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500 X09 - Jail

 
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shadowlight
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 12, 2006 9:58 am    Post subject: 500 X09 - Jail Reply with quote


Here you go, everyone. I look forward to seeing what you come up with for this one.

Digital ID: ppmsc 00054 Source: b&w film neg.
Reproduction Number: LC-B8171-2297 (b&w film neg.) , LC-USZ62-46763 (b&w film copy neg.)
Repository: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA
The image appears in its original context on the page: www.loc.gov/rr/print/ list/082_slave.html


marlicia

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Last edited by shadowlight on Mon Mar 13, 2006 5:45 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Jolanta
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 12, 2006 11:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

„My child, tell me everything. And don’t worry. You are safe.” A tall woman said quietly and leant over me. The policeman, who brought me here, introduced her to me as a children’s psychologist. But I didn’t feel like talking to anyone, especially to her. I was angry with her. How did she dare to call me a child! I was almost fourteen and saw things she didn’t even dream about…

“Yvonne, try to describe your father’s behavior last night, please.” The woman was really annoying. Her curiosity was irritating and difficult to stand.
I needed to smoke to calm my nerves. But I couldn’t ask her for a cigarette, of course. Why did they pick on me? Hell, why didn’t they catch real criminals? My bruises are my own business, OK?

The woman stroked my hand softly the way my mother used to do before she died… It was so long ago… My mother wouldn’t allow her husband to overuse alcohol and hit her only daughter…
I don’t remember my father sober. He had been aggressive to me since my mother had died. And he told me to keep silent and to lie to teachers and neighbors otherwise he would be taken to a prison. And I should be aware what will happen if he would be imprisoned…
“My daughter mustn’t be so cruel to her father,” he repeated it many a time when I cried out of pain and shouted that I would call police.

I looked at the neat woman. What did she know about loneliness?

“Yvonne, don’t fear”, she stroked my hand softly again…
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Harry
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 12, 2006 12:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A very sensitive take on the picture Jolanta. You've managed to paint the results of a dysfunctional family with great skill. The child's hardness and her softness come through clearly. The picture must have stimulated you, is it the place where they brought the father or the fourteen year old girl?
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DaveR
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 12, 2006 12:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jolanta, I am convinced your are Yvonne sitting with the psychologist, thinking about the jail that your father talked about. You are smoothly bringing me into your created world.
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Jolanta
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 12, 2006 12:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh! Surprised

Frankly speaking, I didn't expect any comment on my text. And I really didn't expect such nice opinions.
Thank you very much for the encouraging words!
I am very happy Smile that you liked it.

Harry is right when he says that we put some part of our reflections, or our experiences, or experiences of our familiars into our pieces... We can't avoid it. It seems to be impossible.

Thank you very much.

Jolanta Smile
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shadowlight
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 12, 2006 5:09 pm    Post subject: Incarceration (WC 500) Reply with quote

Incarceration
© Marlicia Fernandez (WC 500) 3-12-06


Mara looked over her shoulder through the dust and shivered. All signs of their vehicles had vanished in the vast expanse of sand.

“It won’t be long now, Miss.”

She smiled at her guide. “ Keeping this prison supplied must have been hard.”

“Not as hard as you might think.”

Before Mara could ask what he meant, a cluster of low brick buildings appeared in the drifting sands. “Is this it?”

“Malan-kal,” her guide confirmed. “Lockup to the most notorious criminals on the planet.” He pointed to a large tumbledown structure. “That used to be the warden’s office, among other things.”

Mara dabbed sweat and dirt from her brow with a kerchief. She indicated the smallest structure with a gesture. “What was that?”

“That’s where the real troublemakers were held.”

“ It doesn’t look…” Mara stammered. “How were their basic rights met?”

Her guide shrugged, and wiped his forehead. “Follow me and I’ll answer all your questions.”

Mara hesitated. “I thought more people would be here. Where is everyone else?”

“He raised his eyebrows; “You know that only a select few are invited to this site. You are the first.”

“I am? I didn’t know. Please lead on.”

When they reached the brick building, her guide stepped aside. “Would you like to open the door? I promise it will be an experience to remember.”

Excitement flooded her. She was at Malan-kal, preparing to enter the jail where the worst malefactors lived out their days in isolation and boredom. What a boost it would give her research, what authenticity to her paper. She pushed at the iron gate. It wouldn’t budge.

“Push harder,” her guide directed. “We haven’t much time if I am to answer your questions.”

Mara pushed. Protesting hinges creaked. The iron gate swung open. Six cells, one without a door, and one open, lined one wall.

“Don’t you want to step inside?”

She paused on the threshold. “What’s this open space?”

He chuckled. “The exercise yard. It is also where the inmates ate most days. They answered nature’s call in holes in the corners. Take a look. There’s nothing but sand now.”

She shuddered as she noted the holes, shocked by their primitiveness. “They must have lived like animals.”

The squeak of hinges and the grate of the key in turning in the lock answered her remark. Mara ran to the gate and pulled with all her strength. It wouldn’t move. Tears of frustration ran down her face. “Let me out.”

Her guide shook his head. “I’m afraid that’s impossible. The sun is setting now and you can never leave.” Hoarse voices shouted from behind locked cell doors demanding food and water.

“What do you mean, I can’t leave?” Mara shook the gate again. “Let me out now.”

“Why? You wanted to study this prison. Now’s your chance. It’s time to feed and exercise the inmates. If you want to survive, I suggest you enter your cell and close the door.”

