Tuesday, May 7, 2024

Excerpt from AN EYE for the BEHEADING novel on Palestine-Israel crisis

An Eye for the Beheading

Copyright 2024
All rights reserved
ISBN-13: 978-1495380341
ISBN-10: 1495380343

To the People of Palestine and Israel--
that they may share in peace

Historical Prologue:

Beheading enemies is a very ancient custom. The Hebrew Bible describes David cutting off the head of Goliath and carrying it to Saul. It also mentions that the Philistines cut off the head of Saul.
1 Samuel 17:51, 1 Samuel 31:9-10

“And pursued Midian, and brought the heads of Oreb and Zeeb to Gideon on the other side Jordan.” Judges 7:25

“When you encounter the unbelievers on the battlefield, strike off their heads.”
Holy Quran, Sura 47

“Your Lord inspired the angels with the message: ‘I will terrorize the unbelievers. Therefore smite them on their necks and every joint and incapacitate them. Strike off their heads and cut off each of their fingers and toes.”
Quran 8:12

An eye for an eye: “…eye for eye, tooth for tooth. Just as he inflicted an injury upon a person, so shall it be inflicted upon him.” Leviticus 24:19-21

unknown artist
Chapter 1: Sea Dog

Pacific Ocean off the coast of Baja Mexico, June, 2026

Smoking debris filled the horizon; nature’s smudged sun set on another aeronautical disaster.

But pawing through swirling water and small waves, a Labrador retriever didn't know anything of plane dynamics or Islamic
terrorism, or why it was swimming in strange waves, only that it was very thirsty and hungry. And Two-Leg who regularly fed and patted it was missing.

Momentarily, the dog raised its head and barked roughly, but got salty water in its jowls—oily off-taste. Barked again. Gagged. Then paddled on. No sounds except painful thunder; intense acrid smells.

The yellow retriever swam around a large cabin section, passed more burning objects, on past broken flight chairs, discolored suitcases, and charred bodies, but didn't find his owner.

He paddled and paddled in amongst hundreds of yards of abandoned things. Finally, tiring, the dog spotted a large chunk of meshed baggage that floated in the distance, swaying back and forth, up and down on rolling heaving waves.

Swimming to that bunched island, the lab then pawed at the webbing, and on his 3rd try, succeeded in climbing out of the oily water up on to it.

His large dog nose sensed possible eatables and, hurriedly, he chewed through black webbing and a synthetic cover, until he got a plastic packet in his teeth, bit through that, not eatable. Tried another, found and ate tuna, scarfing up delicious morsels.

Then the sopping retriever lay down by empty packets, put his jowls onto his fore-paws and slept, despite intense rain and the rocking and swaying of the webbed baggage. In the black night, it rained and rained.

Later Lab woke in in the heavy rain and lapped shallow water which had accumulated in dips in the baggage.

Suddenly, he spotted movement over to the right on a large odd-shaped orange float. Earlier no scent had come to him of anything living, but now a wet-man smell filled his nostrils, a little like his owner’s when they played in the surf at home in Maryland. But this wasn't his owner’s smell.

Getting up, the retriever growled and then barked loudly. Repeatedly. And paced back and forth, with defensive hostility, yet interested to meet this other life.

He hesitated whether to swim over to this 2-legs on the orange object as it floated closer on low waves, indistinct in now in the constant rain. Or stay at this safe place where plenty of food in packets lay beneath his paws.

His keen ears picked up sounds from the man’s mouth.
“Here boy, come over here and help me.”

The human sounded friendly. But there was something wrong. This two-leg’s right leg looked twisted, and discolored. It smelt of blood. So, the dog still hesitated.

Then suddenly a rogue wave shoved through acres of debris, and the storm exploded; lightening spiked down, and then thunderclaps ached in the retriever’s ears. He howled and howled. Then drenching, torrential rain lashed down.

Wreckage on the high sea lurched back and forth, various objects jostling and smashing into each other, and the man’s orange float rolled closer toward the dog’s baggage-island.

