A young woman, who moved from Afghanistan to California with her brother, has to make an important decision in David Stier’s “The Path.” Her choice will change both of their lives, forever.
“The Path” appears in The Golden Door, a collection of stories showing the impact on people when they’re treated as “the other,” whether they’re immigrants to a country, a group of targeted within their own country, or something else besides. The title refers to Emma Lazarus’s welcoming words inscribed on the plaque on Statue of Liberty, “I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
Tales of mistreatment of “the other” abound in historical or religious writings from around the world and through all time. But there are also plenty of examples of people helping each other, caring for one another, learning about each other. Sometimes in big ways, sometimes in small—but they all add up.
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Sahar always dressed as an infidel would dress, and secretly Aisha wished she could wear American clothes and look straight ahead like the American women she saw on the street. But her brother had forbidden this, saying that Americans were not only decadent infidels but also the murderers of their family, and that as Afghans, while they would have to endure life in this sinful country, that did not mean that they had to adopt its ways.
When she had asked him why he agreed to come to America if he hated this land and their people so much, his answer had been to strike her face with the back of his hand.
“It is of no concern of yours. You will not ask me this again.”
She rubbed the spot on her face where he had struck her, as she did often whenever she thought of Ebrahim.
—from “The Path” in The Golden Door by David Stier
David Stier is a US Army veteran who served in Germany during the Cold War as a tank driver. In his informed opinion, the Soviet Union was our enemy then, as is the Russian Federation now. More importantly, he believes the United States faces a far more insidious threat directly related to the current Administration. As Abraham Lincoln once stated: “All the armies of Europe and Asia…could not by force take a drink from the Ohio River or make a track on the Blue Ridge in the trial of a thousand years. No, if destruction be our lot we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of free men we will live forever or die by suicide.”
Some of Dave’s short stories have appeared in, Fiction River #18 (Visions of the Apocalypse) Fiction River #24 (Pulse Pounders: Adrenaline) Fiction River #25 (Feel the Fear) Fiction River #30 (Hard Choices), Fiction River #31 (Feel the Love), Fiction River Special Edition #3 (Spies) and Pulp House Issue #4. Dave was also a runner up in the University of North Georgia’s 2019 Military Science Fiction Symposium for “Prisoners of War.” “Rogue Entanglement” originally appeared in Spectra Magazine, Issue #3. His self-published short story collection, Final Solutions, Stories of the Holocaust is available on Amazon.