“My cell?”

“Last door on the right. It’s open.”




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shadowlight
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 12, 2006 5:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jolanta,

What a moving portrait of an abused child, forced to grow up too soon, and yet in so much need of love an understanding. This is written with an insight and sensitivity that really pulls the reader into the story. I wonder if this is how she imagines the jail her father is in, or if this is the jail she feels around herself because of her father's threats and what she has to endure. Perhaps the psychologist is the one who can open the gate and give her back her freedom.

Very nicely done.

marlicia

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Harry
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 13, 2006 5:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very dark and delicious, Marlicia. Curiosity killed the cat. One of your best. It sticks close to the picture and enhances it, in fact it seems as though the picture was made from your story and not the other way around. It’s very similar to the one I started, so now I’ll have to go back to square one.
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Harry
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 13, 2006 7:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Prisoner

by Harry Buschman


“Miguel Allende? Yes he’s in the cell at the end of that block, all the politicals are in there.” The jailor smiled sadly. “But you can’t tell one from the other.”

‘The cell with the open door, aren’t you afraid they’ll walk out?”

“There’s no way out here, sir. This is not an exit. If they want to walk out they have to come in through here ...” the jailor smiled and rubbed his hands together ... “they know that. I am the cat that stand between the mouse and its hole.”

“I must speak to him.”

“Go ahead.”

“I don’t want to go in there alone with him. You must come with me.”

“Bullshit, sir. You are in Colombia now, they would do to me what I would do to them. Besides, you won’t be alone with him. There are fourteen others just like him.”

“In that cell?”

“They are the politicals. The last President threw them all in jail -- out was in and in was out in those days. These are the outs, and now I suppose they are the ins again.”

The man stepped into the courtyard and shouted. “ALLENDE,” MIGUEL ... MIGUEL ALLENDE!” There was no response. The man turned to the jailor. “Why doesn’t he come out when I call?”

“He has been in there fifteen years, it is a strange thing in this place. You forget who you are, your name, your family. In time you are nothing but an animal in a cage. You have only one thought -- to keep alive. When you hear a voice you shrink from it. If it was the voice of your wife you would not remember.” The jailor opened a drawer in his desk and withdrew a small cloth bag. “Here are his belongings, sir. Perhaps there is something in there that will jog his memory. I have been here too long myself, I think - I have forgotten many things.”

The man opened the bag and withdrew a small photograph of a woman and a child. “Yes, this was his wife and his daughter. They are dead now. It would be cruel to him - perhaps it would be better to leave him where he is.”

“I think it is wise, here at least he can be an animal.”
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Jolanta
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 13, 2006 11:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Marlicia,

Thank you very much for your encouraging words.
I like all the pictures you post here, and the last, black and white, is very inspiring.


Jolanta
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shadowlight
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 13, 2006 11:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Harry,

Your comments on my little story came as a welcome surprise. I'm so glad you enjoyed it. You have given me some wonderful compliments and they came at a very good time. Thank you. Smile

Your story has a sense of hopelessness borne not only of a situation that is fickle, but also unpredictible. I am not sure if the political prisoner was merely a peaceful political criminal or a more violent one, but it seems he lost more than his freedom when the leadership locked him up and threw away the key. He lost everything that made him a man. I feel sorry for him and I'm glad his family will not be able to see what he has become (although I am sorry, of course that they died-victims of the same regime that imprisoned him, perhaps?).

Well, done sir, and I wouldn't mind seeing the other piece you started. I bet it would have been just as interesting.

marlicia

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shadowlight
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 13, 2006 11:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jolanta,

You're very welcome. You are doing very well with your short stories.

I'm glad you like the prompts and that they can inspire you. That's what I hope for when I find them (or when Clive sends me one. LOL)

marlicia

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Jolanta
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 13, 2006 11:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is very difficult to be among such good writers, but I try not to think about it otherwise I wouldn't dare to send anything.

Jolanta Cool
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Harry
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 13, 2006 12:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We are far from being 'good' writers Jolanta. We know the language - and the best of us is no better than that.
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Paul Grimsley
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 04, 2006 7:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

He awoke in a place he did not recognise. He read the charge sheet, written out like some kind of karmic ledger, and he did not remember the crimes that they told him he had commited. The ground was hard under his back and lying there he felt like Atlas holding up the weight of the world, so he sat up and freed himself of the burden.

A small bird flew in through the window chasing a butterfly as blue as he remembered his wife's eyes as being. It caught the brightly coloured insect and flew off with it in its beak to, he believed, feed its young in a nest somewhere a world away from this cage. His wife's name on his lips was a music too painful to bear so he swore not to speak it again.

He saw no one bring food but it appeared. He saw no one clear his waste, but it was gone. It was if he were hermetically sealed within a perfect system -- a perfect system to maintain him, an imperfection: someone had a developed sense of irony.

The years passed and his hair shifted through the chromatic range that marked different ages. His muscle tone deteriorated. His skin slackened and he edged ever loser to the thinly tapering end of his mortal coil.

Sleep was fitful now and dreams scarce. Morning came a breath after night had whispered to him of the solace of dreams. And he awoke with a dull agony permeating his withering body. As he laid his head against the cool damp brickwork finally, after all this time, enlightenment was gifted to him. A voice, stronger than he had known for a long time, said to him "You remember now that you built this place?"
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