For my Mother and Father
Title: The Syrian Prince By: Anthony Desanto
Chapter 1 I had only one purpose left in life, I wanted to eliminate the people’s fear. The fear of a leader whose main purpose is to make his people starve. I wanted to be the person who eliminated that fear. I lived in the city of Syria, the most violent place on the planet. There wasn’t much life left around here, since most of life was killed through famine and starvation caused because of the government. I didn’t have much to lose, I didn’t have family, I didn’t have love, I didn’t have much in life except a place to live. There’s not much to be thankful for. Most people around here lived the same way as me, they were betrayed and their families were put into concentration camps and killed. They were ex-military officials who were all put into one prison and forced to starve. The man I wanted to kill, his name was… Bashaar al Assad, and I won’t stop until I see his demise.
Chapter 2 Before I start my plans on how to get my revenge, I needed to find a way to get out of prison. I had been taught many tricks about prison that not many normal prisoners know about. Being a general, I had to take a course on how to break out of prisons and their vulnerabilities. Most prisons had a weak point in their bars, but this one didn’t. The prison cell had bars in front as the gate, which were connected by stone walls that surrounded me. On the back, there was a little rectangle, with bars covering it so no prisoners can get out. That is when a plan struck me, I could use my clothes as a rope to get down after the bars are taken down. The aluminum bars weren’t as strong as the steel bars used to make the gate. I knocked the bars out with my foot and began tying my clothes as a way for me to get down. I had on baggy prison clothes, which made the rope just strong enough to get me out. I tied the rope to the prison gate and dropped the clothes down. There were no guards around the prison at the time since it was dark at night. The rope went down to the ground and I began climbing down. Since I was not in high levels of the prison, it was an easy slide on the way to the ground. In the corner of my eye, I saw a soldier. He didn’t see me. I headed for cover around the nearest tree. He wasn’t very strong, he was a white male with blonde hair. He had the communist cap on, meaning he wasn’t my friend. I threw a rock to get his attention and as I had hoped, he started walking towards the noise. I went around him, and tightened my arms around his neck so he couldn’t speak, and soon enough, he was out. Poor kid, the last image in this world he saw was a naked, hairy man. I took the clothes off his body and put them on, I took his gun and strapped it to my waist. About the cap, I wasn’t that desperate. I found the nearest fire and burned it.
Chapter 3 I had to set up camp, the prison wasn’t very far from the Syrian Mansion. It was about an 8 mile walk through the forest. First order of business, I needed a place to stay. The woods usually had a lot of camps set up for the soldiers to rest at. I headed into the forest, hoping I wouldn’t encounter any other soviets. I didn’t even want to keep that word on my tongue, that’s how much I hated them. They took my family, I take their leader. I circled around the forest, looking for one of the camps, and sure enough, I saw a fire in the forest. I moved closer to the forest, and as I got closer, I made sure to have my hand on my gun. I didn’t want to alarm anybody that was there, but instead, I hoped to share a snack or two with them. It couldn’t have been a prison guard, since at this time they’re usually doing nightly checkups. Around the fire was a man, he looked about the age of 70. He had white hair, a white beard, and everything about him was white. He couldn’t have been a soviet. He didn’t have any shade of any color on his body, even his clothes were white. That’s how my father used to dress, he hated wearing any other colors. He died his hair white at a young age, at least that’s what he told me. He served as Bashaar al Assad’s Vice President before he was put into a concentration camp and killed with the rest of the family. Without even turning around to look at me, the old man said, “Come on in Barry”. I
was stunned, I didn’t even know the man, but he knew me, he knew my name. I didn’t tell many people my real name, most people knew me as Hunter. I walked on over, from my crouched stance. “Don’t worry, I know who you are. You can use that RV on the right, I don’t usually sleep”. Is this a dream? A man, dressed as my father, knows me. I didn’t want to look into the eyes of that man, he knew everything I was doing without even moving. He was in a yoga stance, sitting around a fire. He began mumbling some prayers. I had never been afraid of anybody, not even my dad. I moved my way onto the RV, without saying a word. I opened the door and went on in. The RV was very dirty, the drivers seat looked like an animal had lived on it. It seemed very old, it was most likely an RV bought before the war. There was a bed, made of wood, hanging at the back of the RV. It was better than sleeping on the ground, so I took what I had. I felt a sense of trust in that man, trust