Where the sun refused to shine   8 comments

He pulled back the heavy, flowered drapes. Cold, dark clouds was his answer to, “sunny and bright, warm and relaxing,” when he came to this remote island half a world away.

The stares and gossip from gawking ‘house maids,’ and staff  followed him through the lobby and up the stairs to a second floor room.

“No wife or kids along.”

“Maybe just a tourist, or businessman on holiday.”

“Look at those blue eyes and…I wonder if he’s lonely.”

“You should be so lucky,” one said, laughing.

An assassin’s life is a dangerous one. He searched, he sought, and when he found his targets, he killed, for them. He kept the gun, but not the life. He just followed orders. But, it didn’t make him like himself any better. He was through. He knew they hunted for him. Wherever he went he left no trace, and eventually wound up here at, ‘The island in the sun,’ the brochure claimed. But, the sun refused to shine.

He rubbed the weariness from his eyes, but the eyes of his victims haunted him; their lives ended with his Beretta 92. When he’d unpacked, stored his luggage in a closet. and opened a drawer a Gideon’s Bible lay neatly beside a little complimentary tablet and pen. Pen and tablet he did not need. The Bible, he did not want, but it was there for those who did.

He picked up a paperback instead, but it didn’t look promising. His eyes went back to the drawer where the Bible lay. He pulled it out and thumbed through it until a passage fell open to John 3:16 & 17, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.”

God, how can you love a sinner like me? I’m no better than the people I killed for, beyond hope and redemption. If I am worthy of saving, worthy of your mercy forgive me of all my sin. If you can do anything with my life it is yours. I believe in you and your son, Jesus Christ who died for me.  

As if in answer to his prayer a sliver of light broke through the darkness. When he pulled open the drapes rays of sunlight pushed through low hanging clouds, and light poured in.

He made a call.

“Department of Justice, New York,” the voice answered.

“Yes…It’s…Nathan Diorazio…I…want to turn myself in. Alone?…Yes.”

When the FBI arrived, he was led out, in handcuffs. But, he felt free for the first time in his life.

_____________

Footnote: This is a work of fiction.

Joyce E. Johnson (2015)

Posted April 18, 2015 by Joyce in Faith, Fiction, Flash Fiction, My Writings

Tagged with , , , ,

Acid Rain (Part 5, conclusion)   2 comments

The plan to neutralize Israel generated by Middle Eastern countries, Europe and the U.S. inside Goliath’s network had worked, their propaganda spreading hate and distrust throughout the world. Israel’s allies and friends pulled their support, creating boycotts, unrealistic tariffs and embargoes, cancelled tours, conferences and events scheduled, all of it designed to decimate Israel’s economy.  They hacked Israel’s communication and broadcast systems by creating a cyber-wall preventing all communications inside Israel from contacting those they counted on for military support.

IDF ground forces positioned themselves along the perimeters of all its borders facing their neighbors to the north, south, west and east of Israel creating barricades. Their central command center monitored all activity, militarily and otherwise in and out of the country using their own inside secure system of communication that was set in place after their recognition of statehood in 1948. The Israeli air force were forced to engage themselves in defensive skirmishes over their territorial air space. Their navy still patrolled the waters to the west on the Mediterranean Sea.

Sam’s unit made their way across Iraq, and into Iran, under deep cover and a dark, night sky with no more than a sliver of light from the moon. It had to be a precise hit, the coordinates exact, no margin for error. When they located the bunker using the Intel they’d received from their sources inside Iran they regrouped and prepared to move in.

With the stealth of a predatory cat Sam moved with his team as if a part of a perfectly orchestrated and choreographed practiced ballet number during rehearsal.

A hand signal and the repeated gesture moved down the line as they approached, wary but prepared for any surprise attack or ambush that would jeopardize the mission. They had only one chance to gain access by taking out all those guarding Goliath’s network inside the heavily protected bunker. With the swiftness of an angry nest of pythons they lunged at their targets taking everyone down by knife or silencer. When they’d secured the outside leaving some of their unit to cover their flanks the rest moved in with quick precision and timing overtaking all those sitting at a command center or watching video feeds on computer screens. When all targets were down the unit commander and techs quickly accessed the Intel on the screens, hacked into the system, then transferred all onto flash drives. Once done they disabled all monitors and computers with their weapons as if at target practice. They left as hurriedly and as quietly as they’d come and once back into Iraq were quickly airlifted out on a military helicopter under the disguise of an Iraqi transport.

