Jonas Williams collapsed onto his bed, exhausted for his day in Jerusalem but nevertheless excited about the next. Due to his father's business trip the 14 year old boy and his family had all been invited to Israel by his father's business partner as his guests, and so far Jonas had enjoyed every minute of his 24 hours there. Tomorrow they were going to travel to the Dead Sea and swim (or at least as much as one can with all that salt), something they were all looking forward to. ut although the rest of his family welcomed the comfort and security of their hotel room beds, Jonas did not. This was because that, unlike his family members, he had a deep, dark secret. It was a secret that if released to the world could prove disastrous.
Jonas could dream.
You may think so what? Everyone dreams! Let me ask you this- do your dreams come to life? If you're Jonas they do. That was why the boy was so afraid to sleep at night; it wasn't the dark, it wasn't the disembodied sounds he heard all around but could not see, it was the dreams. Jonas remembered every dream he dreamt, and all of them bad. One evening he could be imagining a great fire sweeping across his property, the next day it would happen. Not as nearly as dangerous as what he had dreamt the night before, but bad enough. And in a country as foreign as Israel, Jonas knew that when he finally fell asleep at night the things he would see wouldn't be pleasant. To make matters worse, they would all come to life.
6 hours later….
True to his concerns, Jonas awakened at exactly 1:00 am, drenched in sweat and screaming bloody murder. The things he had witnessed were awful, so unspeakable, utterly and downright terrifying that Jonas truly considered jumping off his hotel balcony to end it all. If he died then the dreams would end, and if the dreams ended there would be nothing to interfere with the world's peace, prosperity, and happiness.
But, pushing these unnecessary thoughts off to the side, Jonas focused on trying to erase the memory. The boy had found that the less he remembered what his nightmare had been about, the less likely it was that it would occur. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn't, and try as he might Jonas couldn't force the horrific image of the Wailing Wall out of his mind. It was permanently etched there forever, he was sure of it now!
Now, you may be wondering what Jonas Williams had dreamt about that had caused him such worry and pain. Well, let me show you:
Jonas raced through the abandoned streets of Jerusalem, desperate to escape the man in the mask. It was a horrifying mask, complete with yellow eye, 7 inch long fangs and what appeared to be real lizard skin. Jonas was terrified of it and the man behind the costume, as he had a small silver dagger clenched in his fist.
In an attempt to lose his attacker, the 14 year old dove down several alleyways and sharply turned at street corners, but the masked assailant always found him. To make matters even worse, Jonas found himself in an unfamiliar part of town and growing weary, where as the man chasing him seemed to speed up, just barely at his heels. Soon Jonas came across the Wailing Wall, the monument he and his family he had visited that very afternoon. Oh, how he wished he was with them now, safe and sound in his own bed instead of running for his life!
Suddenly Jonas had an idea. He quickly ran past the Wall a few blocks, found the entrance to the building behind it and ran inside up towards the top of it. To his dismay Jonas found that the masked man was still pursuing his victim, but that was about to change. Jonas flung open the door that led up the building's roof and slid down the tiles, finally landing up on the top of the Wailing Wall. As he scaled down it Jonas realized that the man was still after him, and he stopped. There was nowhere to go, no place to hide, and only other alternative was jumping off the Wall to his evident demise.
"Jonas!" a voice called out to him from afar. Jonas whirled around to see a young girl around his age charging towards him, raven black hair flying in the wind. She would have been beautiful if the look of fright wasn't written all across her face. "Jonas!" she called out again. "Jump off the wall! Jump, he won't catch you!" Jonas wanted to tell her that if he did as instructed he would die, but the fear of being caught by the masked assailant won him over. Taking a deep breath and praying he would die as painlessly as possible, Jonas dove off of the Wailing Wall and to his death below.
