoot, they shot them both
At first, Kassoir’s son was adopted by the governess Yamina in the Arab quarter. But that did not last long, she had just died too and nobody wanted this child, French side as for the Arabs. Superstition prevailed in those times. Fortunately there was Gertrude the witch who was kind enough to adopt her ex-master’s child, she moved to the Kassoir house, there, where no one can dare to approach even after independence, when the majority of French have gone. When the witch died, he was just six years old. his parents had baptized him Alain.
During the colonial period, some natives were listed in the municipalities with a surname SNP (his name lost) or (without patriotic name). This continued until the end of the seventies, then they were given proper names, arabic names of course. If I tell you all that, it’s because Alain didn’t have that kind of name, and neither did I. It was in kindergarten that I saw him for the first time, his name was: Aladine Kassoir or Alan Kassoir frankly speaking. In our class there were also war martyrs children. those, were accommodated in a center of a state orphanage and all wore the same clothes in class. this catégory was provided with the blue card (the most deprived), because there was also an orange card for least deprived. In the canteen, one offered hot meals for blue cards or full meals, and cold meals for orange cards or butty meals. Alain and I were coming home for lunch that day; if I detail all this now, it’s for me to remember that it was particularly these children with blue card who were the hardest with Alain, they hated him, they called him; son of Romia (son of Christian), in short it was a bad time for Aladin during the first years of kindergarten.
After the departure of the French, , the veterans (algerian soldiers) made the law in this country, farms were abandoned, villas, apartments. In the big cities, whole buildings remained empty two years or three years after the independence, it must be admitted that the population was naive and fearful. I was six years old when Mokhtar the penguin arrived from another city, he was invited at my uncle house, they have done the war together. I was satting in the back seat of the car, they were chatting aloud, they were talking about the Kassoirs. When we crossed the bridge, my uncle turned left, he went up the path which led to the haunted house. There was a sign (private property), then
the entrance, no gate no grids, but the built stone pillars were there with an extension of walls on the left and right
_Ha hah… even the doors are not spared in this city… ._” he made fun of us this penguin
“_... I don’t think that’s the case .._” replied my uncle
“_..... ah yes.. apparently there are only angels here
“_ .. all I can tell you is that there is theft everywhere except in this place ....”
A stone’s throw had been thrown on the rear windshield, then a second, my uncle parked the car just outside the front door. Going down, the penguin narrowly avoided a pebble intended for him. I saw the attackers who continued to throw stones at us, two men and a woman, and I immediately recognized Rabia the madwoman. Our guest to use his gun and fired a summons in the air, then we saw the door that opened, it was a lady accompanied by a little boy:
“_... you should have informed me of your arrival Hadj ... _”
she spoke to my uncle. Hadj is the name given to people who make the pilgrimage to the holy places of Islam. her name was Zoulikha, a new servant for the new master of neighborhoods from now on.
It’s she who ordered the beggar-looking men to leave. When she invited us in the big room, I went to the chimney, the little boy was throwing logs on the fire and I pretended not to know him:
“_... you’re with me at school and your name is S.N.P right?
“_... my name is Kassoir ... ..Aladin Kassoir .... and this is my mother ... _”
he pointed to the black and white photo on the marble roof of the chimney. Then he took my hand and asked me to follow him. together we went up the stairs, then he went to open a room, inside there was a large portrait painted by hand, a real work of artist, the same woman-face in color, his mother was radiant with beauty.
on the way-back, the discussion resumed between my uncle and his guest:
“_... do you want to say that the death of the French soldiers......it was not you and your company? ..... who would do that?
“_..... the parents of this kid
“_… And where are his parents now?”
“_... both dead, shot or executed by the French army…. one wanted to stifle the case… and for that, they preferred to put the put the blame on us… you understand? .. you know as well, the city was too risky for us… we didn’t get in without an order from the FLN
“_... who will take care of the kid now? ..... and who pays this servant?
“_... it’s well us ... the veterans of this city .... from this viewpoint, don’t worry ... we will continue to bring aid and assistance to this son of martyrs ... concerning the villa; no problem… .it’s registered to his father …… . he was the city notary
One afternoon Alain was taken by his servant Zoulikha to an unknown destination. She had an appointment with three individuals. They were sorcerers.
