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He took a small syringe and stuck it into my arm.
“That’s it. I am done.”
“What is that?” I screamed. "It is against the law –”
“Pain sharpener,” he said and, fast as a lightning, leaned into me with a fist.


He took his gun, put it in my mouth and scotch-taped it fixed several times by running the tape around my head. And then he started to beat me and say non-stop, “Will it go off or not?” I think I started choking on my own blood, I felt my eyes shut, and I almost hoped that the gun would go off. But it didn’t.

He ripped off the tape, some of my hair and yanked his gun out of my mouth. I had half of my mouth sliced up and most of teeth knocked out into the back of my throat. The American screamed in English:

“Do you know what I want from you?”
I could not talk even if I wanted. I could not think. My mouth was full of blood. I was interested only in puking.
Then he asked in me Arabic, just like an imam scowls giving insane lectures:
“Qat`a alwerayyid – ulla qat`a la`wayyid?”
It really got me. Because he spoke just like a man from Syria or Iraq would speak, using an old Arabic saying, “Cut your veins, but don’t cut your tradition.”
A kafir speaks my language, knows my customs, and he gets away with sowing suffering on the soil of Islam. I wanted to cry.

“I’ve just softened you up. When I’m done with you, even Chechens wouldn’t want to have you for a girlfriend,” he said, urinated on us and left.

***
Next month or so was sheer hell, a very cold hell. I couldn’t pray. I couldn’t eat because my mouth couldn’t heal and had teeth missing. Hutch was meaner than the Chechens that beat me up when I was joining the effort. He kept me in a dark room. All this time he used psychological warfare. Most of the day I was shut up and I had to listen to recordings of a Wahabi imam reading Koran verses reminding Moslems to kill, to punishing Islam’s enemies.
Sometimes Hutch played speeches by Saddam, Arafat, my favorite poet Mahmoud Darwish.

***
It got to me. I hated Hutch, and I hated him for being able to use Islam against me. I hated him for speaking my language. I hated myself for thinking that I was so cool being on the radio here in Caucasus. I hated myself for being too stupid and too young to try this thing.
I started to hate this land, Koran, Islam.

Every time I was pulled out of my cell, Hutch would taunt me and say, “Well, has Mohammed been good to you?” and stuff like that. I think that’s how this psycho war trick won.
I wanted to go back to the States.

I was thrown into a different hole. When I woke up from the cold, there was this sick sweet smell everywhere and my clothes. I dug deeper into the pile of clothes and garbage. I felt a man’s hand. He was cold. I called out to him... I guessed it was Gamzat. He was very dead, dead, like rotten dead. I moved him, and found another body, all soft and slimy. There was no escape. I had enough.

***
I did tell him how I joined, and what I did in al-Thawra. Very soon, his injections and tortures made me tell him everything I’ve done on the radio and probably many important names. I knew I had no hope of returning to the unit alive, because I did not take my life, as a proper mojahid should have done. I did not want to get handed over to the Russians or the Georgians, because that would be the life of an animal. The only thing I wanted was to get back to the States, to my parents. I didn’t want any of this Jihad anymore, I told Hutch.

One day he walked in to the hut. I felt a breath of warm air come in. I could thank him for this. Hutch said:
“Well, what you told me has just bought you a promotion of sorts. Remember, I know your social security number, I know where you live, and if I see your Halloween face again, I will cut it off with no hesitation.”
I was happy and I almost felt like I would do anything to be his friend.

The next day I was blindfolded and taken into a Jeep with some American and Georgian soldiers. They put me into a box, hammered it shut and told me that I could take my blindfold off, that my hands were untied. I realized I was in a box too small to stand up or lie down. They shoved the box on top a truck and drove me some more, and then I heard an airport. Through tiny cracks between the planks, I was happy to see American planes.

I heard a loader pick up my crate and people discussing me as a prisoner. Someone knocked on my carte and told me that I was a prisoner of the United States. I said that I was a US citizen, but they ignored me just like a cargo.

They took my crate into the cargo plane and it seemed like I spent a day in the back of the plane, in the dark, no bathroom, no food, only water sprinkled on me through a couple of breathing holes in the top of the crate. I heard people load the plane with more stuff, then the plane shut itself up, and we took off. In about five hours, we landed somewhere, where I was taken out into another plane, where they let me eat crackers and drink cool-aid, all through the same holes. I felt satisfied and fell asleep.

We were flying long time, must have been a day. When we landed, I was convinced we were in the South. I smelled flowers and lawn. I was happy to wait.

“Looky what we got for Christmas. The box says an English speaker,” I heard one voice.
“Let’s talk to him,” I heard a second voice say.

A crow bar opened my crate and I saw two Military Police guys stare at me. The sunshine blinded me. I could not move my arms. I smiled. They said:
“Prisoner 051003! Welcome to Cuba!”

I was in heaven.




[an]1. My Name Is Sayfullah http://www.lit.org/view/16449; 2. A Crucible for Sayfullah http://www.lit.org/view/17459; 3. The Last Jihad http://www.lit.org/view/21327; 4. The Captive of Caucasus
http://www.lit.org/view/23569[/an]





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Comments

The following comments are for "Sayfullah's Christmas"
by Teflon

Sayfullah's Christmas

What horrifying story, very effective. It gave me the chills. It's just like the news on TV here in Chicago, every day just watch the death count and all that insanity in Iraq and the whole world (well, we know we are just getting half-truths).

macbeth

( Posted by: macbeth [Member] On: May 5, 2005 )

Al-Tawfloun's Friday Sermon:
Living smack dab in the middle of the beheading savages, I see that the sword is the only thing that the beast understands and respects. There is no such thing as grassroots organization or an academic entity that works towards a peace education in the Moslem world. On the contrary, these bodies are the hotbeds of hate, anti-US propaganda and terrorist money laundering.

Every Friday I pass mosques and understand their bullhorned sermons well enough to understand the famous words “ tabakh (kill), slaughter, wherever they are, pigs,” etc.


I think that media tries to second-guess a sensationalist consumer, and winds up applying a double standard – to maintain the transparency of the war, i.e., the tragedy American losses WHILE smoothing out the Arab barbarity, making it seem like a direct result of American policy (as if US is responsible for creating Islam’s bloodthirsty credo roughly 1400 years ago.)

www.al-tawfloun.org

( Posted by: Teflon [Member] On: May 6, 2005 )

Sayfullahdicfellas
Teflon: Knowledge is only useful when used.

War on.
BobbyG

( Posted by: Bobby7L [Member] On: May 17, 2005 )

Sunny Cuba
Seems like propoganda, white washing and sensationalism all blur together. I can't tell any more where one ends and the other begins, every story is filtered through so many spin doctors and editors that if we even hear about it, its unlcear whether what we hear even resembles the truth. Who's truth is another question entirely.

It anesthetizing. Thanks for you thoughts. This installment, like the others is riveting. -Philo

( Posted by: Philo [Member] On: June 19, 2005 )

diaries
Persistent problems with eyesight keep me away from compuer use. Thank goodness for my wife, a pure dove squeamish of computers, the star of some of my flash stories, willing to check my e-mail and take dictation.

This Sayfullah business is based on a personal account of someone we know.

Have a great summer,

T and T

( Posted by: Teflon [Member] On: June 20, 2005 )





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