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Imposter

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Imposter

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300 página
4 horas
Editora:
Lançado em:
Feb 6, 2016
ISBN:
9780989274418
Formato:
Livro

Descrição

In a more tolerant world, Zane Walker’s charade would have been ignored. In Saudi Arabia, a sixteen-year-old boy masquerading as an online cleric, cannot be ignored. In
a media studies class he is taking at an international school he is to create media personae, an online presence using social media. One student creates a new product. One creates a service. Another creates a non-profit to raise money and awareness. Zane Walker creates an international incident.

His interpretation of the assignment, because of its incendiary possibilities, was never to go live, like those of his classmates. Somehow, inexplicably, it does. He now has thousands of followers, thinking his fatwas--Religious edicts--are coming from a scholarly Muslim cleric. To many, he is leading a long overdue Islamic reformation.

When the religious police show up at his western compound with a decree to detain him, the only reformation they Are interested in is his head on a plate. The truth of his efforts, that he was set up by a terrorist cell to foment discord between the United States and Saudi Arabia, may not be enough to quell the wrath of the religious establishment, the Royal family, and the worldwide condemnation for his disrespect.

Editora:
Lançado em:
Feb 6, 2016
ISBN:
9780989274418
Formato:
Livro

Sobre o autor

Bob Jonas has been a school librarian for twenty-one years; four in Beaverton, Oregon and seven in China–Shanghai, Beijing, and Hong Kong. In South America he worked for three years in Santiago, Chile, and then three years in the in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. After completing his final post in Erlangen, Germany, Bob decided to retire to continue doing what he loves to do best—write action packed novels for young adults.Using experiences from his work with kids overseas, he employs an extensive knowledge of expatriate living to write about these kids and their frontline exposure to political intrigue, revolution, overthrow, and war. ChinAlive, his first action thriller for YA kids involved a student at an international school in Shanghai, swept up in a plot to overthrow the Chinese government. Imposter, his second action thriller–soon to be released in January, 2016–follows an angry, pissed off American student in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia trying to reconcile his western sensibilities with the new life his parents have forced upon him. Equipped with a Teflon coated, can’t touch me attitude, he transgress basic rules of living in a foreign country and finds that he has put he and his whole family in great danger.Bob’s travel and writing obsessions began after reading Thor Heyerdahl's Kon Tiki when he was he was ten. His storytelling obsession began with his dad–the greatest tale teller, BS artiste, mesmerizer, and raconteur the younger Jonas would ever lean on for inspiration. His first fifteen years of adulthood found him living the travel adventure in a semi-truck where he logged over a million miles in twelve western states. Unfortunately, the road stint lasted about twelve years too long. After too many speeding tickets, too many run-ins with angry weigh masters, bad, bad, and double bad winter weather, not to mention a real bad back, he knew it was time to find his old college degree and get himself somewhere else. School librarian, perhaps? A very strange tale indeed.As a storyteller, writer, and librarian he has motivated, inspired, stimulated, stirred, cajoled, provoked, and done what was necessary to instill a love of reading in kids on four continents. Through his writing he hopes to continue the work he has been doing for over two decades.

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Imposter - Bob Jonas

Imposter

Bob Jonas

Vagabond Librarian Publishing

Vashon, Washington

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events, is purely coincidental.

Copyright © 2015 by Bob Jonas

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law.

If you would like to do any of the above, please seek permission first by contacting Vagabond Librarian Publishing at:

Vagabond Librarian Publishing

25616 Bates Walk SW

Vashon, WA 98070

http://www.vagabondlibrarian.com

First Edition

ISBN-13: 978-0-9892744-1-8

Smashwords Edition

Also by Bob Jonas

ChinAlive (2013)

For the Lovely Susan

Contents

Map

Prologue

Chapter One: Thursday, 6 A.M.

Chapter Two:Thursday, 6:30 A.M.

Chapter Three: The Previous January

Chapter Four: Thursday, 7 A.M.

Chapter Five: Thursday, 7:15 A.M.

Chapter Six: Thursday 8 A.M.

Chapter Seven: Thursday, 9:30 A.M.

Chapter Eight: Last August, Our Arrival

Chapter Nine: Thursday, 2 P.M.

Chapter Ten: Thursday, 4 P.M.

Chapter Eleven: Thursday, 4:30 P.M.

Chapter Twelve: Thursday, 5 P.M.

Chapter Thirteen: Survival Skills

Chapter Fourteen: Thursday, 5:15 P.M.

Chapter Fifteen: Thursday, 5:40 P.M.

