The Caspian Scrolls

By I. J. Sarfeh

The camera panned a hillside alive with quavering trees and pounding rain. Then it zoomed in on the drenched cleric, now wearing a loin cloth and nothing else. Three hooded men stood in front of him, their weapons at their sides.

The cleric fell to his knees, his hands clasped before him as if in prayer. One of the hooded men laid his automatic rifle on the ground. From under his jacket he took out a foot-long dagger. He stood behind the cleric. Grabbing a fistful of dripping wet hair, he held the dagger at his victim’s throat. He shouted a few words in Farsi. The cleric screamed.