A Walk Through Shiv Park

Surprise Version:

Hafiz trudged on into the night with the soft sound of his feet against the pavement and the clinking in his pockets echoing off an otherwise still silence. Chilly nights like today had become routine with empty bus-stations and petrol bunks mute spectators to his unceremonious and late return home. A ten-minute stroll through Shiv Park, one of the fabled parks of old which now betrayed little resemblance to its glory years, lay before Hafiz and his destination. He looked up at the faded gates and thought to himself how they looked exactly the same as yesterday. Hell, anything here would look exactly the same as yesterday at this hour. He pulled open the gates and kept on keeping on. 

The trees, older than the park itself, formed a canopy through which a ray of moonlight barely lit a path that Hafiz followed tonight. He was five minutes into his stroll across Shiv Park. He could see the warm glow of his street and in his head, could smell his wife's hair. He closed his eyes and took it all in for a minute. The sound of hurried footsteps and a growing glow behind his eye-lids forced his eyes open. Two men stood before him with a flare each in their arms and death in their eyes. "He's one of them", the one closest to him exclaimed. Hafiz stood rooted to the same spot. A flash of metal through the cool air and he lay still on the dark grass with the soft gushing of dark blood keeping him company as he lay waiting for his final moments to take him home. 

 

Suspense Version:

Hafiz trudged on into the night with the soft sound of his feet against the pavement and the clinking in his pockets echoing off an otherwise still silence. Chilly nights like today had become routine with empty bus-stations and petrol bunks mute spectators to his unceremonious and late return home at Shree Colony. A ten-minute stroll through Shiv Park, one of the fabled parks of old which now betrayed little resemblance to its glory years, lay before Hafiz and his destination. He looked up at the faded gates and though to himself how it looked exactly the same as yesterday. Hell, anything here would look just like yesterday at this hour. He pulled open the gates and kept on keeping on. 

At the other end of Shiv Park, Shree Colony was witness to a fervent spectacle shrouded in an air of smoke and fire. People took to the roads in the hundreds and some fell dead around the Colony like skittles. A mosque had been set on fire. It was the same old story. An old wine in an equally old bottle that caused people to run like mice. Run away to the closest resemblance of a shelter and far away from the reach of the hacksaw-wielding miscreants drunk on religion who had slowly inched their way towards the silence of Shiv Park.  

Back in Shiv Park, the trees, older than the park itself, formed a canopy through which a ray of moonlight barely lit a path that Hafiz followed tonight. He was five minutes into his stroll across Shiv Park. He could see the warm glow of his street and in his head, could smell his wife's hair. He closed his eyes and took it all in for a minute. The sound of hurried footsteps and a growing glow behind his eye-lids forced him to open his eyes. Two men stood before him with a flare each in their arms and death in their eyes. "He's one of them", the one closest to him exclaimed. Hafiz stood rooted to the same spot. A flash of metal through the cool air and he lay still on the dark grass with the soft gushing of dark blood keeping him company as he lay waiting for his final moments to take him home.