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Yael's Ordeal

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MahaShiva

Assistant executioner
Joined
Dec 5, 2017
Likes
505
#1
A little something that I wrote up many years ago and was recently brought up by our friend Phlebas, whose artwork inspired it at the time. It's been moved from Phlebas' pics-found thread so as not to jammed it up over there.

Yael's Ordeal

"Pull back! Pull back! Pull back!"

Lieutenant David Livni crept hurriedly along the low stone wall that served as his platoon's latest defense line, and ordered the soldiers to abandoned their posts in the face of the angry crowd of Palestinian demonstrators.

Sergeant Yosef Katz, the senior sergeant of the platoon, stopped him.

"Sir, Private Kirshner is still trapped in the rock house," the sergeant reported.

"Yael Kirshner?" Lieutenant Livni stuck his head over the wall and glanced at the isolated rock house, now completely surrounded by the Palestinians. "I thought I ordered everybody to withdraw to this stone wall."

"They cut her off before she could get out."

"Damn! Is she still shooting over their heads?" Lieutenant Livni asked.

"I'm afraid so," Sergeant Katz sighed.

Lieutenant Livni stuck his head out again to survey the scene, and was hit by a fist-sized rock squarely on the top of his helmet. Immediately, the soldiers opened fire, cutting down the rock-thrower and several others around him, but the Palestinian crowd, at least four or five hundreds strong, continued to press on.

"I can't risk more lives on a hopeless rescue mission," the young lieutenant made his decision. "Not when everybody can see on TV that these bastards only have rocks and sticks to fight us with. We have to pull back right now."

"But what about Yael?" Sergeant Katz pleaded.

"Aryeh," Lieutenant Livni turned to his radio operator, "tell them to send a tank. Tell them it's an emergency rescue."

"Sir," Sergeant Katz protested, "every platoon in the country is asking for tanks!"

"Aryeh," Lieutenant Livni shouted over the sergeant's words, "make sure they understand: the defense minister's granddaughter is trapped behind enemy line!"


Private Yael Kirshner crouched in a corner on the second floor of the rock house, listening to the terrifying roar of the crowd outside the windows, now coming from all four sides of the house. She could see her rifle shaking in her sweaty palms, and feel her heart beating wildly in her throat.

Rocks flew into the room with increased intensity, shattering what remained of the windows, and raining tiny shards of broken glass all over her olive green uniform. Over the chorus of excited yells, she was able to distinguish a youthful voice shouting in an unmistakably commanding tone: "He's still inside! The Israeli is still inside! Let's go in and get him!"

Barely three months out of high school and less than four weeks out of basic training, Yael was at the end of her wits as to how to deal with the dire straits she had found herself in. Realistically, she knew her capture by the Arab mob was all but certain, and no longer concerned herself about escaping the fate. It was the memory of all the atrocities committed by both sides in this age-old conflict that filled her heart with anxiety.

She had stopped firing her rifle from the window. By now, it was quite clear that the Palestinians had also realized she had been shooting only into the air. She wondered whether she would fire at them when they came upstairs to take her prisoner, and quickly decided that she could never bring herself to shoot unarmed men and women, even if they meant to do her great harm.

"Remember," she recalled a Youths for Peace councilor once telling a joint assembly of Palestinian and Israeli youths, "oftentimes self-sacrifice is the only gateway to the realm of peace."

Although she was no longer sure it would be of any benefit to the elusive goal of lasting peace in her homeland, Yael was fully prepared to sacrifice herself. But she was not going to sacrifice her new comrades in the platoon along with her. To make sure of that, she had to destroy the rifle, which was of no more use to her. She would never let it fall into the hands of the mob.

With well-trained proficiency, Yael removed the bolt from the rifle, and hid it in a pile of ash in a pot belly stove.

Gradually, the rocks stopped flying in, and for a brief moment, it was eerily calm inside the room. At the same time, however, she could hear the heavy footsteps of several people coming cautiously up the wooden stairs.

