Today commemorates 101 years since the Armenian Genocide. 1.5 million Armenians were tortured and killed in a silent genocide by the Ottoman Empire.
It’s a genocide that has yet to be officially recognized by the American and Turkish government. President Bill Clinton promised to bring this issue to the table during his campaign, yet failed to do so during his presidency.
1 year from today, Tomorrow When I Die will be released. A literary fiction story told by a 14 year old girl named Anahid. She tells her story from the grave. It’s a heart felt story that’s not only about the horrors of the genocide, but the love, sacrifice, loyalty, and friendship that is found in the darkest realms of terror and evil. A story about how an attempt at eradication ended up being a rise from the ashes.
Mark your calendars, spread the word and let’s count down together over the next 12 months for the world wide release of a story unlike any other. A story that needs to be shared.
It is my best work yet.
Death never comes easy. Sometimes it’s slow and the breath suffers. Sometimes it’s quick and it’s the heart that suffers. Not of the person who dies, but of the person who’s watching.
A pressed wing against the muddy ground and I can tell it’s broken. I don’t know what kind of bird it is, but I see many of them around. They are small and fly fast. The dark line of feathers from the beak to the inner corner of its tiny black eyes make it appear angry. ‘Looks like Mama when you eat too many of her Gatas’, my brother would say.
I stroke the bird’s soft feathers, like Baba would to my hair when I was sick. It would make me feel better. The tiny bird tries mercilessly to move its wing. An instinct, I wonder, to fly – even though it can barely breathe. I know death will come soon, but it doesn’t. It just suffers.
“You need to squash it,” Mama says and her voice startles me.
“It’s suffering.” She stands over me, blocking out the sun. I can only see her outline and her hands are on her hips.
She clucks her tongue at me and I hope she goes away. I’ll hate her forever if she squashes the bird. I don’t know if it’s a threat.
“You want it to suffer?”
I shake my head and feel the tears start to come. “I don’t want it to die,” I whisper.
“Everything dies, Anahid.”
I shake my head again.
“I don’t want it to,” is all I can say.
The sun is warm on my shoulders again and I know Mama is gone. She’s right. But I don’t know what to do. “I can’t hurt you little bird.” The tiny bird struggles to breathe and its eyes are crusted with dirt and mud and foam forms around the edges of its beak. Death is ugly.
I find a small boulder and can barely lift it. It will definitely do. My eyes are filled with tears and I barely locate where the bird is through my blurry vision.
“Please die,” I whisper. “I don’t want to do it.”
It moves the broken wing again and looks worse than it did seconds before. I close my eyes as tight as I can and chant ‘I’m sorry’ over and over as I drop the boulder on the little bird.