that he wouldn’t come up on me at night and kill me. That was the last time I ever had seen that man, he wasn’t to be in sight when I woke up. It was like he disappeared over night, and flew by day. Chapter 4 I was woken up by an alarm, that sounded familiar. I couldn’t recall what it was, but I knew I had heard it, plenty of times. I went outside the RV and that’s when it hit me. That alarm wasn’t any regular alarm, it was the prison alarm. They had found out I had escaped. I ran in and grabbed my gun, and I was marching on foot as far as I could get away from the prison. I was an easy target in the forest, I had to get high ground. I must’ve knocked the man unconscious, instead of killed him. I didn’t want to kill the kid anyway, he must’ve been forced to join the soviets to save his family. I would’ve done the same, if I had the chance. I didn’t have the chance. I grabbed my gun and sprinted out of the RV. I heard marching nearby, it was the sound of marching boots. They were getting closer. I ran, I ran, and I ran even faster. Faster than I had ever run in my entire life. I felt like I was running at 100 miles per hour, and I wasn’t even running out of breath. The more I ran, the marching just got closer. I couldn’t out run prison guards, I had to find a place to hide. Hiding would only work to a certain extent. They had to have something to sniff me out. The howling of the dogs got closer. I had to climb a tree, a very tall tree. As a kid, I always had a fear of climbing, I never wanted to climb anything. That was the one drill I had failed as a general. I had to conquer my fear or die trying. I grabbed my supplies and started climbing like a crazy man. I was up the tree in a few seconds, and I saw the dogs and the prison guards run by me like idiots. There was only one middle aged man leading a pack of kids, this isn’t competition. I could take every single one of them out if I wanted to right now, but I’m not as crazy as most people would think. I love kids, I wouldn’t do anything to harm any for my own good, even if they were the enemy. The plan to kill the leader had to happen soon, I was running out of time. Chapter 5 At this point, my job is harder than I had expected. I have a bunch of 17 year old kids following me, or at least trying. My picture is in the newspapers, yes the newspapers. I found a copy of the morning newspaper in the suburbs, on my way to the house. I had no plan, I was just going to run into the building, and pull the trigger. Newspapers labeled me as a psychopath serial
killer, which was chosen to lead people to believe that I was unfit to fit the civilization and a bounty of 40,000 Syrian Pounds was on top of my head, to anyone who could bring my head to the leader. I’m bringing my own head to the leader, and I won’t stop until I take his head too. His office was just around the corner, and it wasn’t heavily guarded. I looked at the clock tower, and the clock read 6:53AM. That means that I had seven minutes to kill the leader, in his sleep, or else I would miss my only chance. The syrian holiday was about to begin, meaning that the guards were off duty until 7AM. I caught my breath, because I would be needing a lot of it. I wrote a note, to the Syrian people. If someone found this note, they would know that I did it to serve the public, not to harm it. These people are falling for Bashaar’s words. He keeps tricking them. I didn’t want them to be fooled anymore. I bolted, I broke through the door and started firing through. One soldier down, two soldiers down, three, four. That was it. I had been heard, I had to run. I ran up the stairs, another soldier came. I knocked him out with one punch. These were supposed to be the best of the best. Most soldiers came running down the hallway, I shot them down like the idiots they were. I knew the room the prince would be hidden in, it would have two guards dressed in green, waiting with their guns out. Surely, I was right. I saw the room, one guard facing the others back. I shot them down, easy targets. They froze when they saw me, it’s like they had seen a ghost. I had no more competition, support would likely be on it’s way but by that time, my job would be done. I opened the door, and I saw him, crouched inside a corner. He was just sitting there, waiting to be hit by a bullet. Pleading to let him go, because he has kids. He was easy prey. I could eat him in two bites, shoot him with two bullets, or beat him to death. I’d gas him to death if I could, but I left poison gas back at the prison. “Please, I have a family, let me go” “Sorry, not sorry.” “Please, I’ll step down as the king” “I’m the captain now”. As I said that, I shot that man straight in his heart. His body began to flop like a fish, the blood ran out of his shirt, and his blue suit now looked purple, it suits him a lot better. He was gone now, he was long gone. I felt a rush of happiness run through my spine, I didn’t want to live anymore, I wanted to go to my family, my parents, my mother, and my little brother. I walked down the hallways, and stood in the main lobby, waiting for support to arrive. I heard doors being closed, they were here. I wasn’t afraid to die anymore, it was my time. I had done my deed, I was finished with my work. They walked into through the open door, and I stood there. I noticed many of the people, they were old friends of mine, turned evil. They all walked in, and staring straight at me at me. We stood, glaring into each other's eyes. They looked at me like I was nothing they had ever seen before. They stared me down, I stared back. I wasn’t backing down for anyone. In unison, they all took their guns and held them up, and they looked like they were ready to fire. I stood there still, not moving one inch, not blinking, every part of my body was still. Then, all of a sudden. I
