Breaking Dawn

The phone rung and Bengar answered it immediately. “Hi Honey, how are you doing?” he said as he glanced at the time. It was 10pm and dim light filtered through the closed curtains.

          “I’m fine. Just calling to check on you.” A female voice.

          “That’s sweet. I’m good, sorry we didn’t get to talk over the weekend.”

          Silence. A hesitant voice. “That’s actually why am calling Bengar. What happened?”

          “What do you mean?” He sounded tense.

          She sighed. “I called you on Saturday and you called me back after an hour. I called you on Sunday and you never called me back.”

          “Sorry babe,” he said lightly. “I was a little busy on Saturday and my phone conked out on me on Sunday.”

          “Explain conked out.”

          “It just wouldn’t turn on. I mean, I took out the battery and tried everything and it just wouldn’t work.” There was frustration in his voice as he struggled with the explanation.

          “Sorry about that,” she said, not sounding convinced. “Is it working okay today?”

          “Yes. I passed by the store and they fixed it. Is everything alright? You sound different.”

          She laughed nervously. “I was just having a bad feeling you know… like maybe you didn’t want to talk to me over the weekend.”

          “Why would I not want to talk to you babe? I love you Ariet. You know that right?”

          “I do.” She sighed again. “But why didn’t you call me Bengar? You know how worried I get when we don’t speak.”

          “I’m sorry babe. I promise it won’t happen again. Next time my phone breaks down; I will find a way to reach you. That’s a promise.”

          “Okay,” she said, and then remained silent.

          The static on the line was loud, their breathing shallow as they searched for closure.

          “Ariet,” Bengar finally said. “I’m with you because I fell in love with you. No other reason. I don’t want you to worry about small stuff that may come between us. Please, our love for each other far out ways anything. Am I making sense?”

          “Yes you are Bengar. I’m sorry if I sounded accusing. Please forgive me. Goodnight my love.”

          “Goodnight babe.”

          He always had a way of saying the right thing. It was why they fought less and loved more.

Ariet took a long shower and only got out when the water turned cold. She walked into the kitchen and looked through the refrigerator for something to eat, but she didn’t really have an appetite. She settled for an ice-cream and sighed into the living room couch in front of the TV. There wasn’t really anything to watch and so she slipped in a blue ray DVD and placed both her legs on the coffee table. Ten minutes later, she hit the stop button on the remote and walked over to the window.

          Something was bothering her and she was very much aware of her jittering emotions.
Turning on the study room light, Ariet walked over to the reading table and turned on the computer. She opened a blank page on Microsoft Word and placed her fingers over the keyboard. Writing was the one thing in the world that always made her feel better. Her diaries were a journey to finding her voice and who she was.

          She typed: one of the dangers of revealing our true identity is rejection. Sometimes its easier to front… our deepest fear is the light…

          It was not working. She switched off the computer, picked up the phone and dialed
a number.

          “Hi Bengar, it’s me again.”

          “Hi babe, what’s up? You can’t sleep?” Bengar’s voice sounded questioning.

          “No,” Ariet said, “too many thoughts on my mind.”

          “Do you want to talk about it?”

          “Sure.” Silence. She pursed her lips and took in a deep breathe. There would be no
going back after this.

          “How long have we been together Bengar?”

          “What? A little over two years I guess. We have been engaged for five months now.”

          “Six,” she corrected.

          “Okay six. What’s your point?”

          She took in another deep breath. It was now or never. “I checked our phone plan on
the website, you know, we share a plan?”

          “I know that.” His voice had dropped to a whisper.

          “Well, you said that your phone wasn’t working Bengar. According to the site, you made
two phone calls right after my missed call. How was that possible?”

          “No.” His voice came desperate. “That’s not possible. My phone wasn’t working.”

          “Did you have it with you all the time?”

          “Yes I did. There has to be a mistake. Why would I lie to you?”

          She closed her eyes. “There’s something else too. The phone calls were made from Damascus. I thought you were in Latakia!”

          She could hear his hard breathing on the line. “Babe, please. Let me look into it. I swear there’s a big misunderstanding. What are you trying to say? Are you saying that I’m cheating on you or something?”

          “That’s not what am saying Bengar. I’m saying that you lied to me. You were not where
you were supposed to be and you didn’t want to talk to me for whatever reason. For goodness sake Bengar, we are engaged! Does that mean anything to you?”