“...wait for me down here...don’t go back up the slope with your vehicle, if not they won’t let you do...” said Zoulikha.
“...what are you talking about? ...you said he’s an orphan... and you are the only one you to adopt him in this house...isn’t that?
“_...they’re crazy people....I fear that I won’t be able to control them this time
it should be three o’clock in the afternoon and the rain has not stopped falling since this morning when Zoulikha and her adopted child were embarked
“...how are you going to proceed if it’s still raining?...” murmured Zoulikha down to the driver.
“_...don’t worry......it’s a cave we’re going to enter....you’ll see my boy, we’re going to play Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves
By the way Djaffar the driver was not really a wizard, the two others when they saw Alin, stopped talking all along the way, they were usually talkative, that what surprised their driver a little bit.There was sand at the entrance of the cave, a real sand dune that allows you to go down. Only the two wizards with torches knew their way .
“_..here is the fountain..._” shouted Jaffar while he was rushing towards it, he wanted to drink a sip with both hands outstretched.
“...no...You’ll fall asleep all night...and there’ll be no one to wake you up in the morning...our spring is dry...and it’s on the other side...”
they always went down into this dark cave, and then it was a large space topped by a pile of stones that seemed to come from above, a landslide no doubt. When the two companions of Djaffar stopped, he understood that it is there where it is necessary to dig. in any case, it did not lead anywhere, this space limited the end of the cave. The driver threw the shovel and the pickaxe and took Zoulikha a little further away:
“_...come on little sister ... we have other things to do before digging .... hahaha ......EH guys, did you see her hand? ..... she has the same sign also”
he held her hand when she was struggling so as not to be taken
“_.... yes we noticed this long before you Djaffar ...... don’t go too far with this woman in the cave ... .._”
then he came back and the servant was hanging out behind him
“_… hey guys, what are you waiting for to dig?… Why is it always me who does all the work?
“_... tie her ... _” ordered one of the wizards
“_ ... HAHA ... HA ... you had to say it before, don’t worry she won’t struggle .... She like it ... isn’t it little bitch?
“_.... hands and feet .... did you hear Djaffar?
In the witchcraft world, there are Harry Potters and fake seemed. I have already described how abracadabra is accomplished. The imposters target mainly women who do not have a decent intellectual level or the illiterate, this is much more frequent in Africa and in the Arab-Muslim world. of course, money is behind all this things, naive people pay. if you want to make money, you enter two areas: exorcism and sorcery.
Regarding the first, if they have to pay their fees, know that they are dealing with a false exorcist once the deposit will be made.
For the second case, please know that you are going to pay your Value Added Taxes (VAT)without knowing if you are facing a real or a false sorcerer. It’s already heard for 1/3 world as for westerners.
There is something else which exist only in the minds of the Arab-Muslim world; it’s buried treasure. To find and recover it or rather to manage to unearth it, we have recourse to sorcerers because it is guarded not by angels, but by demons it seems. The price to pay is very high, an ignoble sacrifice; to slaughter a kid …… and not just any kid, the one who inside of his hand ( the palm) is crossed by a straight line across its entire width. It is not enough to know the location of the treasure for honestly intentioned people, those who avoid using this ritual, they appeal to real exorcists and it will be a battle fought between the Muslim exorcist with only weapon Koran and on the other the invisible creature, or the evil spirits who watch over this treasure.
In the event of a defeat, one of these gold diggers may end up with a disabled jaw, or unconsciously transferred tens of kilometers away, and sometimes hundreds of kilometres. But what does it matter, ( the fact of being wandered ) since we will always have the body safe and sound. There is no smoke without fire, in such a moment, the motto is: run for your life.