The Intel on the flash drives was rushed to Israeli commanders and the PM to be analyzed. It revealed the plan for ‘Israel’s annihilation.’  Iran would never be given the chance to carry it out.

At precisely 5:00 a.m. Israeli time, the Israeli’s launched the first of their own missile attacks on the country who wanted to, ‘wipe them off the face of the earth’ as once quoted. When Iran quickly struck back launching their biggest and most effective nuclear warheads with a range of over 200 kilometers, the ‘Magic Wand’, aka, ‘David’s Sling’ was launched intercepting Iran’s nuclear strike. Israel struck back with their own, ‘David’s stone,’ taking out all of Iran’s capabilities, the uranium enrichment plants, command centers, all military operations, their air force, airports, and bases housing, manufacturing and maintaining all.

The Intel received included a list of all the countries, governments, political or influential names of presidents, kings and prime ministers in Goliath’s network supporting Israel’s complete annihilation, and the plan to carry it out. Those included were the countries of Iran, Russia, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, China, and many others Israel was not surprised to find. What was a surprise was finding one listed near the top; that of the current U.S. president.

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Footnotes: This has been a work of fiction throughout. This is the concluding part. Fiction though it be, prophetic it may certainly be one day if those who don’t stand with Israel as a friend will fall with those who don’t support her, and her right to defend her nation and people. All the previous parts to this story can be found under the heading of Acid Rain with each part posted separately and found in my archives.  “I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all people on earth will be blessed through you.” Genesis 12:3 (NIV)

Thank you for reading and following. Comments and feedback are always welcome.

Joyce E. Johnson (2015)

Acid Rain (Part 4)   Leave a comment

Tel Aviv, Israel

A loud roar echoed through the dark, narrow passageway deep beneath the floor they’d just descended, the reverberations of missile attacks pitching them against the walls. Sam threw himself over Eli shielding him from what sounded like explosions of incoming missile attacks. Walls shook. The floor above them cracked, split in places weakening the ceiling structure. The sound of windows breaking and furniture knocked about could be heard as volleys of shells were heard exploding in the skies.

“It is what I feared.” Eli said, his voice muffled under Sam’s weight as he tried to regain voice and composure.

“What?”

“I had a premonition…of something coming, from a dream I had. This is just a forewarning.”

“From Iran?”

“Yes. God wants to prepare us for the onslaught that is coming. It is time for Israel to ready, ‘David’s sling.’”

“What do you know about, ‘David’s Sling?’” Sam said.

Eli smiled. “I have my sources, Sam. I may be a retired IDF general, but am still in the ‘know’.  The U.S. president could save himself another embarrassing calamity if he would stop declaring accolades to come out of this lame deal of his. He can’t expect to slow or stop Iran’s uranium enrichment production.”

They donned gas masks and made their way up the steps into the interior to assess the damage of Eli’s home. A part of the roof was blown off. Clouds of black smoke hung like an angry pall over Tel Aviv. The time froze on a grandfather clock, its pendulum stilled at 3:48 p.m., the eve of Shabbat. Lights flickered, then went dark. Glass shards from broken windows, lamps and vases lay scattered through the house from the impact.

When they’d made their way through the mess to the outside they saw traffic lights knocked out, dangling from poles where cars crashed or careened into other vehicles, people or objects. Drivers were slumped over their seats from the impact, doors flung open. Fires erupted. Gas and oil tanks exploded spewing contents released by the blasts. People scurried for cover, pulling gas masks free from bags or totes carried, as common as a jogger with his water bottle.

“Those missiles came from the east.” Sam said, looking at the tails of white plume.