          “Yes it does!” He almost yelled. “I mean … I have committed the rest of my life to being with you Ariet. You are supposed to trust me!”

          “How can I trust you Bengar when the evidence to the contrary is staring me in the
face?”

          “Because am still the same guy you fell in love with.”

          “Are you? I’m not sure anymore.”

          He could feel her slipping away and it scared him. He had never heard her talk like this. She had always been submissive and quick to laugh. Now she was cold and he was the reason for it.

          “Ariet… please…”

          “Don’t bother Bengar, its over. Life is a long journey and I need to take it with someone, not alone.”

          “With me Ariet. Please take it with me!”

          Pause. “Goodbye Bengar, and good luck with your life.” She hanged up just as the clock
struck
2am.

Bengar ran to his bedroom as soon as he clicked off. He quickly opened the safe deposit on the wall and pulled out a wand of cash. He swapped his jeans for a pair of black combat pants and Jacket. A black beret in his hand, he ran to the garage and jumped into the driver’s seat of the green jeep. He paused before turning on the ignition key. The car hadn’t been driven in over a year. Father into your hands I commit my spirit. The prayer was impulsive and normal for a man deeply anchored in his religion. He turned the key and the jeep purred into life. The wheels squealed noisily as the vehicle veered into the street.

         Bengar pulled out a 9mm from the glove compartment and checked it: full clip, one in the pipe. He slipped it into his holster belt, heart drumming as the jeep headed away from the city.

          He had waited for this day for a long time, dreamt of it. But now that it was happening, he wasn’t sure whether he was ready. Tar road gave way to gravel and eventually dirt as the jeep bounced dangerously on its way. Bengar squealed to a stop and hit the ground running.

          “Ariet! Ariet?” He yelled as he ran into the deserted building, a wooden cabin. He stopped and listened as his own echo bounced back: the sound of dripping water nearby, a tap; silent guns on the wall.

          “Over here!” Her voice came from a corner and he turned and saw the hurricane lamp in her hand.

          “Ariet!” He rushed over and hugged her tight. “It’s good to see you.”

          “And you too my love.”

          They let go and locked eyes. “What happened?” He asked. “It took me a while to
figure out that we were not fighting. You used the words ‘engaged and ‘journey together’. What’s going on?”

          “The phones are bugged Bengar. Our cover has been compromised. They are coming for us.”

          “What? Who blew our cover?”

          “I don’t know.” She walked over and sat on a stool. He followed in time to see her pull a newspaper cutting from her pocket. “This kind of explains it,” she said solemnly.

          His palms were sweating as he walked over and sat next to her. They read the article together. Israel jets strike Syria.

Ariet looked up from the paper. “It has begun Bengar, sooner than we expected. Israel bombed a Syrian air base in Latakia targeting a shipment of Russian-made SA-125 surface to surface missiles destined for the Lebanese Shiite movement.”

Bengar whistled. “The Hezbollah?”

“Yep.” Ariet folded the paper. “If Hezbollah gets their hands on those missiles or any kind of weapons from Syria then Israel is in trouble.” Pause. “Our country will be in danger.”

          Bengar punched a fist into his palm. “We can’t let that happen.”

          Ariet closed her eyes. “Our families, our parents are all in Israel. What do we do Bengar? We can’t stay in Syria, they are onto us.”

          Bengar looked pensive. “Yes, we have to get out of Syria, but we must complete our mission first.” He walked over to the wall and moved the red pins on a hanging map.

          She raised an eyebrow. “We move the timetable up?” She sounded excited.

          “We strike now! We strike tonight.” He stood up suddenly and placed a right hand over his heart. “For our children and our country! Let the will of God be done.”

          “For our children and country!” Ariet aped.

 

          Ariet closed her eyes as the jeep swerved back onto the highway. She could clearly hear her commander’s voice. The enemy is Syria, Hezbollah
and
Iran, and someday we may have to fight them all at once. She opened her eyes. Over 115,000 people were dead in Syria; the civil war not showing signs of abating. While the Al-qaeda terrorists were known to be helping the rebels, the Hezbollah were fighting side by side with the Syrian Army. The Hezbollah, a Shi’a Islamic militant group and political party based in Lebanon, was conceived and funded by Iran during the Israeli invasion of Lebanon. It was
deemed to be more powerful than the Lebanese army and thus a reckoning force around the world. And now they were helping President Assad.