He stopped his sneers and looked at the faces of his companions who did not smile. Zoulikha understood that she was going to be slaughtered
“_... what are you doing?…. It”s a child we have to sacrifice not a woman
Djaffar, who was however well built and with a corpulence exceeding that of his comrades, could not control the poor servant who was now really struggling with all her strength by shouting. Her cries echoed in this cave. One of the wizards lent a hand to Djaffar, while the other took out a large knife hidden in his back and advanced slowly towards Alain who was still there, standing at ten meters, observing the scene with a serene face, no emotion, no feeling, his gaze was fixed on his housekeeper. he didn’t even pay attention to the man with the dagger who was kneeling before him:
“_.... master Ala-edine ... would you accept this sacrifice? ..._”
“_... could we unearth this treasure master? ..._” replied the other who still held the woman with his two hands.
Djaffar did not say a word, he was so shocked that he had to let go Zoulikha escaped, and run to climb the mound of stones. Unfortunately, it was not the right direction, all collapsed under her feet, the echo of incessant cries must have caused this landslide. Alain has already taken the way back towards the exit of this cavern, followed by the man who still held in his hand the weapon of sacrifice.
Djaffar and the other sorcerer before being completely buried by the stones, felt that they were being dragged down to this place which was supposed to be the dry source. They saw the famous treasure, a large carved wooden box, right in front of their feet, but it was so late . Everything was crumbling.
the only survivor, Kassoir’s son who climbed the sand dune without difficulty to reach the exit. Then it was the man with the dagger. But the latter felt that the sand was moving under his feet, each time he wanted to climb he slipped and found himself again at the bottom. “_.... save me my master ... _” so were his last words. The subsidence extended until the hole they got into. Standing outside, Alain took a last look as if to mark this place, a terrier down the hill, then he went to the town.
night had fallen and it was the full moon. He walked towards the van which was not very far from the road, of course. he did not know how to drive. no traffic and it was dark, he continued his way in the midst of howls. some Wolves converged on him. he knew justly one of them. at first, Alain had taken him for a dog in search of food, this animal often descended around the city and even at the Kassoir’s house because there were only ’Alain who fed him. The rest, that is to say the housekeeper and the mad world of the villa never dare to approach it. it’s a big wolf, that’s why Alain called him Kebir, it means tall in Arabic …… ..
if only he was there …… here are coming two lights which seem to be going in the right direction… the city. A plowing tractor stopped and a man got out while the driver was behind the wheel, probably two peasants who were returning home after a long day of work. The wolves did not flee, on the contrary they always advanced by showing their fangs ... Alain was only waiting for a sign to get on the tractor, but the superstitious peasant seemed to recognize the son of the ghost in the projectors:
“_.... you are the son of Kassoir…. Aren’t you?
Alain did not answer…. It was not the first time that he heard these words full of hatred and racism like son of Romia… .ext… and immediately, the man went quickly to join his companion
“_... what’s the matter? ..... why don’t we take him?”
“_.....start…. it’s that damned son of Kassoir… .start or something bad will happen to us
“_..... and how can you be sure it’s him?
“_...silly ... but look at that .. you’ve already seen a little kid playing with hungry wolves in the middle of the night.?
the peasant was right , yes it was indeed Kebir the wolf pack’s leader who was playing with his master. when he stood on his hind legs, his size was much bigger than Alain’s. In this warmest finding, Alain should surely say: they can go to hell with their machine now. The wolf accompanied his master until the entrance of the city, then disappeared when he saw Alain deviating towards some dwellings. He was tired and hungry too, and his home was still far, while the house of Myriam, an ex-governess was about a hundred meters. she is the only one among many who was really nice with him . When he knocked on the door, he could no longer stand, he fell unconscious. Lying on a mattress in this humble home, the next day when he came back to him:
“_... he’s Cathy’s son
“_...I don’t care who he is_... listen to me Myriam…. Have you seen the necklace he wears around the neck?
“_... yes ... .. it’s due to this, that I recognized him
“_...… what I mean is… .. a child who has just spent an entire night outside, may very well go home having lost his necklace…. It’s now or never .... before he wakes up
“_ ... even if I told you who he is ?
