Good Morning, Sunshine!*

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Action and Adventure  |  House: Booksie Classic

When he wakes up, the sun is shining. Where is he? What is happening?

 Good Morning, Sunshine!

 

When he opened his eyes, the light coming through was expansive. He smiled as he sat up. “It must be the sun coming out after such a long period of cloudiness and rain. I should take it as a good sign,” he thought.

He gently rose and looked out. “Oh, yeah!” he mumbled to himself. “Sunshine is really returning! The dark days may be coming to an end!”

He turned around, looked at the walls of the tiny room and its iron door before he sat down. He could now hear a lot of people talking together. “It sounds like there is a demonstration outside or something?” he murmured as he listened more carefully.

“No, sir,” someone said rather loudly. “It’s not a demonstration! It’s one of your colleagues crying out loud. I can bring him here to prove it!”

“That won’t be necessary,” he muttered shaking his head.

He could now see a man sitting across a table reading, nodding and grinning at the same time. “I knew you would do this sooner or later,” the man said as he looked up. “Why didn’t you do it earlier so you wouldn’t have to go through all that…distress?” the man asked.

He shrugged his shoulders. “Who knows?” he mumbled.

“You didn’t write anything about your trip to Iraq, though, Herman” the man said with a grin.

“But I didn’t…go to Iraq!” he muttered with surprise.

The man laughed. “We knew it all along, Herman!” he said wearing a smirk, “We asked you about it during our questioning… just to make sure!” He nodded his head a few times before he added, “We’ve got your own report about your past activities! I mean, the one you sent to the leadership of your organization!” 

He leaned back in his seat and smiled before he continued, “One of your comrade-in-arms submitted that report to us in return for our allowing him safe-conduct to return home. We recognized your handwriting but, since you had put a fake signature under the report, we had to make certain that you were actually the writer. We instituted an inquiry… to do just that!”  

He then stared at Herman’s face for some seconds before he began to laugh. “You sure duped that poor cell-mate of yours, though!” he said as he gently rose to his feet. “The crackpot was so damned sure he had got a valuable piece of information out of you!”  He paused a little before he added “That’s why we let him go. We have no use for morons like him!”

“What about me?” he heard himself say. “When are you going to release me?”

The man shrugged his shoulders. “I don’t really know!” he muttered a minute later. “The people in higher echelons must decide about that!” He then shook the sheets of paper he was holding and added, “They’ve got to review your confessions and then decide if there is anything else they want you to do.” 

He began strolling towards the door. “As far as I’m concerned,” he added as he walked, “You’ve done a pretty good job. Everything fits in with the information we already had. You can go back to your cell and …wait to see what will develop.”  He reached for the door and opened it. “You can take him, soldier,” he almost yelled to someone outside before he turned around. “We’ll have to match what you wrote with the information we’ve just received from the United States!” he declared as he took a step back to make room for him to go through.

 

“God!” he mumbled to himself. “What a relief! I couldn’t have heard a better piece of news! I just wish I could somehow tell that poor Mike what great service he had done for me!” He shook his head. “Making up a short story by putting together the information they already have!” he mumbled to himself. “What a clever idea!” he shook his head, “The info they had about my case was enough for me to write several books!”

The sound of an iron door cranking open disrupted his thoughts.

“Hi,” a young man said loudly as he walked in.

“How did it go, Abdu?” he asked the newcomer eagerly.

“Not bad, Herman” the man said wearing a proud smile. “Not bad at all!”

He walked forward and sat near him on the cell’s stone platform as the iron door of the room banged closed.

“Did they ask you any questions about…your dear comrade again?” inquired Herman.

“U-huh,” replied Abdu. “That’s what they’re workin on…right now!” he added.

“Did they…beat you up …again?” mumbled Herman.

“Yap!” Abdu replied. “As usual!” he added. “The fuckin bastards might kill me one of these days…if I don’t tell’m her name.”

“Her name is …Angela, right?” asked Herman softly.

“U-huh,” answered the other man. “But please don’t say that aloud! If one of them guards, out there, hear it, she’ll be in damn trouble!”

“All right!” mumbled Herman “I’m sorry!”

“Besides,” Abdu whispered after a second, “I never call her that! I always use her nick-name - - Sunshine. Yeah! Her name is…Sunshine.”