Chapter Sixteen: Saudi Livin’: Shoppin’ and Choppin’

Chapter Seventeen: Thursday, 6 P.M.

Chapter Eighteen: Thursday, 6 P.M.

Chapter Nineteen: Thursday, 7 P.M.

Chapter Twenty: Thursday, 7:30 P.M.

Chapter Twenty-One: Friday, 5 A.M.

Chapter Twenty-Two: Friday, 6:30 A.M.

Chapter Twenty-Three: Saudi Livin’: School, Friends, Fitting In

Chapter Twenty-Four: Saudi Livin’: 2.0

Chapter Twenty-Five: Friday, 9:30 A.M.

Chapter Twenty-Six: Friday, 9:30 A.M. cont.

Chapter Twenty-Seven: Friday, 9:45 A.M.

Chapter Twenty-Eight: Friday, 1:15 P.M.

Chapter Twenty-Nine: Friday, 2:15 P.M.

Chapter Thirty: Friday, 3 P.M.

Chapter Thirty-One: Friday, 3:30 P.M.

Chapter Thirty-Two: Friday, 4 P.M.

Chapter Thirty-Three: Friday, 4:30 P.M.

Chapter Thirty-Four: Friday, 5 P.M.

Chapter Thirty-Five: Friday, 5:15 P.M.

Chapter Thirty-Six: Friday, 5:30 P.M.

Chapter Thirty-Seven: Friday, 6 P.M.

Chapter Thirty-Eight: Friday, 6:30 P.M.

Chapter Thirty-Nine: Friday, 7 P.M.

Chapter Forty: Friday, 7:30 P.M.

Chapter Forty-One: Friday, 9 P.M.

Chapter Forty-Two: Saturday, 8 A.M.

Chapter Forty-Three: Saturday, 9 A.M.

Chapter Forty-Four: Saturday, 6:15 P.M.

Chapter Forty-Five: Saturday, 6:45 P.M.

Chapter Forty-Six: Saturday, 7:15 P.M.

Chapter Forty-Seven: Sunday, 9 A.M.

Chapter Forty-Eight: Sunday, 10 A.M.

Chapter Forty-Nine: Sunday, 6 P.M.

Chapter Fifty: Sunday, 6:15 P.M.

Chapter Fifty-One: Sunday, 6:30 P.M.

Chapter Fifty-Two: Sunday, 7 P.M.

Chapter Fifty-Three: Sunday, 7:20 P.M.

Chapter Fifty-Four: Sunday, 7:40 P.M.

Chapter Fifty-Five: Sunday, 8 P.M.

Chapter Fifty-Six: Monday, 8 A.M.

Chapter Fifty-Seven: Monday, 10:30 A.M.

Acknowledgments

Suggested Reading and Viewing List

Notes

About the Author

Praise for ChinAlive

Prologue

Springtime in Riyadh, where the dust fills your nose, the heat melts your brain, and guards with machine guns greet you every time you enter your special, barb-wired gated community. And just to make sure you know you’re not in Kansas anymore, the same ritual greets you coming and going at school.

It didn’t have to be this way.

At first, our forced move to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, was as predicted: a series of long, hot, boring days. Fortunately, we had begun to adjust. Then came The Five. The five most unimaginable, nightmarish days in the short, intense lives of Zane and Phoebe Walker. No kid should have to experience what we went through. It could have been avoided. We tried to reason, we did our best to negotiate. They wouldn’t listen. After they proposed our move, we needed incontrovertible, irrefutable, and indisputable evidence. Thank the heavenly cyber gods for the Internet. We researched until our wrists ached. Our efforts were worthy. They couldn’t say no.

We were wrong. Nothing we did, nothing we presented, no amount of hand wringing, begging, or threats could change the minds of Bert and Jane Walker. The proof of our efforts is presented here, in list form, as zippy as any list you would find on most social media sites (we even thought of sending the list to one of those web sites that specializes in strange, off the wall lists). See if we’re wrong. Please read on with open minds. And check out our parents’ insanely unfair response at the end of the report—unbelievable.

Dear Mom and Dad,

We wish to present our research findings concerning your proposed move of the Walker family to Saudi Arabia. We have tried to be as fair and objective as possible, but after the hours and hours we have spent putting this report together, we have concluded this is not the country for us. To avoid presenting a book-length report, we have summarized our findings: facts on the negative side, facts on the positive side, just to show you how we have reached our well thought out conclusion. The binder with all our research is available upon request. We firmly believe our conclusion is incredibly, totally valid, and hope this guides you in your thinking.