Yael stood up, brushed the glass shards off herself, and straightened her hair and her uniform. As the footsteps proceeded to the door in front of her, she found her heart strangely at peace, and all the fear and anxiety that had engulfed her just moments before had evaporated like morning mist under the sun.

The door was kicked in, and a group of Palestinians burst into the room. Their apparent leader, a dark-skinned young man with curly hair, a long scar across the face, and fiery eyes under thick, connected eyebrows, approached her with a baseball bat held threatening over his shoulder.

"Drop the gun!" he ordered.

Yael tossed the rifle aside.

"I didn't kill anyone," she said, calmly.

The young man lowered his baseball bat, and then, without warning, he slapped her hard across the face, sending her flying to a corner of the room.


Eighteen-year-old Abed Abdullah al-Khalid, commander of the local Hamas youth movement, was much surprised to find that the Israeli soldier they had cornered was a women--a girl, in fact, of roughly his own age. Her rimless glasses, loosely tied pony-tail, and skinny figure made her look more like one of those naïve Israeli high school girls running around preaching fruitlessly for peace and reconciliation than one of Israel's fabled female warriors, even in her well-cut green uniform. Her lightly tanned face, unspoiled by make-up, reminded him of his own girlfriend, and her deep brown eyes, even with a fleeting glimpse of fear, spoke of little hostility but much honesty.

Under a different circumstance, Abed might persuade himself to bring her back to the Israelis to exchange for his own comrades now held prisoners; but not on this day. Twelve young men and boys from his organization lay dead in the streets of his town, at least four were taken by the Israelis, more than thirty had been injured; and this lone Israeli soldier, whether a 100-kg burly butcher or a petite girl half that size, was the only thing he had to show for three hours of battling against the IDF.

Across the room, Abed's cousin and lieutenant Ali was beating the Israeli girl without mercy.

"Where is the rifle bolt?" Ali barked in the girl's face. Receiving no response, he swung his fist almost a full circle, and hit her on the left cheek, where a print of Abed's hand was still visible.

The girl fell hard against the wall, but immediately began to struggle back to her feet. As soon as she stood up, Ali punched her in the stomach, forcing her to drop on her knees and bend over in pain.

"Where is the rifle bolt?" Again he demanded, and again the Israeli girl quietly got back on her feet, like a stubborn boxer in a decidedly mismatched fight. She stared Ali straight in the face, boldly and challengingly, her eyes now filled with defiance.

Enraged, Ali picked up Abed's baseball bat, but was stopped by his cousin and commander.

"It's no use," Abed told Ali. "She's not going to talk."

He took Ali's place in front of the Israeli girl, and grabbed the collars of her shirt. Before she could react, he tore the shirt wide open, sending buttons flying through the air.

The Israeli girl gasped in surprise, and instinctively attempted to cross her arms in front of her chest. But Ali and another man quickly took a hold of her wrists, and forcefully twisted her arms behind her back.

Abed drew a knife from his belt, and held it before the Israeli girl's face. As she turned her face away and squeezed her eyes shut, he struck with the knife--not into her flesh, but into her shirt. With a few well-placed cuts, he did away with the front of the shirt, and reduced its backside into tattered strips.

Then he turned his attention to the Israeli girl's pants. Loosening her green canvas belt, he pushed the pants down to her knees, leaving the squirming girl standing in little more than her white cotton bra and panties. The girl tried to put up a fight, even making an effort to kick him, but the strong hands of Abed's men rendered her resistance an exercise of pure futility.

With the Israeli girl's slender body gradually exposed before his eyes, Abed found himself in a rush of excitement. It was the same excitement he felt three years before, when he and Ali cornered a small Israeli boy on his way to school and beat him half to death. And it was in every adrenaline-laden pounding of the heart the same excitement he felt six month before, when he and Ali raped a Jewish settler's new bride and left her nude body hanging by the neck over the couple's wedding bed. It was an excitement he could not describe, nor quite understand; but as long as it was an Israeli he was hurting, he knew he liked the feeling.

