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Huda Orfali

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Flower in The Cold
by Huda Orfali   

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Books by Huda Orfali
· Fisher Prince
· Blue Fire
                >> View all

Category: 

Inspirational

Publisher:  iUniverse ISBN-10:  0595011381 Type: 
Pages: 

120

Copyright:  Jan 7 2000
Fiction

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Flower in The Cold is the second collection of short stories produced by an ambitious creative writer; the first is Blue Fire.

Orfali’s collection enriches our understanding of the human nature, which teeters along a scale that hosts absolute love on one end and disgusting horror on the other. There are moments in the stories which move the reader to tearful eyes, moments which push out a muzzled outcry and moments which leave behind a vulnerable disgusted whisper.

Most of the key characters welcome death as the alternative option. Too sick and overloaded to live, they reject life and look for an eternal remedy. A remedy that imposes itself on you and leaves you with the arrogant satisfied feeling that YOU have made the decision.

Preface

Human beings have become more depressed than ever. All recent inventions and technologies have failed to bring them back the happiness they once experienced or, at least, thought they did.

Violence, grudge, racial discrimination, parental neglect, sexual abuse, disappointment, depressed love, betrayal, charred souls and animalized mentalities are all on the rise. Torn between death and life, human beings want to keep going but sometimes feel that death introduces them to the long awaited full stop. The full stop that draws a decisive line between life and death and puts an end to the sad moments we live, the grief we usually prefer to keep behind closed hearts, and the dream which very rarely realizes.

With our death the ends starts: end of pain, humiliation, incurable disease, agony, psychological torture and broken souls. With death we walk along a path, a new path where the unknown is probably much more tolerant than the known. However, how about the dear people that we leave behind? Is it fair to end our pain and ignite theirs? Will they one day appreciate? Will they help us when we decide to beg for no more than a decent death?

Flower in The Cold is the second collection of short stories produced by an ambitious creative writer; the first is Blue Fire. Orfali’s collection enriches our understanding of the human nature, which teeters along a scale that hosts absolute love on one end and disgusting horror on the other. There are moments in the stories which move the reader to tearful eyes, moments which push out a muzzled outcry and moments which leave behind a vulnerable disgusted whisper.

Most of the key characters welcome death as the alternative option. Too sick and overloaded to live, they reject life and look for an eternal remedy. A remedy that imposes itself on you and leaves you with the arrogant satisfied feeling that YOU have made the decision.

In a very simple straightforward language, Euthanasia rekindles the heated debate over the issue of assisted suicide. To Lorrie, the heroine, the pledge she made to the husband she loves is much more important than the legal and/or moral dimensions of the issue. The way the author shifts from the present to the past and again back to the present is highly a lauded technique, which helps dramatize the situation and enhance the feeling of loss.

Rosy Cheeks is a dismay cry of humanity that is ripped apart by racial discrimination and hatred based on where you come from than on who you are or what you have done to me. Humanity that crackles with tension and swims among the waves of highly troubled waters in search of love, the decent love which re-arranges the list of priorities and nurses it back to health.

Checkmate is a short story that makes fun of the American movies that sometimes forces the audience outside the sphere of reality into an imaginary world where everything goes and everything might happen. As all the ‘Marcs’ who throughout this collection stand for the flowery side of life (love, sacrifice, etc.), the Marc of Checkmate is well prepared for the death that irrigates the lives of the others.

In Swan Lake, the reader is swiftly and warmly invited into the world of another Marc with another set of moments to live and share. Marc this time is a physician whose name is on the waiting list for a heart transplant. Not to the reader’s surprise, Marc typically follows his ethical instincts and sacrifices his own life by leaving the heart for one of his patients, who very badly needs the operation. He flies to Paris to see his sister dancing. He chooses death as the alternative remedy and atonement for his father’s attempt to move his name to the top of the waiting list.

The Stableboy teems with cruelty, poverty, sexual abuse and parental neglect, which are all detached from the elements of time and place. The reader is encouraged to make a journey into the past that collaborates with the present and the future in producing a calamitous picture of humanity that sometimes stoops to the rank of animals. Vampires are by no means imaginary; they live among us, tarnish our souls and smear with black ink our white jasmines. This particular story leaves the reader feeling that anybody who assassinates an innocent bud in an innocent heart is a vampire.

