Wednesday 27 July 2016

A Day At The Terror Fair

The Terror Fair had come to town.

Young Master Terrorist had been looking forward to it for a long time, and had been nagging his parents about it for months. They’d promised him a full day at the Fair if his school grades were good, and they’d been excellent

The school’s principal had even asked his parents to call. This had terrified Mrs Terrorist, who’d imagined that her son was on the verge of being failed and might have to settle for a miserable existence as a doctor or an agronomist, but the principal had been all smiles instead.

“Your son, ma’am,” he’d said, even pulling off his balaclava so they could see his smile clearly, “has simply blown away the examinations. His dissertation on Advanced Detonation Science was, I must say, slightly bombastic, but his research was so good that he blasted the competition. In Automatic Weaponry, he machine-gunned answers to the questions at a rate that did credit to his teachers. In Beheading Techniques, he is, I can assure you, as sharp as a knife. Where Hostage Taking is concerned, he captivated the examiners with his erudition. And in Improvised Explosive Devices, I’d prepared the question paper myself, and littered it with hidden traps like landmines – but he evaded them all.”

Mrs Terrorist had wiped her brow and essayed a tremulous smile. “It’s kind of you to say so,” she’d replied.

“Not at all. It’s his hard work, not my kindness.” The principal had shifted the live mortar shell which he’d been using as a paperweight and pulled out Master Terrorist’s report card. “If he keeps up this rate of progress, he might have a future as a Headhunter.”

“A Headhunter!” Mr Terrorist had beamed with pride. “That would be terrific!”

“Or even as a Mastermind. I wouldn’t put it past him to progress to that level.” The principal had waited politely for a series of explosions from the playing fields to end before continuing. “Of course, he’ll have to continue improving, but I’m sure he’s capable of it.”

“I’ll make sure he studies,” Mrs Terrorist had promised. “Why, I’d never imagined he’d progress beyond Histrionic Photogenic Flag Waver – and you say he could become a Headhunter!”

“Or even a Mastermind,” Mr Terrorist had reminded her. He’d turned to Master Terrorist. “And what do you say to your wonderful principal here for his nice words?” he’d demanded.

Master Terrorist was up to the task. “Tank you very much, sir,” he’d said.


Of course his parents tried to weasel out of their promise afterwards. “I’ve got to work all day,” Mr Terrorist protested.

“The Minority Massacre you’re arranging isn’t till next Friday,” Master Terrorist retorted. “You can work tomorrow instead of taking the day off to play FootSeveredHead with your club.”

“We can go in the evening, after your father comes back from work,” Mrs Terrorist said.

“No, because then he’ll be tired and you’ll have your Killary’s Killology seminar to go to,” Master Terrorist pointed out. “I’ve checked your schedule, even if you haven’t. Besides, you promised.”

“We promised, did we?” Mr Terrorist folded his arms triumphantly. “I don’t recall any such promise.”

Instead of stamping his foot and weeping in baffled and helpless fury, as they’d expected, Master Terrorist brought out his Trump card. “You may not remember,” he said, and held up a small electronic device, “but this recorder certainly does. Do you want me to put it online? Think about what your colleagues would say.”

“Is that what you’re learning at school, you dishonest boy?” his father thundered.

“Well, of course. Look at my record card. I coerced full marks out of the examiners in Basics of Blackmail. The principal was very proud.”

“I think we should just take him, dear,” Mrs Terrorist told her husband, who had turned a shade of purple not unlike the Qatari flag. “He did study hard, and we do want him to keep studying.”

And so it was that the Terrorists went to the Terror Fair, after all.


The Terror Fair was held, of course, in a besieged section of the city surrounded by Evil Regime Forces, so the Terrorist family had to enter via passages blasted open for the occasion by Freedom Loving TOW Missiles. The dust and smoke from the detonations was still in the air, so they all had to hire Sarin Proof Gas Masks at exorbitant rates in order to, you know, breathe.

Master Terrorist enjoyed the experience of wearing the mask immensely, but his parents were less happy. “If everything is this costly,” Mr Terrorist sputtered through his filter, “we won’t even be able to afford to eat for the rest of the month.”

“Don’t worry, sir,” the cheerful Hasbara Hostess who rented out the masks told them. “We have a free Lucky Draw for all guests, with guaranteed prizes and attractive returns! It’s all paid for from No Bid Contracts and Oil Smuggling.”

