Signs of life

Was it cold or warm? She didn’t know.


Signs of life
by Azarin Sadegh

The room went dark.

She was still in there.

It was the last incident. Unnoticeable and ordinary. Most of the similar incidents that had taken place before were as insignificant as this last one; the elevator didn’t move as she pressed the 26th floor button. The automatic doors didn’t open. The janitor, singing a famous pop song didn’t say hi to her as expected. And the night before, the driver of the black BMW didn’t see her crossing the road. The toddler at the grocery store threw a tantrum and bit her hand, but the mother never apologized. The vendor of the vacuum never tried to sell her the latest model. The phone didn’t ring in the morning. The colleagues didn’t tease her cheap sunglasses and fake Rolex. Her Boss ignored the note she sent him.

People make mistakes, she thought.

Until the room went dark and the sensors of the moving objects didn’t find her.

She wondered whether she had ever existed before. She had always found herself in a mirror – pretty attractive - and people had always listened, replied, smiled, respected, and left. Her apartment was full of objects she had bought since she had moved out of her home. Her parents called her every Sunday night at 7 and told her the same words: "When would you come back home?"

She knew. It was a mistake. Leaving. The call. The silence.

She remembered passing – as always - by the playground of the kindergarten in the morning and kids always screamed as she waved at them. The children threw sand at her and laughed absently.

Children are cruel, her mother used to say when she was a child herself.

She turned on the light. She moved in the room and her silhouette followed her movements. She imagined her hands. Her fingers. Her skin. Her hair. The hollow of her mouth. The curve of her back. So many signs of life.

She opened the door. She opened the window. She gazed at the horizon of a foggy city filled with growing sky-rises and angry men. Black clouds hid the transparency of air. The traffic below was hidden under a thick layer of brown steam. A helicopter dragged an unreadable red sign behind it. Her skin was turning white.

Was it cold or warm? She didn’t know. She didn’t feel.

Why? she thought.

You’ll always find whatever you search for, her mother told her when she wasn’t a child anymore.

Did you ever look for something? she asked.

Mother chuckled, as if she had never demanded for an answer.

The room went dark again. She had lost her shadow.

When the light came back, the window was wide open and the wind had spread the white papers all over the floor. The white chair by the window had blood stains on it.

Why someone who had never existed before had to cut her veins before the fatal jump? Why did she hope to pass through the fog but not ever reaching the ground? Why did she wonder whether she was made of mist?

Unanswered questions. She was smiling at her own ineffectiveness, at the moment of her disappearance.


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more from Azarin Sadegh
ebi amirhosseini

Azarin Jaan

by ebi amirhosseini on

They are. No doubt about it.

Azarin Sadegh


by Azarin Sadegh on

Dear Natalia,

Thanks for reading my writings! You should know that any feedback is extremely helplful to my writing and a lovely comment, like yours, very encouraging...Thanks! 

 But Ebi Jan, I guess I should keep writing my depressing pieces since writing comedy is making me too sweaty with no tangible result! (Thanks again for so many great dance links...but especially thank you for those last two links of my beloved Rachmaninov and Shostakovich! Honestly, aren't they amazing, inspiring, and melancholically blissful?) Azarin


Azarin jan

by Nadias on

 As always excellent writing

solh va doosti/paz a vosotros/paix et amitié




ebi amirhosseini

Recess,too much Gher !

by ebi amirhosseini on

Azarin Sadegh

Ebi Jan,

by Azarin Sadegh on

Great Lady! Actually I know her daughter...a very nice girl!

But do you have another link for beginners? This one is not really working out for me...


ebi amirhosseini

Baba inam gher...

by ebi amirhosseini on


hope the funny brain grey cells start creating  with this lovely gher!!


Omid Hast

Your last two comments are funny

by Omid Hast on

I won't speak for others, but no need to apologize for my sake. I read your stories with great interest and I do not find them to be as depressing as you perceive them to be. It's the way you write that grabs my attention from get go.

The news of killing all the roaches disturbed me immensely, but the good news is that they will return eventually. Studies have shown that not even an atomic explosion can wipe them out completely. Crickets are too nice of an insect to be funny, although they jump very funny if one of their hind legs is cut off, not that I have done anything like that but I have seen it. But you cut one of the legs of a roach and they still keep walking as nothing has happened and they don’t act funny at all. So, everyone has a funny bone somewhere and in someway they are comical. Your last two posts are funny, so if that is still what you want to do I believe you are capable of it, and no need to cut off one of your legs. 