There were some things that the Mossad, the National Intelligence Agency of Israel was afraid of: first was a handover to Hezbollah of Syria’s chemical warheads and second, a handover of Russian supplied anti-ship missiles which could repel Israel’s navy and threaten its Mediterranean gas rigs.

          Under the cloak of darkness, the jeep bounced on rocks and dirt as it descended
towards a small village defined by a cluster of houses with antennas sticking from the rooftops. Bengar killed the lights at the thumping sound of helicopter rotor blades and the two Mossad agents ducked their heads. In the distance ahead, they saw tanks patrolling through the village: a lonely Syrian flag on top of a building. The city was asleep despite the occasional gunshots that cut
through the warm night.

          “Are you sure that this is the place?” Ariet asked in a worried tone.

          “Yes.” Bengar’s grip was firm on the steering wheel. “According to the Inspectors and
United Nations officials, 21 out of 23 chemical weapons’ sites were destroyed. The other two were too hazardous to visit because of the fighting. According to my sources, the chemical making equipments from the two plants were moved here.” Pause. “Look over there Ariet, why do they need military tanks to protect a small village like this?”

          She followed his pointing finger and nodded. They had been together for a long time
and not once had he called it wrong.

          Under the cover of darkness, the two Mossad agents killed the engine and hit the sand
running through hostile territory. Sparse vegetation and boulders defined the earth. Stone wall houses met them as they entered the village: tin roofs, the smell of
carmel dung and
hopelessness, fountain water, laundry flapping in the breeze. Unlike the big cities like
Damascus; shops, stalls and ragged markets defined the streets here. The two agents cut through the houses and headed towards what looked like an industrial area.

          “Over there!” Ariet exclaimed and Bengar saw it. It was a huge building that stood out from the rest: asbestos roofing; aluminum metal flashing.

          “We have to find the transmission station,” Bengar said as he searched the area with a craned neck. “There must be a central power station for the industrial area.”

          They diverted from the industrial area and veered back towards the village. Here they heard voices and hugged the shadows of the bullet riddled walls. Patrols. Government soldiers. Bengar peered around the corner and saw the glow of a cigarette. Silencer gun in hand, he motioned Ariet into an alley and around the
soldiers. The smell of raw sewage in the alley was like a gag.

          “I see it,” Bengar said.

          “That pole? It’s kind of small?” Ariet’s forehead was wrinkled.

          Bengar took a second look at the twenty foot pole with a few electric wires running above it. “That’s the transmission tower alright. See over there? Underground cables, less detection, magnetic field buried.”

          “Let’s do it.” Ariet was already moving forward, one hand in her bag pack, adrenaline
pumping through her veins. She pulled out a C4 plastic material and begun molding it. It took 30 seconds to reach the pole and Bengar watched as she attached the C4 to the bottom of the pole.

          “Time?” She asked without looking up.

          “Make it two minutes. We need the distraction to get into the warehouse. We will need
more time to destroy whatever we find there.”

          She set the C4 timer plugin to two minutes and the two agents beat a hurried retreat down the street. A minute later, they climbed on top of one of the bigger buildings to asses the movement on the ground. A distance away from the village, they saw what looked like a military camp… men around a fire, tents in the sand. Fifty seconds to detonation. Ariet suddenly gasped.

          “What is it?” Bengar followed her gaze and froze. There, in the cover of the darkness, were three women and five children headed straight towards the bomb!

          Without thought or ado, Bengar was on his feet in a heartbeat, running like a madman, Ariet close behind. Their footsteps echoed down the stone pavement as they rounded one corner after another. They did not care for the soldiers or
discovery. All they could think about were the children. Thirty seconds to detonation.

          The women looked up startled at the sight of the two Mossad agents.

          “Get back now! There’s a bomb over there!” Bengar yelled.

          The children looked scared but the women had lived this life for a long time. Ten seconds to detonation. The group ran hard behind the buildings, Bengar counting the seconds. They hit the ground with two seconds remaining and
covered their heads. The explosion came in a gush of wind… nitrogen and carbon oxides expanding at 26,400 feet per second, applying a huge force to everything in the surrounding area. Walls crumbled and the transmission pole was tossed
into the air like a twig. The night lit like a bonfire and the sound of crackling fire was audible from miles away.