Jonas spent the rest of the night hoping that what he had seen wouldn't come to pass, but his dreams had always occurred as he had witnessed unless he forgot them, and he rarely ever did that. Jonas didn't sleep another wink and was thoroughly tired and red-eyed the next morning. At least he, his mother and his younger 6 year old sister Sarah Lee were going to the Dead Sea today. Or so he thought. When Jonas arrived at the hotel breakfast his mother, sister, father's business partner Mr. Moses David and who seemed to be his daughter were waiting for him. The girl was an exact replica of the one of Jonas's dream, and he made it a point not to look at her too closely.
"Ah, you are Jonas Williams!" Mr. David exclaimed, standing up and shaking his hand vigorously. Jonas smiled politely and sat down to eat. "Yes sir, my name is Jonas," he replied. Mr. David gestured to his daughter. "Yes, your father speaks highly of you. This is my daughter Aliyah, she and you are the same age, yes?" Jonas forced himself to look at Aliyah, who flashed him a polite but emotionless smile. "Hello," she greeted him cordially. "Father, we are traveling with these people?"
Mr. David nodded. "Yes Aliyah. Jonas, as I have already told your mother, your father is very busy at the moment and wishes for the rest of you to stay in close by. Today we will stay in Jerusalem and tour the area. As I too have my hands tied, so to speak, Aliyah will be your guide. Darling, is the vehicle ready to depart?" Aliyah nodded and waved her hand out towards the limousine to the parking lot. Man, Jonas thought. The Israelis know how to travel in style!
"Come, it is time for us to go," the girl said, and the Williams family followed her out to the car and got in. Jonas made it a point not to look at Aliyah, even though he was interested in what she had to say. He really didn't need to be reminded about his upcoming fall to the death.
3 hours later…
Try as Jonas might, he couldn't keep himself from being enraptured with what Aliyah had to say and her looks. To put it plainly, he was very taken with her. Aliyah didn't seem to notice though; she was too busy telling everyone her country's family and all the famous sights they were passing. Around 11:00 she told the chaffer to stop and ushered them out of the limo and into the square- right in front of the Wall.
Jonas's feet hit the hot asphalt- and stuck. This was part of his nightmare come true; this was where he was to die tonight. Sarah Lee, in an effort to get him moving again, snatched up is hand and pulled on it shouting "C'mon Jonas, I want to see it!" When Jonas refused to budge, the frustrated 6 year old stamped her foot down on her older brother's, thus bringing an end to his own stubbornness and forcing him to move towards the Wall with her. Aliyah chuckled softly at the sight and beckoned them towards it. Jonas turned red with embarrassment and glanced away. Trying to act educated in front of their guide, Jonas pointed out to Aliyah "Look, they're praying!"
The Israeli shot him a dirty look, much to his surprise. "Hush, don't you know manners? One does not shout out when other are praying! It is not very respectful." Jonas turned from red to a deep shade of crimson and he shut up. Sarah Lee and Mrs. Williams went over to look at the merchandise in a nearby selling cart. Sarah Lee grabbed for a Jewish cap and shoved it on her head. "Look at me Mommy, I'm from Israel too!" The merchant selling the caps snatched it back again, chattering rapidly and angrily in Hebrew. Aliyah turned the attention onto herself and apologized to the man in her language, then hastily led them away from the cart. "It is not a woman's custom to put a man's cap on her head," she whispered rather loudly. "It is disrespectful. I am sorry, I should have told you sooner." Sarah Lee nodded solemnly and hid her face in Mrs. Williams' skirts.
Jonas, not wishing to associate with the trouble makers, announced that he was going over to look at the Wall. He marched over importantly- and found himself standing in the middle of a crowd of women, all staring at him. He felt blood rush into his cheeks for the third time in the hour as Aliyah rushed to his side and pulled him away from the Wailing Wall and into the limousine, where Sarah and his mother were already waiting. While the limo sped away from the site Aliyah explained. "At the Wall men and woman are separated for prayer. It is our way."
At first Jonas felt irritated at Aliyah for not telling him sooner, but taking a closer look at her expression made him realize that she was really sorry. She almost appeared embarrassed. Jonas made a mental note that Aliyah wasn't as emotionless he she appeared and listened up as they finished the rest of the tour in Jerusalem. By the time they had eaten dinner and returned to the hotel it was dark out and they entire Williams family was tired and ready for a good night's sleep. Well, everyone except Jonas. He was worried and scared, for in due time he knew his life would be over.