I understand that you're a fan of Orhan Pamuk but I have not read his books yet, although I saw his interview with Charlie Rose and he seems to be a fascinating character. I’m planning to look very hard for his books in garage sales. I read the summary of “My Name Is Red” and I do not believe this book will help you to write comedy; it’ll help you with writing in general but not comedy. By the way it's just amazing that you started writing in English in 2006 and have made so much progress already.

My stupid employer blocked access to youtube and other juicy websites long time ago, can you believe it, so I can’t search for the gher kamari here. I’ll try some other time at home; if I ever find it I’ll post it. Now, too much attention is built up to this gher kamari music and if you ever hear it you might think it is so stupid and shallow and that might not work with your comedy writing either.

Azarin Sadegh

Jamshid, Feshangi, Sara,..Thanks!

by Azarin Sadegh on

Oh my!

I am surprised that you all liked this one!

Jamshid Jan, I will think about your idea of having a book of short stories...and the title could be "Getting depressed for Dummies"! And I guess it cannot be sold at the airports, considering the security guidelines, etc...

(How am I doing Omid? Honestly, I feel drowning at the bottom of my self-deprecation!)

Ok...did I tell you that I am trying hard to be funny today and if you feel offended, I am truly sorry and I apologize in advance...


Azarin Sadegh

How about Orhan Pamuk?

by Azarin Sadegh on

Dear Omid,  

I am trying hard to follow your guidelines...(still waiting for that gher kamari song though)...and I am reading My name is Red. It started with this sentence: "I am nothing but a corpse now..." As you see it is all about contradictions and self-deprecation.

Unfortunately We killed all our roaches not a long time ago...instead we have raccoons in the backyard ( is true) and one cricket under the fridge. Our cricket likes classical music,... I think. The moment I stopped listening to Shostakovich, our cricket stopped singing and our fridge started to make bizarre John Cage’s music or Stockhausen.

Nope. Still nothing. Nothing funny...


PS:I feel hopeless. The secret should be that gheri song..:-)


Dear Azarin

by Feshangi on

A mystical puff of life and death.

Five hours after reading your story I am still thinking about it. I like that!  



Dear Azarin

by jamshid on

You have a way of keeping me glued to your writing until the last sentence. As in many other times, when I finished reading the last sentence, I paused and looked back and forth at the last few sentences, asking myself where is the rest and what happens next?

I keep telling you Azarin!

I want "Part 2", would you please consider it?! This is specially true with your "Walls and Ceilings" story.

Great job and an interesting read. I enjoy your style and hope to read many more stories from you.


Wish you Luck

by Saraamin on

Thats a long time of writing , keep writing and i hope pick your novel someday from airport bookstore up , i always read books @airport !



Omid Hast

What is the first lesson in writing comedy?

by Omid Hast on


You seem to be adamant about writing comedy, so here is your first lesson:

· Loosen up.

· Stop listening to Rachmaninov and Shostakovich. No wonder you write about death.

· Start listening to some gher kamari music. There is a very good one that I like that should make a satire writer out of you with no problem. I’ll try to post it if I find it on youtube.

· Listen more often to the roaches. They know a lot about toilet humor.

· Be prepared to self deprecate.

· Stop reading Kafka and Sadeq Hedayat.

Do you still want to write comey?


Thank you!

by Azarin at work (not verified) on

Dear Sepideh, Zion, Sara and Killjoy (I wish one day you would decide to stop murdering the joy!),
Thanks to all of you for reading the story and for making nice and positive comments on such a dark story!

(Sepideh Jan, I have always admired your optimism and how you see light within everything and anything...:)

to Sara:
I started writing in English in 2006. I took my first writing class (Writer's sketchbook with Philomene Long) at UCLA extension. I am still enrolled at Les Plesko's Novel writing class. Actually, I started writing in Iran at 15 and wrote until I was 21. But one day I decided to stop writing when my own writings reflected the darkness of my surrounding. It was during the war with Iraq.
I left Iran in 1983 to go to France and never wrote anything until two years ago.
I hope it is a good summary of my background for you my dear!


