Enemies And Angels
by Tammy Enyart
It was a tear in the fabric of one man’s illusion that caused another man’s to fray.
Al Wasim, a radical insurgent since the infant years of the Taliban, was imprisoned for terrorism and crimes against humanity. A man of average height, handsome with dark eyes as piercing as a raptor’s set close together over a prominent nose giving him the appearance of a predator instead of a newly changed man of God.
Tears streamed down his face as he shared his testimony and the account of events leading up to his arrest and apprehension.
“Some of you will remember the six day war in 1967,” Al Wasim said.
A handful of prisoners nodded in recollection of that historical week. One among them who was artificially placed by the U.N was Benjamin Linder, a former sniper in the Israeli army, turned international mercenary.
“I was just a boy when soldiers marched through the city. The near annihilation of our military made our blood run cold.”
Palestinians, Egyptians or anyone unfortunate enough to get caught underfoot of the Israeli army could testify to the truth of Al Wasim’s words.
“My people trembled as countless thousands were apprehended and taken into custody as prisoners of war.”
As Ben listened to the account of events through the eyes of his enemy, he witnessed his own people as the oppressors instead of the oppressed.
“Taught in the ways of Islam during my youth, I came to hate those whom the Quran stated were the descendents of monkeys and pigs.”
Dissension spread among the prisoners. Angry shouting roused the attention of the guards who seemed threatened by the possibility of ensuing violence. With mayhem temporarily stalled by the presence of tazers, the pseudo guard addressed the speaker.
“I would expect that you are familiar with the scriptures of the Torah, as well as those of the Quran?” asked Benjamin.
Al Wasim nodded, observant of Bens cool disattatchment among a room full of angry men. The man appeared to be young but carried himself with a maturity older than his years.
“Then maybe you’ll remember that God’s word states that we are all created in his likeness. That being so, would you imply that the creator is a beast?”
“Certainly not,” stammered Al Wasim. Embarrassment flushed his face red.
“I no longer hold to the teaching of the Quran, which, by the way, doesn’t imply that the creator is a beast, either. Unfortunately, many of my fellow Muslims continue to be misled by Muhammad’s teaching.”
“You call Muhammad a liar?” demanded a prisoner.
“You’re a wretched infidel!” spat another.
The former insurgent lowered his head as the two rabble rousers were subdued by guards and escorted back to their cells.
“Only by the power of Christ’s blood can the walls of hatred come down,” Al Wasim said quietly.
“Some leap for a Muslim,” replied Ben with a hint of skepticism. He held fast to the idea that God reproducing with a woman was sacrilege. That much, Muslim and Jew could agree upon.
“It was a gradual process, more like baby steps, you might say.”
Seeing that the man was listening, Al Wasim went on.
“It was Muhammad’s treatment of individuals who did not convert that left me troubled. My sheik would explain that such harsh treatment was necessary to eradicate those who would discredit the Prophet.”
The fate of those deemed infidel by the teaching of Islam was no secret. To this day men were still being executed by radicals. Women and children sold into slavery is a common occurrence in some middle eastern countries.
Ben wore the scars of the Taliban’s cruelty on over two thirds of his body.
Al Wasim’s account of an attack on the Jewish synagogue Ben attended in his youth struck a chord of familiarity. Perspiration beaded his forehead as he fought against the succession of flash backs plaguing his memory.
The searing heat of that inferno from so many years ago had sucked the oxygen from his lungs. He tried to call out for help but couldn’t find his voice.
“Benjamin, Benjamin my boy!” echoed the words of the rabbi.
In a corner of the room, Ben sat debilitated by fear’s iron grip. A figure emerged from the smoke, grasping him by the hand and leading him to safety. Just when there appeared to be some hope of escape, the floor shifted threatening to give way.
Ben locked eyes with the rabbi for the briefest instant before the old man stumbled backward into the consuming fire. As smoke filled Ben’s lungs, blackness encroached upon the fringes of his conscience. His body floated above the blaze into the coolness of night and away from the terrible cries that shook his soul.
His recovery was nothing short of a miricle, stated doctors who had wondered who had also told him he must have had a guardian angel watching over him. For years, he wondered who his rescuer had been.
“Upon one of a dozen or more missions, the cries of my victims reached into the depth of my soul and shook me with such magnitude that I tried to rescind part of my terrible actions. That night I saved the life of one child. To my shame, I’m sorry to say that the rest of the people trapped within that building didn’t make it. Their deaths will forever be on my conscience, even though I am forgiven by a merciful Father.”
Bens hand closed around the cold steel of a blade he had managed to smuggle into the prison. Awareness ignited his memory as the insurgent continued to speak.
“There are some among the Muslim faith that would seek any means to end my life.”
A knowing glance passed between Al Wasim and the former mercenary. Ben took in the man’s placid countenance, realizing that he was staring, not into the face of an enemy, but that of the guardian angel who had rescued him so many years ago.
Tammy: I can recall my love for writing taking form as soon as I was able to pen words to paper. Marathon letters and lengthy journal entries kept my need to write satiated until my grandmother lovingly encouraged me to take my writing to the next level.
Writing, as does reading, opens a world in which I can immerse myself and flee from the trials or disappointments of life.
I love learning and would relish the oppurtunity to earn a degree as a means to better my craft, a small gift to myself.
I live in Washington state with my wonderful husband. I have three beautiful children and three fun, loving, spirited grandchildren who hung the moon. Contact Tammy.