Dawn Is Crying

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

They are getting ready to resist the a dictatorial regime. What is going to happen to them?

 Dawn Is Crying


He drove the car to the side of the road and stopped. The place was rather dark and somewhat covered by the long branches of a huge tree. He took a deep breath and quickly turned his head to look back. There was no sign of anything or anyone as far as he could see. He leaned back nodded his head and gently turned to his right. “We may have…succeeded,” he said softly, ‘There is nothing behind us!”

“Do you really think…we have…lost them?” a girl’s voice said whispering.

“I think so,” he answered hesitantly. “It sure looks like it!”

“What should we do now?” the girl asked after a short pause.

“Well, I think we’ll have to wait here for a little while, darling,”  he replied wearing a smile. “Just…to make sure! Then…we’ll get on our way…,”

There was a long pause before the girl mumbled, “Do you…really think…it’s safe, Henry?” She waited for a few seconds before she added, “I mean…with the baby and all?”

The man called Henry sluggishly shrugged his shoulders. “Do we have…any other choice, Madelyn darling?” he retorted softly. “Don’t you think…we should go on…with what we started…?”

“I guess…,” the girl named Madelyn murmured half-heartedly turning to look back.

“Is she…still asleep?” Henry muttered as he took a long look out the car window.

“U-huh!” Madelyn replied nodding her head. 

They looked into each other’s eyes before Henry gently began to talk, “What do you think, Madelyn darling,” he said affectionately, “Do you really believe…we should go on with…the predicament we’ve entangle ourselves in or… should we rather, give way, turn around…and go home?”

“Well, it’s really…hard to decide,” Madelyn replied softly as she looked out of the car window. “But…I think…we will be involved in this thing…whether we like it or not. It seems to me that…it’s part of …our predestined fate!” 

Henry laughed out loud. “As usual,” he mumbled after a minute, “Our bold lady has issued the directive for adventure--despite having a baby in her arms!” 

He, then, switched on the engine, took a quick look out and began to turn the car around.

“How far…do we have to go,” mumbled Madelyn softly, looking the other way.

“Don’t worry,” replied Henry, “There is no danger, now! I think they have lost us. Whoever they were!”

 He took a quick glance around before he added, “I don’t think we are very far from …our destination either. The way Karl explained it, the house must be somewhere…around here. Not very far, anyway.”

“Okay,” murmured Madelyn. “So long as you’re certain! I’m just thinking of …the baby. She may wake up…any moment!”

“I know, darling,” mumbled Henry, “but we have…nothing to worry about.”

Shortly after, he slowed down the car and stopped. “The place must be in this very street,” he said pointing to the street which went downward off the road. “The name almost matches what Karl told me. The description of it, too!” he added smiling as he turned to look at her. “It’s wide, dark, very steep…and…messy! Full of dead leaves, trash and potholes…! It definitely is the one!”

“Not a bad location for…underground work, though!” muttered Madelyn chuckling. “The place seems to be going underground itself!”

When they stopped near the wooden door of the house they had the number, they took a prolonged look at each other. “It’s our last chance!” Henry mumbled then smiling. “Once we step in, we are considered part of an underground revolutionary group planning to topple the present regime!” he said wearing a grin, looking into Madelyn’s eyes. “Shall we, or shall we not…enter!?”

Madelyn shrugged her shoulders. “Let’s go in!” she murmured indifferently. “The heck with the regime…and anything that can or may happen!”

As soon as they knocked on the door the special way they had been told to, it quickly opened. “Walk right in!” said Karl wearing a big smile almost hiding behind the door.

Eight other people were standing around the large hall of the villa—five men and three women. Karl quickly introduced them all: James, Harold, Fred, and Nicholas, who were his own friends standing on one side, and Joseph and his wife Barbara who stood beside Karl’s wife, Patricia and her friend Emily on the other.

The women rushed forward to grab the cradle of the baby as soon as the rapid introduction was completed.

“Did you notice anyone strolling around?” Karl asked then staring at Henry’s face.