Again drawing his knife, he sliced the straps of the Israeli girl's bra and the sides of her panties, and stripped her of this last defense of her modesty. One of his men walked over to the window, and triumphantly held up the shredded lingerie for the crowd below. "It's a female!" he announced. Immediately, the crowd burst into loud cheers.

Another man approached the Israeli girl with his own knife in hand.

"Abed, should I cut her open now?" he asked, matter-of-factly.

"No," Abed answered, as he picked up the useless rifle and laid it across the girl's shoulders, behind her neck. "Tie her hands to the rifle. We are taking her for a walk."

He glanced at the broken glass littering the floor, and a nearly undetectable smile crept to the corners of his mouth.

"One more thing," he added to his order, "get rid of her boots and socks."

(To be continued due to excessive number of characters...)
 

MahaShiva

Assistant executioner
Joined
Dec 5, 2017
Likes
505
#2
(Part 2)

The crowd cheered wildly when Yael emerged from her hiding place, led by a thick rope tied around her neck. Her hands were bound helplessly to the ends of her rifle, on either side of her face, and her pants, now bunched around her ankles, hobbled her movement. With each step she took, the glass shards embedded in the soles of her bare feet made her grimace in pain, as if she had stepped onto hundreds of sharp pins; and with each step, she left behind a footprint painted with fresh blood.

The dirt road under her feet soon became ancient stone pavement, and Yael found herself marched through the main street of the town. Every now and then, over the angry faces and fists of the crowd lining her narrow path, she stole a glance at the stone and adobe huts along the winding street, and more and more she found the scenery faintly familiar. When the procession reached the center of the town, she realized that she had, indeed, walked down this very street before, in a completely different setting.

It was a year before, when Yael was a high school senior actively involved in the Youths for Peace movement. One weekend, after a successful meeting with their Palestinian counterparts, she and her schoolmates were invited to spend the night in this tiny town, where they were treated by local residents like royalties. While they were given a tour of the town, nearly every one of its residents, young and old, poured into the streets to greet them. The men embraced them warmly and kissed the Israeli boys on their foreheads. The women offered them an impossible amount of food and drinks. And in the plaza at the town center, a group of young children in matching, brand-new white shirts lined up to sing traditional Jewish folk songs for the visitors, which moved Yael and several other Israeli girls to tears.

It was certainly a memorable night, one that she cherished as a highlight in her life. Now, twelve months later, she was walking down the same street, bound, almost naked, and paraded in front of the town like a common criminal, and the genuine hospitality of the townsfolk was nowhere to be found. Instead of giving her polite embraces, the men struck out at her bare back and buttocks with belts, tree branches, walking sticks, or whatever that happened to be in their hands. Instead of offering her food and drinks, the women grabbed at her hair and tore at her already tattered shirt. Instead of singing a warm welcome, the children ran around her in circles, spitting on her and hurling such profanities that Yael was sure would earn them a good spanking under any other circumstances.

She hung her head, wondering whether the Palestinian youths who had invited her into their homes were also among the frenzied mob chanting endlessly "death to Israel" as she passed by in small, tortured steps.

Enduring the crowd's merciless abuse, Yael slowly made her way through the town. As the procession turned onto a sparsely populated hill, Yael became quite convinced that her young life would come to an early end when the road under her feet ran out. All that was left for her to wonder was whether her captors would make it quick and easy for her, or they would subject her to a long, excruciating death.

She came upon the answer to this unsettling question when she reached the top of the hill. There, next to the burned-out shell of a small house, a tall wooden post had been erected. A fire-marked heavy beam, obviously salvaged from the house, lay on the ground a few meters from the foot of the post. Half a dozen men stood waiting for her with large hammers and long steel nails in their hands.

Yael closed her eyes and shook her head, as if trying to drive the nightmare out of her mind. But it was no use.

She saw the scar-faced young man approaching her.

"Please do not do this to me," she pleaded softly, in a near whisper.

The man did not answer. Instead, he took a hold of her disheveled pony-tail and turned her face to the burned house.

