There is compelling evidence that Osama Bin Laden doesn’t exist – and never has.
For writers, this means that the sprinkling of mere words across a page still possess the power to alter the course of history. Here then, are the facts as we know them, from the writer who started this masterwork of fiction, Akmed Ish Ke-bab, in his own words...
It was back in the early 1960’s when I was mistakenly arrested near my Saudi home on suspicion of spying for the insurgent Haji tribes. Government police tossed me – torn, bruised and bleeding – into a cold concrete cell. Huge rats the size of burros nibbled at my toes as I contemplated my fate.
Soon enough, the iron cell door squeaked open and two huge jailers with pistols and long beards entered the cell and dragged me upstairs. My interrogator in traditional Saudi robe and headdress wore a monocle in his right eye and was smoking a brownish cigarette. As I sat on a small stool in front of him, he signaled the jailers to begin pummeling me lustily with the butts of their pistols. This they did with alacrity, despite my pathetic cries for mercy.
“So now, who is the leader of your group?” the interrogator asked, motioning the jailers to cease their ministrations for the nonce.
In response, I vomited my last meal of donkey entrails, casual barfing sounds escaping my bubbling lips as I did so.
“Ah,” he cried. “We have the name at last!”
“What?” I asked, wiping my lips with a tattered sleeve.
“You said Bin Laden. Osama.”
“No, that was just a noise I made.”
“Too late to take back, you filthy swine. My ears do not deceive.” He motioned to the guards. “Take him out back and hang him.”
Just then, a heaven-sent RPG dissolved the building in dust, and I found myself out in the street, surrounded by body parts and overturned vehicles, but miraculously still alive and in good working order. Later that night, sleeping beneath a palm in a public park, I had a revelation and awoke, asking myself, Who is this Osama Bin Laden?” – syllables of which my larynx had inadvertently concocted as bile burst forth from my lips.
Such a man did not exist. But, as a typical starving, homeless writer, I was adept at grasping at straws. Thus, in giving this Osama figment a life, I would shape him and use him for whatever good fortune would bring me. Thus, single-handedly in the years that followed, my imagination gave birth to this fictional character Bin Laden, telling of his mad exploits and loopy outbursts in books and articles for the masses. My words gave him a rich father, a family of wives and brats, money to pursue his giddy ideas and crackpot schemes. Little did I realize then that thousands of crazed followers would become enamored of this Bin Laden, the bizarre creature of my cerebral cortex. It would give them all something concrete instead of their former careers fashioning bricks from steaming camel dung.
All of this has provided me with a good living.
A bright smile on his bronze, bearded face, Akmed is older and a tad creaky now, but his memory is Gillette sharp. His books and movies embellishing the Osama legend have garnered him millions. He now lives in a lavish hideaway near Boca Raton, Florida where he follows the frequent bursts of news about Bin Laden’s alleged follies with a grin and a chuckle.
But, you ask, what about that bozo with the scraggly beard that appears all the time on the tube threatening to blow up America’s carmelcorn stands?
“He is my idiot nephew, Omar,” says Akmed. “I pay him to ‘pretend’ whenever they turn him loose for a visit home from the hospital.”
So that’s the ticket, fiction writers! Come up with your own imaginary characters. Just remember: Genghis Khan and Attila the Hun have already been taken.
Last Flight Home
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Available at Amazon.com, penumbrapublishing.com, wetherallbooks.com