NaPoWriMo 2018 – #13 Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum (S-21)

Warning. This post contains disturbing material.

Tuol_Sleng.jpg

He recognises the structure of the building. It had once been a high school like those he’d  taught at in Vietnam: three or four floors high, each level having a long balcony overlooking a playground. Doors opened off the balcony onto side-by-side classrooms.

But in S-21, the classrooms were sub-divided by roughly built brick walls, making multiple torture chambers out of each classroom. Prisoners were shackled to iron bedsteads, tortured until they confessed to being anti-government subversives working against Pol Pot. The torturer was practiced in the art of taking the prisoner to the brink of death and then pulling back. A death without a confession was a failure, which did not reflect well on the torturer. After the confession had been extracted, the prisoner was taken to the edge of a pit where the playground had been, hit on the head with an iron bar and throat slit. The pit was then covered with DDT, to mask the stench and finish off any unlikely survivors.

Replacing

Laughter with screams

Skipping ropes with manacles

Desks with racks

Homework with confessions

Rulers with iron bars

Chalk dust with DDT

Innocence with corruption

 

 


Copyright Mike Hopkins 2018

Image: By Nefelimhg at Dutch Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3218978

About NaPoWriMo

(Some / most of these could be rightly described as “chopped up text”. But that’s how first drafts often look.)

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NaPoWriMo 2018 – #12 Sticks and Temples

Been travelling most of the day, so this is a last-minute offering.

angkor

 

At Angkor Wat

the temples are obscured

by a forest of selfie sticks

 


Copyright Mike Hopkins 2018

Image: Mike Hopkins

About NaPoWriMo

(Some / most of these could be rightly described as “chopped up text”. But that’s how first drafts often look.)

NaPoWriMo 2018 – #8 Silent Joke

silence

Silent Joke

The monk in saffron

smiles to himself

silently enjoys his thought

 

The next monk

brown robed

senses the smile

grins with pleasure

 

the next monk

robed in red

feels a surge of levity

his shoulders shake

 

the next monk

in clay coloured robe

is overtaken by giggling

 

the infection spreads

until the sound of silence

is immersed

in the mirth of monks

 

—-

Copyright Mike Hopkins 2018

About NaPoWriMo

(Some / most of these could be rightly described as “chopped up text”. But that’s how first drafts often look.)