“No!” answered Henry shaking his head. “Did you expect…us to see…somebody… out there?”

“No, I didn’t!” answered Karl firmly, wearing a smile, “I was asked to make sure!”

“One of our guys here,” began to explain Patricia, in a very serious tone of voice, “told us that…when he entered our street, he noticed something a bit further away…similar to…a living person…fooling around!”

 “It could’ve been…a dog, a donkey, or a monkey for all we know!” said Karl chuckling.

“We should be ashamed of ourselves if a donkey was watching over our hiding place!” said one of the guests as he moved towards Henry and Madelyn. “Hello, Henry!” he then said more loudly as he came closer. “Don’t you remember me?”

“Huh!” said Henry with suspicion. “Your face sure looks… very familiar…,” he mumbled.

“Just familiar, huh?” the man said chuckling. “You must be getting old…buddy!” he went on.  “Remember Lieutenant Eichmann and the Third battalion …dormitory?”

“Oh, God!” exclaimed Henry. “How could I ever forget…those miserably wonderful days …we spent together in the army, dear Joseph!?”

“Remember how you were trying to run away the day all the guys got their ranks but you didn’t get yours!” said Joseph shaking Henry’s hand and moving his head forward so they could kiss each other.

“Hi again, dear Patricia!” Henry exclaimed a minute later as he moved towards the young woman who had just returned from the bedroom! “You’re not going to steal my daughter, are you?” he said loudly as he laughed.

“I may do just that if you and Madelyn turn your backs,” Patricia said wearing a big smile. “For the time-being her place is safe and sound!” she added. “But you turn your face…and she’ll be gone…sleeping somewhere in our house next to my son, Bobby!”

Everybody was now either laughing or smiling.

When they were all sitting around the hall asking and answering questions to get to know each other better, Karl gently rose to his feet and strolled towards the outside door.

“You heard something?” asked Patricia getting off her seat looking at Karl worriedly.

“Yep,” mumbled Karl. “I sure did!” He took a long breath, frowned and mumbled, “It’s either Michael or…the mystery person…strolling around.”

“I thought you said it was a dog, or a donkey or a monkey,” said Joseph chuckling.

“Shu….sh!” said Patricia holding her index finger before her lips. “Let’s make sure…”

Everyone was dead silent for some minutes before Barbara, gently said, “We have to somehow check everywhere around before we begin our meeting. I’m a bit worried. There might be…”

“Yes!” Patricia cut in. “Someone must go out and check…somehow!”

“Did you notice anything unusual when you were coming in?” asked Joseph looking at Henry.

“No! Not really!” replied Henry. “But…”

“But what?” Karl mumbled as he listened carefully to the sounds outside the door.

“We noticed something awfully odd before we came to this area,” answered Madelyn looking at some of the other people sitting around.

“What was that!?” Barbara inquired looking quite anxious

Now everybody was staring at Madelyn’s face but she was looking at Henry.

“Someone was shadowing us for miles,” explained Henry. “We had to go off our route some thirty miles…to eventually shake him off!”

They were all ears listening to the sounds coming from the outside now. A minute later they heard someone meddling with the entrance door. Then the sound of a baby crying loudly was heard and the meddling immediately stopped.

Karl turned his face looking at the spectators as he bent his head to the right moving up his eyebrows.  For some seconds the hall was dead silent and then Madelyn whispered, “Is there another way out of here…just in case?”

Patricia gently nodded her head.

“We can get out…through the large window of the…bedroom,” Harold murmured smiling.

“That’s right, Harold,” said Patricia in a soft voice. “The yard door is pretty small but the bedroom window is quite large. We can even jump out through it two at a time …if necessary!” 

Outside was very quiet now. They could only hear the sound of some stray dogs barking. Then suddenly a loud noise was heard. It was like the sound of a truck engine roaring forward. Everyone rose to their feet automatically. Some began gazing at the bedroom door.

