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Gitmo 1: Mahmoud is Dead

05/11/11

  08:25:14 am, by Nic Wilson   , 643 words  
Categories: Gitmo

Gitmo 1: Mahmoud is Dead

Konrath has up an excellent guest-post by Scott Sigler, where he talks about his publishing career, including his more recent move to digital publishing. But he largely built his brand podcasting novels in 2005- a relatively new phenomenon at the time. So part of the point, following on a recent theme, is that if you want an audience, you have to offer them something they want. Sigler's podcasts were all free, by the way- yet people willingly pay to buy them.

I've been trying to blog daily, here (except on Sunday- that's the Lord's day- and my day off). But all along I'd been planning, whenever I had a lull in something to post on a given day, to update a story I've been working on for ages. So without further ado, and to prove that I'm not just a mirror for Konrath's blog, I present the first installment in my blovel, Gitmo:

Mahmoud is Dead

 

At four am there was a pounding at the door, which told me something already. I thanked God I'd slept in my boxer briefs, but cursed the bastard when my feet touched the cold concrete floor. I slid my 1911 out of its holster and unbolted the door. Tariq had sweat all over him, more than made sense in the chill Montana air, and tears in his eyes; ?Marshall,? he started, then stared blank a moment, before blurting out, ?Mahmoud is dead.?

 

I hurried him inside, rebolted the door. This was probably the sort of thing I should radio in to Fort Gates, but if I made it a habit of calling in the Army every time something went wrong, this place was going to turn back into Guantanamo quickly. Tariq spoke while I dressed. He had been restless in his home, and went to the Mosque to pray. That was when he discovered Mahmoud.

 

By that point in his story I was just sliding into my boots, and I stopped him. ?You think you're in any shape to show me?? He nodded his head, slowly. ?Good.? We ran.

 

After the six blocks there I understood why Tariq was soaking wet. We stopped at the front of the Mosque, and I bent down to remove my boots, but he walked around the entrance, towards the rear. It was dark in the space between the Mosque and the civic center beside it, but there was room enough to walk without your shoulders scraping the walls, if only just. I shined my light on Tariq. Where he stood there was a slice of light from the street lamp, and he was pointing to the ground.

 

In the light from the lamp I could see a hand. My flashlight showed me Mahmoud, beaten and stabbed. But my eyes caught something else, behind him. Bags of fertilizer, stacked neatly against the back wall of the Mosque. I tried not to betray my alarm, and walked calmly over to Tariq, and knelt by the body. I took Mahmoud's pulse at the wrist, but from how cold his hand already was I knew I wouldn't find one.

 

I stood up; ?We need to go.? Tariq hesitated. I gave a curt smile and he followed me away. We jogged the six blocks back to the station; we were both a little winded by then.

I grabbed a bottle of water and a blanket from the closet, and opened the door to the jail cell. Tariq looked at me, confused. ?You're the closest thing I have to a witness right now,? I told him. ?Someone killed Mahmoud; I can't take the chance they won't kill you to keep you quiet.? That seemed to make sense to him, and he stepped behind the bars. I didn't mention that he was also the closest I had to a suspect, too, as I locked him in. 

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