“Beautiful!” muttered Herman turning his head towards the cell’s small window.

They were both silent for a while before Abdu mumbled, “Any news about…Manu?”

“After they took you away last night,” muttered Herman nodding his head, “one of the jail guards that I’m teaching how to read told me that he had heard they were going to shoot Manu along with all his pals. He says they are about ten of them.”

“But,” murmured Abdu after scratching his nose a few times, “Didn’t Manu says that he ain’t part of any kind of…political…action?”

“Yes, he did, and he’s still saying the same thing” replied Herman, “but the cops claim that, according to one of the members of his organization, Manu had helped the group get hold of weapons, and was with them when they took over those villages in the North.”

“That’s too bad!” mumbled Abdu, “Maybe Manu’s tellin the truth, though!” he added after a second. “They may be finishin the poor guy for nothin!”

“What about you?” asked Herman after a while, looking into Abdu’s eyes. “Didn’t they try to get more info…about your…group?”

“Yeah! Of-course, they did! Son-of-the-bitches!” answered Abdu with emphasis as he slid his body back to one of the walls surrounding the platform. “They do it every goddamned time they take me there! But who’s goino tell’em  a damn thing about any fuckin piece of shit?”

“What about your girlfriend, Sunshine?” asked Herman. “Did they ask you about her again?”

“Yeah!” mumbled Abdu, “They always wano know more about her because…they think she was with me the night…we tried to…break into this joint.”

“Do they know anything about her…at all?” inquired Herman with curiosity. “I mean…things like…what she looks like or…”

“Not much!” interrupted Abdu. “All they know is that…she was with me…the night we were climbing the Castle wall.” He paused for a second before he exclaimed, “Oh, yeah! They also know that she’s a blonde!”

“Did you people have any plans…to…” mumbled Herman without finishing his question.

“Oh, yeah!” answered Abdu, “We were goino…” He stopped, took a look around before he added, “help some of our guys here…get away.” He nodded his head a few times before he added, “You see, we were goino…take over some villages too! Just like Manu and his pals.”

Herman smiled. “I see,” he said after some seconds.

They were both hushed for a while before Abdu grumbled, “Aren’t the son-of-the-bitches goino give us somethin to eat? I’m starvin!”

Herman took a look at the small window before he shrugged his shoulders. “It isn’t time for it yet!” he muttered, “They’ll feed us…in one…or two hours!” He looked around for some seconds before he added, “There might be some bread left over from breakfast, though. I heard one of the guards say something like that. If you’re very hungry, I can ask them. It will spoil your appetite so that you won’t starve while waiting for lunch.”

“How can you get…that piece of shit?” asked Abdu hesitantly.

“It’s not hard,” said Herman, “Some of the guardsmen have become good friends of mine. They never even locked the cell door before you were brought in.”

“It’s okay,” mumbled Abdu nodding his head. “I ain’t goino die! Don’t bother! I’m a sort of…used to this kind of thing, you know!”

He then stretched out his legs, lay down on the platform and closed his eyes.

**

“How did it go today,” Herman asked softly as Abdu walked in and sat down.

Abdu shrugged his shoulders. “As usual,” he mumbled. “I think there ain’t goino be another talk…for a while, at least,” he added after a few seconds.

“How come?” inquired Herman with surprise. “Did they actually say so or that…you…?”

“Yeah,” interrupted Abdu. “They said they’re goino leave me alone for now.”

“That’s good,” mumbled Herman making room for Abdu to sit comfortably on the platform.

“What about your friends here?” asked Herman after a few minutes, “Are you going to…do something to help them out of here as you said last night or…”

“Oh, yeah!” said Abdu loudly. “I’ve got to do somethin about that …especially since…” he mumbled but stopped short of finishing his sentence.

“Since what?” asked Herman, with curiosity, after some seconds.

“Since they said somethin about…Sunshine,” answered Abdu nodding his head.

“Oh, yeah?” murmured Herman. “Has anything happened …to her?”

“I think so,” muttered Abdu. “I reckon…they’ve found out somethin about…her place. They may go catch her…if I don’t move fast!”

They were deep in thought for a while before Herman said, “I never imagined that I might try to escape from this old castle someday…but now that you and your comrades are in trouble, maybe I’ll help you out and…go along with you.”

