Sunrise, August 12, 1263. High in the mountains of what will someday be South Lebanon, near the Knights Templar castle
of Beaufort, a beautiful young woman is helplessly enduring a slow lingering death by exposure.
Apprehended by the guards while attempting to smuggle secret information concerning the castle to her Moorish pay masters, she endured over two agonizing days upon the rack before the torturers finally compelled her confession. Upon hearing her confession of treachery the captain of the castle, the commanding Knights Templar, personally signed the order for his treacherous lover’s execution and further ordered her tongue immediately be cut out stating, “Even in death, better this traitor die in silence rather than have another chance to betray this fortress to our enemies.”
The following day, at sunrise, they locked her within this hanging cage, there to remain until she dies, the flesh falls from her rotting corpse and her bones bleach in the sun.
Fatima watched in muted silence as the warmth of the early morning sun gradually replaced the chill of her first long night of exposure. Fatima already knew that by mid-day she’d be praying for sunset, anything to relieve the scorching heat of the sun. During the night the scattered clouds of yesterday had vanished and on this, her second day of exposure, the sun promised to be far crueler. And yet, even the sun’s unfeeling cruelty paled in comparison to the treachery of her former lover, the captain of the castle. To go to her death knowing that he’d been the one who planted those incriminating papers that sent her to the dungeons, that Fatima’s slow linger death was merely a convenient way to dispose of a former lover in order to make way for another, more desirable, woman to warm his bed...