By: Aadel M Al-Mahdy
“Hail Hammurabi! He who is the first man who carved a strict, but fair code of laws on a stone in a public place for everyone to read” he soliloquized and then released muffled scream driven by thoughts racing in his head. “Good Heavens! I don’t feel well...I am dizzy... what is happening?” holding his head in hands, he whispered.
He looked at the symbolic depiction of justice that was on the marble-covered facade of the jurisdiction supreme court. The blindfolded woman seemed to be standing upside down and dancing crazily while fading away; the scales in her hand likewise. He strove to gather his strength. The court cloak, carried on his arm, felt heavier and its black color looked uglier. He flung it into the Euphrates and slowly dragged him self home.
To avoid the road leading to the butcher in his jelly-like district, he swerved and followed a different route. Opposite his bombs-stricken residence, his eyes fell on a post-war fat cat in the company of his parasitical entourage. They all plunged into the value of an American automatic-geared fortune and heedlessly zoomed away. A passer-by, who had to jump out of their way, spat on the ground in disgust.
He entered a partially damaged building and climbed up to the beneath. While lolling his tongue with fatigue, he knocked gently on the door. The door opened revealing the exhausted body of his wife whose eyes were shiny and hair unkempt. “Did you get the money?” not noticing her husband’s miserable condition, his wife leaned forward and whispered to him, fear depicted on her face that she might have disturbed their sleeping hungry kids. “No!” he answered; worries depicted on his face. “Why?” she asked, her voice alarmed. “I went to see him, but…” he hesitantly but in a solemn voice answered. “But what?” she interrupted; her voice sounding inquisitively louder. “I found him dead” he answered; his voice shaking. “Who died?” she wondered hitting her chest with her hand. He covered his face with his left hand to hide his tear-brimming eyes, and tried hard to have a firmer grip on his shaking body and said, “Hammurabi”; his quivering voice sounded coarser than sea-salt. Perplexed, his wife’s mouth gaped, but he gently pushed her aside and walked in to the room where his sick child slept.
“Dad, am I going to die?” his sick son asked. He quickly hugged him tightly and while firmly kissing him on the cheeks, he said, “No, I hope not, my son. I hope another Hammurabi will dawn on us soon”