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  1. 1. Vicious CirclesA Collection of Short Stories by Ayman Farouk Taha Vicious CirclesA Collection of Short Stories We usually live our lives in vicious cycles. We hardly can get out of them or break loose from their control. Sometimes they are related to some place, time, person, or event. Other times they are related to an idea so deeply planted inside us that we cant come out of its cocoon. Maybe they are related to a connection that we cant be free from its restrictions. Finally, sometimes they are related to ourselves; body and soul. We invent those circles or they are imposed upon us. Then we live within their borders. We rejoice them first, and then we complain. Or, we complain from them first, and then we give up ourselves to them happily. We try to break loose a lot, although the constraint, unconsciously, makes up happy. Or, we often look for a constraint to protect us from what our souls were created and imprinted to love; the freedom. We struggle with ourselves, others, and life; although we mostly dont know what we really want. Moreover, we do not dare to look for what we want. This is why most of us live in vicious circles. VICIOUSCIRCLESAymanFaroukTaha
  2. 2. Vicious Circles
  3. 3. Vicious Circles A Collection of Short Stories AYMAN FAROUK TAHA
  4. 4. AuthorHouse LLC 1663 Liberty Drive Bloomington, IN 47403 www.authorhouse.com Phone: 1-800-839-8640 2013 Ayman Farouk Taha. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted by any means without the written permission of the author. Published by AuthorHouse 12/09/2013 ISBN: 978-1-4918-4011-5 (sc) ISBN: 978-1-4918-4010-8 (hc) ISBN: 978-1-4918-4009-2 (e) Library of Congress Control Number: 2013921511 Any people depicted in stock imagery provided by Thinkstock are models, and such images are being used for illustrative purposes only. Certain stock imagery Thinkstock. This book is printed on acid-free paper. Because of the dynamic nature of the Internet, any web addresses or links contained in this book may have changed since publication and may no longer be valid. The views expressed in this work are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reect the views of the publisher, and the publisher hereby disclaims any responsibility for them.
  5. 5. Contents Acknowledgment and Dedication.........................................vii Notices ...................................................................................ix Authors Note.........................................................................xi Introduction..........................................................................xiii A Thought!.............................................................................. 1 Fear of the Dream ................................................................. 15 Traveler to Soul Depths ........................................................ 27 A Day from the Past.............................................................. 37 Love in the Gray Zone.......................................................... 49 The Crime!............................................................................ 62 A Second Encounter.............................................................. 71 Suspended Friendship........................................................... 84 Backward Steps..................................................................... 96 The Farewell ....................................................................... 109 Two Eyeglasses!.................................................................. 116 The Shadow ........................................................................ 127 The Impossible Love........................................................... 140 The Truth and the Library................................................... 161 The Camera!........................................................................ 183 About the Author................................................................. 197
  6. 6. vii Acknowledgment and Dedication To everyone who supported and stood by me. To everyone who believed in the slight talent I have. To everyone who encouraged me in moments of soul brokenness, frustration, and hesitation. To everyone who believed that what I write is worth publishing and sharing with others. To everyone who helped me in editing, designing, and printing this book. To everyone who expressed opinions about the content and provided me with advice, criticism, or praise. To everyone who will read the book and eventually become part of it. To those who encouraged me to translate the book into English to share it with larger number of readers. To you all, I dedicate this book.
  7. 7. ix Notices All the stories, characters, and events contained, included, or mentioned in this work of literary ction are of the authors imagination and have nothing to do with reality at all. This book is an English-language translation of a book of the same name that was originally written in the Arabic language. The Arabic book was rst published in 2013. The ISBN of the Arabic book is 978-977-6445-07-9. This book was translated by the author.
  8. 8. xi Authors Note We usually live our lives in vicious cycles. We hardly can get out of them or break loose from their control. Sometimes they are related to some place, time, person, or event. Other times they are related to an idea so deeply planted inside us that we cant come out of its cocoon. Maybe they are related to a connection from whose restrictions we cant be free. Finally, sometimes they are related to ourselves, body and soul. We invent those circles or they are imposed upon us. Then we live within their borders. We rejoice them rst, and then we complain. Or perhaps we complain about them rst and then give up ourselves to them happily. We try to break loose a lot, although the constraint, unconsciously, makes us happy. Or we often look for a constraint to protect us from what our souls were created and imprinted to love: freedom. We struggle with ourselves, others, and life, although we mostly dont know what we really want. Moreover, we mostly do not dare to look for what we want. This is why most of us live in . . . vicious circles.
  9. 9. xiii Introduction The fteen stories included within this book are dealing with our self-made vicious circles. They are the boundaries inside which we imprison our own minds, souls, bodies, beliefs, actions, and life paths. While some stories deal with only one vicious circle, other stories deal with several circles simultaneously. Moreover, most of the ideas included are controversial and transcultural. The book starts with a story about a man who is incapable of defying, even within his own mind, the conventional norms and rules that have governed his life since his birth. The last story of the book is about someone who manages to break his imprisoning vicious circles and then achieves great success. Some in-between stories deal with several cases of partial failures and partial success. Some other stories are not about success or failure but about changes in perspectives, thoughts, or feelings.
  10. 10. 1 A Thought! Rasekh(1) woke up at seven oclock in the morning. He hurried to the secondary school at which he had worked as an art education teacher for twenty-three years. At exactly half past eight, he started his rst class. The theme of that days lesson was drawings inspired by nature. Looking at the bored and tired faces of his students, he said: Please draw landscapes with ideas stimulated by nature. However, I warn you not to draw any human beings, as that might be considered a violation of Islamic rules. Most conservative Muslims believe that drawing human beings is prohibited by Islamic rules. He added: Moreover, I advise you not to draw any animals as well for the same reason. Some very conservative Muslims believe that even drawing animals is prohibited by Islamic rules. At the end of class, he asked the students to hand over their drawings. Having quickly examined their paintings, he noticed that they were signicantly similar to each other. Furthermore, they did not reect any creativity or distinction. 1 Rasekh is an Arabic male name. It means firm, fast, and immovable.
  11. 11. 2 Ayman Farouk Taha Also, they were completely devoid of any ideas. He could not show them to his colleagues, who proudly displayed their students distinctive works. He thought for a while, and then he asked himself a question. It was a question he had been asking himself a lot. Why are my students paintings always similar and lacking creativity? Maybe he was afraid of trying to answer it! After school, Rasekh headed to his second job. He had been working at a small advertising company for almost a year. His job was in the design and creativity department. He helped to design new advertisements. His manager was a thirty-year-old man. He asked Rasekh to prepare several alternative advertising campaigns for a womens hair-care product. Rasekh presented the initial ideas to his manager, who expressed his dissatisfaction. His manager found the alternatives too similar. His manager briey commented: Rasekh, you did not present new ideas here; it was just one old obsolete idea! Rasekh replied, I am so sorry that you are not satised with my efforts. Can I have a two-day extension to prepare better proposals? His manager agreed reluctantly. Then Rasekh left.
  12. 12. Vicious Circles 3 It was about ten oclock in the evening when Rasekh returned home, exhausted. He took a quick shower and then had dinner with his wife and daughters. He was absent-minded and unable to focus. However, at the same time, he was unable to sleep. It was two hours after midnight when he decided to go out for a walk in the silence and quietness of the night. He was very tired, both physically and mentally, aft

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