The Day of the Key

This story started as my exploration of what will happen when Palestine is free. It’s based on Palestinian folklore about the cult of tombs, as well as the history of my family’s village, ‘Ayn Karim west of Jerusalem.

Then, I came to the prompt for week 2 of the Clarion Flash Fiction Workshop. The prompt is to write a story about a ritual that is interrupted…

I had no idea that I would get to the interruption just when Israel invaded Jenin Refugee Camp on July 3rd for what they call a ‘maintenance’ mission.

The story has taken quite a turn. As I was composing, the name of one of the characters–a supernatural being–came to me. I only found out later that the name I had heard means “Tomb” or “Grave” in Arabic.

Structurally, I have jumped around from the past to the present tense. I’m trying to decide what I’m going to do with that, because for once it feels appropriate somehow.

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