So they walked through the dust and smoke, stepping over the corpses of a few Collateral Damage Victims, and reached the fairground. There was a huge gate, tastefully decorated with severed heads, and so magnificent that both Mr and Mrs Terrorist gasped aloud.

“It reminds me of the gates of Paradise themselves,” Mr Terrorist said. “Or, at least, of the gates of the Royal Palace of Saudi Barbaria.”

They were all given little tickets at the gate, each made of genuine bona fide Depleted Uranium, and told that these would serve as their Lucky Draw contest tickets. Master Terrorist clutched his with great pride as he looked around.

The fair was huge. Long lines of stalls stretched out in every direction, and in the middle was a set of rides for children and young people.

“You go on the rides,” Mr Terrorist said, giving his son some money. “We’d like to sit down and rest for a while.”

Master Terrorist thought of saying he was too old for kids’ rides, but they seemed kind of interesting, so he walked over for a closer look. A giggling young terrorist couple ahead of him in the line got into a Pirate Skiff that vanished down the Tunnel of Sex Slavery, which Master Terrorist thought sounded kind of soppy. So he walked over to the other side of the rides, and paid a few coins for a chance to fire a Hell Cannon at a target comprised of an Evil Regime Supporting Civilian tied to a stake. Unfortunately, his Hell Cannon canister fell short, but the stall owner told him not to worry, since it had only killed a cageful of captives who were slated to be crucified at the Grand Finale this evening anyway.

Then Master Terrorist thought about going on the Ferris Wheel, which had a sniper rifle fixed right at the top. Each time the wheel stopped, the people in the car at the top got the chance to shoot more Evil Regime Supporting Civilians tied as targets to stakes on the other side of the fairground. Each successful shooter got a prize.

Just as he was about to buy a ticket, however, Master Moderatrebel came up. Master Terrorist instantly recognised him, even though he wasn’t wearing his Identity-Obscuring Face Cloth, because of the love of Freedom and Democracy that shone in his features.

“You coming up, Terrorist?” Master Moderaterebel asked, giving Master Terrorist a hard shove. They were classmates at school, but couldn’t stand each other. “Let’s go in the same car, and I bet I'll hit a target while you miss. In fact, I bet I’ll shoot them right in the belly, so they take a good long time to die, while you won’t even be able to hit their chests or heads.” Master Moderaterebel’s relatives always said how gentle he was, and how attentive of his victims’ welfare, which is why he would keep them alive for as long as possible while those like Master Terrorist would dispatch them at once. “Come on. Or are you scared of losing?”

“I’ve better things to do,” Master Terrorist said. Master Terrorist was, actually, scared of losing, because Rifle Shooting was the one subject in which his report card had mentioned that he hadn’t yet been able to trigger his full abilities, while it was the one subject, apart from Propaganda Pursuits, at which Master Moderaterebel excelled. “I’ll take you on in the Suicide Vest Wearing Derby, though. Can you disable your suicide vest before the remote control blows up one participant at random? I can.”

Having disposed of Master Moderaterebel, who literally couldn’t disable a suicide vest to save his life and thus went green at the thought, Master Terrorist then sauntered over to watch the Suicide Car Bomb Humvee race. It was really very interesting. Six Suicide Car Bomb Humvees, heavily loaded with explosives, would race each other along a course, round and round the Apartheid Wall.

A race was just about to start when Master Terrorist arrived. Each Suicide Car Bomb Humvee was gaily decorated with sponsors’ stickers, from Halliburton and Facebook to Boeing and Raytheon, and the drivers stood nearby, posing for the cameras. Master Terrorist knew none of them, even by reputation, but one of them immediately got his attention. He was tall and handsome as a movie star, and actually caught Master Terrorist’s eye and winked at him. The boy instantly developed a massive crush on him, and decided to support him for all he was worth.

“You’re a fan of Abu Kamikaze al Schumacheri, are you?” one of the other spectators said, noticing the hero-worship in Master Terrorist’s eyes. “He’s never won a race before, of course, but he’s had many second and third place finishes. They say his chances are good today.”

“I’m sure he’ll win,” Master Terrorist said, and waved at the driver. Abu Kamikaze al Schumacheri responded by giving him a thumbs-up, and Master Terrorist immediately fell head over heels in love.