          Bengar was the first on his feet, brushing dust off his face and clothes, and breathing hard. “Ariet, are you okay?” He helped her to her feet as she coughed. There was dust everywhere.

          Dazed but okay, Ariet turned and headed for the children. “It’s okay little ones. You are safe now. Don’t cry.”

          There were five skinny boys, approximately ten to twelve years old and three women in their late thirties; eyes large over bony cheeks. She brushed the boys’ faces and helped them to their feet. They looked scared but unharmed. Bengar walked over to the three women. “Where were you going?” He was trying hard not to sound angry. They had botched his mission: two years of hard planning and patience. His sacrifice and that of Ariet would be for nothing. Fear of failure had been a life long terror for him.  

          The women pointed to the sky. “The missiles are coming! Please help us!”

          Bengar looked confused. “What missiles?”

          “The Israelites,” the women said. “The Israelites are coming.”

          Ariet shook her head. “Nobody knows about this place. The chemical weapons were moved,
but the inspectors don’t know where to look.”

          The women shook their heads. “They are coming. Your people know. Please help our
children, they are innocent.”

          Bengar and Ariet stared in disbelief. The C4 had killed all the power. The village lay in darkness and all they had to do was head towards to warehouse and deliver the full package. But if they did, then the soldiers would kill the three women and the children and they would never forgive themselves for that.

          “Lieutenant?” Ariet called hesitantly.

          “I got it,” Bengar replied as he pulled out an MS 360 hand held radio. “This is Code 156285 Alpha and Omega. I’m requesting an immediate evac at the rendezvous. I repeat, we have baggage. Coming in hot. Requesting immediate evac.” He clicked off and appraised the boys. He was surprised at how human they looked.
Nobody wanted the enemy to look human. It just made killing them harder. The mission had changed. The children of
Syria were the new mission.

          Gunshots in the distance; muzzle flash in the darkness. The soldiers were coming.

          “Let’s go!” Bengar said in a solemn tone. “We have to move fast!” It was surreal. Here
he was, an
Israel agent, protecting the children of a sworn enemy. And protect he would, if it meant
giving up his own life. What started as a thought had now become an imperative: a world united:
Israel and Syria; Muslims and Jews … and it was beautiful.

They ran through the streets, the sound of pursuit behind them. The loud explosion had awakened the people and murmuring noises arose from the houses. Bengar looked back and saw flashlights.
Soon the flashlights would turn into headlights and they wouldn’t be able to get away. The five boys were fast, the women slow.

          At the last street in the village he realized that Ariet was falling back in the group.

          “Go ahead!” Ariet yelled. “I will catch up with you!”

          He gave her one look and understood. The last house whizzed by and they left the village behind.

The jeep engine was still warm. “Get in!” he yelled at the women, grabbed two boys and
tossed them in the back seat. The other three followed. Bengar turned on the engine and the jeep roared into life. Come on Ariet, where are you?

          He turned and saw her running towards the jeep, a group of soldiers hot on her heels. They could smell her. They knew they had her. Bengar couldn’t breathe as he watched. Suddenly, Ariet pressed something in her hand and a loud explosion cut through the air. The soldiers did not know what hit them. Shoes and hats flew into the night: a hand landed on the side of the road. The impact picked Ariet clean off the ground and dropped her face first into the sand. Bengar
sprinted on well oiled feet and helped her to her feet.

          “The detonator…” she whispered, sand in her mouth.

          He saw it and picked it up from the ground.

          “Press the button,” she said.

          He did and another explosion brought down a building between them and the soldiers. Bellows of black smoke darkened the night.

          “Is that it?” He asked and she nodded. He half carried her to the waiting jeep and jumped into the driver’s seat. In the light of the burning flames, he saw the terror on the children’s faces as sniper fire hit the side of the jeep. The
vehicle sped through the sand leaving a cloud of dust behind.

          “Everybody okay?” Bengar threw them a glance. “Ariet?”

          “I’m okay.” Her voice came stronger.

          “Check the guns, see what we have. It won’t be long before they catch up with us.”

          While Ariet searched the vehicle for weapons, Bengar garnered the jeep towards the
caves. It took half an hour to get there and when they did, jumped out of the car and carried the guns into one of the cave.

          Bengar ran around the cave searching. He ran outside and came back a minute later. “No
no no…” he cried. “They are not here!”

          “Was this the rendezvous?” Ariet asked in a calm voice.

