A shrill scream pierced the otherwise still calm of the night. The young Afghan boy, wounds still bandaged, awoke from the nightmare and began sobbing. A woman rushed to his side, sat on the floor next to the padded mat he laid on, cradled his head in her arms, and through his sobs she heard him murmur, “Mama, mama.”
Urban myth has it that someone once stuck a pin in a map and followed it to have an adventure. Well, I haven’t found a book or a film about it and I don’t know anyone who has actually done it. My name is Dark Duke and this is my adventure.
The white van glided into the street ominously, slowly, and silently - the sound of its engine barely audible beyond the driver’s cabin - towards the two boys playing cricket oblivious to the heat from the scorching summer sun. It looked like a delivery van, with separate driver’s cabin and storage compartment. There were doors on both sides of the driver’s cabin with windows, which were fitted with either dark tinted glass or sun control film; the windscreen was of clear Perspex glass. The storage compartment had one door on the rear side. It had no windows. It had a small communication window with a wooden sliding shutter, which opened on to the driver’s cabin.
“Devin!” The voice rang through the house as it had a thousand times before, “It’s your turn to clean the litter box again, and it reeks.”
Sitting alone in his room, Devin cringed at the thought of what awaited him. He’d only been home from basketball practice for ten minutes and had enough homework to take up the next several hours of his evening. The litter box was the least of his concerns.
“Mom!” he whined back as he heard the sound of groceries hitting the counter, “Booboo is your cat, remember? I didn’t want him in the first place.”
I was in my kitchen making breakfast when the three men broke in and tried to kill me. The front half of my house is living room, with large windows looking out over the deck and the lake beyond. The back half has the kitchen and laundry room on the left, guest room and bath on the right, divided by a short hallway to the back door.
It was supposed to be an easy recovery. Just slip in, grab the item and get back out again, quick and quiet.
Roger Conwell’s house sits on just over eighty acres about twenty minutes outside of Charlotte, North Carolina.
The unforgiving sun hung like a fireball high over the shifting and scorching sands blown about in violent hot gusts one moment and then eerily still in another. Here and there sand berms had formed as high as 20 feet, but in the distance they flattened and disappeared, as though they had never existed.
Gradually, about a half-mile away, a dust cloud appeared.
When the witching hour hits and sleep dies, one’s mind can take total control of the 3 AM insomniac. On this particular early morning, my brain screamed, "Think back George. Remember the Shenandoah Valley, Washington, D.C. and all the sites, the Smithsonian, the Naval Academy and time to pray, New York City, Radio City Music Hall, The Rockettes, Central Park, the Empire State Building, Rockefeller Center, all those Yellow Cabs like ants below us, Chinatown, Little Italy, Times Square, the climb up into the brains of the Statue of Liberty.
L’Oiseau Blanc was a dangerous place to be—especially for a white woman at night. Although a fragile peace currently existed between the Tutsis and Hutus, tension filled the warm evening air like the calm before a thunderstorm. On a night like this every dubious character for miles would be out.