“_... I don’t care who he is
“_.... Cathy Kassoir ... the French ... where I worked before you married me
The man was silent for a while before saying
“_... when he wakes up, open the door and let him go .... let him go to hell with his necklace
Sometimes superstition can trump temptation. In the next room there was Nadir their son who was praying, but that did not prevent him from hearing his parents. at the exit, he went to join Alain:
“_... Hey .... wait a moment
“_... your name is ala-edine… ..you are the son of the Kassoirs?
Usually, Alain did not answer these kinds of questions
“_ .. I just wanted to tell you that our religion prohibits men from wearing gold chains ... _”
The child was chatting with a smile on his face, something that rarely occurs in Alain’s relationships with the people of this city. They often turned their heads when they saw him pass, their faces expressed only hate and contempt, zero tolerance. his world was people who were called crazy ... wonderers, beggars, weak spirits, not to mention transvestites and girls of the sidewalk, in short, all people rejected by the Arab community were on his side. Note, however, that weak spirits are much easier to possess. To possess in the real sense and in the virtual sense of things also. Being physically present among them, they would carry out their master’s orders, but Alain had this power to be present in their minds even being far from them.
When Nadir’s father returned home this evening, Aladin was still there, he insulted his wife and advanced towards her wanting to hit her, then suddenly threw a glance to Alain ... if you stay looking at him without a smile....
“_ .. come on boy ... I’ll take you home .... there must be surely someone waiting for you there ... _”
Night had already fallen when they arrived at the villa, midnight more precisely. On the way back, Nadir’s father wanted to take a shortcut by leaving the road. because without the boy on board now, he was handling the handlebars at ease and sneaking through his trees … Monumental error, he didn’t take the howls as warning….A wolf was running behind … it was Kebir of course… then two others came to the rescue.....another, out of the woods, came directly to cut the poor biker’s trajectory.....a whole pack of wolves was on the lookout.
the next day, one discovered the umpteenth victim and still in the same area around the haunted house.
After this death and given the deplorable conditions of the widow, the ex- governess decided to resume work at the Kassoirs. Alain was delighted and Miriam too, she had affection for this boy, so she moved, and to the great happiness of her son Nadir, who would be from now on, the future companion of the new master of this suburb.
One afternoon on the way to school, we met Maurice the tramp, I was in the company of Alain, then we saw people jostling further away, a charity association served meals “no lucky for Mauritius ” said- I to Alain
“_... I’ll tell him to wiggle his buttocks
“_... we will not return back to him ? ...we will be late for school
“_... it’s done ...... he’s coming
Alain was kind enough to transmit to me some of his powers. I can turn back animals, such as cats, dogs, donkeys, smiles ... ..ext ... When I say this: T’bitbilbis .... the animal turns and runs in the opposite direction . From the end of the little finger you can lift a man whose weight exceeds one hundred kilograms, but it takes four people to lift him. The man will lie on the ground, two will take him by the feet by inserting their little fingers into the ends of the pants and the other two will do the same thing by inserting their fingers into the ends of the sleeves of his shirt or his jacket. to raise it, each must whisper in the ear of the other: “if Mohamed is dead” then the second time: “let us carry him” by lifting him whistle like this: SSSSSS (pronounce the S continuously) , you can keep it in the air well above your heads, do not remove your fingers until you have lowered it to the ground. There is something that can be useful for people who adopt a dog or a cat in their home, if you see your dog crouching and he will shit on the lawn of your garden for example, or that your cat is in the same position to do it in the living room, you will simply have to cross your little finger with that of another person and pull your hands like pulling on a rope. Tired of seeing his need not unfulfilled, the animal will go to do it elsewhere.
there was a time we formed an inseparable trio, the three musketeers; that’s what we used to be called at school. Since independence and until the end of the eighties, we had a lot of French teachers and profs spread across the national territory, some of them were forced to pass their military service by going to teach in Algeria, two or three years during, all cycles combined, from primary to secondary and there are some who stayed longer. The other teachers came from the East, especially from Egypt, Syria and Iraq, those who taught literature and philosophy and also history-geo in Arabic. All this is explained by the flagrant lack of staff experienced by Algeria during this period.