          “Yes! It’s been an hour since I made the call. It takes less time to get here from the MediterreraneanSea!” Bengar placed his head in his hands. “This is not happening. This is not supposed to happen!”

          He sat on a boulder, head facing the ground. Ariet walked over and sat next to him. “They are not coming?” She asked with a dazed expression. “Is that what you are trying to say Bengar? That they are not coming?”

          He nodded, too afraid to speak.

          “Why wouldn’t they come?” Her voice sounded distant.

          “I don’t know,” he shrugged. “Maybe the airspace is too risky. It will be embarrassing if an Israelite plane is shot down in Syria.”

          They sat in silence, the women and children watching them with terrified expressions.

          “I’m sorry Ariet,” Bengar finally said. “I’m sorry I let us down. May God forgive me.” Hope was a cold glow in the horizon.

          She took his head into her bosom. “Shhhh… don’t say that my love. You did your best. You tried to save the children. God will reward you for that.” Silence: a breaking voice. “We had a good life Bengar, didn’t we?”

          A thin smile crossed his mouth. “Yes we did, counter terrorism and insurgence,” he joked. “Only one regret.”

          “What’s that?”

          “I should have married you at the first chance.”

          She emitted what sounded like an attempt to laugh. “Ya, what’s up with that?” Her fingers dug into the side pocket and a small Bible appeared in her hands.

Bengar raised an eyebrow. “Is it time?” He asked.

          “Yes.” Her voice was calm. “We are trapped in a cave, the soldiers are coming. Its time my love.”

          She moved closer so that they could read the book together. Luke 23:46 Father into your hands I commit my spirit.

          “May the will of God be done,” Bengar added.

          “Amen.”

They held each other for a minute, oblivious to everything else around them.

          “I love you Ariet,” he said.

          “And I love you too Bengar.”

The sound of gunshots nearby. Bengar looked up and saw the five boys staring at him.

          “Are we going to die sir?” One boy asked in a scared voice.

          The haze in Bengar’s eyes quickly lifted and emotions tagged at him as he pondered the question. Are we going to die? He had been so preoccupied with himself that he had forgotten about the children. With the sound of gunshots
drawing nearer, the children and women looked terrified.

          Bengar pushed his weakness aside and dug deep for strength. Ariet watched with a smile as the Mossad Lieutenant motioned the boys forward. They sat around him with expectant eyes, the frightened women a step behind.

          “I will tell you a story,” Bengar began. “It’s a story about the Persian Army. An army so great that no city could stand against it: an army so massive that it shakes the ground with its match; so vast it drinks the rivers dry. Where they landed they conquered and took slaves.” Bengar looked into the eyes of the boys. “One day, this great army landed on the shores of Greece in 480 B.C, a long long time ago, and the people of Greece were
terrified for themselves and their children.”

          “What happened?” One boy asked as he edged closer.

          “Well,” Bengar continued, “the people of Greece had two choices: to surrender and become slaves or to fight until their last breath. They chose to fight.”

          “But the Persians were too many?” Another boy exclaimed.

          “Not so fast,” Bengar said. “There were two big Cities in Greece, Sparta and Athens. A narrow
passage led from the beach to the inland and King Leonidas picked 300 of his best Spartan soldiers to block the passage and prevent the Persians from
entering the land.”

          “Why only three hundred?”

          “To buy time while Greece prepared its main army for war.” Bengar looked at each boy in the eye. “Can you guys see it? 300 men against 170,000 Persians?”

          The boys nodded, eyes eager for the rest of the story.

          Bengar continued. “The 300 men were the best soldiers in the whole of Greece. They fought like lions in the narrow canyon and managed to slay tens of thousands of soldiers. They managed to protect Greece for days by preventing the Persian Army from entering into the country.” Bengar’s eyes looked distant. “I still remember King Leonidas’ words.”

          “What did he say?”

          “He said ‘This is where we hold them! This is where we fight!’” This is where we die! He refrained from saying the last part and instead jumped to his feet. “To this day the 300 Spartans are remembered for their bravery in the name of freedom. On your feet soldiers!” The boys quickly jumped to their feet: the sound of the approaching
army close to the cave. “Ariet? Weapons’ status!”

          Ariet ran to the side of the cave and did a quick math. “Five pistols, one AK 47, two semi automatics, three grenades, two flares.”

          “C4?”

          “None left.”