He was deep in thought for a while again before he looked up. “Do you think you and your friends…can find us a hiding place for a while if we get out?” he asked.  “Until we can establish ourselves a more lasting refuge from where we can…carry out our…operations?” he added.

Abdu stared at Herman’s face for a while before he said softly, “Are you really thinkin of…helpin us…get out of here?”

“Yeah! Why not?” mumbled Herman nodding his head.

“Thanks!” said Abdu with a smile. “Are you thinkin of usin those guardsmen friends of yours?” he asked softly.

“Yes! That’s exactly what I was thinking of, as a matter of fact,” Herman replied. “We can get them to help us or…perhaps knock them out, use their keys, etc. to escape in the middle of the night. Just like what you see…in the movies!”

“Yeah,” said Abdu nodding his head.

“Do you know where in the Ward your comrades are?” asked Herman after a few minutes.

“My…comrades? Oh, Yeah,” murmured Abdu. “I don’t really know, though! I just remember that they’re in the General Ward….”

“Huh,” mumbled Herman. “In that case, it’ll be difficult to help them out. We’ve got to know their whereabouts so that we can contact them and make a common plan, otherwise…!”

“Don’t worry about them!” interrupted Abdu, “I can get them out of here…another time! Right now I wanno…get my ass out quick …to save Sunshine!”

“Fine,” mumbled Herman. “In that case, maybe we should knock out one of the guardsmen. Then you can put on his uniform and get out of the Castle. You can tie my hands and feet, too, so that they won’t know I’m involved in this thing. All right?”

“Okay,” whispered Abdu. “Can we…do it tonight?” he asked hesitantly after a minute.

“Maybe!” muttered Herman, shrugging his shoulders. “I just need some time to work out a full plan for your escape.”

***

“We have around one hour left,” whispered Herman. “Let’s review our action plan once more before we begin.”

“All right,” said Abdu. “Here it is,” he added before he cleared his throat. “You call your guardsman pal. He is the one that you’re teachin how to read, and is very fond of you. You ask him to make us tea. You follow him a minute after he leaves and…say that you wano help him. The other guardsman is asleep at the end of the corridor so…he won’t hear you. You get him busy talkin about somethin so that I can come and take one of them guns. The guns are always loaded and ready to shoot. I order you to stuff his mouth with some rags they have around for cleanin, and take off his uniform. I’ll then ask you to tie his hands and feet before I tie your hands and feet and stuff your mouth with rags. I then take his keys and his gun, unlock the door which open to the front yard of the Castle. I act like I’m a guardsman marchin…until I get to the big gate. I unlock the Castle’s small side door with its key which is in their bunch of keys. I walk out still actin like I’m a guardsman…until I am far enough from the Castle’s office building. There, I find a dark spot and change my outfits. All I do, of course, is to take off the uniform and put on my own jacket and….”

“And two hours later, you’ll be saying ‘good morning’ to Sunshine!” said Herman wearing a huge smile.

“That’s right,” mumbled Abdu.

“Beautiful!” said Herman excitedly. “The difficult parts are the beginning and the ending,” he then said. “If you can catch Ali by surprise, and if you play it cool when you are leaving the Castle, you’ll have a pretty good chance of getting away without anybody noticing it.”

“I’ll have to…hit you on the head, too, don’t I?” mumbled Abdu.

“Well, yes!” answered Herman with a smile. “But that’s the easy part. I’m not going to fight you for it and you have had my hands tied by then to prevent all suspicion afterwards.”

They sat around waiting for half an hour without talking. Then Herman knocked on the door of the cell four times and coughed rather loudly.

“Yes, sir,” someone said in a soft voice from somewhere near the cell, a few minutes later.

“Can you open the door, Ali?” Herman said softly.

“Yes, sir,” a young man in uniform said after he opened the door and took a glance at them, wearing a smile. 

“Can you give us some tea, Ali?” Herman said, “My cellmate here has a terrible stomach ache. We’ve got to give him something warm to drink.”

“Okay,” the man mumbled nodding his head before he pulled the door to close it.

“Please, don’t!” said Herman softly. “I may need to go to the loo.”

“All right, sir,” the young man said as he shrugged his shoulders and began to walk away.

Herman quickly turned to Abdu who was sitting in the corner of the mounting, rubbing his abdomen. “You have about fifteen minutes now,” he said. “I will cough when I think everything is ready. Then, you’ll have around five minutes to start your operation. Okay?”