I remember very well the name of our English teacher at Albert Camus college, all three, we were in the same class in fourth grade, her name was Madame Baccirini. Entering at eight o’clock in the morning, she took the sponge and went to erase the board as usual, it was a grammar lesson in French
_ when two verbs follow each other, the second goes to the infinitive_
just below it, there was another writing
_when two buttocks follow each other, the first must stay in the executive_
It’s crazy what we laughed in this time; the king of prank call was the son of the ghost, and not only in college. Madame Baccirini erased her board and took a few steps towards Aladdin’s table:
“_it’s you.....right? _” He was strong in French despite his parents having died from his birth, and in English too
“_......I recognize your writing…._”
“ _....No, it’s not me…._
“_... Do you know members of your family in Bouche du Rhône?
“ _....I do not know
“_... Evelyne… .a cousin… Evelyne Kassoir
“ _....maybe yes
She went to the desk, then came back with an envelope to give it to Alain. Until now, Nadir and I have never known what was in this letter. At each end of the school year, there was an award ceremony for the winners. Alain was given three titles, or even four (four books);_1 ° first price of French, _2 ° second price of sciences and the continuation… they were beautiful books, illustrated. He had already borrowed one to me before, a story of 3 Russians and 3 English written by Jules Verne. it’s been a year, and I, not really good at reading, I think I’ve never read this story. so, I went to give him back his book. at Alain there are two small built-in bookcases on either side of the fireplace, lots of books stored
“_ ... you can keep it, I have another one ... .. my mother taught in college .... Do you understand now?
Zoulikha was serving us lunch at the table, her son Nadir was with us, then when she went to join her kitchen:
“_... there are lots if you want to have a library at home
“ -..what do you mean ?
“ _...in the cellar
“_...it’s in the cellar?.. and you never showed them to us? ..._” it was Nadir who questioned him plunging his hand into the plate without using the fork, unlike me and Aladdin
“_… It’s at school… .so… you’re ready for tonight
« _.... chuUUTt…. my mother is coming
“_.... don’t forget to bring a bag with you… there is enough to fill your room and that of your uncle” had whispered Alain just before she arrived with a large dish filled bunches of grapes. In the villa, there were many vines and few flowers, vines with rather large trunks, so to speak of trees. In the shade under these vines when we were playing, we used to jump and again hopping to catch a bunch of grapes that were hanging above our heads. Sometimes we had recourse to Maurice, (one for me, one for you) that’s why in this house, he was called Maurice al Touil, which means; Maurice along. there were all kinds of grapes, reds and whites.
It was cold this evening, then the snow started to fall and we liked that. it sounded like three wolves instead of three musketeers. Few people were circulating, I had folded my bag to hide it behind my back, I stuffed it at the waist of the pants. Nadir was dressed in Djellaba (long dress with long sleeves and hood, worn by men in North Africa)....bad outfit for a burglar, he was obliged to roll it up on his belt to get to climb the wall with us. A cold wind blew when we crossed this dark courtyard, it was doggy. Aladin took us directly to the locker room of the gym. it was an old colonial school building, at the back of the room, there was a fairly high platform where we practiced gymnastics, it was also a place where we presented performances sometimes. Alain walked around it to find himself behind, then stopped to lift the big tarp that covered this platform a little, just in the right place and without lighting the electric torch. All that said to show us in the dark a little wooden door, no lock, no padlock, it was tied with rusty wires, but hard and thick
“_...it’s not a pair of pliers we need but a shears..._”
I had said to Nadir who was trying to do something with his penknife
“_...push yourself a little.._” I took a run-up, then by sliding me to the ground as if to tackle in a part of foot both feet on the door
“_ .. stop silly boy, you’re going to wake the guardian up..._” it wasn’t the first time that it’s howl between me and Nadir.
“_... get away from it both.._” Aladin slowly straightened these twisted pieces of scrap one by one, using the force of his fingers only. it had taken time, he was pointing his head up as if to look at the ceiling. Me and Nadir it was his eyes that we were looking at, it gave off like a sort of little glow at the back of this dark room. I had already noticed this behaviour in Alain… when he showed red eyes, it’s not because he’s a whiny boy.
