Frozen butter and the Fedaii

The story of Arash Pouyan

Chapter 3

The Pishgam comrades needed a printer to print more fliers. They told them to go out and find one—by any means necessary. They would do anything for the cause, for their comrades. If they were ordered to pick up arms, they would have. But acquiring a printer was fine too. They didn't have any money, but they had seen a printer in the office of their high school.

One day after school, they waited nearby until dark to make sure everyone was gone for the day. The plan was: Arash would be the lookout and Masoud and Jalil would take the printer. The office was located on the second floor of the school. Masoud broke the glass window to the office. He and Jalil got in and quietly looked around without turning on the lights. Arash stayed outside and downstairs. He thought he heard a noise and walked toward a class room. He peeked in through the window and saw a man sleeping. It was one of the school's janitors. Right then and there Arash knew if anything happened he would have to try and stop this man from seeing their faces and snitching. He grabbed his small pocket knife, opened it up, looked at it but then closed it and put it back in his pocket.

"Found it!"Jalil whispered to Masoud.

"You sure?" Masoud asked.

Jalil looked at it again. It was big, heavy and gray.


"OK, let's grab it and get out of here."

They had brought a huge 50-liter rucksack because a normal backpack wouldn't be big enough. Masoud opened up the rucksack and shoved the printer inside.

"Put it on," Masoud told Jalil.

"It's heavy!" Jalil said, trying to put it on his shoulders through the straps like a regular school backpack. "It's too heavy, Masoud."

Jalil sat it down. Masoud bent down and put his arms through each strap. But it was too heavy for him as well. On his own, he couldn't stand up with the rucksack on his back. Jalil got behind him and lifted the rucksack up as he got up. Masoud walked over to the window, slowed down by the weight of the printer. He looked out the window. It was about twelve feet straight down.

"We can't both go down with the backpack," Masoud said.

"OK, I'll go first," Jalil said and climbed out the window. "Me and Arash will be on the ground ready to catch you and the printer if you fall."

"No way in hell you two are gonna catch me."

Jalil looked out the window for Arash but couldn't see him.

"Arash!" Jalil whispered loudly.

He came out from the side of the building.

"I'm here!" Arash responded.

After Jalil made it down, Masoud climbed out the window. He stepped out backwards and made sure his feet were firmly planted on the ledge. Arash was still near the classroom making sure the janitor was still asleep.

"You got it?" Jalil asked.

"Careful!" Arash said, putting his hands up waiting to catch him if he fell.

Masoud slowly climbed down to the ground, sweaty. He took off the rucksack.

"Your turn," he said and turned around and knelt.

Both Masoud and Arash helped strap in Jalil to the rucksack.

They all walked as quickly as they could, with Jalil wobbling under the weight of the rucksack to the nearby bus stop.

Half-an-hour later they got off the bus and walked to the rendezvous. Arash, Masoud and Jalil felt proud for completing their assignment. They looked up to their older comrades in the Pishgam. Although they were young, they were brave. This proved it. First, the printer. Next, the guns. The Pishgam comrades looked around to make sure no police were present. They opened the rucksack.

"What is this?" one of the comrades asked.

"What do you mean?" Masoud said. "It's the printer you asked for, comrade."

Masoud looked at Jalil who looked at Arash.

"This isn't a printer," he said. "It's a typewriter, and it's in English!"




Facundo Rompehuevos is an activist, writer, husband, father and recovering alcoholic and drug addict born and raised in the San Fernando Valley. He writes poetry, fiction and nonfiction. His work has appeared in zines and literary magazines and poetry journals, such as Rusty Truck, A Thin Slice of AnxietyThe Rising Phoenix Review, Red's Not White and Delirium. He has two books of poetry: Irreconcilable Contradictions (2017) and Grabbing the Stars from the Sky (2021), both published by Fourth Sword Publications. He is currently working on his debut novel and a collection of short stories.

You can find him on Substack at

Arash Pouyan was born in 1966 in Tehran. By the age of 12 he participated in the 1979 Iran Revolution. Later on he was arrested for his participation and support of the Fedaii. After three years as a political prisoner, he was released and left to Europe—where he continued his political activism against the Islamic Republic. Afterward, he moved to the U.S. He returned, briefly, to Iran in 2009 to participate in the Green Movement. Today, he continues to keep up to date with the popular movements not just in Iran but all over the world.


Edited for Unlikely by Jonathan Penton, Editor-in-Chief
Last revised on Wednesday, January 10, 2024 - 06:31