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New Fiction: In Jerusalem

It was late fall, and for this place it was the end of the world. Rockets fell daily, bombings happened hourly, and it was only a matter of time before a new pillar of fire and smoke was raised over the land. Military transports patrolled the ancient narrow streets, helping people leave and protecting the homes of those who were gone. It didn’t really matter; the bombs rendered both looted and intact homes into rubble. Still, it was a matter of duty for the soldiers and of civic order for their commanders.

I had not yet left. The skeleton staff of the U.S embassy would remain until the last minute. There was little to do. American citizens were long gone, files and papers had been shipped, and my inbox was empty save for occasional emergency orders. Each midday I wandered the streets of the city. I had grown to love it, walking the cobbled streets in the old quarters and lamenting their emptiness.  I bore witness as, one by one, the cafes and food stands disappeared, their owners and employees fled to more peaceful lands.