Half bent, we went down the stairs, it was me who lit their way with a battery torch. not very big this cellar but it was bursting at the seams, to get to the bottom, you had to sweep over a mountain of books ... .. it must have reminded him something .... the entrance to Ali Baba’s cave when he went to play with the wizards… it was a mountain of sand. all these beautiful books thrown like that, higgledy-piggledy, a real literary muck-up. So here we are sitting on it as do the Tuaregs of the desert sitting on a sand dune to contemplate them. We were scrutinizing the beautiful pictures, the colours and the decorations of these smooth and thick covers, it was not hard as iron, but hard as wood. for the most part, it was class of sixth, of 5 ° , 4 ° and third, stamped on the first page in a wet round stamp “general education college: Albert Camus”.
If I dwell on this subject, it is just to point out the glaring difference that there was between these and those of their Algerian comparatives of the early seventies, a real junk. So I had half filled my bag, a heavy burden that I was going to carry on my back
“_....is this what you plan to take home? ...... you both haven’t seen anything .... the nicest ones are in the library .....that’s where they award us prices... _»
“_... on the first floor? ....but, it’s locked ... .by making noise we’ll get spotted
too risky for me, he frowned, looking at the ground , then raised his head upwards, for him there are no barriers, he always had this domineering gift. Nati con la camicia (go for it) don’t think of going back. As we left the locker room, the wind has intensified and snow was already covering the playground. Two dogs were barking while trotting on the snow, they were running in our direction, when they were closer to us Aladdin shouted to them: “T’Bitbilbis”… they stopped their barking… .they were moaning while stirring their tails…. then making flip-flop, they turned back path. This time it was Nadir who stepped in once we got to the first floor. by turning the little thing inside the lock in the opposite direction of the rotation…. slowly, he dismantled it squarely from its socket …… then by introducing his small knife, he succeeded in making it rotate in the common sense. He had an all-round knife with different blades, and even a corkscrew that all retracted and fit into one cuff. I remember this sentence he said to me one day in the locker room, there was a wardrobe for two students and he was missing a few things that day, a lace to tighten his soccer shoe. He had to steal one by going to open another cupboard, taking his knife out of his pocket and he said to me:
“No padlock can resist me”.
Unlike those piled up in the cellar, the library books were tidy on all the floors. a guenuine literary art store of Voltaire and Balzac, Exetera and Jean will Pass …… It should be noted that some works were almost half a meter in lengthwise. About fifteen books were enough to fill my bag, the Larousse dictionary alone weighed five kilograms or maybe even more.
“someone has robbed the library” we could hear that in the ex Albert Camus school. ” Another blow from the three musketeers” : that was from mouth to ear, as if there were only us who were bad boys. The executive director in person came to class to question Alain:
“_... I don’t know ma’am
“_... it’s not me ma’am
That was his answer, as do these sons of native Arabs who you often hear them say something like that, not very efficient in French when asked
“_.... we will see if you will continue to gainsay when the police come to search your home… ._”
“_.... books ?.... I have always had books at home… my mother has always had books….she was teaching here
“_.... yes, we know it” interrupted the director
The police never came, it was Nadir who told me after a deadline that the file would have been closed. I was greatly relieved, I had fear in the belly. My uncle always recognize the Kassoirs son, he had grown up now and as he grew, he looked a lot more like his father. An ally… more than that… .a real fighter… my uncle remembered this first meeting with Albert…. this day when Past 7pm, my uncle was still in town, he found himself trapped, it was time for curfew. No one in the street... except the last French citizens returning home by car.
Taking advantage of the slightest darkness, he walked razing the walls. he had been spotted by a patrol of soldiers in Jeep, he succeed to distort company to them during the first moments. The notary’s office looked something like a bungalow or a small villa with a veranda at the entrance. Their eyes met there for the first time, Albert locking his door to go home, and my uncle looking for refuge. “_... sit there against the wall .... above all don’t run away .... I’ll bring you something
He opened his door again… my uncle crouched on the floor in that veranda… it looks like the Japanese position, that of a Samurai sitting on a tatami mat. This is what Muslims do inside a mosque. This is what my uncle used to do sitting on a carpet waiting for his favorite meal; the couscous, as if he knew he was invited to a person who was not the type to make a phone call to denounce him. No sooner had he entered than he immediately came out with a bottle of Ricard filled to a third ... the Jeep’s headlights on had just unmasked them both
“_... now have a drink ... _” he had said in a low voice, then he raised the tone:
“_... how many times would I have to tell you ... go and water you elsewhere, in your stable ...!
