Dzhokhar Ameniv lay bleeding to death, hiding under the canvas cover of a boat on a trailer in a suburban Boston driveway. The brother he had looked up to was dead, and he had shot himself in the neck in a frenzy of fear and guilt. He missed. Now he lay there, getting weaker by the minute.

He had experienced excitement so intense that his mouth went dry and his body tremored. He had planted bombs, escaped police, survived a shootout, a real shootout – like in the movies. He had killed. He was a solider of Islam engaged in holy war, about to become a martyr.

He had cried when his brother died under the wheels of his stolen SUV. He had cried great sobs of grief from the depths of his soul. He was lost, afraid, and never more alone.

The whole neighbourhood was eerily quiet due to the lockdown for the manhunt. The Great Satan the United States was sparing no expense in coming for him. The people had bolted themselves in their houses. The streets were deserted. There was no place to escape. He was public enemy number one. If he could hear a news bulletin, he would be on it. But this time he was the news. This was not an action scene on television. This was real life, where bullets were deafening and violently tore through the air threatening death. His own bullets had crashed into human flesh of policemen and left them bleeding. His brother’s body was mangled on the roadside. It did not look beautiful like in a heroic painting.

He had thought he was ready to die. They had enough bombs made to drive south and bomb Times Square as well. But they had not made it there. As he lay bleeding, he found that he wanted to live.

The bombs, the massacre, the murder of the police officer – the mere thought of the deeds that he had done made his body uncontrollably tremor with guilt and fear. His guilty conscious plagued him and made his body viciously quiver right down to his bare limbs.

As he lay bleeding profusely, he began to recollect and re-puzzle the blurry and disjointed events that had occurred earlier that day. It was a gloomy, overcast day when he and his brother, Tamerlan, were walking along the footpath beside the prestigious Boston Marathon. With lethal explosives concealed in a grey-livid coloured bag that he was grasping firmly, they trudged purposefully and stopped as they arrived at the last checkpoint before the finish line. They had walked nonchalantly in single file formation. The area that he had decided to execute the plot was exactly how he had envisaged it to be. They discreetly planted two charged explosives behind the array of national flags. “This is payback”, Dzhokhar murmured, as he and his brother walked away.

The un-ending gushing of blood continued to proliferate from his neck. He began to recall the frantic aftermath. A deafening explosion followed quickly by one other – a surge of uncontrollable excitement rippled through his body as he realized that he had finally became a solider of Islam who had sparked the beginning of a jihad. He had become the initiator of a holy war with the Great Satan the United States of America.

The two brothers easily distinguished from the crowd. While people were aimlessly running to a safe location, they were strolling indifferently away from the scene. Out of the corner of his eye, he felt a pair of eyes fixed upon him. His eyes averted to this source of unease and saw a policeman approaching him. As he was about to signal to his brother for them to run away, the policeman approached nearer and Dzhokhar recognized who he was immediately. It was Officer Sean Smith, Dzhokhar’s best and only friend in high school. Dzhokhar admired him greatly. He was the only person who understood Dzhokhar’s sentiments and feelings towards how this country has unjustly treated him. Sean was the only person who understood him.

“Dzhokhar! Tamerlan! What are you guys doing here strolling, hurry back home quickly!” Sean exclaimed. As he was hurrying past to help other people in the area, he noticed a round, steel object layered in tangled wires perched inside Dzhokhar’s bag out of the corner of his eye. It was the spare bomb that they had not yet implanted. Sean’s eyes widened and his mouth gaped in shock and disbelief. He took a few slow paces backwards, turned around, and bolted off shouting hoarsely in his radio device. Just as the officer was about to disclose the brother’s identities, a sharp, deafening crack followed by a bullet came whizzing past and pierced into the back of Sean’s head. Dzhokhar slipped the Desert Eagle pistol back into his pocket and walked away with Tamerlan closely behind.

Dzhokhar shook out of his thoughts and regained consciousness in the real world. The real world; where he sat hiding under the canvas of a boat on a trailer in a suburban Boston driveway. He looked down. His shirt was saturated with blood. He wanted to live. He wanted to erase everything that he had done that had caused everybody in Massachusetts to be in hot pursuit for him. He lay there in an uncontrollable tremor. He was afraid. Very afraid. He was afraid of being detained by police. He would have done anything to have not been taken in to the filthy hands of American authorities. He wanted to be assured that he could live the remainder of his life calmly, although he knew there was no chance of that happening as he was currently the most sought after man in the United States.

Suddenly, he saw ghosts of limbless and headless men and women in front of him. Dzhokhar howled in horrid fear at the dire sight. He saw dreadful visions of headless men and women with their legs blown off. As visions of dead or critically injured victims limped closer towards him, he would scream louder. He was in a deep hallucination. Unanticipatedly, the figures of his terrifying visions multiplied threefold and as a result an army of limbless and headless ghosts were pacing towards him in the boat. These visions were a source of anguish, guilt, regret and torture for him. He screamed even louder. He screamed louder every time the ghosts took one step closer towards him. He screamed louder in absolute fear and guilt every time he contemplated being found and caught by the American police. He screamed louder every time he thought about the lives of the innocent people he had destroyed. He screamed because he was afraid and screamed as if nobody in the world could hear him.

He was wrong. Powerful beams of torchlight shined upon the boat. His hallucinations abruptly ceased but realized that he was surrounded. He tried to summon his last bit of strength to attempt to make an escape; however the damage he had inflicted on his neck completely inhibited his movement. The canvas was lifted and a configuration of officers with their guns poised was standing outside. He was cornered, caught and completely surrounded by vengeful officers.

“You.” said one of the policemen, “You’re coming with us.”



  1. An interesting perspective, and quite an unexpected way to draw elements from Macbeth.

    You delve into a lot of detail as to how Dzhokhar felt, in terms of his guilt and the ghosts of the people he killed (good reference to ‘is this a dagger I see before me?’).

    If you wanted your piece to have more to reward on the part of your teacher, you might want to look more into Dzhokhar’s justifications for his actions, as Macbeth and Lady Macbeth (if I remember year 10 English correctly, it’s been two years) did manage to come to terms with it to varying degrees.

    Overall though, a good piece. Be wary of using this kind of real world example to draw upon texts however, as you never know who could be marking it (the examiner may have known someone who was killed in this instance, and so this piece would instantly make them view it less favourably due to perceived insensitivity).

    Matt Lyons MHS Class of 2013


  2. Thanks for the feedback, Matt. I thought using the real world example would be the unique and relevant way to go, as the actual bombing did occur the day before I wrote this draft up in class. Also, I did write a disclaimer in my actual submission stating that this was merely for fictional purposes (I used ‘Ameniv’ instead of his real surname).

    Again, thanks for the feedback! I will certainly take in your advice when writing future pieces.
    P.S. Got 40/40 HD1

    Eric Nguyen Year 10


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