Let Me Burn!

Let Me Burn!

A Story by Usman Muhammad
"

Guilt is perhaps the most painful companion of death -Coco

"
"Let me burn! Let me burn!" were his words before leaving the house. He was looking perturbed that day. Maybe there was something sinister haunting him so badly that he couldn't even pretend to live a normal life which he has been pretending to live for the most part of his life. Christopher was considered an important member of society. He had such calmness and patience in his attitude that people used to admire him for such graceful personality. But today all his gracefulness seemed as a veil, formulated to disguise something horrifying he had done in the past. Something too sinful to even imagine.

As soon as he left the house, his wife Samantha ran after him. She was intrigued and worried at the same 
time. She wanted to know the cause of such tormenting pain. What else could she do? He was her 
husband. It did not matter to her what he had done in the past. She only wanted him to be with her so she 
can walk again as a symbol of dignity and power in the same society where her husband was pretending 
to be someone else. There were many people in her life, but she loved him above them all. She tried to follow him on his way out, but Christopher was nowhere to be seen.

Christopher tried to catch his breath on the way. He was sweating, tired and just wanted to die. He 
was tired of pretending to be someone else, tired of living a life filled with regret. In fact, he was tired of his very presence on this earth
. He had been living a life which nobody knew existed. He stopped for a moment, looked around 
to see the emptiness of this filthy world where everything was burning in front of him. He gasped deeply, thinking of something -- he smiled, trying to tell himself that IT was the only way to live again. An act of self destruction for reconstruction.

He started running towards the nearby bridge below which a river was flowing with its full wrath. It 
was a place where monsters like him used to unveil their dark secrets. Some monsters would come 
back and some wouldn't. It was up to nature to decide. Everyone was treated according to severity of 
their actions and madness of their past. There was no thing such as "Injustice" in this part of the 
world. Hearings were heard and actions were taken immediately. In this place there was no mercy for 
cruelty but only for a mistake, a true mistake. In fact, in this part of world monsters like him used to find 
life by giving away their lives. Samantha knew where he would go. She came back and started her car 
and drove to the same place where she was expecting him to be. He was sitting on the edge of the 
bridge. "Christopher!" she rushed towards her husband. "Are you alright?" she asked with care, "You are 
scaring me. What happened?", but no answer came back. She was worried about him but Christopher 
was not responding to her questions. "Talk to me please, talk to me." she asked him in a calm tone trying 
to soothe him. 

Christopher with a smile on his face expressing his regret, told her "Samantha you don't know 
anything about me. After what I am about to tell you, you will understand everything and your love for 
me will be no more." then he took a deep breath as if remembering something "I killed him just because 
he was my best friend. I was badly involved in drugs those days. He told me many times to stop it but I 
was not ready for it. I told him to give me sometime and threatened him not to tell my family about this 
but he kept insisting that it was for my own good, that he wanted to help me and to put me out of this 
miserable life". Christopher looked at the sky and yelped loudly "But why? I told him not to do this but he 
did. He thought I was his friend and won't do anything else beside threatening him but what I did was the 
most terrible thing one can imagine. I went to his house where he was watching T.V and without thinking 
of consequences I pulled the trigger and few seconds later my best friend was lying on the floor". 

A moaning sound came out of Samantha's mouth. She was horrified to hear the story and wanted him 
to stop. Whereas Christopher's face was flushing with blood. A cold expression came over his face. He looked at her and said 
 "As soon as I killed him, his seven year old boy came out of his room and watching the blood of 
his beloved father he ran towards him".“But it was too late!” He sobbed and shouted at nobody in 
particular. He was shaking in rage, angry at himself, angry at his past, and angry at who he had become. 
“It was too late Samantha!” She looked away as he looked at her. “I was afraid! I had to do it, the boy … 
the boy had seen too much. I had to kill him too. I just … I just had to!” Samantha leaned back and got 
up as if she had seen something terrible, she was hoping that he was not her husband but someone else 
and all this was a dream and will be over soon.

