General Fiction posted October 31, 2017

This work has reached the exceptional level
A Tale of Two Britons

A long way from Durham Town

by CD Richards

Double-Blind Challenge Contest Winner 

The author has placed a warning on this post for violence.
The author has placed a warning on this post for language.
The author has placed a warning on this post for sexual content.

Jennifer awoke to a mouthful of dust, a piercing pain in her head, and the weight of a boot on the small of her back. She tried to move, but the pressure on her back increased, and a gruff voice reached her ears.

"Don't move, bitch, or you'll lose the other hand."

"Eat shit and die, Daesh!"

Matthew (or as he now preferred, Abdul Jabbar) slammed the stock of his rifle down hard on the useless lump of shattered bone, flesh and blood that was once Jennifer's left hand, drawing a bloodcurdling shriek from the prostrate figure. "A friggin' Geordie! I've come all the way to Syria to get me a piece of arse that's probably lived a couple of hours away my entire life."

"In your dreams, freak." As the fog slowly lifted, Jennifer twisted her head slightly and surveyed the IS scout's handiwork. The rough crimson-soaked bandage and crude strapping told her all she needed to know. "You bastard!"

"You won't be needing it to fulfil your new function, slut. Get up!" She felt the weight on her back disappear. A few seconds later the same boot slammed into her left rib cage. "Now! I haven't got all fuckin' day."

Jennifer found herself wishing she were back in Lanchester, sitting outside Kaffeehaus Amadeus enjoying coffee and cake. Almost laughing aloud at the absurdity of that thought, she spat out a mouthful of powdery red dust as she struggled to her feet using her remaining hand for balance. Seeing the body of her friend Ariya on the floor a few feet away, her mottled green fatigues soaked red with blood, Jennifer wanted to cry. Instead, she leaned forward and emptied the contents of her stomach in the dirt.

"There are two more outside," Matthew stated matter-of-factly. "The others are on their way back to Raqqa with my comrades. There, you will all be our very special guests until the end of the week. Following that, you will be taking a final swim in the Euphrates, en-route to Hell. After noticing our obvious connection, my friends kindly decided you could have the pleasure of my company back to the city."

"You and your friends won't see the end of the week. The SDF is closing in from every side, and we have air support. Raqqa will be a smouldering pile of rubble before a single Daesh can get out of there."

"Do you think you can thwart the servants of Allah, infidel? The flag of IS will fly high for all eternity, praise be!"

Jennifer's voice was calm and measured as she stared at the boyish-looking figure in front of her. His face was adorned with patchy orange peach-fuzz, and on his wrist he wore a cheap, plastic digital watch. "Cut the crap, shit-for-brains. We all know you're here because you couldn't get laid in the UK. There's not many camels in downtown Liverpool. A bunch of girls kicked your arse in Kobani, we did it again on Sinjar, and we—" before she had time to take evasive action, the back of Matthew's hand slammed into the side of Jennifer's face.

"Enough! We need to go."

"I have to do something first." She wiped the trickle of blood from the corner of her mouth.

"Oh? Would you like to make a cup of tea, perhaps? Set up to record EastEnders so you can watch it when we get back? Sorry, luv, you're not coming back."

"Unless you want to drive forty miles along Route 4 sitting next to a steaming pile of excrement, we need to make a brief stop."


"That's the general idea, Einstein. It's through there, and to the left." Jennifer pointed through the open doorway and across an empty room, with a dirt floor and mud-brick walls, to a small chamber off to the side. From this little room a golden shaft of sunlight spread across the floor, illuminating a solitary scarab crawling purposefully across the corridor.

Motioning with his AK-47 to Jennifer, Matthew followed her to the other end of the hut. When she stopped, he looked around the corner and saw the crude pit latrine, and the inviting window opening. He doubted that she could climb out, with her shattered hand, but the IS recruit wasn't taking any chances. "Hurry it up. No time to refresh your make-up."

Realising Matthew was not leaving, Jennifer shot him a disgusted look and began fumbling with her belt.

"Need a hand?" Matthew smirked, pleased at his own cleverness.

"Fuck off." Jennifer struggled with her fly. "So, are the stories true?"

"What stories? And get on with it."

"Is it true that if you get killed by a girl, you don't get your seventy-two virgins?"

"That would be the greatest dishonour of all. But you needn't concern yourself with that. There'll be a party tonight, no virgins involved. Certainly not by the time it's over."

Finally, Jennifer freed herself, and allowed the trousers to slide to her ankles. She thought of the thousands of women who had been raped, tortured and killed by the men with whom this pimple-faced degenerate had chosen to align himself. She remembered the dozens of friends and comrades she had lost already, and the sisters of those comrades who had disappeared, never to be seen again. She shuddered contemplating the fate awaiting those who had been captured today. A single tear welled in the corner of her eye, then spilled out onto her cheek.

"Don't be like that — you might like it."

Matthew's mocking tone filled her with rage, but she maintained her composure. "Oh, it's not that."

"Then what, for God's sake?"

"I would rather die than be taken by the likes of you."

"Well, that's too bad, Princess. Because you're unarmed and help is nowhere in sight. Now stop your stalling or I just might grant your wish and put a bullet through your head right now. There are plenty more where you came from. I don't have to get myself an English girl."

"We always knew this day might come."

"Shut up! I'm going to give you until three. One..."

"Just one thing..."

"For Christ's sake — what?"

Jennifer reached down to lift the wooden toilet lid. By the time Matthew saw the wires, it was too late. The YPJ soldier flashed him a last, rueful smile. "Tell the virgins, 'You're welcome.'"

* * * * * *

Miles to the east, in the hospital which was now their operational headquarters, the jihadists were blissfully unaware of the explosion in Madan. It would be a couple of hours before they began to wonder what had become of their newest, pale-skinned recruit, and sixteen more before the SDF forces broke through their defences to reclaim the city.

Double-Blind Challenge
Contest Winner


The lines which appear in bold at the beginning are the prompt I received for this contest.

Image: Roland Unger [GFDL ( or CC BY-SA 4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons.
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