Open 2021 Open Stories - Sadeq Abbasi



By Sadeq Abbasi


The high wall of Firepolis was visible from afar. When San got closer, all he could see was a high wall enclosing the city, a stone wall that seemed to be several thousand years old. He tried to find a way to enter the city, but there seemed to be no entrance. He knew it should be a sign waiting for him to show the way.


The movement of his shadow on the wall displayed the strength of the stones. While he was getting tired, his eyes fell on a hole. There was no path to catch the hole. He shouted several times so that maybe someone would hear his voice. After long waiting, suddenly, the face of a pretty girl appeared. It seemed the sunlight was annoying her beautiful eyes. When she saw him, her face immediately disappeared in fear. But it did not take long for her moon-like face to slowly rise from behind the hardness and blackness of the rocks. San asked her to show the way to the city, but Mahsan was silent. The sound of a parade of soldiers signalled their approach. Mahsan looked behind in horror. She broke the silence; "When you hear a loud song describing the fire, you can enter," she said, pointing to an underground passage. Then she covered the hole and disappeared.


Could hear the song of fire when he was passing the unguarded entrance. When he entered, He was shocked by the scene in front of him. The polis was entirely covered and was breathing under the darkness. It was difficult for him to breathe unlike the residents. The soot of fire was sitting on the walls and houses. The colour of the city was black and white, and even the faces of the children were not safe from the soot.


San had easily hidden in the dark. People were going in groups with extinguished fireboxes in hand towards a large building with a light of fire behind its window. The path was so dark that some people fell to the ground and could hardly find their fireboxes and sometimes could not find them. San walked behind them and got there.

It was a spacious and splendid place. Sunlight came in through a hole in the ceiling, illuminating a large, crystalline statue. The statue was situated so that no one could see the source of light. In front of the statue was a large fireplace guarded by men with star-shaped signs. "Fire is life, love is a disease, and the way of truth is obedience." One of them sang loudly, people repeated.


People were organized into groups and lit their fireboxes with rhythmic movements and rhythmic whispers. Mahsan's sunburned cheeks had distinguished her from the rest. People thought she was sick and shunned her. She had also come here to carry a flame to salvage her in the darkness. She had no choice because she would undoubtedly fall to the ground without the light of a fire. After the fire ceremony, People returned to their homes with flames in hand.


The alleys were empty in a short time. There was no sound of Childish play, laughter, or singing. San knew that if the soldiers found him, they would burn him in the fire. He followed Mahsan to get help at the first opportunity. Mahsan was living in a house near the wall with his younger brother, Erfan. Years ago, because of the intensity of the sunburn on their parent's faces, they were called cursed and burned in the fire.


San stepped forward when Mahsan was hanging his flame on the wall of his house. Her beautiful face stunned him. A pretty face that was empty of emotion and had never seen a smile. Because of the fear of the soldiers, Mahsan immediately took him inside the house. A small house with no painting on the walls except soot. Erfan was surprised to see San and was eager to hear from the outside world. San began to talk about it while Mahsan and his brother listened with open eyes and a questioning look.


“Should not sacrifice Freedom from darkness for unreal peace in captivity," San said. He asked them to help him find a way to rescue the city. But they had difficult work to do because the guards of the great fireplace did not want such a thing. The worse was the people who felt indebted to those who provided security and fire.


After hearing San's words, Curious Erfan hurried to the hole to see the sun as soon as possible. He was stunned by the beauty of the bright world suddenly the soldiers shouted. The soldiers wore a piece of textile over their eyes that never allowed them to see the sunlight. They just obeyed the commands. They seemed to have been born loyal to power. They immediately covered the hole and arrested him violently. His punishment was burning in the holy fire during the next fire ceremony, like the fate that befell his parents.


The fire ceremony started earlier than ever. San and Mahsan were in the crowd, but they could not do anything. The soldiers brought Erfan handcuffed next to the crystal statue. His crime was endangering the security of the city. The people shouted to burn him as soon as possible. Erfan looked at the light shining on the crystal statue, smiled. As if he had achieved what he wanted in his short life. He was now satisfied with death. The people shouted louder to show their satisfaction with the burning wrongdoer. Mahsan and San turned their faces with tears in eyes.


Moments later, while could be heard the screaming of burning, something strange happened. The crowd rushed to the statue. When San and Mahsan turned their heads, they encountered a shocking scene; No more screaming heard from Erfan, crashed statue on the ground, and appeared hole of sunlight.


When the soldiers tried to throw Erfan into the fire, He kicked in the weak leg of the statue. Mahsan and San were shocked. They were like a stone among the people who went into the hole like a flowing river. No need to further explanation sunlight had stunned the people. The resistance of the soldiers was useless. Erfan had joined to the pure peace while he revealed the sun and made it clear to everyone that his parents were not sick.

Now all the people had seen the hole. Most of them demanded the destruction of the walls. Some people, whose habit of darkness had blinded them, did not agree. Finally, the majority won and broke the barriers. They could see the light that was their absolute right. They washed away the diseases of darkness under the sunlight. They destroyed the city, rebuilt the houses, and began to live life in the light.


Sadeq Abbasi from Iran is PhD student of physics major in Shanghai Jiao Tong University.


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