Marc re-emerges in the title story Flower in The Cold. He is the widower and father of a dying son. This time, Marc is theoretically denied death. In practice, however, he is more dead than anybody else. The story is formidably written in the form of letters addressed to his dead wife Stephanie. No postman to deliver them, unfortunately. Marc emits his cries of pain into written words, words turn into unheard echoes and the little boy joins his mother with the wings he chooses to draw.

The picture is very bleak, we must admit, and the pain is blistering under the skin. Nevertheless, Huda Orfali leaves the door half-open for more Marcs to sneak through, to give us a wake-up call, and to incite the invincible human power which should be placed at the service of humanity.

Dr. Salma Haddad
© 2000

    
Excerpt
31 October 2000

Dear Stephanie,

William has failed to go into remission despite everything. Doctor Wilson told me today that he probably would not make it to New Year. He is suffering, Stephanie. Leukemia cells had spread to his brain.

I bought a cake and ten candles and went into his room. I approached his bed and held his little hand.
“What do you want for your birthday?” I asked.
“I want a red flower. Flowers remind me of my mother.”

I decorated the cake with the candles and filled the room with beautiful red flowers. I gave him his new accordion. He played a tune and I sang to him. Words were choking me but I forced myself to sing.

I lit the candles and sang until my voice hoarsened and became inaudible. I held him in my arms; he was shivering and moaning in pain.
“You can go,” I said and held him tight in my arms. “You can go, my love. You can go to your mother now. She will take care of you.”

He blew the candles but his breath was so weak that they didn’t blow out. Tears clouded my eyes. He held my hand and said,
“Don’t be sad, daddy. I’ll be with my mother.”
“Son, try again,” He blew once more with all the strength he’s got; the candles went out, Stephanie, and so did he.

Marc


Professional Reviews

A deep understanding of human nature!
Huda Orfali's first book, Blue Fire, received several strong reader reviews here at Amazon.com. Orfali's second book offers stories of people learning to deal with the harsh realities of life and death. Relying heavily on dialogue, Orfali shows people who must confront unexpected changes, including some tragic changes. The characters range from a ballerina, to a camera man, to a vampire.







One of my favorite selections is the title story, in which a father's letters help him examine his feelings about his son's illness.







Orfali gives realistic glimpses at the more difficult moments in people's lives. Still, she also celebrates the strength of human relationships and the protective love of parents for their children.







These stories reflect a deep understanding of human nature and a deep love for the written word.







Duane Simolke









capturing stories
The stories I read in this book capture the imagination and trigger a deep disgust for child-abusers.







The story Stableboy with its style and thoughts, was one of my favorites.







I was abused as a child and it gave me comfort to see the perpetrator punished at the end.



you author for this wonderful book





Fire and Cold
Flower in The Cold is a new production by an ambitious writer. After reading the first book by Orfali I was anxious to read more of her well-written and intriguing stories. This new book deals with taboos in our lives like euthanasia, sexual abuse and abortion. I'm impressed by her pro-life approach and critical eye for the problems of our society, also by her contradictory images of fire and cold. I wish the author luck and recommend her two books, Blue Fire and Flower in The Cold.





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Reader Reviews for "Flower in The Cold"

Reviewed by Angel 71 8/7/2005
Huda Orfali leaves the door half-open for more heros to sneak through, to give us a wake-up call, and to incite the invincible human power which should be placed at the service of humanity.
Reviewed by Michael Wells 7/15/2005
Very evocative themes are disscussed in this book uch as euthanasia and child abuse. The writer has a strong command on the written word and brings up those subjects for us to ponder. My favorite is Swan Lake when a doctor has to make a choice between his ethics and his own life. Well done, Huda
Reviewed by Chris Archer 2/10/2005
This is a very powerful and emotional book as well as your first one, Blue Fire. You're extremely talented and courageous, well done
Reviewed by Regis Auffray 2/2/2005
I so know you are good, Huda. Love and peace to you. Regis

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