“Don’t get panicky,” Karl said wearing a smile. “It must be our neighbor’s wrecked truck! He occasionally uses it for taking his rice and stuff to the market or what not!”

He then swiftly walked to the exit door, opened it and stepped out.

“Hi Mr. Christopher!” everyone heard him yell. “How’s everything going?”

“Thanks, master Joshua,” the man shouted back from a distance. “How is your wife …and kids?” he asked before moving further away. “Say hello to Madam!” he yelled as he moved away with his vehicle.

“Who’s Madam?” asked Harold. “Why did he call you…Mr. Joshua?”

“He probably took Karl for someone else!” said Emily. “Some of these backward peasants don’t pay much attention to…”

“No! No! That’s not the reason, dear Emily,” cut in Patricia. “It’s because…we haven’t told our neighbors our real names.”

“They call everyone Master or Madam in this area,” explained Karl. “That’s supposed to be a sign of showing respect!”

“I’m glad he came, though,” said Emily in a rather loud tone of voice. “He must’ve scared away all the government agents around…if there were any, of-course!”

“I think we should count on that,” said James wearing a smile. “Even if there was a government agent about, he’s slipped into hiding, for a little while anyway!”

“James is correct!” said Nicholas as he moved his fat body to make it fit in the armchair. “So, we should get down to business while we have the chance. There may not be … much time…!”

“Al right, master Nicholas, sir!” said Karl wearing a smile. “We will start right away while…,” he added without finishing his statement.

“While you get ready to jump out of the bedroom window!” said James, cackling.

“That’s no problem, young man!” grumbled Nicholas, “As our learned people have always say, ‘business before pleasure….’” he added wearing a grin.

“You may need a lot of time to do that, though, Nicholas,” retorted James. “I mean for measuring the size of the window and all…to see if you can get your gigantic bottom through it!” 

All the people present were laughing now except Nicholas.

“The road to hell is paved with silly jokes, James!” said Nicholas after a minute. “You’re sure going to get it if you dare to make another stupid joke about my …bottom!”

“I’d heard this from another person, too, sometime back!” snapped James with a wide smile. “I think it was… a rhino …in Africa!”

Everyone was laughing now including Nicholas himself.

A few minutes later, they were all sitting around a long oval table, leaning back to their seats.  Then Karl stood up, cleared his throat and said, “As you all know, the dictatorial regime occupying our country has killed or imprisoned a whole lot of our most precious young men and women because they dared to resist its rule!”  He paused to clear his throat once more before he added, “Just in the last three or four months, hundreds of our young people have been tortured or murdered in cold blood by the regime because they were brave enough to demand their independence and freedom, and because they declared that they did not like to see foreign powers control their country by carrying out coups in the name of our people…”

He stopped to catch his breath but before he could start again, Patricia almost shouted, “Please come to the point, Karl! We may not have much time! That guy might come back with lots of support to arrest us and…!” 

“And…,” said James loudly, “we will have to rush out through the bedroom window to save our asses!” He then smiled and added, “Except for Nicholas, of-course, whose ass is too big to go through the window!”

Now Nicholas was standing up, staring at James, frowning, with his fists clinched. The rest of the group were chuckling, as they held their hands before their mouths.

Then Karl moved towards Nicholas, put his right hand on his shoulder, gently pressing him down to his seat. “You two should behave yourselves!” he said in a fatherly tone of voice, “You must save your energy for …!”

“Squeezing your asses through the bedroom window!” said James loudly to complete Karl’s sentence.

Most of the group burst out laughing and began talking to each other.

“All right!” Karl said loudly a minute later in a serious tone of voice. “Since some of you are impatient to…squeeze your asses…through the window, as our dear friend James keeps reminding us, let’s make the long story very short! As you know…” 

“Excuse me, Karl,” cut in Emily loudly holding up her right hand, “As you know…a lot of people say that our regime…despite all its shortcomings…has done a lot to improve our people’s standard of living. They say that our economy has made great progress, our women have regained many of their rights, and our armed forces have grown strong! In short, they say that we are once again at the dawn of our history!” She stopped to catch her breath before she added, “I don’t think any one of us, here, can deny this truth! Therefore, my question is…what are we supposed to say…or do…when we hear these things from some individuals who are not opposed to the regime?”