By this time, the patrol leader had already got out of the Jeep.
“_... do you want us to take him on board, Mr. Notary?
“_... oh ... he’s just a poor tramp from around here.... wait ... I’m going to water him well ... and with some good whiskey.... and here is the work, from now on, he will never come back to drink here
by unbuttoning the fly of his pants, my poor uncle was well served by the bartender ..... juice in the face. After attending this free lyrical show, the patrollers left with their vehicle.
So I said that one evening, Albert’s son came to call me to go out with him, and that in recent years my uncle had changed his tone towards the one who was considered for him as a son of martyrs. he advised me not to go out with him. that night my uncle opened the door for him and gave him a brief welcome, then went and locked himself in his room, Aladdin had brought with him a big radio cassette with two loud speakers, he held it with both hands against his chest. listening to music for my uncle is not his style at all, music and me: yes, we met, music and Alain whom I knew very well: that makes two.
“...what are you gonna do with that?...”
“_...we’ll just have a bit of fun...you’ll see..._”
“...I’m sorry... I can’t come with you tonight...
By the way, there was a second meeting between Albert the notary and my uncle during the revolution. This time it was not a simple routine check of the French patrollers, but a real armed clash. My uncle had been injured in the shoulder and he managed to climb a tree anyway, armed with two Kalashnikovs, his own and that of his companion who died instantly. he spent most of the night perched on this tree. A helicopter sweeping in the vicinity at low altitude, passed just overhead. downstairs there was a big wolf waiting for him because he was still bleeding from the shoulder. he had never seen one so impressively tall, he would have liked to shoot him right away, but there were still soldiers prowling around. Well sheltered up in the foliage, he begged the wolf:
“_... go away ... go away if you believe in god .... you are indeed a creature of god! … Look at that ”
he pointed his gun at the wolf and… TAC TAC, he maneuvered and the beast understood that he was ready to fire:
“_... you know what it is .. don’t you! .._”
Then, he put his gun away, even hiding it with only one hand behind him.
Before leaving, the wolf let out a loud howl, as if to tell the fighter that his wishes have been granted. At the first light of dawn, he came down from this tree, then he walked, he fell then got up again…. To the track which leads to the property of Kassoirs…. Then there, overwhelmed with pain and thirst, he collapsed. He was found and made look-after by Cathy Kassoir in person. When he came to himself and after having thanked them very much:
“_... where are the weapons? ..._”
“_... yes ... everything in its time when you’re ready.. _”
to enter the cellar, you have to go outside and go to the other facade, the one from which you can see the mountain, where the ground floor is high compared to the ground level, you enter through a small door. There are no stairs, you have to jump, it was like that when we were playing with Alain. But we never stay long in there… because there is a smell that I don’t like much…. My uncle must have smelled an unpleasant smell when he entered this cellar… .. he had already smelled it while burying his fellow combatants ….. a smell of dead.
I don’t know if you can smell the difference between dead bodies and that of animals “_.... they are here… ._” Albert pointed to a large wooden coffin, that of an adult, and there was another one next to it, smaller in size.
