Forced Return

My short story about aid workers in Darfur. I have no reason to believe it narrowly missed a Pulitzer Prize, but many thanks to the literary journal Confrontation for publishing this in their special Issue #100. Click here for the pdf:  Forced Return

Here’s the opening paragraph.

He knows where her eyes will be without turning. About
three meters to his right. The miniature jean jacket rolled
at the sleeves; blond hair that must be weightless. The boy
looks about eighteen months, maybe a month or two younger. Weight
first on his toes then teetering heelward, unsteady in either course.

One thought on “Forced Return”

  1. Dear Marc,

    Just yesterday afternoon I started reading your blog… all by a really strange coincidence, and now, 24 hours later I can tell you.. I am hooked!

    I don’t know how many blogs entries I have read so far, because I opened them in many windows, and I kept jumping from to the other.. without stopping.. well, just to sleep or cook.

    Reading what you wrote, transferred me to a totally new dimension, of our world.
    it is sarcastically sad, that one of the cores of my Faith(Islam) is helping needy people all over the world, however, you don’t see this happening much among us (Muslims), actually it barely happens, apart from shy underfunded projects done by the Red Crescent in a disorganised manner around the world.

    Reading your articles made me feel disgusted and alienated from my surroundings , although as I told you, it has been for only 24 hours now!
    I feel that I live in a superficial phony environment, I live among people who don’t really now anything about The Human Suffering outside their circle. I live in the middle east, in one of the wealthiest countries in the area, and people here including my very close friends have a very narrow mind about anything or anyone that lives in the less fortunate countries in the world… I can go for hours describing the frivolous community that I unfortunately live within.. but, this is not why I am writing you.

    I needed to write you to tell you that I consider you very lucky that you have worked for years and years with the less fortunate people in the world, and that I think you should be very proud of yourself for doing that all “voluntarily” for almost half of your life..

    I wish I can be like you, and like all the others that do the same, I wish I can go, and help people with my own hands, I wish that the help I can offer is not the few dollars I put in the charity boxes at the supermarket cashiers every now and then. but due to cultural and social obligations, I know that I can’t.. at least not now and not in the near future either.

    I would really want to talk and discuss with you more.. about everything you have done, everywhere you have visited and every ill-fated person you have met.
    maybe one day I will be able to. as for now, I want to assure you that reading your blog will become one of my daily routines, just like checking my Facebook account and my whatsapp.

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