"Welcome to my home," he said. After a pause, he added: "Yes, it used to be my home, until a rocket from your helicopters blew it up and killed everybody inside six months ago."

With that, he threw Yael to the ground, and gave his order: "Crucify her, for all the crimes that she and her kind committed against our people!"

The men and boys under his command responded enthusiastically. Countless hands tore at what was left of Yael's clothes, until the last thread was stripped from her body. The men with the hammers and nails removed the rifle from her shoulders, and dragged her over to the waiting beam. Overpowering her feeble resistance, they stretched her arms along the beam, and held them in place with their hands and knees. Then, almost simultaneously, two thick nails were hammered through the bones and flesh of her delicate wrists.

For the first time since her capture, Yael cried out. Tears began flowing freely from her eyes. Along with the bones in her wrists, she felt that her entire world, the world upon which she had built her faith and structured her life, had been shattered into tiny pieces.

As she sobbed quietly, the men propped her up on her feet, and guided her to the upright post. Obviously, they wanted her to carry the instrument of her execution by herself, but as soon as they loosened their grip on her arms, Yael felt to the ground in a tortured, trembling heap. Her legs, it seemed, and every other muscle in her body had been paralyzed by the incredible amount of pain the two simple nails had imposed on her.

The men dragged her to the post by the cursed beam, her legs trailing limply behind her, her head bent backward wearily, and her lungs gasping in agony. A rope was tied to the middle of the beam, and then, to the thunderous cheers of the crowd, she was gradually lifted off the ground.

Once again, Yael cried out. With the weight of her whole body now hanging on them, the two nails in her wrists had become the centers of her nervous system, shooting wave after wave of white hot pain down her stretched arms and throughout her being like electric currents.

She felt the men parting her legs and holding her feet against the back of the post, and she felt the sharp tips of two other nails being pressed against her ankles, but she was powerless to interfere. All she could do was to hang in her misery, and brace herself for the inevitable.

When the nails finally invaded her ankles, Yael jumped up on the cross with energy and strength that she could not believe she still had. Then, after emitting a long, blood-curdling scream, her spent body came crashing down, and she lost consciousness.


On a low ridge on the opposite side of the town, Lieutenant Livni slammed his binocular on the ground in front of his foxhole, hardly able to believe the barbaric scene unfolding before his eyes.

"Aryeh," he yelled at the radio operator, "where is that damned tank?"

"They say it's on the way, sir," the radio operator answered, shivering at the sight of the lieutenant's blood-filled eyes.

"Tell them to get it here right now," Lieutenant Livni shouted, "or they can send a body bag instead."


In the shadow of the cross, Abed shook hands with the Hamas regional leader known to him only as Ibrahim, who was clearly having trouble moving his eyes away from the naked Israeli girl on display.

"Well done!" at last Ibrahim gathered himself enough to commend his young warrior. "This will be a great boost to the morale of our fighters and a major blow to the enemy."

"Thank you," Abed answered breathlessly, his face still blushing with excitement.

"Don't let this go on for too long, though," Ibrahim cautioned. "The Israelis will try everything to get her back."

"Don't worry, sir," Abed assured him. "She'll be dead in no time."

"Good!" Ibrahim shook Abed's hands again. "I trust you'll push this to a perfect ending."

With that, the Hamas leader hurried away with his entourage.

"Do we really need to kill her?" Ali leaned over to Abed's ear and asked. "I thought we were putting her up there to teach them a lesson. She said she didn't kill anybody, and I think she's telling the truth."

"So what?" Abed said coldly. "Twelve of our brothers are lying dead in the streets, and she's one of those responsible for that."


Yael came to when someone drenched her with a bucket of cold water. For a moment, she was unsure whether she was still alive, or she was dead and held prisoner in hell. The water trickled over her bare chest and stomach, washing away some of the sweat covering her body, but she still felt like she was being grilled on open fire.