Christopher without noticing the fear on the face of Samantha continued "Sometimes I wish....I wish 
I could rewind time like they do in movies.... Why do they give us hope when it is impossible." He took 
sand in his hands and playing with it slowly, letting it escape from his fingers totally showing he was not 
in his senses. He knew death was certain today but somewhere in his heart he was not ready for 
it. Samantha knew what he was trying to tell her by his awkward gestures. He was symbolizing his 
death, trying to tell her that he was no more her husband and she was free. Samantha's world was shook 
upside down. She tried to relax him but Christopher burst into tears and started moaning like Samantha 
had never seen him. "Where are you Richard? Free me from this hell". He was shouting wildly " Richard 
i know you are not dead, stop playing games, we are grown ups. Stop it....Please stop it ". He 
was behaving madly, his body was trembling and just when he was about to fall Samantha held him. 
"Stop it. Come home with me and we will figure this out." Samantha said in a calm voice taking him by 
his arm, trying to calm him.

Closing his eyes, he said in a resolute tone "There is no way out Samantha. This is the pit i dug very 
long time ago and now it is calling me, it's calling its owner. Why don't you understand taking someone 
else life is not easy, but for me it was too easy and that is what haunts me, it keeps me from sleeping." 
Samantha was looking at the man whom she had loved so much. She was watching him falling 
apart like an old building decomposing itself. Christopher in weak voice asked Samantha "Look 
Samantha....look at me and see the power of guilt, it has cursed me. This power will always catch you. It 
is independent of time. Look at me and see how it has ruined me slowly by taking away the peace from 
my soul." Christopher looked at the river and stood up,
 closing his fists together, "You know what to do now, just push me from this edge. Do this for me, 
give my soul some peace and free me from this miserable life."

Samantha knew the rules of this world. She also knew what he was asking. But she was not ready 
for it. Some hope was preventing her from that little push. But just then the whole story began to repeat 
in her mind. A child was asking her to help him. A voice of Richard echoed in her mind "Do 
justice, otherwise you will never find peace in your life". Fear of guilt got her that moment and after a 
long silence, with tear in her eyes, she said "I love you Christopher but what you have done is 
beyond forgiveness. I hope you find peace. I pray for your forgiveness." her voice was trembling. She was 
barely able to speak any word. She knew she was going against her will. Her voice was barely audible as 
she continued "I have known you for very long time and you have been very good to me throughout my 
life.....(sighs) but then there is justice; eternal and righteous." With these words she looked at him. He 
was smiling while a stream of tears was flowing down his furrow cheeks. 
Just when she was about to 
push him, Christopher stepped forward, raising his hands up for a prayer "God, have mercy on me, for all the sins i have done in my life." 
and jumped into the river. His body was crushed when it landed on a rock. The impurity of his soul was 
too much for this pure river. His merciless body was rejected and was thrown away on the bank of the 
river.

Now the world was calm but she was left upside down. World seemed to be falling apart in front of her. 
"Christopher! Christopher!" She started screaming like she was being ripped or murdered. She 
bent forward and pressing her palms on the soil looked at her Christopher, who was free from his 
miserable life but not the way Richard wanted. One more monster was lying down there with many 
others. Her Christopher abandoned her forever. In search of peace he took away the peace of Samantha 
and she was left alone with the guilt for not helping her husband.


© 2016 Usman Muhammad



Author's Note

Usman Muhammad
The credit goes to Edmund A.E Reilly for helping me out. Thanks Edmund.
Please give feedback as it will help me to improve myself.

My Review

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Featured Review

Wow. This story is very intense. The way in which it is constructed makes for a fast-paced read, which compliments the theme of the inevitability of guilt and death. However, if you're looking for suggestions, I would say, slow things down a bit. Separate the dialogue instead of incorporating both voices into the same paragraph. Vary your sentence structure - there is already some variety present, but the majority of the story is rather short, choppy sentences. Again, these create an interesting tone of inescapability, but you can make things even more suspenseful and dramatic, as well as lend more interest to the piece overall, by varying the length of your sentences. Make certain phrases short. Add emphasis. Drop verbal "bombs." Draw out other sentences to almost-inconceivable length, adding detail after dramatic detail, building tension and suspense with every passing word and drawing your reader's attention deeper and deeper into the shocking situation unfolding before his or her eyes until finally, you reveal the ultimate significance of what has been said. (See what I did there?) :) I really like the image of the pit that is "calling to its owner", and the repetition of "It was too late" in regards to the murder is truly chilling, if you'll excuse the cliché. :) The twist at the end on the significance and cause of guilt is also intriguing. Overall, nicely written!

Posted 1 Year Ago


2 of 2 people found this review constructive.