“Well! In my opinion,” answered Karl as he shrugged his shoulders, “We can say that we are still far away from becoming what our people deserve, and that…we are getting the things you mentioned…at the cost of…losing our precious independence, becoming slaves of a despotic regime, and turning into down-trodden stooges of imperialism! If that’s all we deserve, then we should sit tight in our seats and shut our mouths forever!”

“That’s it, huh?” muttered Emily raising her eyebrows.

“Well,” answered Karl, “At least that’s all I have to say,” he mumbled, “Does anyone else here…have anything to add…?”

“Yah…!” said Barbara frowning. “I personally believe that…only a part of what Emily said is true! She forgets about millions of people who are still jobless and hungry all over the country. One or two steps forward by no means is the same as our being at the dawn of our history!”

Dawn… my foot!” exclaimed Fred crossly, “How could one ever forget that a lot of our wonderful poets, writers and scientist have been executed in cold blood just because of criticizing this traitorous regime!? And this is…while the regime has given absolute immunity to certain foreign nationals--immunity from punishment for committing any sort of crime --so long as they live in this country!”

“Yah…!” said Barbara softly. “I think a bit of what Emily said is true, but she forgets to mention millions of people who are still jobless and hungry all over the country! One or two steps forward does not mean that we are advancing fast and we don’t need to worry about anything else!”

“Well, I think you have said all that was necessary,” declared Patricia loudly.  “Everyone here knows about the situation in our country!” she added, “And, because we may not have much time to continue with this discussion, I suggest that we now begin talking about…how we can work together to form a revolutionary organization!”

“Fine!” mumbled Karl shrugging his shoulders. “Since everybody already knows enough about our plan,” he added after clearing his throat, “I suggest we speak about …how we should coordinate our collective work in order to maximize its achievements and minimize the chances of getting caught by…the…regime’s…secret police!” He paused, frowned a little and then slowly made a half-circle turn in his chair to look at the exit door.

Everyone was listening with alarm to the sounds they coming from the outside once more. Then they heard the roar of the engine of a car approaching the house.

“It’s probably Joseph,” muttered Karl as he looked.

The vehicle was now approaching the house and they could hear some people talking loudly.

“It may be time for us to get our asses out of here,” mumbled James, “except for…Nicholas’s which is…” mumbled James.

“It may be time for me to cut your tongue out!” whispered Nicholas.

“Be quiet, you guys!” whispered Patricia worriedly. “It may be serious!”

Please…!” grumbled Karl. “Please go to the bedroom quickly! All of you! Give me a chance to figure out what’s happening!”

They rushed to the bedroom and closed the door behind them. A few seconds later, however, Henry gently pushed it  half open and slipped out.

Karl was looking out through a small gap he had created in the thick curtain of the hall window with his right hand.

“Can you…see…anything?” whispered Henry.

“U-huh,” replied Karl. “A bunch of guys…seem to be searching the neighborhood …for something!”

“That’s good!” murmured Henry. “If they’re looking for us, this goes to show that  they don’t have an exact address.”

“Yep!” mumbled Karl, “or that…they can’t find us…because this house doesn’t have… a number! We’ve already taken it off its front wall!”

“In that case,” Henry whispered, “They’ll soon discover that, grow more suspicious of this building, and force themselves in…! That is…if they really are secret police agents!”

“What do you think…we should do?” queried Karl softly.

“Maybe…we could perhaps tell our pals…to get out of this house and find a hideout for themselves!” murmured Henry.

“There are high fences around the yard,” mumbled Karl. “I checked that before our guys arrived. Besides, it looks like there are residential buildings all around us. The neighbors may mistake our guys for burglars and…call the police!”

“You … checked the place you say!? Isn’t this house…your own?” asked Henry surprised.

