He clutched his grandfather’s oud, strings towards him, as tightly and fiercely to his chest as his brothers their AK-47s when they’d gone to fight.
Perhaps, some day, he’ll learn to play it.
It was the only thing in the house untouched by the explosion. His grandmother, father, mother and little sister – scattered anatomised, almost atomised, aerosolised around the ruins.
His brothers? Who knows? He didn’t believe in anything any more. Felt nothing – neither despair nor hope. Grief nor anger.