Sitting on his bed, the 14 year old tried to watch what little television shows they had on in English, but he slowly found himself gazing at the clock, silently watching the hours tick by. Turning off the set, Jonas wandered over to the window overlooking Jerusalem, a beautiful sight to behold. Jonas casually glanced down at the abandoned street below him and saw a mysterious figure below. The man looked casual with his hands in his pockets strolling down the street, but at the same time he didn't look like he needed to be there. Curious and against his better judgment, Jonas slid his shoes onto his feet, placed his room key in his pocket and slipped out the door.
Following the man wasn't as easy as Jonas had originally thought, but he managed to tail him as far as the jewelry store five blocks away, where the man went in and came back out in a matter of minutes. Jonas crept towards the store after him and glanced in the windows. There wasn't any jewelry in the store cases, and the door sign read CLOSED. Then it hit him; the man was stealing from the store! Hastily Jonas turned to run, but the man had already seen him and followed. Jonas noticed and broke out into a run. Slowly but surely all the things he had witnessed in his dream were coming to life!
Jonas, after going through the motions of running up the stairs and scaling the Wall, soon found himself at wits end, caught between the choices of taking the risk with the masked man or jumping to his death. But then, just as he was about to step off the wall, Aliyah's accented voice rang out "Stop Jonas, stop!" the American whirled around to see the girl racing towards him at top speed right behind the masked figure, raven black hair tossed up in a single braided pony tail trailing behind her. "Jump Jonas!" she cried. "You will be safe! Dive over and catch the Wall! Do it before he catches you!"
Jonas, knowing how this was going to end, followed the advice and jumped voluntarily off the Wailing Wall. He silently prayed to God that his death would be as painless as possible, but at the last second he saw a long, bent up nail sticking out of the rock. In desperation he grabbed it- and he stopped falling. Jonas, determined not to look down in his fear of heights, forced himself to look up and towards the masked man and, better yet, Aliyah. He could make out two figures silhouetted up against the clear night's sky. The shorter (but not by much), slender one was obviously Aliyah and the other one was the masked man, who was apparently no more balanced on the Wall than Jonas was, while Aliyah seemed perfectly as ease 50 feet in the air. In one swift, fluid motion she kicked the masked marauder in the gut, sending him tumbling down below Jonas and crashing into the street, dead. Only then did he see the silver dagger dangling from the man's waist.
Jonas was relieved when Aliyah bent down and helped him up. Together they stood on top of the Wailing Wall staring down at the dead body. Aliyah looked as though it was natural, and Jonas quickly rounded on to her. "What are you doing?" he demanded. "You aren't even worried that you killed someone when in America that would be cause for death row!"
The Israeli citizen frowned at him and continued to cast glances at her victim. "He had a weapon Jonas," she said quietly. "It is justified." Jonas knew he couldn't argue with that and he started make down the staircase and began to make his way back to his hotel. Aliyah followed. They walked silently through the streets before Jonas thought of something. Turning to the beautiful girl next to him he asked "How did you find me?"
Aliyah chuckled softly, as if they were sharing a private joke. "I am staying in the hotel room right across from you. I live in Tel Aviv, not Jerusalem you know. I offered to accompany my father on his business trip. Anyways, when you followed the thief outside I heard your door slam. I was curious and followed you."
The American teen cocked his head to one side, confused. "You were still awake?"
"Of course I was!" Aliyah answered. "It is impossible to sleep with both sides of your wall snoring as loud as a bear!" Jonas laughed at the bad pun, and they reached the hotel. He stopped outside the door, hesitant. "What'll happen when they find out we killed someone?" he wondered out loud.
Aliyah took his hand into hers (that made Jonas feel like he could fly to the moon and back) and led him inside. "I can guarantee my father will understand," she told him calmly. "Come Jonas, let's go inside."
By: Stefani Miller