Recent health issues have caused chaos with my work but I am happy to report that editing my current novel is back on track and plans for the one to follow that are well underway. I’ve not worked on two novels simultaneously before but something tells me that this is currently the way to go.

I hope you enjoy this short peek at a possible opening to ‘Supper in Jerusalem.’

Stood on a Mediterranean beach at dawn, watching the sunrise and fading silhouette of a small fishing boat that just left him. Simon couldn’t think of a better postcard view.

Turning inland, the desolation of a once thriving fishing port burned the positive images to ash. Evidence of domesticity smashed and broken still smouldered after another attack. The rumble of a solitary aircraft returning from its silent hours sortie over desolate cities. Bombs dispatched to the rebels, and innocents.

Simon heard the call and placed himself on the fringes of the most complicated civil war of his lifetime and he didn’t care for his safety. He cared only for those who wanted to reclaim their lives. He didn’t know who they were where to look or how to approach them. Trust would be an issue. They had been deserted while others around them joined factions with dangerous agendas that excluded their well-being and ignored their futures.

Over eleven million people fleeing the violence. Five million fled to neighbouring countries that don’t have the infrastructure to care for them. He looked at the crumpled leaflet in his hand and recited from memory.

“Nearly eight years since it began, the war has killed more than 480,000 people. Crowded cities have been destroyed and horrific human rights violations are widespread. Basic necessities like food and medical care are sparse.”

Clearing his throat and pulling back the tears, he continued.

“The U.N. estimates that 6.3 million people are internally displaced. When you also consider refugees, well over half of the country’s pre-war population of 22 million is in need of urgent humanitarian assistance, whether they still remain in the country or have escaped across the borders.”

It started with protests about the government, people wanted change, not the destruction that came their way. The situation became worse after outside parties intent on gratifying their own interests got involved; Russia, The USA, China, the list goes on. The number of civilian casualties and families forced to leave their homes in search of safety exploded when the major powers threw in their weight.

He opened out the leaflet and looked at a picture of a smiling young man standing on the rubble that had been his school. Years of his life lost to the war.  No family. No education. No basic human rights. The headline read, “Resolved to do something about his future.”

Simon had to find this young man before it was too late.