Concerned Walker Children for a Saudi-Free Life,

Zane and Phoebe

Phoebe and Zane Walker’s Excellent

Report on Moving to Saudi Arabia

The Good Stuff

Muslims had a lot to do with the invention of modern physics, mathematics, and medicine.

The modern history of Saudi Arabia, as a state, began in 1933.

Although the modern history of Saudi dates back to 1933, the human history of Saudi dates back 20,000 years.

In the early 20th century Abdulaziz ibn Abdul Rahman ibn Faisal ibn Turki ibn Abdullah ibn Muhammad Al Saud (aka Ibn Saud), united many warring factions into the country known today as the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia: named after himself.

Most Muslims are not Arab. By population count, the largest Muslim nation is Indonesia. Saudis only represent a small fraction of the world’s Muslims.

Saudi Arabia doesn’t collect taxes from the people.

Saudi Arabia provides free public health care.

Saudi Arabia is home to many historic sites, nature reserves, and beautiful landmarks unspoiled by mass tourism.

The discovery of oil in the 1930’s, boosted Saudi’s economic and worldwide political importance.

Saudi is home to Islam’s two holiest mosques: Medina, where the prophet Muhammad is buried, and Mecca, home of the Kaaba, the holiest shrine in Islam.

Saudi Arabia is the largest country in the Middle East, about the size of Western Europe, and one-quarter the size of the United States.

Saudi is now constructing the tallest building in the world. When Kingdom Tower is done it will be approximately one kilometer tall—about 800 feet taller than the Burj in Dubai.

Saudi Arabia is the largest country in the world without a river.

The Riyadh camel market is the largest in the world. About 100 camels are sold there every day.

Until 2013, Saudi Arabia had for decades been the leader in world oil exports.

Saudi Arabia is home to some of the largest desert areas in the world, including Al Nafud Desert in the north, and Rub al-Khali (the Empty Quarter) in the south. Over ninety percent of Saudi Arabia is desert or semi-desert.

The start of Islam is marked in the year 610, following the first revelation to the prophet Muhammad. He was forty years old.

Because Mecca is home to Islam’s holiest mosque, Muslims from all around the world are encouraged to make the hajj, or pilgrimage, at least once in their lifetime.

In 1985, Prince Sultan bin Salman became the first Saudi, the first Arab, and the first Muslim to travel in space when he rode aboard the US space shuttle Discovery.

The Bad Stuff

Most dangerous country in the world to drive in—more deaths per 100,000 than anywhere on Earth. I didn’t get my driver’s license just to end it all in some remote desert halfway around the world.

Fifteen of the nineteen conspirators responsible for 9/11, the bombing of the Twin Towers, came from Saudi Arabia.

So many recent beheadings in Saudi that they’re having trouble finding enough swordsmen.

Booze and pork are illegal. No ham sandwiches or bacon for breakfast. No cocktails for you at the end of your long day.

Being gay is illegal. Penalties include death or long stretches in prison, often accompanied by customary public flogging.

No other religion than Islam is allowed in Saudi Arabia.

Women are not allowed to drive, and all women must wear a long, black veil in public. The black veils are called abayas.

Officially, Saudi women may not leave the country without the permission of their husbands or a male guardian.

Not only does Saudi Arabia have a regular police department, it also has a religious police force called the Mutaween, aka the Mutawa, aka the Committee for the Preservation of Virtue and for the Prevention of Vice (CPVPV), which is in charge of purifying thought and action in Saudi communities. Hate to think what that means.

Saudi Arabia takes witchcraft so seriously that it has set up an Anti-Witchcraft Action Unit. If you practice witchcraft, you can be hung or flogged. The unit is charged with apprehending sorcerers and reversing the harmful effects of their spells.

In May 2003, suicide bombers killed thirty-five people in Western housing compounds.

In June 2003, three more terrorist attacks in Riyadh left two Americans and a BBC cameraman dead. That same week, a US engineer working in Saudi Arabia was abducted and beheaded.

In 2009 Interpol issued its largest group alert for eighty-five men suspected of plotting attacks in Saudi Arabia. All but two were Saudis.

In 2010, diplomatic cables intercepted by WikiLeaks suggested that Saudi Arabia was the most significant source of funding for Sunni terrorist groups worldwide.

Any kind of dissent is banned.

Dear Concerned Children,

Facts taken from Wikipedia and other websites are only facts, easily copied and pasted, too easily digested, with no great wisdom or understanding gained, that we can detect. Although we appreciate your efforts, our position is unchanged. Nice try. Saudi, here we come.

Your Loving Parents,

Mom and Dad


Saudi Prince

Arrested

A Saudi prince has been charged with attempted murder of one servant, and abuse of another in Orange County, California. The servants were traveling with a royal entourage, accompanying the prince to the United States.

