How prey feels

From the early fall of last year:

The city is quiet, sleeping.

When it’s quiet, I hear more. Every now and then, the water tank on my roof rattles. My ears pick up something far away and strain to catch the sound. Gunfire or my imagination? The wind blows gently through the alley in my compound as I bring the laundry in. My neighbor’s baby wails and then goes silent.

Eid is over. Kabul is resting. But this calm will be, like everything here, short-lived. Somewhere in this vast and dusty city of 5 million there are young men plotting under bare fluorescent light bulbs while their sleeping comrades smile unconsciously through dreams of mass murder yet to be enacted in the real world.

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