Eli nodded. “Iran. To think those puppets sat around a conference table trying to appease the world’s superpowers when Iran and the Ayatollah had already decided our fate.”

Sam pulled out his cell phone, and tried calling his commander. There was no signal. He checked messages. “They’ve blown out our cell towers, and communication satellites.”

Eli tried unsuccessfully to reach emergency military operations on a command communication device.

“Internet service, power and wireless; all of it, knocked out. They’re trying to isolate us. I’ve got to get back to my unit.”

“I’m coming with you. I’m re-enlisting myself, voluntarily.”

As they made their way through blocked and crowded streets they saw the injured, the dead and the destruction so great Eli knew where he was needed most.

“Sam, go ahead. I am going to stay here, and help with the injured and the…diseased. Go. God speed. Be the soldier Israel has trained you to be.”

They embraced, each with their own thoughts, not wanting to express aloud their concerns.

_____________

This is a continued story, part 4 of 5 parts. Comments and feedback are always welcome. Parts 1-3 can be found under the heading of, Acid Rain.,   Acid Rain, Part 2,   and Acid Rain, Part 3

Joyce E. Johnson (2015)

 

A Cross and an Empty Tomb   10 comments

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The tomb of Jesus, in Jerusalem, Israel – I took this photo while on a tour of Israel in May, 2001

A cross lies prone

on Golgotha’s Hill,

bloodied, scarred,

the body, gone.

A tomb sits empty,

a cold slab of stone

now bare but for a

shroud, stained and worn.

An angel stands near

on the third day’s morn

“The Savior’s not here.

He’s alive. He’s risen!”

The gates of Heaven

shake thunderous acclaim to

the resurrected Christ, crucified one,

Jesus, redeemer, sacrificed lamb.

Angelic hosts shout their praise,

“Glory to God!

Hallelujah, He reigns!”

His accusers stand silenced,

filled with shame.

“How could it be

that the one who was slain,

the one proclaimed

to be King of Kings

now lives and reigns?”

“Surely He is the prophesied one!”

“Praise to the Father, and praise to the Son!”

______________

 Footnotes: The life and history of Jesus, his miracles performed, his ministry on earth, and the story of His crucifixion and resurrection can be found in chapters 14-16 of the book of Mark in the New Testament as well as other parts of the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.  I want to wish everyone a happy Easter and hope your day is filled with hope and joy in knowing the One who sacrificed His life to give us eternal life and peace.

Joyce E. Johnson (2015)

If Jesus had a blog   10 comments

What  do you think He would post? How many ‘likes’ and ‘follows’? How many views? Do you think He would post to Facebook, WordPress and Twitter, put pictures, awards or success stories up to promote himself, or be found in the search engines of Google and Bing? Jesus never needed to promote himself. He humbled himself and people were naturally drawn to Him by the thousands.

At times I wonder what it would have been like to have been born back then when He socialized with tax collectors, rebuked the critical Jewish pharisees and ministered to the crowds of people in the villages of Israel, or on the streets of Jerusalem with his disciples. Would we just watch and accuse Him like all the rest while He carried his cross to Golgotha’s Hill to Calvary to be crucified?

If Jesus had a blog today, He might use it to tell his parables or stories about what His kingdom is like. He might post the Beatitudes, or His sermons preached to the thousands on a hillside. He might share the memories He had of His life before, photos and stories of His friends and disciples he came to love. Maybe he would share with all how He would leave for a while, be put to death, then be resurrected on the third day and rejoin His disciples and friends again before ascending up to heaven to His father. And in leaving He would promise that the Holy Spirit would always be near to help and comfort us all.

Even though we have all this contained in the Old and New Testaments of the Bible today with easy access to all, and in many different languages and versions I think Jesus would have multiple stories to share that there would be no room or time to tell it all. I think He would post stories about people who have been healed of disease and disabilities of all kinds, and stories about restored relationships and marriages that would give us hope to get through difficult or troubling times, how to raise our children and gain wisdom along the way. But, most importantly I think He would tell people how much He loves them.

