I remember rolling over my dead friends. I heard a lot of Americans screaming everywhere. I didn’t know what was happening. I got caught by one who screamed, “Another live one!”
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I pretended not to understand English.
They tied our hands with cable straps and put special hoods over our heads. In poor Arabic they told us to walk.
We walked for most of the night dragging the weak and the injured and it seemed like morning, I saw light coming under my hood.
They put me in some sort of room with hard floor and loud echoes, piled with my friends. There was no bathroom, no water, no food and it was cold, especially for me, being on top of the pile. I think I fell asleep and woke up the next night, when someone with a force of a tractor pulled me off and dragged me somewhere. It rained, and it was cold.
I was inside again. I was thrown down on a floor and someone tore off my hood, tearing my ear and eyebrows. It was bright. I saw an American, no doubt about it. He spoke very good Arabic.
He pushed me backwards and I landed on a pile of my friends. I recognized Jamil from Britain, Khalid from the Arabian Peninsula, and Fawzi from Brazil, my good friend. We all ended up together in al-Thawra unit to help our fellow Moslems, our brother Ichkeris, or Chechens, as others call them.
The next thing I remember is the American and us in bright lights. He whispered something to a dark part of the room. I couldn’t catch his English. And then he yelled at us, like a real Arab would:
“You thought you’d come and get me?” he screamed at us lying down, and then at me for some reason. “It’s mighty rude of you to come and not know my name, thinkin’ that I’d be waiting for you with a shashlik and a cup of coffee?”
The American looked at me and scowled making fun of an Arabic accent:
“Did you pray salaat and salaam for Rasulullah your Prophet, salallahu alaihi wasallam, today?”
I looked past him. I think that made him mad. He dragged me up the wall to my feet and left me standing. “Well, your enemy Number One, America the Satan, sent me to get you. I hope you’re pleased to meet me. My name is Hutch.”
I heard the pile of my friends groan. I noticed a small puddle of blood under my feet. Then I looked at Hutch.
He went back to the shadows, spoke with someone, and returned to kick Jamil and tear the gag off his mouth. Jamil’s mouth started bleeding.
“You, Tonto! In front of you friends! What is the name of your chief?”
Jamil said nothing. Then the American screamed in English:
“Well, I’ll say it for you. But now it’s your loss.” For some reason he looked at me, and then took out his gun, aimed at me, and then suddenly shot Jamil in the shoulder. Jamil doubled over and groaned. The American started beating him.
Khalid started saying something in English, like “You can’t do that!” But the American said, “Oh, yea? And you can?”
Khalid started to say something but Hutch interrupted him.
“Speak out of turn? Then lose your buddy.” And he shot Jamil in the head.
Jamil’s straightened out on the floor like he was zapped in the back, and made gross mooing sounds.
I thought to myself, how could this power come from infidels that don’t know Allah? I think I closed my eyes not to feel the cold and not to see the horror, and fell asleep.
“Get up you scum!”
The American’s voice was loud and it woke me up as I realized I was stiff cold on the floor, my head on top of someone’s feet.
“Don’t be dissing Rashid here. Say good morning to your commander.”
I opened my eyes and saw Rashid, his eyes closed, his mouth is bloodied. He also looked cold. But something was wrong, there is no way he could sleep in that position. I got scared even worse than seeing Khalid getting shot. This was Rashid’s head, cut off and in front of my eyes.
I thought I was going to puke in poor Rashid’s face, peace be upon him. But I had nothing to puke out.
Then the American walked over straight to me and squatted down, almost sitting on Rashid’s head, and said: “Well, hello, Say-fool-ah! And you thought I didn’t know your name either, huh?”
I turned away. How did he know? There was no way the injured among us were strong enough to talk. He read my mind.
“Well, I listened to your news broadcasts too, you stinkin’ meatpacker. Your hunting days are over.”
I was scared to talk to this guerilla.
I said, “I am an American citizen, and I will take the US Government to court over this treatment.”
“That’s exactly what I wanted to hear,” he said.
He took a small syringe, took the cap off the needle and stuck it into my arm.
“That’s it. I am done.”
“What is that?” I screamed at him. It is against the law –”
“Pain sharpener,” he said and fast as a lightning, leaned into me with a fist.