The Capture

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: War and Military  |  House: Booksie Classic
This story is of a young lieutenant, newly escaped from captivity from an Islamic militant compound in Iraq, trying to seek safety from the impending worry of re-capture. The end of the story concludes the fate of his troubles.

Submitted: March 01, 2015

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Submitted: March 01, 2015

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Day-break fell slowly into place as a young lieutenant, armed with conviction to escape captivity, was running as a graceful gazelle from the strong-armed compounds of Islamic Militants. He was within a close hundred miles from the Iranian border close to Kurdish territory seeking asylum from friendly persons of the American army. He ran with rough sinew and attentiveness to note every slight movement from the matted-scrubs of the dried-colors leaves or the heavy distortion of tree branches that emitted a distinctive aperture that gave leeway for the piercing sun to hit his face. He had been running completely on foot for close to nine days without the ready supply of stable food or suitable fire-arm to fortify him against any preemptive attack from marauding militants searching from his whereabouts to re-attain him into captivity. He ate whatever creature roamed the soil-covered earth from crawling lizards to frolicking frogs that hopped along the green soot-covering rock mounds of the clogged streams of the small forest, and the pangs of hunger never ceased from each painful bite into these tiny creatures. The light inclement breeze of the forest shielded him from the stinging hot rays of the Iraqi deserts from exhausting the small reservoir of energy he held within body. If he had travelled along the desert without a great supply of water or food, he would have surely died of hunger or at least thirst in less than five days, for no man without the possession of these items could last in the desert sun that elevates in temperatures as high as 140 degrees. Thus, the man was well-fitted with a great deal of gratitude from the circumstances of his fate to land him in such a place as a forest in Northeastern Iraq in Kurdish territory, where sure resistance against the Islamic militants was to be had. But still, he desired to find shelter to guard himself of possible detection from the restless enemy, and to finally seize the opportunity of complete escape into the field country of the Kurdish region of the Iraqi province, for it was the only thought actively alive in his tired mind.

Taking a break from his excursion towards the zigzagging path of the old trail, the young lieutenant ripped off a piece of his jacket-pocket to use as a mechanism to erase the sweat that formed on his face, and laid on the wet grounds to repose his head in the wet dark-green grass. He laid comfortably there for ten minutes, with his arms comfortably upon his head, examining the lower slopes of the forest that was in front of his reclined vision for audible sounds of possible game for meal to put an end to his terrible hunger that menaced him for hours. Inside the rear of the trees adjacent from his present position, he serendipitously spotted two vivacious streams that intersected each other, both advertising the oasis of fresh water and sizable fish or crab for the satisfaction of his appetite to be silent for the rest of the day and beyond. Dismounted from movement, he languidly elevated back on his sore-covered feet and marched over to the top of the hill to verify the suspicions of his lazy-seeing eyes. He was right. The forest evinced the truth of his now fainted vision, two large rivers, extending over three miles long, were near the right side of the dark-slopes of the largely tree-covered part of the forests. All he had to do was descend down the steep slopes of the forest and secure the food that was to be had in those life-giving streams. He swallowed his alacrity to be simmered by his determination to reach the low area of the forest to deduce to his observation that there was indeed fish in those two rivers. Sure enough, when he reached the rivers, there were adequate-sized salmon the length of his forearm, good enough to eat without the fear of hunger to annoy the dexterity of his mind and vision.

After successfully catching the raw salmon with little vexation and loading up the left over fish for a later meal for the future of tomorrow in the small gun hostel where his pistol was made to lay, the young lieutenant elegantly wiped off the dirt from his jacket and trousers and limped precariously towards the dark forest in search for possible hospice for his swollen feet and aching back. It was dreadfully dark; the light of the sun was completely shrouded by the cedar trees that had leaves and branches spread out like great wings to cover the tiny pockets of light from entering into the inner area of the forest. Slightly, with a tinge of trepidation of each step on his badly bruised feet, he walked clandestinely across the forest with only the ringing choruses of the birds to guide him towards any direction that seemed safe from penurious intrusion.

