July 22nd 1979

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Historical Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

July 22nd 1979

The most vile yet effective political event of the modern era

 

Despite all the decorum, the old congressional hall reeked of sweat. The heat rose steadily as shabby men in suits filled out the room. A lone fan hummed uselessly in the corner. My nephew Remy was losing his patience. “God this room is sweltering, what kind of asshole calls a meeting on a day like this? what are we even doing here?”

 

Asshole? I smacked his head with such force his glasses leapt from his face.

 

“Did your mother drop you as a child? Don’t you know where you are? That piece of shit fan is more use than you!”

 

The strike appeared to knock some sense into him as he fumbled with his glasses and regained his composure. “Uncle... I am sorry” he mumbled. “Please forgive me, but what are we doing here?”

 

“I am working. You are assisting, that is all you need to know.” I fixed my tie as I took my seat. Bringing him was clearly a mistake. I recently fired the boy for being too outspoken, but my sister begged me to rehire her son. Begs turned to pleas, pleas into threats, and now I have the worst assistant in the central committee. Again.

 

Despite his lack of judgement, the boy had a point. What were we doing here? The same question circulated around the conference room as men turned to each other searching for the answers.

 

As our curiosity peaked, the man with all the answers walked passed the podium and took a seat at his desk on the dais facing the committee. The steady hum of questions wilted, for President Saddam Hussein had finally arrived.

 

He lit a cigar and surveyed the room until the last conversation stifled. All were in silent anticipation, save for the little fan creaking along in the corner. When Saddam’s gaze finally met my nephew, he smiled.

 

Saddam knew my troubles with my nephew, and my tribulations were a constant delight for the bastard.

 

He folded his hands and leaned backwards, chomping on his cigar. Without warning a man was brought out in chains. Two guards escorted him on either side to the podium. The chained man limped horribly and his face was severely swollen. It was Abdel-Hussein, a prominent member of the central committee.

 

Questions bubbled up again throughout the room.

 

“My fellow countrymen” Saddam said, “I call you today to share a terrible revelation.”

 

“There is a group among us who wish to illegally overthrow our government. This man wishes to confess to this most serious of crimes.”

 

New questions passed between committee members as the room shifted abruptly from curiosity to confusion.

 

“My name is Abdel-Hussein and I confess.” His voice was soulless and scripted. The poor man was doubtlessly tortured beyond the brink of sanity. “I confess to plotting to destroying the republic. I confess to plotting to remove the regime of the Ba’ath party. I am guilty of treason and I beg the leadership to execute me for my crimes along with my co conspirators.”

 

The confession shocked the room. No one knew what to make out of what they had just heard. Treason? Conspirators? Saddam swiveled his feet onto his desk, tapping his cigar so the ash fell to the floor.

 

Abdel’s hand drifted into his breast pocket and emerged with a document which he placed on the podium. His eyes never moved as he recited it’s contents from memory.

 

“The following members of the central committee were with me in this plot:

 

Omar Yusuf

 

Saad Darzi

 

Al-Karaji

 

The names were read slowly, and each time Abdel named a man a guard moved to drag them out the door. After a dozen names sheer animal panic spread through the room.

 

“Glory to Saddam Hussein our leader!” A sausage of a man shouted standing on his seat, sweating feverishly.

 

Ahmed ibn Yusuf

 

Mohammed Jabro

 

Fakhri Al-Gazali

 

“All praise to Saddam! He is The sun! the moon! the stars!”

 

Grigor Gurzadyan

 

Ara Hamza

 

Abdul Raja Shalah

 

Nothing made any difference. Abdel named men and the harvest continued. It was absolute chaos. 

 

Sayf al-Dawla

 

Ibn Hubal

 

Remy Munasifi

 

Remy? My blood turned cold, clearly this was a mistake. “No!” I shouted and turned to hold Remy, to grab him, anything. I caught his jacket but the guards were quick to separate us as Remy was lead away.

 

“Uncle! Uncle! Please uncle help me you can help me tell them it isn’t true! Help me please uncle!” He was sobbing and begging on his way out the door.

 

Saddam took another drag of his cigar. Men were shouting praises, begging for mercy, and praying to god. 50 people, roughly half the central committee had been removed. Fear gripped all who remained as we were rounded up and led out the door and out into the yard.

 

The light was blinding as we stepped out into the hot summer day. Before us knelt the named men, the alleged co conspirators. Most of them were outfitted with black hoods to hide their faces. The ones without hoods, the ones who struggled, were sprawled in the yard pools of fresh blood.

 

A guard nudged me towards my kneeling colleagues. The faces were covered, yet I still recognized them all. Dismay overcame me as I began dry heaving and shaking. Hot tears were streaming down my face. To my horror I located Remy, my nephew, kneeling in the crowd. I was still holding his jacket when a guard pressed a pistol into my palm.

 

I looked up and saw others were being given guns as well.

 

Pop.

 

A hooded man keeled over.

 

Pop. Pop.

 

2 more fell.

 

My arms raised on the own volition as my pistol pointed in Remy’s general direction. I squeezed my eyes shut and I prayed to god I would miss.

 

Pop. Pop. Pop.

 

A hand gripped my shoulder, and I turned to see a smiling Saddam, shrouded in summer haze and cigar smoke.

 

“Your troubles are yesterday my friend. Tomorrow we find you a new assistant.”

 


Submitted: February 12, 2021

© Copyright 2021 pair of golden bears. All rights reserved.

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pair of golden bears

This is my first short story

Fri, February 12th, 2021 6:08pm

88 fingers

Very good first time story. There is actually video of this meeting on You Tube. I've seen it. Cult of personality is a dangerous thing.

Fri, February 12th, 2021 9:28pm

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