The crowd milled around by her cross, pinching her here and there on her nude body, and continuing to fill her ears with crude insults. Young children rushed back and forth, taking advantage of her defenselessness by throwing small pieces of rock at her. And several teenaged boys giggled as they poked a wooden stick into her sex, and huddled together for a closer inspection of the most secretive spot on a girl's body.
Yael.jpg
The fierce pain had so overwhelmed Yael's senses that she hardly paid any more attention to it. For now, she felt more than anything an explosive anger building inside her--anger over the inhumane treatment she had received and continued to receive in the hands of her captors, but most of all anger to herself for giving herself up for this appalling spectacle without a fight.

Strangely, she also became keenly aware of her nakedness, and of the parts of her body that she had always considered less than perfect: her small, girlish breasts, her narrow, almost boyish hips, and her long, skinny legs. For years, she had shied away from clothes that were too tight or too revealing, with little prompting from her conservative parents. But now, every inch of her body was on display before a crowd of strangers, and helplessly exposed to their idle curiosity and taunts.

The scar-faced young man interrupted her thoughts.

"I'd like you to meet my family," he said, dumping a blood-stained, partially burned sofa at the foot of the cross.

"This is my father," he informed her. "After a day's hard work, he liked to sit in this sofa and listen to my brother and sister reading their school work to him. And that's where he was killed when your rocket destroyed my house."

He brought over the remains of a rocking chair.

"This is my mother. She always enjoyed sitting in this chair and listening to the conversation in the family while she did her knitting. When the rocket hit, it blew her and her chair twenty meters out of the house."

Next, he hauled over a broken basketball backboard, and tossed it into the pile.

"Now meet my brother. All he wanted to do was to grow up and play basketball. The ball was still in his hands when we found his body."

Then he produced a collection of wooden debris that was apparently once a dollhouse.

"And my little sister Yasmin...she had just received this dollhouse as a birthday gift when she turned eight, and the next day she was dead."

He stepped up to Yael and clenched her chin in his hand.

"Don't tell me you have nothing to do with any of this!" he said through gritted teeth.

Yael listened impassively. She could have countered him with the story of her classmate Yehuda, who lost both of his legs when a Hamas suicide bomber killed more than twenty in the busy market where his family ran a vegetable stand. Or she could have told him about her childhood friend Deborah, who had spent the last two years in a mental hospital after being gang-raped by masked Palestinian gunmen and forced to witness the massacre of her parents and brothers in a West Bank settlement. But in comparison to the blood trickling down the underside of her arms and the sides of her torso, a war of words seemed so hollow and inconsequential.

Another young man came with a plastic tank, and handed it over to the scar-face.

"Are you sure you want to do this?" he asked the scar-face in a low voice.

Without a word, the scar-face opened the tank and began to pour its contents on the pile of furniture and debris beneath Yael's feet. The strong smell of gasoline invaded Yael's nostrils, and she realized what lay in store for her next on her torturous journey away from this world. In her dazed mind, she had a difficult time deciding which would be more to her advantage: to hang here on the cross for days to come before the bittersweet comfort of death, or to embrace a much quicker end through the intense suffering in the flames.

She almost felt a sense of relief that the choice was not hers to make.

As Yael watched, the scar-face struck a match and tossed it onto the gasoline-doused pile. Instantly, bluish flames began licking on her bent legs and her nailed feet.

She bit down on her lips and refused to give the crowd any more entertainment at her expense. When the scar-face leaned forward to hold a second burning match to one of her nipples, she peppered his face with spit and blood.

At that moment, her strongest wish was to get her rifle back and live the day all over again. And this time, she would have no hesitation to shoot each and every one of the people in front of her, men, women, and children.

As the flames quickly advanced to her waist, and her hair started to curl in the intense heat, Yael was forced to abandon all logic and reason, and launch into a futile struggle. Braving the unbearable pain, she pulled herself up on the cross by the four nails embedded in her flesh and bones, and tried desperately to inch away from the fire. While she tossed her head back and forth, her eyes caught a bright flash on the low ridge directly facing her, where her platoon had been positioned earlier that day. Recognizing it as sunlight reflecting off what were evidently the lenses of a binocular, she knew her comrades in the platoon were suffering her ordeal along with her.