“Nope!” replied Karl shaking his head. “It belongs to a relative of ours. I’d only come here once before…when I was a kid!”

They were both silent for a minute before Karl mumbled, “I can go out and walk towards one of our cars…just to see how those guys react! “He then looked at the window and added, “If they rush to grab me, you can tell our pals to get out from the back and find a hideout!”

“I don’t think… going out…is such a good idea,” murmured Henry. “They will grab you to get some information, and if you resist, they’ll become suspicious and rush in here to search the place…”

“I guess you’re right,” muttered Karl nodding his head. “What shall we do…then?”

“Huh!” said Henry. “Maybe…one of the girls can go out pretending to be going shopping. They will either try to arrest her…in which case…we can react, or they don’t, in which case we can be pretty sure they’re not the regime’s lackies, and …leave this place one by one…and get together some other time, somewhere else.”

“What if…they don’t do…either!” said Karl nodding his head. “What if they avoid arresting her but…have someone shadow her?”

“Well! I guess we should have a plan for that, too!” murmured Henry. “In that case, she should …go buy some things from the nearest store and return.”

“In which case,” mumbled Karl “They may grab her right before she the enters house!”

“Yes! In which case, our Guerrilla warfare will have to begin right here, today!” snapped Henry.

“They are five or six of them,” mumbled Karl still looking out of the window, “most probably…fully armed and equipped with a communication system of some sort!”

“Well, that’s how a guerrilla war is fought!” said Henry wearing a big smile. “Always a small group of poor, selfless and brave people on one side and a huge gang of well-paid, selfish, fully armed military men on the other. The major difference between the two is that…one has a strong incentive to fight and nothing to lose, and the other has almost no incentive to fight and the whole world to lose!”

“In that case,” mumbled Karl, “Why don’t we do that…right from the start?”

“Do what?” asked Henry absentmindedly.

“Why  should we wait?” asked Karl. “Why let them storm us…and then react? Why not bust them up before they get a chance to attack?”

“Huh!” mumbled Henry as he shook his head. “I guess we can give that a thought,” he added. He then looked around him for a minute before he mumbled as if talking to himself, “If we attack, either some of us will get killed and the rest captured, or …we will have some casualties but gain our first victory…in our long guerrilla war against the enemy!”

“Do you think…it’s worth the risk?” asked Karl looking him in the eye.

“I don’t know!” mumbled Henry. “But we don’t seem to have much of a choice! If we wait too long, we may get ourselves butchered by those crackpots in our own place!”

‘Huh” said Karl as he gazed out of the window. “It looks like we’re on for a battle, whether we like it or not!”

Henry stepped forward and took a glance out. Right before his eyes stood a big man in civilian clothes leaning back to one of the cars parked in front of their place staring at their place’s exit door.

“There are…three of them!” mumbled Karl. “Two watching our house, and another pretending to be looking the other way.”  He paused for a second before he added, “but there are at least two more…across the street. Near another car. They’re just fooling around…probably trying not to attract our attention…too much!”

“They must be planning…to take us by surprise, then!” muttered Henry “I think we should let our guys know this…at once!”

He turned around and began to walk. “It looks like our first revolutionary battle is commencing…whether we like it or not!” he mumbled as he left.

When he entered the back room, everyone turned to look at him. “We’re, apparently in for our first battle with the enemy,” Henry declared trying to be as cool as possible. He then smiled and added, “Don’t get too excited, though! It might be just a speck of our imagination. We only want to be prepared…...That’s all!”

“How do you know they’re getting ready to attack us?” asked Joseph as they were rushing out of the bedroom.

“Well, we don’t!” replied Henry. “It’s only that they have surrounded our place and …they’re armed.”

 Soon everybody was near the big window of the hall trying to take a glance out.

“I’m not sure that…they want to attack us,” mumbled Patricia. “It looks like…” she added before she suddenly stopped.

“Can’t you see how many more…are hiding behind the cars around now?” muttered Barbara in protest. “They’re definitely up to something!”.

