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Published by James Hampton at Smashwords

Treasure House © 2012 by James Hampton

All rights reserved.



The tiny village was in chaos. Its men beat their chests and shouted at the sky; its women wept, cried out for justice; its children mostly stayed quiet, and some even hid, feeling it would be best to keep away from the distraught and seething crowd: an angry mass now gathered before the small stone building that, until sometime last night, had held their most prized possession.

It was daybreak here in the Zagros Mountains, near the Iran-Iraq border. The upper third of the sun was visible above the horizon, enough of it to bathe the landscape in a faint golden light. This village was home to no more than a few hundred people: just a lonely patch of beige mud-brick houses with a small central marketplace, no other towns or homes anywhere in sight. It had long been a safe, peaceful place for its residents—but that had changed today.

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