“All right,” muttered Abdu.

“Shall we begin, then?” asked Herman halfheartedly.

“Yes, yes,” mumbled Abdu, “Let’s!”

Herman walked quickly to the toilet at the end of the corridor. Stayed there for a few minutes and then washed his hands and strolled out.

“How is it going, Ali?” he said as he approached the young man in uniform who was fiddling around with a kettle and a burner.

“All right, sir,” the young man said wearing a smile.

“Have you done all your homework?” Herman asked in an affectionate tone of voice.

“Most of it, sir,” the lad said. “I’ll finish it tonight for sure! I’ll have lots of time…when everybody goes to sleep.”

“Do you want me to give you a hand?” asked Herman as he approached the guardsman.

“No, thank you, sir,” the man said. “You’re doing enough for me as it is.”

“Not at all,” mumbled Herman. “I love helping you guys!”

They were both quiet for a minute and then Herman said, “Do you know anything about…this cellmate of mine?”

Ali looked up and smiled. “Not much, sir,” he said. “All I know is what I’ve heard from…Noori, my colleague here,” he added pointing to the other end of the long corridor where the guardsmen’s bedroom was.

Herman took a look around before he said, “What does he say? I mean your colleague…Noori? That’s his name isn’t it?”

“Yes, sir!” said the soldier with a smile as he lit a match and turned the valve of the kerosene burner.  A second later, there was a big flame. “There!” Ali said. “I think we’re all set, now.”

Herman took a look around and smiled. “Okay,” he said wearing a friendly smile. “Please tell me what…your friend Noori, told you about my…cellmate.”

“He’s not my friend, sir,” said Ali. “To tell you the truth…I don’t care for the guy…all that much. That is…I don’t like him at all! He’s a…”

“Please!” Herman said, interrupting Ali’s speech, as he moved forward and sat right in front of him so that he could not see the corridor. “Okay!” he then said, “I understand that you don’t like your colleague. As a matter of fact, I don’t care for him much, either! But, my question was about my cellmate. Please tell me what Noori told you about him.”

Ali smiled and suddenly began to laugh. “You know, it’s very funny,” he said softly. “Noori says that…one of the inspectors has told him that the guards saw Abdu approaching the Castle wall that night followed by a girl. They chased them and caught him but the girl got away. When they asked Abdu, the next day, why he was there that night, he answered because he was a political man!”

Ali was now giggling so fervently that his body was moving up and down.

“But…! What was so funny about it?” asked Herman somewhat confused.

“The funny thing was, sir, that,” Ali said, “after three days of questioning, he finally confessed that…the girl who was with him that night…was…a whore!”He laughed a few more minutes before he added, “Abdu was looking for a deserted place but lost his way in the dark! He said he was a ‘political man’ to…cover up for the hooker who got away! The inspectors had to beat the shit out of him for three days before he finally told them the truth!”

“Come on, Ali!” said Herman now with a big smile on his lips. “How in the world could Noori find out  about all this?”

“You know,” said Ali, still laughing, “He has been working double shift lately. He was guarding the interrogation room this morning. He heard the inspectors laugh loudly before they asked him to bring the guy back here. Later they told him that the reason why they laughed was that he had pretended to be a political activist to hide the line of work of his friend who happened to be a hooker!”

Herman nodded his head smiling.

“They sure scared him though!” added Ali “They told him he was going to get five years of solitary confinement for his bringing a whore near a state prison at night time!”

They were both chuckling now.

“I thought right from the beginning,” Herman mumbled then, “that there was something wrong with the story he was telling me. That’s why I decided to put him through this test.”

He then stood up and began walking slowly towards his chamber.

“What about your tea, sir,” Ali called.

“Never mind the tea,” Herman muttered. “I don’t think we are in need of that anymore.”

He strolled to the cell, gently pushed the door open and called Abdu in a soft voice. There was no answer, however.

When he walked in, he saw the man lying on the platform with a blanket covering his whole body, snoring noisily!

He took a look at the little window up the wall. It was all dark.  “Sleep well, Sunshine!” he mumbled to himself. “You will soon rise! I’m sure!”  He, then, began  to spread his blanket on the floor.

 

 


 

 

 


Submitted: May 16, 2020

© Copyright 2021 Herman Azadi. All rights reserved.

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