“I think…we should not take the silly risk of waiting for them to make the first move,” said Fred rather loudly. “If we take the offensive, we will have a better chance of succeeding!”

 “I can see more people coming!” mumbled Barbara “We may be losing precious time…!”

Karl turned around. “Let’s decide what to do…quickly!” he said, “Apparently, we don’t have much of a choice. We should either attack them or… turn back and try to find a way out of here!”

“I don’t think…there is a way out of here!” mumbled Harold. “It looks like they’ve surrounded us. I’ve seen how they carry out such schemes. They always besiege the place with their military and armament first and then attack. They are scared as hell of groups like what Castro formed in Cuba and Mao in China. Since then, the Americans have been trying to suffocate every revolutionary movement in its cradle!” 

“So, you’re sure…they’ve surrounded our place, huh?” queried Emily.

Everyone was staring at Emily now. 

“Yes!  And he’s probably right!” said Patricia. “And…, if that’s the case… we have no other choice but to attack…to save our own lives …”

“I agree,” said Joseph. “We really have no other alternative but to defend ourselves …by attacking first.” 

“Is there anyone who prefers to…surrender?” asked Karl loudly.

No one made a sound.

“Fine!” said Karl. “Then we will do what seems to be our only choice -- attacking them with all our might! And …they’ll most probably be taken by surprise! We can then seize their weapons and get fully armed!”

“That’s great!” said Barbara. “Once we have weapons, I can take you to a place I know up the mountains…to use as a base for…planning our next move…!”

“Wonderful!” said Karl. “I happen to have a shot-gun, and, Henry, here, owns an old pistol. They are both loaded and ready to shoot. With the help of these and some knives and things which we will find in the kitchen, we should be able to make a surprise attack on the murderers who are waiting outside. Then we can use their guns to take care of the rest of their gang. When that’s over, we can go to the place that Barbara mentioned and plan our next move on the enemy.”

He stopped and took a glance around. No one looked like they wanted to say or do anything. Karl waited for some minutes, and then mumble, “Well , if  no one has any suggestions… then…those of you who are for  my plan… please raise your hands.”

He closed his eyes and gently raised his own right hand..

For one long minute, no one said or did anything. Then Henry raised his hand and then Madelyn, followed by Patricia, Barbara, Joseph, Harold, Andrew, Robert and eventually Henry and Emily.

 When Karl opened his eyes, he smiled. “Now I suggest that those of you who don’t have any weapon of any sort,” he said rother loudly, “ quickly go to the kitchen, and find something to fight with while Henry and I  make a little plan for our fantastically heroic offensive against  the enemy!”

Some minutes later, they were all gathered in the hall once more, this time everyone carrying something with them. Karl took a careful look around and smiled. “Fine!” he said. “Now that you are all equipped, we can discuss our little plan!”  He paused, took a long breath before he continued, “This place actually has three exits: one is the main door which you people used to enter the building, and, two others that I’ve made myself in the fence of the yard, one on each side of this building, for such occasions as now. No one can see those secret doors from the outside because they are completely stuck to the fence. But from the inside, they are not very difficult to recognize because I’ve put a small knob on each one.” He took a long breath, smiled again and then said: “Here is our plan:

“We divide into three groups. Two will go and wait behind the two yard doors, and the third will stay here with Henry and I. We start our attack by my shooting the man who is standing near the window here. As soon as I do that, Henry along with the central group of three will rush out through the door. Henry can shoot one of the other men – whoever is the closest. It’s then that our two other groups will rush out through the two hidden doors in the garden fence, and attack the rest of the thugs from both sides. I’ll be watching them from here and shoot whichever ones that come near you or happen to be hiding some place and suddenly jump out of their hideouts.”

He stopped to catch his breath before he added, “In case there are too many of them and I realize that in no way we can finish them off, I will blow into this whistle I have and you can quickly retreat into the house and the yard. This will gain us some time to go to the yard, climb the walls around and get away! I have already placed two ladders next to the walls for such emergency times!”

