Extract from Syriacide

By Michael Mulvihill

I watched how the shrapnel from the shelling tore into the streets like they were made of paper. I wondered how in turn they would cut into a human body?

I walked with a bag of clothes and a wallet full of money that I saved. I walked on roads covered in wreckage and viewed plumes of dust coming out of recently bombed out buildings. I had a feeling at all times that I was in the target range of guns, like a wounded animal, it was only matter of time before I would be put down.

The dilapidation, the depopulation, the destruction, it was all around me, every inch of the way, houses half devoured and destroyed, bullet ridden walls and cars, burnt out cars with charred bodies, armored vehicles that once shook from side to side whilst firing at buildings, now alight with flames. Rocks and holes used for cover and to burrow tunnels to dodge zones in the heat of fire. Buildings and homes turned to rubble, this industrial city looking like the aftermath of the apocalypse, for the people had almost disappeared. Could nuclear war  look very differently?

Just a few years ago the city looked like any normal place in the world. Now all you can see is buildings that have been reduced to empty shells, smashed to pieces by artillery fire and bombing runs.

I kept walking. If I could walk to freedom I would have. I coughed intermittently from ingesting the fumes from a truck set on fire. The nasty, noxious smells of burning rubber almost too much to tolerate. A motorcyclist drove past me.  Bombs and gun fire erupted and I had no idea who was fighting.

There are hundreds of factions warring. Who brought them all here, what the hell do they want, what good will they do? I was in no man’s land, like a tiny chicken in the middle of a dusty street surrounded by foxes waiting to snap me in two.

I wondered who was responsible for Syria’s demise? Seriously, the question sounds to me mad and I am insane for asking this, because when I think of this butchery, I only feel heartache. I have lived for a time and place where carnage is so normal that it feels like Syria has turned occult. That it is a land that is ruled by several blood thirsty deities that are overseen by their warlords who ask their minions for a daily blood based sacrifice. It feels like they have people in charge  measuring the units of blood discharged, the amount of limbs broken, the number of people left with amputations, paralysis, burns, grotesque as this may be, not only they wanted to kill, they wanted to hurt sadistically.

Syria was not turning, it had turned into a no man’s land culled with human sacrifice. Maybe they wished to cull us so we wouldn’t profit from the recently discovered reserves of oil in The Golan Heights. Maybe we had to be killed off so that superpowers could lay claim to the land. Or perhaps we were being displaced from our land, bombed out of our apartments so that extremists could eventually sack Damascus and we all could start breathing the free air of democracy.  I walked until such a time that I could conclude hope was barren for me.  I felt only adversity awaited me. Than it dawned on me, what home was left for me, there was no home?

I walked on land that was obviously a makeshift graveyard. Soon there would be mass graves here, just like in the Sinjar Province of Northern Iraq where whole families of sons, mothers, and daughters would be disposed of with landmines attached to the grave, in order to prime optimum carnage in the discovery of this atrocity.

I had to tell myself that the only thing I brought with me when leaving was my dignity. I had my gun concealed in my coat jacket. I guess one way or another I was going to crawl myself out of this mess.

Above me darkness was coming. I knew I reached a part of the city that was once an extremist district, but now it was a no man’s land. I sat down in an abandoned building. Unsurprisingly the walls were littered with terrorist graffiti. I inspected the building to see if there were wired explosives or an underground bunker/tunnel, for they often burrowed like rabbits. I found nothing of this kind.

I found Flags, balaclavas and a sales report of Palmyran artefacts with pictures attached. There were even boxes, black wooden boxes filled with hand grenades and correspondence from the ilk of terror kings  demanding any archaeology workers to be grilled about the ancient secret treasures which the deserts of Syria had concealed.

There was a separate box filled with dollars which I stuffed into my bag. I also discovered an essay by a 14 years old girl wrote. She was called her a devil worshipper and publicly executed her for this the simplest of essays.


These were the hordes who came to Syria. That kill people for simply self-expression, who create kangaroo courts, and make up charges against people, so they can satiate their blood lust.

I returned to the booty thinking there was still more from their treasure that I could bring with me. Amongst the hand grenades I found a well concealed knife and a belt for it. I hung clothes out to dry.  I watched a bird fly in the sky.  I closed my eyes. I fell into a dead sleep.