Orange County District Attorney Gilbert Frank identified 42-year-old Ayman bin Anyan as a member of the Saudi royal family, and possible heir to the Saudi throne.

Bin Anyan was arrested after a nurse at the Mt. Sinai hospital reported to authorities that a woman in his employ had been badly beaten. When police arrived to search his hotel room, hotel staff reported that earlier in the day, another woman had been thrown from his second floor suite into the swimming pool.

Although the 25-year-old woman refused to report the incident, five eyewitnesses provided police with enough evidence to charge bin Anyan with attempted murder.

According to a spokesman for the US State Department, After many other run-ins with law-enforcement agents in the United States, bin Anyan’s claim to diplomatic immunity has been revoked.

He has broken our laws for the last time, said District Attorney Frank.

Arraignment will take place as quickly possible and we plan to prosecute to the fullest extent of the law.

According to Frank, bin Anyan could face up to 20 years in prison.


Chapter One

Thursday, 6 A.M.

A death chant drifts over the square, a requiem for a teenager about to die. The crowd is becoming more and more impatient. They are not in mourning. They are waiting to be entertained. When the music stops, the air goes still, and a decree is read. From his kneeling position, all the boy can see is the beheader’s feet, the tip of his sword, and his worn out sandals. He is told to remain motionless, or else the blade will be used a second time, if necessary, to finish the job. The boy begins to shake when he hears the blade swing into an upright position.

Call to prayer was beginning when the phone rang, not a minute too soon. The same nightmare had its hands around my throat, unwilling to let go. I never woke up before ten A.M. on weekends, but the phone was loud and obnoxious, at a time when no one ever called. At this moment, the time didn’t matter. I was thankful to be awake and out of my sweat-soaked coma. I heard Mom and Dad rushing in the door, back from their morning run. Mom picked up. Somehow, I knew. I knew the call was about me.

No way was I about to go back to bed. I stumbled into the living room, bleary-eyed, and walked over to our wall-sized front window. Ali, the ever-smiling Bangladeshi man we had hired to do a few chores for us, was rinsing off the car. Dust from the desert would take over the porch, the car, and the driveway, if he didn’t give them each a rinse three times a week. He smiled at me and waved to another couple of joggers passing by.

Mom and Dad and all the residents knew the coolest time to run in our desert compound was in the early morning. Thursday, the first day of our weekend, was like Saturday in the rest of the world—followed by Friday, which was like our Sunday. In Saudi Arabia it was a religious thing, I think, one of an overwhelming number of things we had to get used to when we moved here. Our school week was Saturday through Wednesday—how weird was that?

What do you mean ‘They’re here’? They can’t enter our compound, Dad said, overhearing the conversation as he followed Mom in.

Who’s on the phone, Jane?

It’s Yousef. He just got a call from the front gate. The National Guard and the Mutawa are here. They have a document that says Zane is to go with them.

A long ignored fear was boiling up, causing my stomach muscles to cramp. The National Guard was supposed to protect us. The mission of the religious police, the Mutawa, was to make sure religious laws were obeyed—but in our segregated, protected world? Somewhere it was written, they couldn’t touch us in any of the Western compounds.

I never wanted to cross paths with these guys. Of all the things we had learned from our research before leaving home, the institution of the religious police was by far the most difficult to comprehend. In 2002 they prevented schoolgirls from escaping a burning school in Mecca because the girls were not wearing headscarves and abayas—the mandated dress women wear here—and were not accompanied by a male guardian. Fifteen girls died and fifty were injured. People outside the school could hear them screaming for help, but the Mutawa would not let the girls out. Now they were looking for me, Zane Walker.

My parents exchanged disbelieving looks. I had inspired my share of withering parental scorn over the years, but this was different. Dad stared at me, hesitated, kept staring, and then reached for the phone.

What’s going on, Yousef? Jane says the Mutawa are here with an official looking paper that says Zane is to go with them. What gives?

If anyone would know, it would be Yousef. He was our answer man on the compound, our government go-between. This was a Saudi who had what they called whasta, a guy who was connected. He was the kind of person hired by foreign companies to run interference between the Saudis and those of us from anywhere else. He was here to help make our lives easier. Our Yousef was a good guy—liked and respected by everyone.

In the next instant an emergency SMS text went out to everyone on the compound: warning, unwelcome intruders. After Dad studied the SMS, he was momentarily speechless. His eyes were now fixed, on me.

You’ve got to be kidding. What do they want with our son? In an angry whisper, his next question was directed at me. What’s going on, Zane?

