Tag Archives: Zain Saeed

“Difficult Questions” – Fiction by Zain Saeed

Wounded Man - Ilya Repin, 1913
Wounded Man – Ilya Repin, 1913

When a man jumps into your car pointing a gun at your head and asks how much your life is worth, what’s the correct answer? Find out by reading “Difficult Questions,” Zain Saeed‘s short story from our Summer 2015 issue.

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WHEN HE SAID HE DIDN’T WANT MY PHONE I WAS DISAPPOINTED, not because I’d kept an extra phone in the car just for days like this and men like him, but because I realized this was going to be one of those days. I was going to remain stuck here on this little street with a gun pointed at me while I pled theatrically for my life and probably be about two or maybe three hours late in getting to the stock exchange depending on this man’s experience and current life situation. I was especially annoyed because I’d already used two out of my three monthly “I got mugged by a man on Tariq Road” excuses and was saving one for the day after Ahmed’s birthday. And now this stupid man had gone and ruined everything.

“Please don’t kill me, please don’t! I’ll do anything,” I said through the still rolled-up window.

“Unlock the doors gaandu.

Fuck me. He was a Clinger and a Swearer. Three hours easy. I made a mental note to apologize to Ahmed. I then unlocked the door and he came and sat in the back, gun pointing at my head.

“Now drive!”

“Of course of course, sir. Where to?”

“Just drive.”

Fucking aimless person.

I began to drive. He took his mask off and lowered the gun, pointing it at my butt so as not to be visible to the people that would get to work on time, lucky bastards. He looked about 19. Clean-shaven, puffy eyes, probably six feet tall, wore camouflage trousers. I wanted to ask him what war was on, but I felt he wouldn’t get the joke. Or maybe he was caught up in too many to tell me which.

Continue reading “Difficult Questions” – Fiction by Zain Saeed