Saturday, January 29, 2005

the scream

Last night, Friday, sitting at the nearest PC to the (open) door in the Internet Café here just off Omar Mukhtar street, I heard I noise like a woman screaming. Some absurd defence mechanism kicked-in and for a moment I thought it might be local boys fooling around, acting it – there are loads of kids in that area… But it was a woman screaming, and screaming and screaming. A loud cyclic wail of misery, a few hundred yards away, maybe.
Two lads went out to the street and looked in the direction of the keening, if that really is what that word means. It seemed the sound was disembodied. One of them came back in and muttered something in Arabic, a terror relieving joke, perhaps, because there was a smidgen of scared, quiet sniggering. I said to Julian, who happened to be next to me: “somebody’s being posted to Imsallata.” Joking the edge off horror.
It came to a definite end, quieting, tailing away with exhaustion to a long wail of despair. Such a terrible thing, whatever its cause, whoever she is.