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This story was published in Topology Magazine and can be found here


During the war, ISIS set up camp in her father’s fields. The rebels fired rockets into town from their perches somewhere in the foothills. Indiscriminate mortars, blind and loud, tore craters in the earth. Syrian government forces set up in a ring around the mountain village west of Damascus, snipers on the road, the sound of bullets zipping through the cool air.

Sabiha is in Beirut now. She fled the fighting, the bloodshed, everything she knew. But she still needs the sound of explosions.

Maybe it’s like falling in love with horror films. Or growing up under the L in Chicago and hearing the grinding train as a constant lullaby, but exponentially more horrible. Or maybe it’s like soldiers—at least soldiers in movies—who go to Iraq and patrol rough neighborhoods and disarm IEDs, and then are addicted to the thrill. The risk. The danger.

“It’s so quiet here. How can I sleep?” Sabiha says. “I miss the fighting.”

Read the full story here.

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