September 24th, 2014 10.15am
He sits on the comfortable sofa and assesses his surroundings. He is in a spartan, minimally furnished room on the second floor of a nondescript Syrian apartment. There is a lamp-shade to his left, and a small coffee table in front of him, on which there is a bowl containing some dates. Somebody has tried to insert some signs of civilization, and he appreciates this. Outside, staccato gunfire is the false fire-cracker sporadically popping in the distance. The automatic bursts have an industrial sound quality, as if the trigger-happy fanatics shouting their devotions are contractors hired to destroy the city incrementally by hosing it with their bullets, and their RPG rounds.
“You want?” asks one of his swarthy captors unable to develop the question any further, because of limited English.
Silas Tully, enjoying early sun and early coffee, heading into another quiet and lonely day, dropped his newspaper and picked up the phone on the first ring. Old pal Jud Haley said, “Si, something screwy down here at Butch and Tony’s. I think my car’s been stolen but nobody wants to believe me. Damn it all, Si, the car they’re about to fix is not my car.”
A gust of wind blew around the outside of the house as Mike pried the bottle cap off his fourth beer with his teeth. It was a trick one of his old classmates had taught him—a trick he used to use to impress women in bars, but now, domesticated, he only used when he couldn’t find the bottle opener.
He believed he would win, he believed he would live. Right up until the end when finally he understood, he had believed. It wasn’t possible to accept anything other than life. Just to breathe and to be was all he knew. It’s all we know isn’t it?
Aleppo, Syria (AP) — Prior to joining the Tawheed Brigade in opposition to the Syrian government, Anwar Addat was a computer technician who never gave much thought to politics or religion. That was before a barrel bomb delivered by a government helicopter ignited a fire that killed his wife and two children. These days he goes nowhere without his AK-47 and body armor, and looks every bit the insurgent warrior he has reluctantly become.
A young man or an old boy depending on your view point, called Vernon, was in his last year of high school when something out of the ordinary happened, but to fully explain the situation one needs to understand the back story.
Vernon went to an IT-oriented high school even though he had never been interested in computers. Since most of the classmates were geeks, Vernon knew he had to become the cool guy in the class; it was and still is Swedish law. However Vernon had no experience in being cool.
”… and that’s when I found out he wasn’t my father!”
”Okay. How about dropping the gun?”
“There you go again. Thinking only about yourself. It seems as if you’re not even listening to me…”
“I’m NOT listening to you…”
“…because as I have been talking about very personal things you still go on about your selfish things. I don’t want to threaten you again, but if you keep…”
“I’m not threatened and have never been threatened.” Simon looked into the security camera. “Let the record show that I have never been threatened.”
“Simon.” Billy said and cocked the gun. “Stop focusing on the police or the other hostages and listen to me.”