Chapter excerpted from the novel HELL’S SHADOW by J.M. Gould
CALL ME ISHMAEL, Father of the Arabs, son of Abraham and Hagar, who wandered in the desert. Call me Abu Muslim, Father of the Muslims, Sword of the Caliph, who rose from the eastern sands of Khorasan. Once, more than a thousand years ago, a man named Abu Muslim made history, when the Black Flag of the Abbasids flew and the heads of the usurpers fell like rotting fruit in the sun. Today the Black Flag will fly once more, and I too will make history. It is a beautiful day to die.
We are seven hours out of Le Bourget. Coming down the coast from Maine we have flown at 41,000 feet and a dozen miles out to sea. Far above the ceaseless maelstrom of traffic that congests the air around New York and Boston. We all feel a surge of pride when the towers of Manhattan fly past on the western horizon. Those that remain. We are awestruck by the beauty of what happened there. There is no god but God, and Mohammed is his Messenger. Peace be upon him.