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Publisher Black Rose Writing
Soul Custody is a breakneck roller coaster tale of political and familial intrigue. Pilot Douglas Graham is shot down over enemy lines in Iraq and is held in captivity by a local insurgent group. As the United States and Israel prepare to negotiate for the American pilot's life, an unexpected figure come to the fore. Douglas' estranged father Hanley Wayne. Soul Custody frankly describes the psychological and emotional abuse that results from parental abduction and finally sheds light on this horrific practice.
By late afternoon the scorching sun was losing its sting. Aban welcomed the change. He noticed a moving silhouette in the sky. It was dark against the descending golden ball. He quickly pointed it out to Abdul. Abdul dabbed the sweat off his brow, and raised the binoculars to his eyes. He recognized the distinct shape of the AWACS. "Get ready," he commanded Aban. Aban grabbed his already loaded missile launcher and aimed it at the oncoming aircraft. Abdul raised his hand.
That's it Aban told himself as he pointed his launcher at the oncoming aircraft. The annoying flies were biting at his sweat-beaded face. His entire life now flashed in front of him. If he missed his target or struck it head on, within seconds the Americans would attack their hideout with vengeance. He was only thirteen, the oldest of ten siblings, when his father was killed in an airstrike by the Coalition Forces. Not long after, his family plunged into poverty, and he decided to join the al-Qhilāfa organization as a Shaheed and avenge his father's death. Now at seventeen, he wasn't certain that he was ready to die. But soldiering was all he knew, and it paid him well.
"Ready… aim… fire!" Abdul commanded him, his voice cigarette-scarred.
Aban squeezed the trigger, and the missile bolted out of the launcher. He watched the trail of white smoke as the missile aimed directly at the AWACS. Out of the blue, two air to air missiles honed on it, and he watched Abdul bring the binoculars to his eyes and follow the drama in the sky. Seconds later, he saw the Chinese missile's laser defense mechanism blow the two smaller missiles out of the sky. A fighter jet expeditiously interjected in the missile’s path, and lured it away from the AWACS. Aban anxiously watched the pilot perform impressive and daring evasion maneuvers, and then fire an air to air missile. Seconds later the Chinese wonder was blown to smithereens.
Abdul was infuriated. "Iben-kalb, sonofabitch," he muttered. "Get your second missile ready," he told Aban. "And remember, your life depends on the success of this operation."
Aban loaded the second missile. The palms of his hands felt clammy, and the sweat was running down his brow and into his eyes. It burned. He aimed his launcher at the AWACS with one finger tight on the trigger, and awaited Abdul's orders. From the corner of his eyes he saw a fighter jet diving directly at their hideout. Alarmed, he swung the launcher away from the AWACS and fired his missile at the oncoming jet. Abdul's jaw dropped with disbelief.
"What the hell…" he screamed at Aban. He pulled out his pistol, pointed it at him.
"Sir… he was going to kill us all… what’s the point… I would've never made it…" Aban pleaded.
Abdul squeezed the trigger, and Aban froze with terror as the bullets from the pistol raised small puffs of dust only inches away from his body.
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