Usman Muhammad

1 Year Ago

Thanks Alicia for reading and reviewing my story. Your constructive review is very helpful and i can.. read more
AliciaB

1 Year Ago

You are most welcome! :)



Reviews

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LM
You know how to take drama to a whole other level through your compelling storyline.Even though it was a little choppy it still hooked me from the very first word to the very last. I felt a sense of being torn, pain and guilt most of all. It was very intense and chilling. There were several points where I wanted to cry and yell all at the same time because of the craziness of it all. Some bumps here and there but overall I loved it!

Posted 1 Year Ago


A very strong story, Usman.

There is no prayers for the guilty and no escape from the actions of the past. People make mistakes and try to redeem themselves. However some mistakes can not be forgiven and the pain and guilt lingers and torments the soul. At this point any way out is an escape from a living hell.

Your story has a strong theme. You can always work on your grammar and punctuation as you write more and accumulate more tricks of the writing trade.

Overall, a very solid effort. Intensely written.

Posted 1 Year Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Usman Muhammad

1 Year Ago

Thanks Doodley for this encouraging review. I am working on my grammar and I hope things will get be.. read more
Well this is an interesting piece. The storyline is nice and I can totally tell that it was very well thought out. There were some grammatical error, but they did not erode the storyline one bit. I especially liked that you used a lot of adjectives so as to paint a clearer picture in the mind of the reader. I do however, question the protagonist's love for his wife in that he wanted her to help him by killing him, which would only have cursed her with the same guilt that plagued him. But then she ended up feeling guilty anyway, for not killing him. Its kinda twisted but that makes it better. Great job.

Posted 1 Year Ago


One of the best written stories I have read in quite some time. Of all the lines, the best to me:

"Closing his eyes, he said in a resolute tone "There is no way out Samantha. This is the pit i dug very long time ago and now it is calling me, it's calling its owner. Why don't you understand taking someone
else life is not easy, but for me it was too easy and that is what haunts me, it keeps me from sleeping.""

I could literally feel it.
Brilliant.

Posted 1 Year Ago


Usman Muhammad

1 Year Ago

Thank you Fahmida for reading this story. I am glad you liked it. Your review is full of encourageme.. read more
This comment has been deleted by the poster.
now this is what i was talking about in my other review.......
let your pen free.....
this is fantastic.......
mystery held well......disclosed well.......invoking emotions at each reveal......
characters given much thought and depth.........

"He started running towards the nearby bridge below which a river was flowing with its full wrath. It was a place where monsters like him used to unveil their dark secrets. Some monsters would come
back and some wouldn't. It was up to nature to decide. Everyone was treated according to severity of
their actions and madness of their past. There was no thing such as "Injustice" in this part of the
world. "

i loved these lines.......bravo!!!!
keep up the good work Usman......
i loved it!!!!
:)


Posted 1 Year Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Amazing write such intense story a theme of an eye for eye just breath taking

Posted 1 Year Ago


I really liked this story. I didn't really like Samantha, but the prose is really good! I like your tone and style, and the atmosphere you create. Keep writing :)

Posted 1 Year Ago


A very intense and nicely paced tale. Guilt eats a person from inside and that is what happened to Christopher.
You can further improve this story by more emphasis on each character and their dialogue. That way the reader can have a better feeling of the characters that you have portrayed.
An interesting story and well written.

Posted 1 Year Ago


Well, Usman, I applaud your story. It's clear you've put a fair amount of effort into it. My main complaint with this piece is the style with which it was narrated in. It feels very nonpersonal, meaning I didn't feel very connected to the characters. It's fine to have narratives where it's completely external, but this story didn't feel completely in that style. For what you have, try putting more emphasis on what the characters feel, describe what they experience, etc. Additionally, don't be afraid to take your time and break things up a bit more.

Posted 1 Year Ago


Usman Muhammad

1 Year Ago

Thanks Clifford for reading my story. I agree with you that this story feels non-personal. The main .. read more
Wow. This story is really intense and packed with feelings. The way you have mentioned every emotion is just flawless. Your writing is very inspiring. Grammar mistakes are something that you need to work on. Otherwise its spot on. And your choice of words is really impressive. Keep up the good work. Looking forward to reading your other stories.

Posted 1 Year Ago


Usman Muhammad

1 Year Ago

Thanks Hania for reading my story, I am glad that you liked it and considered it worth reading.
hania azhar

1 Year Ago

You are welcome. :)

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28 Reviews
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Added on May 13, 2016
Last Updated on May 17, 2016
Tags: Guilt, love, death, fear, murder, suicide, honesty.

Author

Usman Muhammad
Usman Muhammad

Islamabad, Pakistan



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