The lone survivor tied his open Swiss-army can-opener to a long length of thin rope, and then anxiously swung it through the blinding downpour, and pulled back trying to catch the hook on any ridge or strap of baggage. But it slipped across the webbing of many bunched boxes and whipped down into heaving waves.

Trying over 31 times, but failing, failing…Exhausted and weak from blood loss, the man wrapped rope around his torso, tying himself to his large orange float, then lay down and slept through incessant lashing rain.

Across churning waves, the hunched wet dog on its island, hungry again, pawed deeper into its life raft, chewed into deep into boxes until it found a sack of strange tasting meat and wolfed it down, filling the emptiness within.

Then the dog bit and pawed further until he could squirm into the cavity, escaping the chill wind gusts and incessant torrent.

Later when the yellow retriever woke from a short nap, he saw the human, again; it was up and swinging its long rope again. Past images of play came to the Lab; he barked excitedly, dove into shoving waves and caught the rope as it rolled back away. Maybe this man, like his owner, wanted to play keep away.

Swimming back to its island, the Lab scrambled up on to baggage, turned toward the slumped man’s float, and gritting its teeth pulled back on the taut rope, and backed up across a flat area behind it, uttering a friendly growl.

Just after another thunderclap, the animal heard the man yelling, “Yes! Good dog!” whatever that meant, not what his owner always said, but the voice sounded positive; and seemed excited, maybe did like to play. So, the retriever continued pulling backwards, while the man pulled back.

Gradually, the two floating islands moved closer, though at times the rope almost ripped from the dog’s mouth, as counter waves crashed them away from each other. The man also had his end knotted around his waist.

When the rope slackened due to downward swoops of waves, the dog chewed on the rope’s wet cording; not like a rawhide bone, but enjoyable.

Soon the storm sea grew even more violent, rising waves becoming 7 footers, then 11, rocking and rolling the two life rafts. The rope got yanked back and forth, and the dog pulled back, and the man held on till his hands bled.

Despite wind and wave, the two life-rafts finally came within about 3 feet of each other on a down-swing of a huge wave. Ignoring stabs from his broken leg, the survivor shouted to himself, “Now or never!”

Desperately, he did a one-legged jump toward the dog’s island. Short! Not enough.

Throwing out his arms, he clawed at the dog’s baggage clump, despite raging waves. Gagged on salt water. Sunk. Coming back up, gagging, he caught one hand on loose mesh hanging in the sea, puked, got his breath back.

He hung on, and then finally managed to pull himself up, and squirmed onto the top, just as another huge wave swept over them. He rolled dangerously close to being heaved over the far side of baggage island, but managed to hold on. And the large yellow Lab pulled back again.

Then their rope fell slack as the baggage-clump slumped down into a dark canyon of water. And the man lay, almost unconscious from pain, too groggy to do anything. Blood seeped from his compound fracture. And he didn’t care.

The retriever backed up and growled. This wasn’t his owner. Lying down, he chewed on the rope end, jawing at the knife’s plastic sides.

Suddenly, a 15-footer crashed, almost washed both man and dog overboard. The cascade of water gouged through the human’s mental fog, and he opened his eye and pulled on the rope, “Let go, boy. I’ve gotta secure us.”

At first the dog wouldn’t but then lost interest in their contest and sat on its haunches watching this stranger.
The human took the loose rope end and began threading it through binding cords of some boxes. The dog watched, but growled whenever the man pushed the rope his way.

“There, there, boy, no offense. Just securing us.” But then a sharp pain ripped up from his broken leg and he moaned again. “Now then, what if I attach this end to that leather collar around your neck?”

Tensing, the retriever growled and prepared to attack if this man tried to grab him.

“Okay, I get it. You’ll share your land, but we’re not friends. Got it.”

While the ocean surface rose to 18-foot rollers, and their island hell-bucked and plummeted, the man fell
unconscious.Cascades of rain lashed down endlessly.

