1 comment


“Each of us has a role in his society, and I will reform mine.” This was the famous sentence of John, the social critic, who carried on his shoulders the responsibility of reforming his society through his pen, but will things go as planned by John? Or the winds will run as the ships do not wish?

John woke up early, carrying many goals inside his head, that he would put under his microscope, to start criticizing them in his weekly article in Al-Haq newspaper. This newspaper has always been the refuge that many people resort to read the daily news, but later John's articles written on its front page became their first target. It was his strong and satirical style in his articles criticizing well-known and famous men, that distinguished him most as a brave and sharp critic, along with his great reliability, as he was keen to collect evidence and supporting documents for his accused before exposing him, so he was transforming a well-known man into an outcast figure, who hide his face for fear of being seen, and this was John’s weapon for reforming his society.

One day, John crossed the borders, and wrote about Freddy, the well-known businessman, who was proud of his influence and power, showed abundance of evidence and proofs that prove this man's corruption, and his utilizing of bribery to take what is not his, and building his wealth at the expense of others, John was never afraid to write or to expose the truth. This article was the one which put John at the top of the success ladder, everyone was pointed to his picture and talking about his courage war against corruption.

John used to see the audience gathering around him, and this made John think of another article stronger than that of Freddy, but he could not find his man, except for that merchant David, who was rumored to have a monopoly on sugar and rice, but John did not find any evidence to prove this even after legal and illegal attempts, John was afraid that his fame could decrease, because he could not write his article for this week, so he decided to write about the merchant David, and to fabricate some evidence on him, he convinced the feeling of guilt within him that there is no smoke without fire, and that the merchant must have cunningly managed to hide the evidence, Indeed, John wrote a stinging article, and exaggerated his criticism, as he imagined the cheers of his audience while writing each word in his article, so he addressed them to gather around him to fight corruption, he was unconscious of what he was doing.

 John’s fame increased and fired, so he started looking for a new man, he could not sleep, could not calm down, so he searched in every place for any rumor or news that would lead him to his prey, but in the meantime, house door was knocked, John opened the door, and found an old man, showing signs of goodness on his face. John, rudely, said: I don't have time, come on say what you have, or what you need.

The old man replied: I have nothing left, you were able to do what my enemies could not, you destroyed me without any guilt. John became furious and said: Who are you, man? I am the social reformer, I do not harm anyone.

but the old man said: I am the merchant, whom unjustly you accused of monopoly and theft, until everyone hated me and stopped dealing or buying from me, you broke my trade, why my son? I did not harm anyone, instead, I always stood by the poor until the rest of the merchants hated me and tried to destroy me with their false rumors that no one believed, until after you wrote about me, may the God forgive you, did you make sure of the news about me before publishing and sharing them? You have done to me what my enemies could not, you have destroyed me, may the God forgive you.

Then the man left saying: May the God forgive you, and repeating it over and over.

John was staring his eyes even after the old man had left, then he left the house in a hurry, went down to the street, started making sure of what the merchant said, was he really a good man? Has he really become poor and everyone does not want to deal with him? Unfortunately, the old man was right, this fact was like a thunderbolt hitting John. John returned home feeling a great desire to sleep, he wanted to forget everything he had done, but his pillow was refusing to hug him as it did before, and his phone did not stop its notification, its fans messages asking him about the man he will talk about in his next article, John tried to close his eyes, but he could not stop the thoughts in his head, he could not forget the word of the merchant David, which resonated endlessly inside his head.

The fan messages did not stop, so John stood up and looked at his reflection in the mirror and said: What did you do? Why did I write the article without being sure? Why now am I looking for another man? Should I do to him what I did to David? What happened to me? I feel tied with a rope that leads me like a tethered animal, where would I stop? I have lost my way, I will not forgive myself, he tried to sleep but couldn't, so, he begged his pillow to get on his face and suffocate him to death, then repeated again and again: I do not deserve to live! I am the great critic, the thinker, how did fame defeat me and steal my will and my mind? But suddenly he stopped talking and said: I will fix what I did, am I not the social reformer? I know who my next prey will be, I will write about myself.

John began his last article by saying: Our ancestors said that he who has a glass house should not throw stones at people, but must first repair his house, then talk about the house of others, and I think that I am the owner of the largest glass house on this planet, so I will talk about my house, I will mention my shortcomings, I will especially apologize to a man who was wronged by my lust for fame, and my greed for the love of fans. John spoke frankly, as he does not have evidence that is truer than the evidence he possesses about himself, he disclosed everything inside him, and wrote at the end of the article, “I hope you will remember me for good, because this pen will never return to writing until regains his honor" then he wrote a great apology to merchant David, and wished everyone would come back to deal with him, because, as John said, David is much faithful as a merchant than John as a critic, whose loyalty was to the fame Instead of reforming society.

April 13, 2022 17:54

You must sign up or log in to submit a comment.

1 comment

Latha Prakash
00:39 Apr 21, 2022

One must get the facts straight before writing, loved this beautifully crafted story


Show 0 replies