 Karl paused again to catch his  breath and then  asked, “Does anybody…have…any questions?”

No one said a word.

“Okay, then!” he mumbled. “I suggest Joseph and Patricia to be the leaders of our two groups which attack from the yard. If anyone prefers to stay here with us taking part in the attack through the main door, please let me know…now.”

Madelyn raised her right hand. “I’d better be here,” she said, “Just in case…my daughter wakes up and begins to cry…to take care of it.”

“Fine!” Karl said. “Now we need two more people for our central group,” he added.

Harold and Emily gently raised their right hands.

“Right on!”  Karl said nodding his head. “Now, Joseph and…Patricia. You can each …pick two people to…work with you.”

“It makes no difference to me,” mumbled Joseph. “Whoever likes to fight along with me…is fine!”

“I choose Barbara and Harold,” said Patricia indifferently.

“All right then,” said Karl joyfully. “So, Nicholas and Fred go with Joseph.

He then took a quick glance outside and added, “We seem to be all set! I think we can begin our operation if everyone is all set…to take part in our …offensive operation.”

No one said anything.

“I guess we can start there,” mumbled Karl. “So, I suggest that our two groups go to the back yard through the door between the toilet and the bedroom and take their positions. When they are all set for their assault, one of them should come and tell me. Then we will get ready, too, and I will fire the first shot. All right?”

Most of the people present nodded.

Ten minutes later, Patricia gently came back and mumbled,” I think…everybody is ready out there but…”

“But what?” asked Karl staring at Patricia’s face.

“But…nothing!” said Patricia as she turned around and waked away.

Is everybody ready to start with our new… destiny?” asked Karl halfheartedly.

Madeline smiled. “You sure chose the right word…for the situation. We’re not only going to enter a new era ourselves but also we are driving our children into it with us…whether they want it or not!”.

“We don’t have… too much of a choice, though,” mumbled Henry. “We either fight back and stay as free men and women …or surrender and become modern slaves!”

“I guess…” murmured Madeline as she took a look back at the bedroom door.

“Fine then!” said Karl as he turned towards the window.

Please tell me exactly where the guys are standing!” said Henry as he pointed to Emily and Nicholas who were standing together looking at them blankly, signaling them to go stand by the outside door.

“One is … near your car,” Karl mumbled, “One is … in front of our door, and one or two…further away both pretending to be looking the other way.”

“That’s good!” said Henry with a smile. “Then let’s shake hands and say farewell!”

Karl smiled, turned around and embraced Henry.

“Madeline can stay with you here,” Henry said then before taking out his pistol. “ “You may need back up . She has a very sharp knife with her!” “

“Good!” mumbled Karl before he turned around and moved towards the window.

“Please count up to fifty before you start shooting!” he added as he walked towards the outside door holding his pistol. “Good-bye Madelyn darling!” he said as he began to walk away.

“Good by… my love!” whispered Madelyn as she stood watching him disappear in the dark. Karl then picked up his rifle, swiftly turned around and pulled the curtain aside a bit to make sure he could see the man who was to be his garget. Before he did anything else , however, he took a step back and gently moved towards Madelyn.

“You know,” he whispered staring Madelyn straight in the eye. “I think…we must make a little change in our plan.”

“What change?  Why?” asked Madelyn squinted her eyes, looking puzzled.

“On the second thought,” Karl retorted, “I think I’m not made for a job like this! I think I would be far more useful if I were in the field…with the guys!”

“So!?” murmured Madelyn still muddled.

“So, I think I should change my place with…Henry!” he said more loudly.

Madelyn was staring at Karl blankly. “If we’re to die…, what difference does it make…where?” she murmured after a few seconds.

“That’s not the point!” Karl said. “The idea is that…this is what I prefer…to do!”

“Okay!” Madelyn mumbled a bit more loudly. “You have made…all the plans till now,” she went on, “You can change it… if you wish…any way you like!”

