Waiting in Ancienne Medina

casablanca

© Google – July 2016

He was waiting on a side street in Ancienne Medina. He wanted to go to Rick’s Café but she had other ideas. Even Daniel had to admit that visiting the only Jewish Cemetery in the Arab world was a novelty. She wasn’t looking for novelty, though. She was looking for their older brother.

Joel had been killed in a string of suicide bombings here almost ten years ago. Leah went to visit his grave. He wanted to be buried here rather than at home. Daniel couldn’t bring himself to go. He wanted to visit Rick’s. First though, he was waiting for the only surviving member of the bomber’s family to come out of the door up ahead. Daniel had been planning to kill him but terrorism had enough victims. “Let it end with me.”

Abdul ignored the young Jew loitering in the alley as he left for work.

I wrote this for the What Pegman Saw flash fiction writing challenge. The idea is to take a Google street maps image of a specific location and use it to inspire a short story no more than 150 words long. My word count is 147.

Today, the Pegman takes us to Casablanca, Morocco.

Yes, there were a string of suicide bombings in Casablanca in 2007 (the Google image was photographed in July 2016 so that’s when I set this story) and there is a Jewish Museum as well as a Jewish Cemetery there. There really is a Rick’s Cafe in the city styled to resemble the establishment featured in the 1942 film Casablanca starring Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, and Paul Henreid.

Casablanca has such a colorful history that it was hard to decide which sort of story to write, but I focused on the Jewish history of the area and its possible consequences today. No, the fact that today is Yom Kippur hasn’t escaped my notice.

To read more stories based on the prompt, go to InLinkz.com.

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15 thoughts on “Waiting in Ancienne Medina

  1. “Let it end with me” is a marvelous sentiment. If every soldier in the world were to put down their weapons and refuse to pick them up, war would end in an instant. But as Plato said, “When creating an ideal we may assume what we wish, but should avoid impossibilities.”

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    • I originally had Daniel killing Abdul in an act of vengeance, but I’ve written stories like that before. Today is Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement. Religious Jews all around the world spend the day in the synagogue fasting and praying. It is said that if you have sinned against God and ask His forgiveness, He will forgive, but if you’ve sinned against a person, you must ask that person’s forgiveness before God will forgive (even if the person chooses not to). I decided that my protagonist should take the moral high road.

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  2. “Let it end with me” is the message from your story – and in this case, it succeeds. There is one less killing; there is an end to this particular cycle of terror. If humanity is to survive, we all need to learn to say those words. It’s not an impossibility but a necessity.

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  3. I saw Rick’s cafe on the map I downloaded an image of – and did not realize it was fashioned after the movie – good idea for a business to do this – to give folks a destination place!

    and nice job on a sad, but modern topic –

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      • well that makes sense- a good idea to bring action to the town. It reminded me of how the people who owned the Paris cafe that Vincent van Gogh painted decided to make it a tourist destination. – and it is win win cos somehow we people get to connect to something we love and business people make moola – or hope to.
        and again, nice fiction.

        Liked by 1 person

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