          Bengar turned to the boys. “You guys know how to shoot?”

          They nodded just as he had suspected.

          “Good.” He gave each a pistol and threw the AK47 to one of the women. “We protect the
entrance of the cave.” He pointed. “The soldiers will come through there and there. You boys take the high ground. You will each take one shot at my signal and then duck low. You understand?”

          “Yes sir!”

          The boys stood erect, eyes burning with energy.

          Bengar saluted them. “Today,” he said, “we fight like the Spartans!”

          “Yes sir!”

 

          Shots rung at the entrance of the cave and Bengar looked up quickly. “Positions!” He yelled, ran over and gave Ariet a quick kiss. “I love you.” He ran to the front and took the nearest position to the entrance with Ariet close by and the boys
higher up, and behind the cover of the boulders.

The wind howled through the entrance: trigger fingers stayed calm. The two Mossad agents had done this a thousand times.

          Four soldiers cautiously walked into the cave: rifles held shoulder high, eyes searching in the dim light. Bengar raised his right fist in the air where the boys could see it. The soldiers walked deeper into the cave. Lungs still and safeties off, the boys picked their targets and watched Bengar with hawk like eyes.

          Bengar’s hand came down fast and the boys fired. Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang!

          The bullets shuttered through the men’s chests and heads. Hands flared in the air and rifles dropped to the ground. The soldiers never had a chance at all. One soldier tried to rise from the ground and Ariet shot him in the forehead. One
shot, one kill. The man would never wake up again. All was quiet again in the cave.

          “Fall back!” Bengar yelled to the boys.

Light feet hit the ground running. Hard breathing echoed through the cave. Pistols in hand, the boys ran into the rear cave and took up positions as advised.

“Allahu Akbar!”

Ariet turned at the strange sound of prayer and saw the women huddled in fear. “Go with the
boys!” She yelled. The one with the AK47 hadn’t fired a shot yet and Bengar was glad for it. They would need all the bullets they could get.

          “Get ready!” Bengar told Ariet. They both knew exactly what was coming. And it came.

          Tear gas canisters hissed through the entrance and the air turned yellow with smoke.
A shadow in the doorway. Men started floating into the room firing rifles at unseen targets. Bullets ricocheted around the walls of the cave and landed on the dirt. The two Mossad agents watched through teary eyes until the soldiers got closer to the kill zone: and then the MP5 semi automatics came alive in a thunderous uproar. Thirty seconds of firing from the two Mossad agents. The soldiers turned and searched for the source, but before they could pull a shot, they were dead. Thirty rounds of magazine, thirty seconds. Bengar raised a fist in the air and Ariet stopped firing. They waited and listened. Dust in the air. No movement. Ten soldiers dead, bringing the total to fourteen.

          “Let’s go!” Bengar yelled. “They ran forward, grabbed weapons from the dead soldiers
and retreated to the rear cave. They gave the rifles to the other two women and took up positions as before.

          “This-is-Spartaa!” One of the boys yelled.

          Bengar smiled and put a finger to his lip. He and Ariet knew that it was not over yet. The soldiers would come back hard. And this time, they would bring the big guns.

          Silence. Noises outside. Their nerves were taut with anticipation. Anything was possible
and Bengar kept his fingers crossed. The last thing they needed was a rocket launch going through the cave. But nothing like that happened. Instead, they heard the click of pins as grenades were lobbied into the first cave. A few second later, a thunderous explosion rocked the cave and all the occupants were pushed to the ground.

          “Down!” Bengar yelled at the boys. He leaped over Ariet and covered her body with
his. Rocks and dirt fell from the ceiling and landed precariously around them. The air was filled with dust. One of the women screamed. The ground and the walls shook dangerously.

          A few minutes later, all was quiet. Bengar painfully crawled through the debris and searched for the boys through the dust. They looked shaken as they pulled shrapnel from their skin, but other than that they looked okay. The women however didn’t fare so well. One of them was holding her
right leg where a rock had landed. Ariet ran over and inspected it. She pulled out a bandage from her side pocket and quickly stopped the bleeding. There was not a moment to loose. The soldiers were coming! The sound of movement carried
across the air.

          “Positions!” Bengar yelled. Hot air threatened to clog his throat. The boys searched for their pistols and climbed over the rubbles.

          “You okay honey?” Bengar asked as she knelt next to him.