“All right, then!” said Karl quite loudly now. “Would you please…call Henry…to come here?”

Madelyn shrugged her shoulders, moved towards the outside door and returned with Henry after a minute. Karl had changed his jacket during that time and was ready to go. They talked for some seconds and then exchanged their places.

Henry took a long breath, then, gently walked to the curtain, pulled it partly aside and picked up Karl’s rifle. He then released the trigger lock and gently opened the window partly to point the rifle to the back of the head of the guy guarding their door. Before pulling the trigger, however, he felt a wave of sorrow mingled with sympathy for the man. “What if…he’s a poor family man forced to collaborate with the butchers of the regime to feed his children?” someone seemed to be yelling into his ears.

“He’s also a murderer butchering the most precious members of this community!” he mumbled to himself to null the effect of what he had just heard. He then raised the barrel of the gun and pointed it at the man’s head again. Before he could pull the trigger, however, the guy suddenly bent his head and sat down. Then Henry heard the sound of someone moaning and, a second later, somebody crying out loud.

“God!” he murmured. “It sounds like…one of his kids is already mourning for him!” He took a very deep breath. “I must be going mad all of a sudden!” he said almost loudly. “This may be because I hadn’t touched a gun since the time of my military service-- not to speak of killing someone…in cold blood!”

He shook his head, took another long breath and aimed the rifle at the back of the man’s skull once more. But before he pulled the trigger he heard the sound of a baby crying, this time far more harshly-- so loud and clear that even the man whose head he was to shatter turned his head partly towards the house and began eavesdropping.

Henry quickly took a step back so that the secret agent could not see him while trying to point the muzzle of the gun at the man’s forehead which was now in sight. The shrieking, however, was repeated, this time far more loudly. Before he could take another step back to get out of the secret service man’s view, the guy turned somewhat more and brought his hand up. He was holding a revolver.

Henry took a few quick steps back to take himself out of the man’s sight. But before he could do anything else, he heard the shrieking sound again, this time right from behind him. When he turned his head, he saw the shadow of someone a few feet away. “What is this noise?” he inquired absentmindedly.

“It’s Dawn!” he heard Madelyn whispering as she came closer. “Dawn is crying!”

“Why…?” he asked confusedly again as he turned towards the curtain to look at the man holding up the gun.

“She has been quiet…long enough!” Madelyn mumbled, more loudly now. “For two whole hours! What do you expect?”

“God!” Henry murmured. “You’re right…I…suppose!”

He cautiously pulled the curtain back a little to see what the man with the revolver was doing.

The gunman, however, was not there.  He was not, in fact, anywhere to be seen. When he stepped forward and searched the area with his eyes, he spotted the man running on the other side of the street holding up his gun. 

Henry pulled the curtain half way back to see more clearly what was going on. Then he discovered several other men rushing, from different directions, towards the half-open door of the villa across the street. He heard the sound of some gun shots before he closed the window and pulled the curtain back.

“My God!” he murmured, letting out a sigh of relief. “Dawn saved our lives!” he said far more loudly shaking his head as he approached Madelyn holding the baby in her arms.

“What’s going on?” asked Madelyn worriedly. “Is it our guys shooting?”

“You heard it, too, huh?” inquired Karl, softly, leisurely walking into the hall. “What’s happening out there?” he asked again, this time more loudly.

“Nothing much!” replied Henry. “The cop guys have just begun their dreadful offensive against their enemy-- who happens to be our neighbor on the other side of the street! No wonder they were mostly standing with their backs towards us! They were watching the villa across the street! We almost made the biggest mistake of our lives – attacking such a big gang of secret agents armed to their teeth…with our almost empty hands! It would’ve definitely been a disaster for us, a pure suicide! But Dawn did not allow us to do it. She saved us all!”

“As I’ve always said,” mumbled Madelyn squeezing the baby in her arms, “Dawn is my calling!

Submitted: November 20, 2021

© Copyright 2021 Herman Azadi. All rights reserved.

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