The first draft of One Night in Tehran did not include The Prologue, although the elements of it were part of the main character’s back story before I even wrote the novel.
After completing the first draft of the manuscript, I decided to go back and include some of the back story elements surrounding Titus Ray and his escape from Iran. As a result of that revision, The Prologue to One Night in Tehran introduces Titus Ray and begins the most exciting period of his life.
THE FOLLOWING IS AN EXCERPT FROM THE PROLOGUE:
In far northwest Iran, a few minutes after clearing the city limits of Tabriz, Rahim maneuvered his vehicle onto a rutted side road. When he popped opened the trunk of the car to let me out, I saw the car was hidden from the main highway by a small grove of trees. In spite of our seclusion, Rahim said he was still anxious about being seen by a military convoy from the nearby Tabriz missile base.
For the first time in several hours, I uncurled from my fetal position and climbed out of the vehicle, grateful to breathe some fresh air and feel the sunshine on my face. As my feet landed on the rocky terrain, Rahim handed me a black wooden cane. I wanted to wave it off, but, regrettably, I still needed some help getting around on my bum leg.
Rahim slammed the trunk lid down hard.
“You can stretch for a few minutes,” he said, “but then we must get back on the road immediately. Our timing must be perfect at the border.”
Rahim and I were headed for the Iranian/Turkish border, specifically the border crossing at Bazargan, Iran. He was absolutely confident he could get me out of Iran without any problems. However, during the last twenty years, I’d had a couple of incidents at other border crossings—Pakistan and Syria to be precise—so I wasn’t as optimistic.
While Rahim was tinkering with the car’s engine, I exercised my legs and worked out the stiffness in my arms. As usual, I was running through several “what ifs” in my mind. What if the border guards searched the trunk? What if the car broke down? What if we were driving right into a trap?
I might have felt better about any of these scenarios had either of us been armed. However, Rahim had refused to bring along a weapon. Carrying a gun in Iran without a special permit meant certain imprisonment. Imprisonment in Iran meant certain torture, so I certainly understood his reasons for leaving the weaponry back in Tehran.
Still, a gun might have helped my nerves.