Dark and Deep

by Zion on

I really enjoyed it. A powerful short story. Thanks.


Dear Azarin: I liked it. It

by Sepideh from our trio with Betty (not verified) on

Dear Azarin:

I liked it. It grabs you from the beginning. I didn't think it's depressing because it has a strong voice. I really like it.



Azarin :How long you have been in writing &for dear Iran Dokht

by Saraamin on

"Death is terrifying because it is so ordinary. It happens all the time.”

Susane cheever

Dear Irandokht ,

I think when you die , you will walk on the clouds , chat with angles ,catchin up with old fellows who had passed away while ago , meet your grand parents ,visit your childhood home ,intreviewing your favorite dead poets , writers , singers , comedians , and actors/actresses ,you maye live your dreams which never came true do you like it ?no stress , no pressure , no religion , no border , no color , all of us will be simply dead people !

Azarin Sadegh

Omid jan, dead or alive, you are killing me with your comment

by Azarin Sadegh on

Did you see my first comment to Irandokht? It was about my intention to write something funny!

But as it is so obvious and as you can imagine, I need so much help in this area!  

What is the first lesson in writing comedy?

 Azarin, your fan!


Azarin Sadegh

و سوسک ....آه

Azarin Sadegh

 و سوسک ....آه
وقتی که سوسک سخن می گوید .
چرا توقف کنم؟
همکاری حروف سربی بیهوده ست .
همکاری حروف سربی
اندیشه ی حقیر را نجات خواهد داد .


صدا ، صدا ، صدا ، تنها صداست که میماند

Thanks Souri for this lovely poem of Forough...and for reading my "story"! 


Azarin Sadegh

Thanks Ebi!

by Azarin Sadegh on

I always listen to the classical music when I write. Rachmaninov and Shostakovich are my favorites.

So I had never heard of this group but I liked the music in your video...I think it is full of tension and anxiety...and a bit depressed!

But you're right! It goes well with this ..:)



Almost Poetic!

by Killjoy (not verified) on

The lines flow like the rhythmic verses in a poem. I read the piece like I'd read poetry.
The music on the video clip Ebi sent helped me get in the mood for yet another "loss!"

Omid Hast,
Now I understand why the ghost-like photo! You MUST tell us about your other life, someday.

ebi amirhosseini

Azarin Jaan, for me this was like.....

by ebi amirhosseini on

"Tangerine Dream".

Omid Hast

Reminded me of myself

by Omid Hast on

...when I was dead.


I can't wait!

by IRANdokht on

Azarin jan

I can't wait to read a funny one from you :0)  I know you can do it so well too. I have read real smart and witty comments you have written to me on different subjects lol

It's absolutely my pleasure!  Reading your little dark stories make me feel the same as when I was younger and would steal a cigarette from my dad and smoke it on the roof of our house: With a little guilty pleasure and a whole lot of excitement ;-)



Why ? - Because ......

by Souri on

همکاری حروف سربی بیهوده است
همکاری حروف سربی
اندیشه ی حقیر را نجات نخواهد داد
من از سلاله ی درختانم
تنفس هوای مانده ملولم میکند
پرنده ای که مرده بود به من پند داد که پرواز را به خاطر بسپارم

Azarin Sadegh

How I got the idea..

by Azarin Sadegh on

I was in a meeting room at work. We were 10-12 poeple and my manager was talking. All of a sudden the light went off and he tried to move his hands to turn the automatic switch on, but it didn't. The light finally came back but we had remained in the dark for at lesat 6-7 seconds...

I know it is too dark and heavy. Not even a real story. Plotless. And we don't even know how she looks or what she's wearing.

So many flaws.

Thanks my dear Irandokht for always reading my stories and giving me your fresh feedback! It's very helpful for my writing and I really apprecaite it.


PS: I think I need to write something funny. I'll try it for the next time!



by IRANdokht on

Her dream-like state almost takes away the fear of death. It's more like a state of confusion and denial and painless, well, more like feeling-less.

I often wondered what would it feel after you die. I can't know for sure that my mind is going to die at the same time my body does... will it feel like a dream?

Well I guess I'll eventually find out some day... It's ok, I am a patient person, I am in no rush LOL

Good job again Azarin jan