With a mile or so in distance, he reached a small white lonely house with a weak candle-light in the right side of the front door. No signs of danger were visible, with the home having only 400 square feet in size and little merits to hold the condition of housing large members of an army as a resting place from battle. It seemed to him the house was more likely a property to the ownership of a small-time farmer living the forest to escape the violence of the ubiquitous gun fire from the far area of the Kurdish area as some Iraqis have done. Heavy in breath and low in strength, he carefully dragged his feet towards the poorly-lit home and importuned the house by loud knocks that pounded without the dictates of trepidation decreasing its intensity. Knock after knock, there came no person of the home to see who could on the other side of the door. The young lieutenant proceeded to knock more readily and began to yell out his identification to the door and bang even harder when the silence of the door persisted. Finally, the loud knocks produced an old man, slowly opening the door with only his head visible on site, with prominent wrinkles and swarthy colored-skin from the sun of the desert. His hair was branded only in white without the remnant of youth bursting forth within his disposition, and he had on the tradition grab wore by Kurdish farmers that he had seen before in various occupations around the country land. The old man looked concerned and scared of the possible danger that he had opened to himself. He quickly realized, through much exertion due to the darkness of the forest, the face of the youthful white lieutenant by the faint glimmer of the candle light and immediately sought to slam the door on his face just when the lieutenant used his battered feet as an intractable door stopper. At once the young lieutenant winced in awesome pain and fell violently on the ground holding his right leg and thundered aloud piercing cries of an exhausted man too tired to scream with great vivacity  like that of a stout and healthy man.

The old man, startled, slowly opened the door to witness the young lieutenant with the helper of the candle light to see his condition. He stood without saying or muttering a word to the man, only staring and perceiving the lieutenant while holding onto the candle with his right hand. The lieutenant yelled to him in perfect Arabic, “Aren’t you going to help me?” The man, however, still kept to his silence and watched the lieutenant with this time a slight confusion to his countenance. In haste, the lieutenant yelled with greater voracity in his voice, “Are you going to help me!” The old man was still stiff in striking up the decision of choosing movement over deliberation. He retained his silence despite the cries and shouts of the lieutenant becoming more pronounce and severe in vehemence for him to give out the waves of meditation and pensive thought. Finally, after the lieutenant transformed his yells into meager begging and pleading, the old man decided to grab his mud-covered hands into his home to help the young officer regain the strength and vigor of his feet.

The old man picked the young lieutenant up without batting a gazing eye towards his face. The lieutenant did not care to look upon the man either, for he attended to the writhing pain of his swollen right leg that seem to continue on with the strong stings of unholy pain surging through the rest of his right leg. The old man was generous enough to put much of the weight of the gravity of the lieutenant’s body upon his back for the pressure of his leg to be elevated above the ground. The lieutenant was grateful of this act of kindness, writing down to himself the great instincts of the old man to let his leg be relieved of the weight that worsened the condition of his bruised right foot.

The old man gently laid the young lieutenant on a lowly elevated piece of mattress of old and uncomfortable quality. The old man proceeded to remove the tightly-laced army boots off the lieutenant and tended the now appallingly disfigurement of his two feet. It was a gruesome sight to behold. His feet were mangled together of bone and skin weaved into a meshed ball of dry- brown blood and destroyed toe nails that stuck inextricably to his wet skin. The old man took no precaution to emit signs of disgust or uproar to the site of the feet; he gathered a keen sight of the condition of the disfigured feet and brought in organic materials to ameliorate the visible ailments of the man’s terrible condition. The old man even massaged the feet without gloves or synthetic instruments to cover his hands from touching the feet save him washing his hands with old water from the shed near the compound that housed the horses. For this, the young lieutenant was eager to inquire upon a man who would have the gall not to be appalled at his disfigurement, for even the nurses in the aid station would not have been found with the resolve not to show any signs of distress in treating such a disturbing condition. The young lieutenant, now feeling the receding effects of the pain of his feet take place, causally commenced interaction with the old man and said jovially in Arabic,

“So where are you from?”

The old man responded in broken English, “I am originally from Wan, which is in Turkey, and I am Kurdish”

The young lieutenant responded, “You speak English?”

The old man quickly responded brusquely, “Yes”

“Well, how did you learn English, I am anxious to know?”

“I was trained in British schools by my father who wanted me to go into diplomacy to work in America and the West. I can also speak German, French, and Spanish.”

“How can such an educated man such as you be found in a remote area like this?”

“I needed to go to Iraq to meet some fellow Kurds to support the defensive war effort against the impending Islamic militants headed in our direction.”

“That is interesting. I had just escaped from a prison camp in Takrit, up north from Baghdad nine days ago. I escaped by paying one of the soldiers to giving me some tools to disable the trip wires that sound off the electronic signals of escaped prisoners. In the cover of night, I escaped through the small hole I dug by the remote area of the camp and I ran until I reached a place where no Islamic militants could find me. I don’t know whether they are searching after me or not. I have been walking for nine straight days without any rest to my feet or body. I am lost; I need some help in escaping into Kurdish territory. Could you help me gain access into that land?”

