TO ERR IS HUMAN: Book Excerpt
…Before Khaalid could blink, there was a huge explosion. A fist of orange flames, burst into the darkening sky, lighting it up. Thick, black smoke rose up and filled the air. Shards of glass and metal rained down, flying in all directions. Khaalid was flung violently backwards by the force of the blast. He landed on the ground, a few metres away from his previous spot.
Khaalid’s ears rang like bells, his butt hurt badly, and coloured stars lined his vision. In his shocked state, Khaalid could still make out various sounds in the background – the noise of glass breaking, the howls of men, and the screams of mothers calling to their children. The ground shook as it thundered with the footfalls of people running for their lives.
Carefully, he sat up and put his head between his knees to prevent himself from fainting. Feeling a bit better, he raised his head, eyes searching frantically for his father among the dozens of bodies on the ground.
Khaalid exhaled a huge sigh of relief as soon as he spotted his father close by.
“Baba! I am here!” Khaalid called out, waving to his father.
“Abu Bilaal! Alhamdulillah! Are you alright?” His father crawled to his side in an instant.
“I’m fine, Alhamdulillah. Baba, what happened?”
“A car exploded. A bomb must have been planted by those horrible terrorists.”
Khaalid’s eyes widened in fear. His body shook uncontrollably. “I am scared, Baba.”
His father held him firmly by the shoulders. “In shaa Allah, we will get out of here. But you must stay calm and promise to do exactly as I say, you hear me?”
Khaalid nodded, still shaking. They both turned to the sound of vehicle brakes being pulled. A Hilux truck pulled up in a clearing closeby, leaving a cloud of dust trailing in its wake. Five men, brandishing rifles alighted and began to shoot at the fleeing survivors. Khaalid glanced at his father, who swallowed hard and held a finger to his lips; a sign for him to be quiet. The men advanced in their direction, shooting at anything that moved…