A gentle breeze blew through the coconut trees, the hollow spheres gnawing against each other as the sun began to set. Yellow and orange hues tinted the sky, birds whistled their tunes reaching out to the poor souls below. Their chirps filled the eerie silence. From afar, the quiet village seemed normal with no care or drama.
That was far from the reality.
Within the tin walls of houses and the clay kitchen floor lurked a dark evil, a force so strong that leaders turned the other way, refusing to acknowledge the horrors. These people, hypocrites to each other, spread lies like wildfire. Their shrill voices would scream every now and then, reopening old wounds in the villagers’ hearts.
They were vile, dangerous, and manipulating creatures, caring only for their own hearts, their own lives. In the darkness of the night, secrets were exchanged, stolen moments were exposed, and the levity of the whole situation was silenced. It seemed as though the entire village was just part of a sick twisted game.
Alas, they were not. The game they played was calculative. Every piece counted on the chessboard, every piece had importance, every piece was an act of personal sacrifice. The world was in chaos around them, but inside was where the cruelest enemies resided. An inner beast raged in each of their souls, ravaging the helpless and silencing the weak except for one particular family.
Across the road, an elderly man with a long graying beard, embraced his son who was the exact replica of his father. The son, a man of his early thirties, smiled down upon his two children, a daughter and son who clung to his body. A loving group of relatives surrounded them, cousins, aunts, sisters, and brothers, all with caring smiles that graced upon their lips.
Deep chuckles erupted from the men, and the elderly man gazed down at his son with affection. His one and only son among his three daughters, each were perfect in their own way. However, death was sweeping the land fast as hushed whispers echoed into the howls of the night. The once pure family was now tainted in blood.
Muslims were the majority, but out of the entire rural village, there was only one practicing family. One family put all their faith in Allah and His messengers. One family spoke the truth to everyone, withdrawing from the hopeless arguments that rang bells through the village. The people they surrounded themselves with were people of no shame, no morality, and their target was the one family that was actually true about all their intentions.