“Yes, I can. We will need some heavy hands in locating the strategic operational position of the Islamic militants in the area. Since you have indeed been a prisoner of the camp, we can surely use your help.”

“Thank you. And may I ask what your name is.”

“Negeen”

“Ok Negeen, I am Clark. I cannot thank you enough”

“No problem Clark. Please get some rest on your feet and I will bring you some soup as food to suffice you throughout the night. We will have to leave in the morning. I have received some reconnaissance messages from my brothers in arms of Islamic militants moving within this direction. We cannot stay here for long.”

“Ok Negeen, thank you once again. I will rest for the night.”

“Good, be ready by tomorrow”

“I will”

Clark laid down for the rest of the night shining in great alacrity over his praised discovery of the very people he was searching to be in collision. Safety was assured; the gnat of death was not to sting him into permanent sleep. He slept an incredible sleep for the first time in nine days, sleeping throughout the whole night without the intervention of wakefulness to pilfer him of rest, with his wounds covered in medicinal remedies made in the backyard stable of the small makeshift farm.

 

********

Clark woke up the next morning with the unexpected rays of the sun finding its way through the tall trees to crash onto his face, burning his face to dispel the drowsiness of lethargy. The sounds of roaring engines came to him in an almost immediate instance just as the powers of wakefulness came to him. He reached up to the clear window directly above his bed to examine the front entry way to the small house. Gunmen were in the front lawn with Negeen conversing peacefully. They appeared to be Kurds wearing the same garb as Negeen and not branding the same markers that were clearly identifiable to Islamic militants. Surveying with slight reticence, Clark scanned the equipment mounted on the convertible jeep centered in the middle of the group. There were tools for the creation of old-style Soviet land mines, nine boxes of grenades, twenty-five Ak-47s with the appendage of thirteen newly-created grenade launchers that can be used with a formidable assault rifle. Eagerness began to spread in Clark. The Kurds were heavily armed with such excellence and the worry for the mismatch of men against the militants would be offset by the superior fire-power of the Kurdish army present in front of him.

Negeen and the men with weapons, after concluding their talks, started to run into the home with clear intensity to retrieve some item of great value within the vicinity. Just as Clark began to place his foot into his boots, the men with Negeen tackled him and lunge him away from his belongings and pulled him by his hands with his infantly-healthy feet dragging him along the hard surface of the ground, leaving a trail of fresh blood. At this, Clark bewailed in pain and asked with great deliriousness what was happening to him in this sudden tirade of the men dragging him with such violence. The man on the right of him stared straight to his eyes and yelled “Kafir!” to begin the collective chant of “Kafir!” “Kafir!” within the group. The hope within Clark started to melt within him and dry up into a dwarfed seed. The word “Kafir” is the same word used by Islamic militants in the camps for identifying an infidel who was to be handled with sharp and severe swiftness in painful punishment. In each chant, he could smell the fragrance of death lurking in front of him. He could not block its fumes from entering his nostrils. He was to die as a man giving all of his information to Negeen, who was now proudly chanting “Kafir” with the rest of the group of armed men.

The men gathered Clark by a tree to hang him up with his hands and feet bound by heavy rope and his mouth clogged by a dirty-black rag. Tears began to stream down his face and the men within the group erupted in laughter to see the young lieutenant ball as an infant. Negeen emerged from the crowd of man to display his personally crafted AK-47 he had used for all his companions as the head spy of the Islamic militants capturing people against the faith. He fired five warning shots in the air to test out the accuracy of his weapon. It was set. He firmly aimed the rifle upon his emaciated shoulder and formed a wide smile unto the moribund fate of Clark. The men waited in silence, ceasing from their yells and cries in wanting their comrade kill the cursed infidel. Negeen shot once, hitting Clark in the left leg; and twice, striking Clark in the abdomen and then began a fusillade of bullets all over Clark’s body, making Clark scream in such agony that the dirty rag flew ten feet in the air as Negeen increased his shooting. After a full clip, Clark lay dead and barren of life and the rest of the men shot up in the sky in great celebration thanking God for allowing for the massacre of the Kafir to be completed. Negeen shot with them, never leaving the site of Clark’s bullet-torn body and the memory that it was to have within him for killing an American officer.

 

 


© Copyright 2019 Deacon Lewis . All rights reserved.

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