Suddenly, she felt a hard blow to her chest, so hard that it smashed her back into the rough lumber of the cross. In an instant, her body slumped back to the hanging position, and the cruel world in front of her eyes began to turn dark. Then, all of her pain and sufferings vanished.


Lieutenant Livni sat dejected behind a large boulder, his head buried in his arms.

The tank he had requested hours before finally arrived, but it was too late. Seeing through his binocular the beautiful eighteen-year-old girl twisting and writhing in flames, he could do nothing more than ordering Sergeant Katz, the best sharpshooter in the brigade, to deal her a coup-de-grace. A feeling of doom engulfed his heart.

Sergeant Katz sat down beside him, and offered a comforting arm.

"You did what you could, sir," he said tersely.

"It doesn't matter," the young lieutenant groaned. "In less than twenty-four hours, the whole world is going to see on TV that poor girl being burned to death on a cross. And the whole country is going to demand somebody's head for it--and it's not going to be your head, or the heads of those geniuses who withheld the tank."

Already, he could see his once promising career in the army falling into pieces.
 
Joined
May 23, 2016
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Location
Rome
#5
Good, tight story. But I would have like to have seen some of the Palestinian onlookers given the coup de grace as well.
 

phlebas

PRIMUS POENUS
Joined
Feb 17, 2006
Likes
70,254
Location
Oz
#6
It's a brilliant story that has stayed with me all these years since I first read it. Harsh, tragic, dramatic, thought provoking.
What pic of mine inspired it? Was it this one, one of my earliest?
ph007.jpg
That was itself inspired by a poem written by Dr Mabuse, an old friend of ours from the Crux group. In this case it was a Palestinian girl crucified by Israelis.
 

MahaShiva

Assistant executioner
Joined
Dec 5, 2017
Likes
505
#8
It's a brilliant story that has stayed with me all these years since I first read it. Harsh, tragic, dramatic, thought provoking.
What pic of mine inspired it? Was it this one, one of my earliest?
View attachment 642534
That was itself inspired by a poem written by Dr Mabuse, an old friend of ours from the Crux group. In this case it was a Palestinian girl crucified by Israelis.
Thank you, Phleb! This is another good one, but not the one I was thinking about. In that one the camera angle is straight from the back of the cross, with the girl's feet nailed behind the post, a smiling young man standing nearby, and a Judea-looking town of low-rise buildings in the background. Does that ring a bell?

Too bad most of my Crux goody collection went poof year ago with an old laptop...

How is ol' Doc doing these days? Do you know? I haven't heard from him for many years!
 

phlebas

PRIMUS POENUS
Joined
Feb 17, 2006
Likes
70,254
Location
Oz
#10
Thank you, Phleb! This is another good one, but not the one I was thinking about. In that one the camera angle is straight from the back of the cross, with the girl's feet nailed behind the post, a smiling young man standing nearby, and a Judea-looking town of low-rise buildings in the background. Does that ring a bell?

Too bad most of my Crux goody collection went poof year ago with an old laptop...

How is ol' Doc doing these days? Do you know? I haven't heard from him for many years!
Ah, this one, October 2000. 6 manips on from the one above, I was putting the year on them by then.
ph013.jpg

I met Dr Mabuse once, in London around 2006 or so. Haven't heard from him for quite a while, he was a man of mature years even then.

Sorry to hear about your collection. My archive is stored on several external hard drives, so there is some redundancy.
 

MahaShiva

Assistant executioner
Joined
Dec 5, 2017
Likes
505
#11
Ah, this one, October 2000. 6 manips on from the one above, I was putting the year on them by then.
View attachment 642818

I met Dr Mabuse once, in London around 2006 or so. Haven't heard from him for quite a while, he was a man of mature years even then.

Sorry to hear about your collection. My archive is stored on several external hard drives, so there is some redundancy.
Yep, that's the one--a truly marvelous piece. I just love the way those two are interacting! Thanks for digging it up, Phlebas!
 
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