Page 12 - July 2021 Litterateur
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Mehreen  Ahmed  is  widely  published  and  critically  acclaimed  by
                                                          Midwest Book Review,DD Magazine,The Wild Atlantic Book Club to
                                                          name a few. Her short stories are a winner in The Waterloo Short
                                                          Story Competition, Shortlisted in Cogito Literary Journal Contest, a
                                                          Finalist  in  the  Fourth  Adelaide  Literary  Award  Contest,  winner  in
                                                          The  Cabinet  of  Heed  stream-of-consciousness  challenge.  Her
                                                          works  are  three-time  nominated  for  The  Best  of  the  Net
                                                          Awards,nominated  for  the  Pushcart  Prize  Award,two-time
                                                          nominated  for  Aurealis  Awards.  Her  book  is  an  announced
                                                          Drunken Druid's Editor's Choice.

                                          Mehreen Ahmed, Australia

                                                               Pink Toenails

                    Then  the  mountains  spoke.  Voiced  it  in  chorus,  on  the  ancient  land  of  Turag.  A

                    world where trees walked, winds cried, rivers sang and the mountains talked. This
                    place,  not  for  humans  to  reside  anymore,  but  for  natural  lives  and  artificial
                    intelligence.  Turag,  yes,  this  place,  because  humans  have  long  been  obliterated,

                    like  dinosaurs  before  them.  Since  then  robots  have  replaced  them.  The  organic
                    world even as we speak, ceased to exist, as autumnal dirge swept through the pine

                    forests of dead wood.
                               They all witnessed it, the sky, the oceans and the mountains. But their voices

                    couldn’t’t be heard. In the days of humans, everyone thought they were mute, who
                    neither  heard,  nor  spoke.  But  humans  were  wrong.  They  communicated  and

                    witnessed every human history. Humans didn’t see that they saw. Just as well, they
                    saw  the  end  of  the  world.  They  saw  it  all  coming.  There  was  too  much  clunky
                    background noise. Humans were really a noisy lot.

                               Turag, once a lush plateau. Birds frolicked in the rain. Wheat and rice grass
                    grew, and wavered under an autumn sky. Children played around, while mothers

                    bar-b-qued  corn  over  open  fire-pits.  Smoke  nearly  choked  the  neighboring
                    mountains of the plateau. But the mountains never complained. They smiled and

                    took it all in their stride. They waited patiently for a miracle to happen.
                    In the meantime, billions of years of civilization passed. Generations toppled one

                    another. Kings died to make way for the new. Power corrupted Kings. Mighty Kings
                    they might have been, who won battles, killed people on the mountain steppes. The
                    green fields turned scarlet, replacing the many resplendent shades. But wins and

                    expansions were all that mattered to the Kings, one more despotic than the other,
                    often  sacrificed  the  innocent  for  self-aggrandizement,  cared  not  much  at  all  for

                    justice, whether or not justice was mete out. Then a time came, when nature

                                                                                                    EDITED BY SHAJIL ANTHRU 12

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