Ahmed, the jihadist, was brought into a small, well-lit room.

The brick walls were painted white and the floor was

gray concrete.  It was easy to clean and disguised any

bodily fluids that might have been missed.  The room had

no ceiling, just a metal grille.  Ahmed noticed that the

words “Fuck Islam” had been tattooed across the knuckles of

the guard’s hands.  It was here that Ahmed felt strongest.

As long as he could remember, he had been able

to remove himself from his immediate environment, shutting off the

bleak outside world by focusing on a self-created inner one.


Paraphrases from the novel Dirty Little Secret by Jon Stock.