had an urge to live longer. I pulled out my gun, and in the blink of an eye, I began to fire for my life. One last stand and then it’s all over. I ran away from the scene, I wanted to get out, I wanted to have a family, but most of all, I wanted to live. I ran for my life, jumping over any obstacle that came over my way. I needed to get to Turkey, I needed to get there any way I possibly could. That is the only place that I could be safe. Chapter 6 Turkey was a tad bit far away from Syria. It would be a certain death if I tried to walk that. The only way I could possibly get there would be by train, and I knew of only one train route that headed to Turkey. I began to walk my way over to the nearest train station, but I didn’t want to get recognized. There had to be something around here that would help me disguise myself. As a kid, I always used to make masks out of leaves, and that would be my best bet to be disguised. I found some sticks and leaves and I began to craft my mask. Crafting this mask reminded me of my childhood, I would use the stems of flowers to put my mask together and I would go scare my neighbors or my siblings. Ah, how great of days they were. I could’ve died in peace or survived to make my family name known. My family name was famous enough, why not add an assassination escape to it? All these childhood memories came into my head. The more I remembered, the happier I became. That was until the memory of watching my family bleed out came into my head, that’s when I really began to get angry again, wanting more revenge. I had enough revenge already, but for some reason, I wanted more. There’s always time for more revenge, but right now, I had to focus on my main task. Getting to Turkey. I got on the train, with my leaf mask on. I was getting many looks from people, most wondering this man is doing. I guess they must’ve seen the cuts on my arms since I had my sleeves up. It was about twenty degrees outside, and I was sweating. I guess most people might think that’s a bit abnormal. Anyway, I’m far from normal. The train ride felt like it was a year long. I felt like I was there for a week. People came and went, but none seemed suspicious. Sounds of turkish music started playing, and I knew where I was. I was home, home sweet home. The place where I grew up since my father didn’t want us to know what he was doing behind the scenes. He didn’t even want the news to touch us, but I forgave him. He was my father, he was family. I stepped off the train and admired the beautiful city. It was the most beautiful I had seen. I looked around for hours and hours, admiring the beauty of the city. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw something unusual. It was the old man. The old man who provided me with a home. I felt the need to thank him for his help. I went on towards him, using all the strength that I had left. As I was approaching him, I noticed that he was seated in the same position as he was when I first saw him. I went near him, and I moved closer, foot by foot, until I was about 3 feet away from him. “Thanks for helping me out there”, I said. He began to get up, and he turned around. He stared me dead in the face. This time, there was something more to him. He didn’t just wear white, be white, and have white facial hair, he had white eyes. The only thing that had color on him was his lips. He stared me down, deeper and deeper, until it got a little creepy. He moved closer and closer to me. He took his big white hands
and pressed them against my soul, and I felt my body begin to go higher, and higher and higher. He wasn’t holding onto me anymore, I was floating in mid air. I was flying in the air, and I was going higher and higher. I felt the clouds brush across me, I couldn’t see the ground. I didn’t fear him at all, for the first time. I was happy. I was standing on clouds, when all of a sudden, I saw a staircase appear. It was beautiful, I heard a voice that said “Walk across”. It was a soft and lovely voice. I walked across, and up and up into the stairs. When I got to to the top of the stairs, I knew that the time had come, the time for me to accept death. The time for me to live the rest of my life, happy, with my family. Most people don’t get the chance to die happy, I’m thankful I did.
Anthony Desanto is a very smart individual who lives in Edison, NJ. He graduated top of his class at Harvard University and he worked with the military on identifying the rising conflict in Syria. This book was written based off his findings and he wanted to raise awareness for the Syrian civilians who die each day, some of the reasons hit close to home.