The Lab retreated into his dug-cave and slept.
But then later as the storm lessened, he belly-crawled over to this crumpled sleeper, sniffed, and finally lay down next to this two-legs like the dog always did every night with his owner.

Morning came bright and cool, shining its brilliant sunlight down on the floating graveyard and its two castaways.

Chapter 2: Sniper Attack

“And he [Khalid] ordered his [Malik’s] head and he combined it with two stones and cooked a pot over them. And Khalid ate from it that night to terrify the apostate Arab tribes and others. And it was said that Malik’s hair created such a blaze that the meat was so thoroughly cooked.” 633 AD
The Beginning and the End (al-bidaya we al-nihaya), an Islamic history by Ibn Kathir

“Crusaders…laying siege, first, to the Asia Minor city of Nicaea, where they used catapults to hurl the severed heads of Muslim defenders over fortified walls.”
Historian James Carroll

“The Muslim leader Saladin ordered each cleric in his army personally to behead at least one Christian knight. Saladin singled out for special treatment the approximate 230 Knights Templar and Hospitallers who had surrendered.
Dr. Lawrence A. Franklin, Reserve Attaché, U.S. Embassy Israel

News Alert Exclusive! KNXTV LOS ANGELES:
“There’s been a shooting in Orange County. Our reporter Shelia Cameron was on location doing interviews near South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa when shots rang out. One Muslim young woman has been wounded. No assailant has yet been apprehended.”

“The shooting took place during a noisy demonstration by over 103 Muslim students from the University of California Irvine and Orange Coast College. They are protesting Israel’s renewed bombings 3 days ago after a an Islamic attack in the West Bank.”

“That seriously injured woman in Orange County hasn’t been identified, but she was flown by Medevac helicopter to Hoag Hospital in Newport Beach. Her condition is unknown at this time. Police are investigating the attack.”

“Here’s the disturbing video from earlier:”

>>“Free Palestine! From the River to the Sea! Allah Akhbar! God is great!”

Chanting rows of Muslim protestors walk up and down in front of South Coast Plaza near the 405 Freeway; carrying signs and waving Palestinian flags; some of them yelling to passing motorists.

Suddenly, there’s the unmistakable retort of several gunshots and one young woman lets go of her protest sign, spasms, and crumples to the concrete. Swathed from head to foot in Islamic clothes, she lays silent, red blooding her robe in the stomach area.

Chaos erupts. Screams and shouts in Arabic and Urdu—a few in English: “Oh Allah! Help her! Where's the shooter? Protect the others!”

Camera footage jitters as the KNXTV news crew tries to get past male protesters. Angry men shove their hands up in front of the lens and shout in Arabic.

Protesters run out onto Bristol Avenue; cars shriek to grinding stops. Harsh crunch of metal—two vehicles collide, then a BMW smashes into the back of a Lexus.

More deafening shouts, a cacophony of horns blare; screams in Arabic, Urdu, and English; demonstrators running back and forth;

Reporter Sheila Cameron talks loudly into her microphone over the yelling, and repeats what has happened, is happening.

The newsreel cameraperson videos the chaotic scene; angry male students shoulder-around a line of head-covered women, and hold their hands out like shields; they scan the area--from Plaza buildings near Bloomingdales, and southward toward the 405 Freeway overpass to honking vehicles crowded on Bristol Avenue.

Fearful; expecting more gunshots. Except for repeated shouting and blaring of car horns, and heavy traffic noise on the freeway overpass, a dangerous silence engulfs.

Then finally everyone pulls out cellphones, punching numbers while Cameron pushes closer, continues to summarize the attack. Suddenly she and her cameraman are shoved, the camera view swings up and back capturing clouds and a sunny sky and sideways to heavy traffic and swirling around, tops-turvy.

To be continued

In the Light of Peaceseeking, Equality, Justice, Sharing,

Daniel Wilcox

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