It began with the Syrian heat and the silver gleam of the soldier’s rifle.
His eyes were a pale sage, and his pallor a white frost.
The fields beyond Aleppo were arid and grey, vacant of life or movement.Mathu watched the dead land pass as the bus drove on, through the dry, cracked sludge of the road.His eyes were partially hidden behind his cascading hazel wisps, and a beard grew thickly on his chin.With his hair matted and his beard unkempt, he looked much older than his thirty-six years.
The soldier’s gaze never left the driver of the bus, as he rooted in a bag.
A, still, chilling silence ensued, as the soldier eyed the pack of cigarettes produced.