The Quest for Peace

Khaled GhlilatMarch 22, 2023Violence and HealingFiction

Artwork by Anya Sadozai, age 17

There is a city splattered with blood, where a lot of crimes are being committed.

Many families migrate to stay alive, and many houses are abandoned, but the question is: how can we prevent a malignant person from committing a crime?

No one can face an armed man barehanded, and that is the problem. It’s hard to evacuate all of the people, but how else can we find a solution?

There isn’t anything surprising in this city, you must expect everything in this rude place full of malignant people. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a blue sky, now I just see a sky that reflects violence—raised on wrong thoughts, racism, and a hundred reasons that would make people murderers.

A man full of wisdom, with a cigarette between his fingers, has all the solutions in his hands. How can we find him and talk with him?

Trying to find his house, we must emphasize that he is trustworthy. Asking and asking, taking opinions and trying to escape this nightmare, trying to stay alive. Before we go to the man’s house, we must be sure that our family is safe. How can we do that? I think we must risk a lot to find a solution. Tears are dropping down, but we must take this bold step. We’ve started to travel; we’ve started the journey….

We are suffering a lot on this journey, and we aren’t sure if it will succeed, if we’ll return, or if our families will be okay. But we must continue, we mustn’t let our feelings stop us. Finally, we arrive. Who is this man? When we enter, we realize that he’s a witch.

“Have a seat,” he says. We are so nervous, but we must stay solid. We tell him the city’s name, and he already knows our problems. “Give me a week and I’ll give you a solution.”

Fire is burning underneath us, we can’t wait… In one week, he calls us back. We are so nervous, but when we enter and see him smiling, we calm down a little bit.

“The problem is in their minds; we must start healing them in a specific way.” We are sure that he’ll find a way to heal them, because he’s a witch, but he must hurry up.

“I can find a solution but all of you must go with me for it to succeed.”

“What is it?”

“There is a spirit from another world, and I can’t go alone, if you want the magic to succeed come with me,” he says in a scary voice. We are so anxious, but a lot of people say that he’s green-thumbed in magic. Let us go and rely on him.

“Tomorrow we must start our biggest journey,” he says.

“What’s the spirit, and what are we going to do with it and what’s the plan?”

“You’ll know tomorrow morning.”

In the morning when we wake up, he brings a boat and a few spirits that will help us travel to the second world. When we get on the boat, he tells us, “the spirit that we want to get will make the people peaceful, and I’m going to let it rain.”

“How could you let the clouds rain?”

“I’ll tell you later, but we must go now…”

We start to move; he wants to go to a place where there isn’t anyone living. When we arrive, and before doing magic, he gives us a compass and says, “there is a possibility to get lost so use the compass to go to the north.”

When he does the magic a lot of things change. I am confused and panicked, I don’t feel right, and I’m losing my consciousness. When I wake up, I don’t see anyone around me. I hear a lot of voices and I’m listening. I’m bleeding and I must move. I remember that the witch gave me a compass to go to the north. Let me use it. I’m walking in a world where everything is terrifying, but I must cope with it. I’ve entered a place that looks like a forest in our world, I ought to expect that anything that could happen. Out of the blue, I see a shadow behind me and someone calls my name. I am frightened and I start to run. He starts to chase me and I hide behind a tree. After a few seconds he sees me and says, “stop hiding, I'm your friend.”

When I see him, he says, “when we traveled to this world something weird happened that made us get lost, but let us go north like the magician said.”

We start walking, trying to avoid any creature that could cause any kind of damage or hurt us. We feel that something is keeping an eye on us. Instantaneously, a creature appears and I let out a scream.

“It’s not safe here, we must walk faster,” my friend says. We return to walking, expecting everything, and I find a book on the ground. It’s a guide-book for this vague world. When I begin reading the book, the creature appears again, but this time it goes behind me and wants to jump at me. Fortunately, the witch appears and eliminates it.

“This world is a game, if you aren’t strong enough, you’ll get eliminated," the witch says. “Now let’s continue our journey.”

While we are walking the magician says, “the book that you thought will guide you is cursed, and it’s made to distract you. Regardless, we’ve arrived. That rock must be broken, and then we’ll take what’s inside it to make the spirit.” We start smashing the rock, when it has been broken, a powder falls out that looks like concrete. “And now we’ve got the solution, let us return to our world and implement the method.”

As we travel back to our original world, the witch says, “when we return to our world, don’t go out in the evening. I’ll go up to the sky and make magic up there to make it rain”.

“That’s clear, but what are you doing now?”

“Abracadabra… and now we’ve returned! Go to your house and stay in it until tomorrow morning.”

“My house is so far away, let me go to my friend’s house until tomorrow morning.”

At dawn, a very heavy rain is falling, every drop of rain looks like a shining pearl. When it stops raining, I know that I can return to my house. Let me see my family now. On the way to my house, I see my neighbor and he tells me that the city became peaceful, but unfortunately, my family was murdered.

Khaled Ghlilat is a 14-year-old from Madaba, Jordan.