Shahzad Afiq Al-Azad here. I'm afraid things are no better: if anything, things continue to grow worse.
I am getting most worried: Father has not returned from the store yet, and it has been several hours. I'm scared he might be lying in the street, mortally wounded or possibly dying ... Mother is beside herself with fear over the fate of her husband ...
Every time I see a man walking outside, I think one of two things: it may be 1.) Father, or 2.) worse, an insurgent soldier from the Taliban, who is bent on nothing more than destroying all who do not believe in their twisted ways.
I'm terrified that Father might join my brothers, Mahood and Ali, both, of whom, died: Mahood, who was thirteen, died three years ago; as for Ali, he was but an infant; he died in his mother's arms after being shot. Somehow the bullet missed Mother, but it hit Ali, killing him instantly. I still miss my brothers very, very much, and as I think about what happened to them, a burning hate rages deep within me.
Every so often, I hear the distant boom of artillery fire, and the rolling thunder of it echoing in the hills; at night, I see the flashes, which reminds me so much of distant lightning. It seems we are only going to get a rainstorm, but I know the true reason: we are at war with an enemy, and they will stop at nothing to get their way.
Well, I am sorry to cut this short, but I hear footsteps outside, and I see shadows lurking on the walls. I pray it is only Father and not an enemy soldier bent on destroying me and my family! Say some prayers for us; I would greatly appreciate it! I have to hide before someone sees me. So goodbye for now!
*to be continued.*