Today we have a sneak peek from Steven Greenberg’s dystopian suspense novel, Enfold Me:
Enfold Me is a dark journey into a chillingly-realistic post-Israel Middle East. Precipitated by a massive earthquake and an Iranian-led attack, the fall of Israel rips Daniel Blum from his suburban life and scientific career. Alone and scarred, he endures subjugation and terror in Hamas-controlled Northern Liberated Palestine.
Now, Daniel must follow George Farrah, a figure from his past, deep under the Carmel mountain and through Egyptian-controlled, quake-ravaged Tel Aviv. Haunted by tragedy, Daniel strains the bonds of duty and family as he and George uncover a secret that could alter the region’s balance of power.
Enfold Me is available through Amazon.com.
And now, from Enfold Me…
Chapter 2 – The Jizya———————————- Safuriya Northern Liberated Palestine The Present ———————————-
A chill dawn rose over Nazareth, sharp wispy orange beaks of clouds pecked the carcass of the landscape bloody. It was not much of a bus stop. Really just an old sign pole, the sign removed, the pole painted hastily in orange oil-based paint. The painter had obviously been less concerned with technique than with expediency – drips had congealed into solidified smooth lines of orange, frozen in time as they followed gravity to the ground, trusting its lead yet ultimately betrayed. A few rocks that had been caught in the orange deluge moped stickily at the base of the pole.
Daniel trudged up the stony road embankment, through dust-encrusted Rosemary bushes – multicolored plastic bags nesting in tangled branches – and over shards of broken glass that were just starting to gleefully catch, and play with, the morning sunlight. The asphalt was a grey skillet, still cool in the viscous morning fog, but waiting, biding its time until the sun heated it into a grease-spattering conduit, sizzling at the feet or tires of its conveyances.
Looking at his watch, a cheap digital thing he’d traded for in the market last week, Daniel approved his excruciatingly consistent, yet clearly pointless, promptness in arriving at the Dhimmi bus stop on Road 79, the Nazareth highway.
The remaining evergreens dotting the hills to the southwest drooped morosely, as if bemoaning their dramatic fall from pampered Jewish National Fund poster children to plain old future firewood. With his back to the once green hill, Daniel watched as the other Dhimmi men of Safuriya began to arrive.
Some were clad in threadbare, graying work clothes, lunches of bread, lubbaneh, and desiccated cucumbers in various-hued plastic bags clutched in their calloused hands. Some had on worn-out designer-label jeans and slick running shoes that had seen better days, brushed leather jackets over t-shirts brightly emblazoned with hi-tech company logos.
Backlit by the menacing orange sun, which had now started consuming houses in the east with a mouth of blazing shadows, they shuffled to the makeshift bus stop. As the rising sun clinched them from behind, the lines etched on their faces told the tale of the trials they’d endured these past months, much as the dull reflections of their eyes would do in the evening light, after this day’s trials.
All had lost loved ones. All had lost property – things, trifles. Some had lost all – humanity, compassion, self-respect, love. These moved mechanically, responding in monosyllables to any enquiry, enduring humiliation with bent back and lowered head. Post-Zionist Mussulmen.
The bus shelter, now reserved for Muslims only, shone in the morning sunshine – fading plastic roof an untouchable shrine, cracked wooden bench an unreachable luxury. The Dhimmis waited – alternating standing, sitting uncomfortably on the curbstones, walking back and forth, leaning on the lone orange signpost. As the hours passed, tense nonchalance gave way to subdued impatience, which morphed momentarily to disguised outrage, and then came to rest squarely in the realm of mute resignation.