'Hands' won second prize in the adult prose section of the Neil Gunn Writing Competition, 2009.
So you are convinced you're right. And it sustains you through nights with little sleep, when the dawn breaks on you like pale yolk pouring out of an egg and the air smells like nothing else you will ever smell again; a fusion of sweat and sulphur and delicious thin bread.
But of course you are right. And you are doing what you have to do. You walk the narrow alleys of the kasba in Hebron, sweat making your helmet stick to your forehead like Original Sin and the footsteps of those walking in front of you echo on the ancient stones in the crisp early morning. Advancing slowly, click-clack, click-clack. Faces dark, eyes narrowed in concentration, taking deep breaths, in, out, in, out.