Samuel was immediately blinded by the intense spotlight shining directly on his face, he was wished they had at least kept the bag on his face. Weakened and disoriented, all he could make out were silhouettes and voices. He couldn’t help but think back to the all the terrorist execution videos he had watched, remembering all of them in a similar sitting and his emotions of horror as he watched their prisoners’ last fearful breath before their demise. Each time he couldn’t help but put himself in their shoes, contemplating the thoughts that were running through their heads, the fears they were trying to contain, knowing exactly what was to come.
Now that he was the one staring into the eyes of death, it wasn’t so much as the fear that was stressing him but the failure of his life. Spending over a decade of trying to prove he was meant for something great, and now his journey was about to come to an abrupt end. The irony of it all was that he was the one who was trying to do the right thing. Yet as always, living the righteous life has proved to be barren. He was about to get killed as the result of a senseless war started by nefarious and egoistical tyrants, for their own personal interest. And the ones, who were trying their best to help stop the violence and bloodshed, were the ones who were suffering the consequences.
At that moment he felt a smooth soft grip on his chin, just then noticed one of the silhouettes no standing directly before him, blocking the blinding light. His eyes still hadn’t yet recovered, making it impossible for him to make out the face of the person before him, however the soft smooth skin of their grip made it obvious that it was a woman.
“What is your name?” She demanded in a strong Syrian accent.
Though feminine her voice was rough and bold, yet not one Samuel recognized from any of the FIS execution videos that were circling around the internet. “Samuel Grace.” He answered, trying his best to show no fear. He didn’t want to give them the satisfaction. “Six-three-three, six-two, six –four-nine-three.” He concluded, remembering his training to only give his name and social security number if captured.
“Well Samuel Grace.” Said the Syrian girl. “You’re a soldier of the United States, correct?”
“No.” Samuel answered, still trying his best to show no fear. “I’m journalist, and that’s all the information you’ll get out of me because we both know that you’ll kill me regardless.”
He was surprised by a sudden cynical laugh from his female captor. “Luckily for you, we’re not as heartless as the oppressors who run your country.” She said.
Samuel suddenly gasped, her statement had caught him by surprise, a clear indication that they were not planning to kill him after all.
“Did you really think we’re the savages you make us out to be in your media?” She asked after hearing his obvious sigh of relief.
As if on cue his eyes finally adjusted from the glare of the bright light, and the smooth pale face of the Syrian girl had came into focus. She appeared young to Samuel, with long brunette hair and deep brown eyes. Her lips also seemed to stick out to him, they seemed slightly bigger than average, yet only seemed to enhanced her innocent feminine look. She seemed greatly out of place, like she belonged on a magazine cover or a morning talk show. Even with her thick, beige, battled dressed clothing and surrounded by larger scruffy looking people. She was clearly someone who was thrown into this life by circumstance, similar how Samuel viewed himself.
Taking a brief second to look around, as his eyes grew even clearer, Samuel noticed that the others within the room shared her commando yet innocent appearance. Men and women who looked as though they were gathered from local villages and for some reason decided take up arms. Looking around further he couldn’t find a camera, leading him to believe that his previous indication that he was the subject of an execution video was false. And more importantly, he didn’t see a single weapon in any of their hands.
Now he was doubting that they even were the members of the FIS, but still he had to ask. “You’re not FIS are you?” He said, turning back into the eyes of the Syrian girl.
“If that’s what concerns you, than no.” She answered. “We’re not.”
“Than why did you kidnap me?”
She then waved toward one of the men who were standing behind her and he began to walk over toward Samuel with a short silver blade in his right hand.
“At first we wanted to use you as leverage.” She said, Samuel again noticing her strong Syrian accent. It seemed to come out more, the less personal she’d get. “But after hearing that you are a Journalist, perhaps you can be more useful to us that we thought.”
The man with the blade completed his walk, ending behind Samuel and out of his sight. In a flash he felt the ropes on his wrist loosen before hearing a low thud.
“Follow me.” Said the Syrian girl as she walked toward the door.
The man behind Samuel pushed him forward, and chuckled a bit. They may not have seen Samuel as their direct enemy, but the joy they were getting from roughing him up was clear.