Tom Locke: Surviving Today XXI
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Tom knew that this rootbeer and the greasy hot dog he was enjoying would be as good as it would get for a while. He was in physical pain. He was in mental pain. The events of the last few days were bearing down on him.
He was the only man to walk away from a plane crash. Unfortunately he walked into the mountain top camp of a new a horrifying arm of terrorism ISIA, Islamic State in America. A knife put to his a neck and a scheme to insight terror unseen on American soil was divulged. A scheme that only a man soon to be killed should know.
Najair had finished eating and was taking a minute of silence. Najair was the man, the Muslim man, who was chained to the floor in the same room where Tom was held captive by ISIA. He was the man who broke out of the camp alongside Tom. He was also the man that stood by Tom’s side when he was forced to kill for the first time. If all things went as planned Najair would be at his side when this ugly situation came to a hault.
Outside of the gas stations tall pines ran up the mountain side and tickled the inky black sky. To the east the the mirth was a shade lighter as though a hand holding a pastel had run over the eastern horizon a few time. This day that was creeping into view would be the most important of his life and Tom had to be prepared for anything. There was simply too much at risk.
Turning to thank Ali again for his offerings his ears pricked at the sound of thick glass shattering. He looked towards a large pane at the front of the store that had been shattered by something. Immediately the sickening wet warmth began to run down his face. The sour alkali scent of blood laced the air. Tom wasn’t hit but when he looked at his hosts’ lifeless body on the floor he was sure about what was happening. They were here and it was time to run!
The next moments happened in slow motion. Tom’s body moved by instinct. He grabbed for Najair who was already up and running. The two men took off towards the back exit of the store.
Still, in the calamity, Tom couldn’t help question. Why? Muslims killing Muslims. Why? Nearly 10,000 Muslims killed by Muslims in the ISIS reign through 2014.
The next round of gunfire wasn’t nearly as clandestine as the last. The first shot was tactical, targeted and nearly silent. The bullet was meant for Ali. They understood the threat he posed. The sound of machine gun fire and ricocheting bullets took into the early morning. Tom looked back to Shirley behind them. She was being torn apart by gunfire and again they were two.
Out the back door and further down the mountain. Back into the woods but this time with a little more knowledge. They would have to run and run. Behind them the devil streamed down the cliff side with a body of mad men, red eyes and a holy book at his side.