“_... you will come back another day to collect them, but not this time ... _”
he took many time coming to recover these famous Kalashnikov with their bullets magazine. forty four bullets. Me personally, my uncle had asked me at several times about this and not getting any affirmative answer, he insisted again: “_... yes I know, you are not going to tell him clearly that it is me who sent you ... invent him anything ... ... listen, I promise you something that you’ll transmit to him: when you will be big enough and you will know how to handle a weapon, I swear I would give you my automatic pistol
I was silent, he realized that I hadn’t got it yet
“_... tell him something like: this is an inheritance ... you, what did your notary father bequeath to you ... Heih? ... paperwork
There was other thing he told me about, the device for inserting several cartridges into the magazine of a repeating weapon. His veterans stuck two magazines side by side with each other with tape. When they opened fire, the magazine placed in the submachine gun emptied of its contents, then it was quickly withdrawn, reversed and there was another. It saves time. in such a fighting moment , time is not money, time is life. all that said to me, I finally could understand that at Alain’s, there were two Klashes with four bullet magazines. Now I see why he went to this house with the penguin, it was not just a courtesy visit. Sitting on a bed, I was looking at the photo album of my future mate’s parents… until the last page and the last photography. Alain was with me in this bedroom on the first floor, then I turned my head towards him saying: …….
He was no longer there. Downstairs in the big room, the Hadj (my uncle) had to do the same, leaving Zoulikha the maid, who was built with full buttocks all alone with a one-armed man.
Many singers and especially those of the rai who draw on our poetic heritage often repeat this line “la z’har la mimoun la argoub zine”
Argoub; is the hollow between the ankle and the Achilles tendon
This verse means: no luck no happiness no good argoub. In the scene; a woman for my son (Algerian film from the seventies) all the women were veiled in white, letting only their eyes appear, to choose, you must look down the argoub. If it’s full it’s good, if it’s hollow… ...one still wonders how these Westerners dare to scroll us forks women with hollow cheeks of undernourished, to make us swallow that this is the top model -… ..Beerk… .it makes you want to vomit. Let’s move on to Khaled the king of the rai and his famous hit: DI-DI which made him launch in Europe and beyond. He stole it from one of our singer (Miloud) and his flute companion (Cheikh el Harrad) which means; the rapist or rape master. It was in the early eighties. It is said that once, they went to record in a studio at Oran: “Where is your equipment? where is the orchestra? »And the two stars took their instruments out of their djellabas : a flute, or rather a reed cane, and a Kellouz or Guallal (tube drum which can exceed fifty centimetres) let’s get it over with. : all this introduces in the middle of this strange story to denounce this impostor of Khaled, this alleged king, who only repeats the verses and poems of poor people, like Miloud and el Harrad. Di-Di is a song from my town, the town of Kassoir the revenant.
let’s revert to my uncle and his sheep, he had gone down to the basement with a torch and Alain had followed him. With both hands he opened the first coffin ... nothing, then the second...when:
“_ .. you will not find anything in this coffin sir
He turned around sharpy, Alain had just scared out of him .... a demon fear ....but, he decided anyway to open this coffin, then he turned his head away ... a entire skeleton was there
“_... it’s Mr. Marcel
“_.... you mean Maurice along?”
“_... no sir it’s Marcel, and I don’t advise you to come here in the evening
“ _..and why not ?
“_.... he goes out in the evening
“_... come one here little boy .. ... in one of these coffins, there were two machine guns ... TATATAt ... you know, you must have played with it... ......didn’t you?
“_... you would have to ask that to Marcel mister ... he only goes out at night
Let’s return back to our sheep once and for all. so I was saying that that evening, Alain had come to my house with a radio cassette. Since the time of the Prophet Muhammad, the call to prayer has remained unchanged
_ ALLAH AKBAR _ (2 times)
_ there is no other god but god _ (2 times)
_ Mohamed is the prophet of God_ (2 times)
_ come to prayer _ (2 times)
The early Morning Prayer differs from the other four with only this additional sentence “prayer is better than sleep_ (2 times)”
What was heard through the loudspeakers of the mosque that day, and especially what did my uncle heard, the Hadj who never misses his dawn prayer
_ ALLAH AKBAR _ ALLAH AKBAR
_for prayer there is no hurry _stay in bed it’s still early
_Mohamed is a prophet of God_ stay in bed and fuck the buttocks
_ ALLAH AKBAR _ that’s what Mohamed used to do in bed
__ ALLAH AKBAR _
“_ .. never you will see this son of b again ... did you hear me ..._”
never my uncle had spoke to me in that tone of voice before.
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