Code Name: Ghost - Sawyer Bennett Page 0,1

use to them changed.

Just before they moved me, I was told I’d be very useful in a spy trade with another country or they might just use me in a good old-fashioned beheading that was sure to go viral, as most of those videos often did.

I was hooded once again, driven for hours, and dumped into this hole where I’ve now been for God knows how long. It’s hard for me to tell time here, especially the last several weeks since I’ve become weaker and weaker. I tend to sleep a lot. That means I’m often comatose at sunrise or sunset, and the passage of time is too fluid for me to understand.

My good health is not important to them. I get fed, but not consistently. My ribs stick out, and my knees are bony. Most meals are rice, sometimes stale and dried out ka’ak, and once in a blue moon, goat meat. Water is plentiful but tastes like rust. I have to force myself to drink it. My urine is as brown as the water, and I’m pretty sure it means I’m slowly dying.

It’s something I’ve come to accept.

Lowering back down to my blanket, I lean against the cold dirt wall and pull the other blanket more tightly around me. I close my eyes, thinking about my family. My parents and siblings are working every angle they can to find me, I bet. I’m positive my boss, Kynan McGrath, is working every possible government contact doing the same. There’s not a doubt in my mind no one has given up on me the way I have. They’ll never rest until they have closure about me. That makes my heart hurt for them, because I’m like a needle in a haystack, stuck in a hole in the middle of the Syrian desert. I’m unobtainable.

I hear voices outside the hut, but I can’t understand Arabic at all. No way could I even begin to distinguish the dialect.

As best I can tell, there are always two guards and they rotate every few days. One is usually awake while the other will sleep on the floor of the hut. Sometimes, a vehicle will approach, then leave again, presumably to switch out guards and drop off supplies.

They never talk to me, and I don’t necessarily think it’s because they don’t speak English so much as I’m a non-entity to them. Just a prisoner who they must assure stays in the hole in the ground. They don’t consider me a threat, so we just mutually ignore each other. I think they can tell just by looking at me that I gave up trying to figure out an escape plan a long time ago.

Footsteps scuff over the desert pavement as someone comes into the hut, and a man’s face appears above me.

Bill peers down at me.

Well, not really. I don’t know their names, but as I’ve come to see these men over and over again, I’ve given them monikers myself.

Bill is actually the nicest of my captors, but that’s not saying much. Instead of dropping the bucket that holds my food down on me, he will kneel at the edge and hand it to me so it doesn’t spill. He’s also the only one who ever lets me out of the hole, but I don’t think it’s because he has a heart.

He only takes me out so I can shit or piss on the desert floor rather than in my bucket, which he eventually has to clean out.

He has no food in his hands, but he makes a motioning with his hands, wordlessly asking if I’d like to go outside to relieve myself.

I never miss the chance, whether I have to go or not, so I nod quickly.

Bill is a big man, and he knows I’m no match to take him anymore. He swivels the rifle hanging from a strap to his back, then drops to his stomach at the edge of the hole. When he issues an order—even though I’m not exactly sure what he’s saying—I know he wants me to put my hands together so he can tie them. I step to the edge, hold my hands up, and lace my fingers so he can diligently work rope around them.

When they’re secure, he hops down into the hole and releases the lock that secures the bracket around my ankle that hooks to the thick chain.

Without a sound, he stoops, puts his hands together, and—as I’ve done on many other occasions—I put my foot in