No idea, I lied. As I ran to look out the window, Dad grabbed my arm.

Don’t you dare go over there! Jane, close the curtains. And you, he said, pointing to a living room chair, sit and do not move.

Has someone called the embassy? Mom asked. Dad started pacing, trying to digest everything that was happening.

They’ve been called, but the Saudis aren’t listening. The front gate is trying to hold them off. Yousef says we need to get to the safe house, now!

This is wrong, I said. Aren’t foreign compounds off limits to the Mutawa? And the National Guardsmen, our heavily armed protectors, I thought they were here to look out for us. I was almost choking on my words. I often wondered how seriously they took their role as our protectors. By the casual way they checked our cars for bombs, they appeared more indifferent than alert.

What safe house? I asked. No one answered.

They’re not sure what’s happening, Dad said, but they have a document that says Zane Walker is to be detained. We need to move. Dad grabbed the keys. As we ran for the car, he came to an abrupt stop.

Get in the car, I’ll be right there.

What safe house? Again, no answer.

Where’s Phoebe? I asked, slamming on the brakes in midstride. That stopped them. It took Mom a second to refocus.

She’s at a sleepover at Sana’s. She sounded relieved, but the relief only lasted a second. The desperate look on Mom’s face betrayed her momentary peace of mind.

Bert, how can we be sure?

We can’t do anything right now. Youself said he’d check as soon as we’re safe.

Two seconds later Dad lifted the hatchback and threw in a piece of luggage I had never seen before. Our street dead-ended two blocks from the front gate. It was convenient to have a short walk when pizzas were delivered, but at that moment it was a much different story. I wasn’t surprised when Dad backed out pointing the car in the wrong direction.

What safe house?

More gut wrenching silence. I didn’t know how much more of the dead air I could take. Dad gunned the engine.

Seat belts, he shouted.

As we raced through the neighborhood, I saw a few other early risers rushing to the safety of their villas. These villas, generously spread out among neatly trimmed lawns and gardens, were supposedly built to withstand a bomb attack. But an invasion by the religious police? There was nowhere to go but off-road at the end of the block. We bounced over a curb, carved a path through a play area, side swiped a springy toy, spat sawdust for a hundred yards, and quickly realized why Dad had shouted for seat belts. After a two-minute dash to the far end of the compound, he took a sharp turn into a villa that had an empty driveway. Yousef was waiting. This was too much. It was almost as if Dad had learned a drill; safe-house location, most direct route, packed bag.

Follow me.

Wait, I said. Phoebe. Are you sure she’s all right?

Yousef looked confused. I have no idea. Is she not with you?

She’s at the Al Juhis with Sana, Mom said, trying to regain some confidence.

Then I’m sure she is all right, Mrs. Walker. Let’s go, everyone, time is running out.

We ran to the back of the carport where most of the villas had an attached storage room. After stepping inside, we knew this was for more than storage. Yousef held out a strange looking remote and flipped on a light. A door opened and a stairway appeared.

Quickly, he said.

As soon as I know what’s going on I will be in touch. You have everything you need. He nodded toward the mysterious suitcase. We have not used this protocol in a long time, but there should be enough food for now. I am certain this will be over by the end of the week. I’ve been here many years and misunderstandings like this do not last long.

Except for that family that disappeared in the middle of the night, I reminded him.

They did not disappear, Zane. They were asked to leave for their own safety. They did not follow the rules, rules that everyone agrees to when they are guests in this country. We must not speak any more. I will be in touch soon.

Will you call the Al Juhis, to make sure Phoebe’s safe? Dad asked.

Followed by Mom, insisting, almost in a panic. Please call now. Right now! Even Mom looked startled by her demanding tone. No one was ever rude or pushy with Yousef. I think she was about to apologize when he reassured her once more.

Please, Mrs. Walker. Now you must do as I ask. I will call. I promise. He turned to Dad. I will need your keys.

As Dad handed them over Mom slowed down. How do we know we’ll have a connection down there? I’m calling her now. She stopped near the top of the stairs and pulled out her cell. Dad almost tripped but managed to grab her elbow while holding on to the stair railing.

Not right now, Jane. Mom hesitated, then reluctantly, pulled her arm away. If she had wanted to stay, no one could have moved her.

I don’t care how you get in touch, Yousef, we need to know immediately. This wasn’t a request. Seldom had I heard Mom sound so scared.

Dad waited for us to go down, then closed and locked the upstairs door. After entering our basement hideout, he muscled two large deadbolts into place. Both doors closed with a thud, clanking, metal on metal, like a prison.

Ten

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