Bang!  The starter’s gun, a hunting rifle personally donated by the Crown Prince of Bahrain, was used to shoot an unarmed Shia protestor, and the race had begun.

Straight away, Abu Kamikaze al Schumacheri rushed into the lead. It was really quite amazing how well he handled his Humvee, throwing the heavy vehicle round the bends. But then, suddenly, with an explosion loud as one of the hand grenades the younger children used at the coconut shies, a tyre blew, and Abu Kamikaze al Schumacheri had to limp back, leaving scraps of rubber on the track, to the pit to change. In the meantime, all the other five Humvees rushed past, dropping him from first place to last. Master Terrorist moaned aloud with agonised disappointment.

The disappointment turned to heart-thudding excitement as the handsome driver got back into the race. If he had been great before, he was incredible now. He drove as though possessed.  Metre by metre, he clawed back into the race. First one, and then another of the other Humvees dropped behind, and then two more, almost together. Now there was only one other Humvee for Abu Kamikaze al Schumacheri to beat, that of his main rival, Abu Crashman al Hamiltoni.

Nearly side by side, they roared into the last lap. Master Terrorist’s throat was so raw with shouting he thought he might never be able to speak again, but he didn’t care. He jumped on his seat to wave frantically, but nobody told him to sit down, because everyone else was on their feet, cheering too.

Here came the chequered flag, waving, and the two Humvees rushed past it in a blur, almost together and almost too fast to see. But not quite together, and not quite too fast to see. And...yes!... Abu Kamikaze al Schumacheri had won!

So great was Master Terrorist’s happiness and pride that he almost forgot to run for his life from the stands as the victor’s Humvee came past again, on its victory lap. In fact, he might have remained there if the spectator who’d talked to him earlier hadn’t grabbed him by the arm and dragged him away. Even so, he’d only just got to safety when Abu Kamikaze al Schumacheri celebrated his victory by blowing himself up in a mushroom cloud of incinerated flesh and mangled metal.


A very happy and satisfied Master Terrorist finally rejoined his parents, who were sitting in the Regime Change Cafe eating Prisoner’s Heart with Pro-Western Blood Pudding. They looked at his flushed face and smiled at each other. For a moment, despite the sacrifice of time and money they’d made, they were happy to see him so happy.

“We can go home now,” Master Terrorist said, after eating some Overthrow Assad Salad with Prince Salman Sushi. “I’ve done all I wanted to do. Thanks so much for keeping your word.”

“Let’s just wait a little bit longer,” Mr Terrorist said, looking at his Caliph Model Rolex watch. “It’s almost time for the Lucky Draw. We might as well see if we win a prize or two.”

And do you know what? They all won prizes. Yes, all of them! It was such a perfect ending to the perfect day!

This is what they won:

Master Terrorist won a Predator drone, complete with Hellfire missiles, with which to blow away enemies on the other side of the planet while sitting in the comfort of his own room. He intends to use it on Master Moderaterebel at the earliest opportunity.

Mr Terrorist won blocks of stock in several companies in the Military-Industrial Complex. He says that the shares have such a great growth potential that he will never have to worry about money again.

And Mrs Terrorist? What did she win? Oh, she won the jackpot, the Prize of Prizes.

You can start calling her Madam President now.

Copyright  B Purkayastha 2016 

Note to Reader: I finished writing the second part of the new book last night. This was my reward to myself – some self-indulgent, purely-for-enjoyment writing – before beginning on Part Three tomorrow. Sigh.


  1. I've never had so much fun reading about terrorism.

  2. An interesting idea of the story - the organization of a fair for terrorists.

  3. Hahaha, I loved it. And so perfect an ending. Like the comment above, the best fun read about terrorists ever. Pure enjoyable satire.

  4. One of your best. I have a 14-year old Arab, Muslim girl staying with me on and off (she fights with her parents so much, they asked me if she could stay with me). Naturally, I am trying to teach her English, and I told her she had to read this story. (I made her parents sign a contract that they'd engaged me as a babysitter to watch their daughter, so if they try to claim anything, I've got the signed contract; I hope the Arabic matches the English, but I think it does).

    The use of language in this story is brilliant. Some of the best I've ever seen.

    I intend to ask her questions about the story, of course, like, 'Who is Mrs Terrorist supposed to be?'

    (But when I told her she had to read English for an hour a day if she wanted to stay with me, she called her parents and asked them to pick her up. Oh well, I tried.)



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