______________

Footnotes: Jesus’s history, his life, stories and miracles performed can be found in the gospels of the New Testament Bible in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

Joyce E. Johnson (2015)

Triumphal Entry   2 comments

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The Garden of Gethsemane in Jerusalem, Israel; photo taken in May 2001 while on a tour of Israel

He came with humility

to serve; not to be served;

He came to prepare for us a place

a home where His father and eternity abides.

Wherever He went, whatever He did

people came from all around

from towns and villages to the mountainsides

to hear His teaching and wisdom found.

He came in love, He came with grace;

He chose a donkey, not a chariot or steed,

 the Father’s glory shone about His face.

He was not sent to impress, or proceed

a following of men with clout or fame,

but with the twelve chosen walking beside

called Disciples, and with Him they came

to learn the ways of the One sent out

who carried our sin and carried our shame.

____________

Footnotes: The life and history, stories, miracles and words of Jesus’s teachings can be found in the first four books of the New Testament Bible known as the gospels. They are Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

Joyce E. Johnson (2015)



Acid Rain (Part 3)   1 comment

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Tel Aviv, Israel

 

After the hijacking of the Chinese freighter, Black Dragon security modifications were made on freighter and cargo lines. Swat teams and undercover agents were posted to every ship, cargo and cruise line for all scheduled crossings. The impact was felt in the once friendly skies of air travel, too. Ticket sales were down. Airlines reduced their fares significantly to entice travelers with bargain deals, but people were afraid to fly. Trains were routinely checked and swept for devices, bags, even trash disposed while on board. Railway and Amtrak routes were routinely checked for bombs or devices hidden under or near tracks.

There was no exact number to determine how many active terrorists’ cells were in the U.S., Middle East and Europe, but estimated to be in the thousands, all trained, committed, and devoted to their mandate; to kill any and all not converted or sympathetic to Islam, whether Jew or Gentile, American or otherwise. Educated and highly skilled in chemical, biological and nuclear explosives, experts were brought in to train teams sent out to places wherever opportunity existed, all under the command and ‘head’ of one, known as ‘Goliath’.

They infiltrated themselves into society, many involving themselves in civic or charity organizations, churches, or synagogues. On the surface they were Christian or Jew, purporting to be patriots of their resident country. But, to the soul they were fanatical, committed Islamic jihadists. They spoke fluent English or were fluent in the dialect of their assigned location with no prior foreign accent. Those in the U.S. were in fact born and raised in the U.S. They would martyr themselves for Allah.

__________________

Tel Aviv, Israel

Sam entered the home of his old friend and mentor, Eli. Eli was a retired army commander with the IDF. He shook hands with Eli’s bodyguard and was escorted into his study.

“Samuel, it is good to see you my friend.” Eli embraced Sam, greeting him with the traditional Hebrew kiss on each cheek. “You look good, except for the lines of stress around your eyes. I suspect this is not just a social visit, is it? I see it in your eyes. You have something on your mind.”

Sam smiled. “You know me too well, Eli.”

“Sit down. Let’s talk. I sense your current mission has not been going well. I assume your unit is working with the U.S. teams on this stream of recent attacks?”

“Trying to. But, their American president is none too happy with the way we do things here. It has not been determined for certain who carried out the San Francisco attack and hijacking of the Black Dragon. They cannot find those responsible. Their disappearing act was flawless, no trace, but it stinks of Hamas’s hands all over this. I am not so sure we will have the U.S. support and cooperation much longer with the animosity their president feels toward our PM and Israel. The U.S. administration wants to cut a deal with Iran too.”

“Yes. I know.”

They talked for another couple hours.  When it was time for Sam to leave, Eli said. “Don’t go out the front, the way you came in. Let me take you out through another exit from my home. Where did you park your SUV?”

“Six blocks down and two streets over from here. I was careful, Eli. I don’t think anyone was tailing me.”

“Nevertheless, let me lead you out the back way. Then you can switch back, and get back to your car from there.”

__________________

To be continued…

This is a work of fiction and a continued story with parts 1 & 2 previously posted under the same title, Acid Rain  Feedback and comments are always welcome.

Joyce E.Johnson (2015)

 

 

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