Hours later I woke from a dead sleep. I walked outside. There was huge craters in the middle of the road.  Cars were crumbled up like pieces of paper.

I saw a very tall man, dressed in religious garbs, armed with a gun.  He looked at me.  I looked at him.  I don’t think he wanted to kill me but what did I know? His skin was dark, with a thick black moustache, and thick beard growth. We did not have any further exchanges.

I returned to the room.  A dark, ugly room and it was getting cold.  I was feeling cold.  Inaam messaged me her skype details.

“Do not message me for a fortnight or ring me,” she ordered, and as I struggled to light a fire and figure out a way to keep my body warm she wrote a second message. Communications broke off; I hoped she and the crew were safe.  I feared being stranded here. The ground shook like an earthquake.  I cowered under a makeshift mattress as a rock fell on my foot.  The pain struck me.  The already delicate looking walls started collapsing around me.  I cradled my phone and wallet, like they were my children. Rocks started falling.  The ceiling above me was about to collapse.  From here to the exit felt like a million miles away. The sky was filled with an infestation of jets overhead, releasing bomb after bomb after bomb, this was a particularly nasty attack.

As rocks started raining down, I covered my head, ran as fast as I could. My visibility impaired by choking smoke and dust.  When I reached the outside my hand was bleeding.  I was choking whilst engulfed by the fumes of flames. I could not get a decent breath of air. I could not open my eyes.  I dragged my body over rocks. I believed I would choke to death.  I kept walking and walking and walking. The streets were full of debris, the skies roaring with activity.

No gun to protect me.  They were buried in the rubble. I saw the same man again.  I did not know who he was.  He could be Hezbollah, Peshmerga, a thousand shades of militant rebel, ISIL, Al Nusra/Al Qaeda.

A man held his dead daughter who looked about six in his hands; her white skirt was dripping in blood. He roared to the roof of the sky.  His hands filled with the dust of rubble.

“Why,” he roared out loud, “did Allah in his great mercy and infinite wisdom, not take my life, but save this girls precious life and her precious moms?

Why Allah did the prophets promise us heaven in the next life and force us to endure this one?”

He turned his rage to the militant.

“You put me and my child in harm’s way.  You know you did that”.

The militant waved at before the bombings, now spat out a green phlegmatic glue from his mouth, raised his gun, closed one eye for aim, pulled the trigger, the bullet went straight through the grieving man’s forehead. Blood squirted out the back of his head. He fell like hot potatoes to the ground, his hands outstretched, as his blood began to flow in rivers on the ground.

He walked over to the two dead bodies and began empting the bullets of his gun into their bodies.   The sight of bullet holes riddling their bodies, and blood gushing out in pools He looked at me straight in the eye, with his back bent like an out of shape hunchback with a greedy hunger for blood.

I lifted my foot straight into his chest. I planted my foot, roped my arms around his neck, his rifle fell to the ground. I went into a deep horse stance as I viced the neck.  I tripped him onto the ground. I chopped him very firmly in the neck.  I stuck my fingers into his eyes pressing into his eyeballs.  I pulled of his scarf, tied it around his neck and tied him to a railing.

I untied the buttons of his chest.  His body was covered in perspiration.   I now knew the release that soldiers, fighters and killers get from having the power of life over death. I discovered he had a knife and I stabbed straight into his neck countless times with it.  All around me bombs kept falling from planes.

I looked at the dead family.  Her sweet innocent face dripping with blood.  How the young girl’s father cradled her like she was the most precious thing in this world with bullets infesting their body.

I looked at my hands and arms covered in blood. I took whatever food he had.  It would last me sometime.   Once more I looked at the child and the dad.  At least I had killed their killer.

About the Author: Michael Mulvihill is an Irish writer who has written two novels “Siberian Hellhole” and “Diabolis of Dublin”, short stories and poems. His novella concerning one bloggers fight for survival in the besieged Aleppo will be published at the end of 2017.


  1. a very very realistically drawn picture of a maniac world where innocent lives are being sacrificed to please a few maniacs misled by false beliefs
    The poet laureate Canada Dr Stephen Gill pleads for peace in all his literary works spreading goodwill and beatitude by extending the olive branch and his peaceful dove
    when will people begin to respect this precious human life on this planet, which has become a battleground for hounds?

  2. Shoba
    This is a part of my novel which I will be happy to share with you when it is complete.

  3. thank you for your offer . I would love to read it.