          “I’m okay.” She sounded sad. “I just never thought that it would end like this. I always wanted to die back home near my people.”

          He pursed his lips and nodded. The thought of death brought a slight chill to his bones. He wanted to tell her that things were going to be okay and that they were going to make it through. But they both knew the truth. Fourteen soldiers
were dead because of them. The army would be coming through the front door with the big guns and there would be no answer.

          “Goodbye my love,” Bengar said, rifle held shoulder high.

          “Goodbye honey,” she replied. Blood trickled down her head into one ear.

          They did not turn to look at each other. There was no need for that anymore. They were dead and they knew it. Their eyes stayed sharp on the entrance of the cave. If they were going to die then they would take with them as many soldiers
as they could. And that was a silent promise.

 

 

          One second stretched to three and hot sweat rolled down their foreheads. Bengar’s
mind drifted and he saw their faces like it was yesterday: all the people he had killed. Not the way they looked when they died but the fear and disbelief right before he killed them.

The cave wall behind them suddenly exploded and rocks were sucked out to expose a big hole. Light pushed through the gaping hole and lit up the cave like daylight. Bengar
recognized the sound of the C4 before he saw it: small quantity, short radius. He spun and squinted his eyes through the light. If this was Assad army, then they were dead. He waited for the gunshots but they never came. He waited for the imminent death but it did not come. Spasms of emotions rocked his body as he realized what was happening. Yes, there it was …a clarity of the moment… sunlight in
Syria! They were standing on ground zero.

 

Mediterranean Sea

          The Serpent Destroyer, displacing 7,200 tonnes bobbed up and down the vast waters like a twig. Inside the big Israeli warship, soldiers strutted and saluted with a sense of urgency. Drills were performed on the cruise missile launchers in
preparation for a land attack. With the war in Syria threatening the stability of the region, Israel stood strong in both action and observation to ensure the safety of its people.

          Bengar was exhausted as he walked out of one room and entered another. He had just passed his polygraph test and was headed for a debriefing in front of the Mossad Director and Lieutenant-General.

          The questions even though simple were meant to gauge his state of mind and find a
weak link. What would follow was a decision whether to send him back to duty or home as a civilian. If they send him home, another debriefing would follow to enlighten him of how much information he could divulge to the public.

Dressed in green combat gear, he listened sharply and replied as briefly as possible.

          If you were to retake the mission, what would you do different?

          How do the results make you feel at the moment?

          How did you find out that you had been sold out?

          He answered the questions to the best of his ability and sighed when it was over. The Director and Lieutenant-general converged for half an hour before addressing him. One sentence was all he heard.

          “Your next mission should you choose to accept it.”

The director slipped what looked like a cell phone across the table. Bengar caught it and nodded. He had just passed the debriefing session.

          A few minutes later, he stepped outside the conference room feeling relieved and rejuvenated. The sound of high heels made him look up and he saw Ariet stepping out of another room. He searched her face and instantly knew that she had also passed her debriefing session.

          “You okay?” He asked.

          “Yes. You?” Her eyes dropped to the cell phone in his hand. “Your next mission?”

          He raised the cell phone up. “Ya, Africa. You?”

          She raised her cell phone and smiled. “Africa too. Al- Shabaab terrorists just killed 67 people in Kenya. The people of Africa need our help.”

          The two agents started walking down the hallway. The anti-submarine ship shook slightly as a wave slapped gently on its starboard.

          “I have always wanted to go to Africa?” Ariet said.

          “You and me both. I want to see the sunrise above the Kilimanjaro.”

          She tipped her head back and laughed. “You are such a dork.”

          He punched her jokingly, the images of Africa flashing through his mind.

Note from the Author:

Legend tells us of stories that take us out of our realm of imagination. They make us dream big and believe in the impossible. They push us to be bigger than ourselves.

          Life is a journey… and through this journey, we struggle to discover who we are and our purpose in life. Everyday we come home and pour our hearts to our loved ones… and our diaries… and as we turn the pages, we subconsciously take control of our identity and mold our future to the arc of a better tomorrow. Our stories get bigger… the diaries never stop…

News

Off to AFRICA

 

My book A Whisper in the Jungle has been picked by a publishing company and approved by the board. It has been scheduled for release soon.

 

The music is all around you, all you have to do is listen

 

Contact

 

mrobertto@yahoo.com

Without God, what are we? What do we have? What is life...