Once Upon an Osama bin Laden

(AP Photo/Jerome Delay)
(AP Photo/Jerome Delay)

You fly to Afghanistan to try to kill Osama bin Laden.

You get deported back to the US.

You sell your story to Hollywood and become famous.

You develop an addiction to cocaine while attending D-List celebrity parties with your new agent Marty Howell.

You fall madly in love with a porn star by the name of Tiffany Waves.

She breaks your heart and leaves you when your fame ends.

Having nothing left to lose, you and your agent go on the hunt for Saddam Hussein with a film crew for hire.

You and this ragtag group of Hollywood has-beens sneak into Iraq on a hot and dry orange August afternoon looking like extras from the movie Dune.

You get lost in a bombed out village and run into a man sitting on a stoop at the feet of the skeleton of a hollowed out apartment building. In his dry, coarse hands, he clutches photos of his little family and for a second or two you eat up that frivolous American empathy, but it quickly comes back up like a cat throwing up a hair ball.

The film crew disbands in the middle of a sand storm and you take shelter inside a crumbling palace completely alone, snorting what’s left of your cocaine, making plans that never materialize.

You will get the comeback you so rightfully deserve, you say to yourself while contemplating a broken bust of Saddam Hussein—it’s coming, you can see it.

F. Scott Fitzgerald said there are no second acts in American lives, but what does it matter, he’s dead and he never met you.

About the Author
Fawzy Zablah was born in El Salvador but raised in Miami. Among his works is the short story collection CIAO! MIAMI and the novel RARITY OF THE CENTURY. His fiction has been published widely at Hobart, 3AM Magazine, Acentos Review and Expat Press. His short story, THIS MODERN MAN IS BEAT, was adapted into an award winning short film in 2015 currently playing on Amazon Prime. He is hard at work on a novel about the Arabs and Jews of Latin America with the working title of GITANES.
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