Connections Jan 2015 - Page 94

LOST INNOCENCE PART ONE ‘THE ACCUSED’ ONE Memories of this living nightmare resurfaced; that first day as the cell door swung closed; the complete helplessness of being locked up. Left alone for hours, crunched up on the floor, the cell door swung open and three surly guards with shaved heads appeared. One by one, they entered stepped over some bodies and came for me. Sweat rolled from their faded tattoos of skulls and bones as they picked me up, dragged me outside, held me firm and stripped me. I hadn't struggled, just stood naked; the fear of being raped froze me. Bent over by two guards, the third parted my ass-cheeks, reached in and shoved his latex covered finger up into the middle-of-next-week. I jerked forward, stifling my screams as I felt one of them squeezing my balls, hard – it hurt. Supposedly checking for drugs, they’d more likely enjoyed the sadistic infliction of pain. My pulse hit the roof, my body seized - I passed out. TWO On the golden sands of the south-west coast of Thailand, the blazing sun beat down on my body. A breath-taking view lay before me of the vast expanse of the Andaman Sea, and the subtle, salty scent engrossed me. The still blue waters broken by the sound of the waves lapping against the rocks carried serenity. I reached for my crime-thriller when my eyes met those of a struggling hawker, well covered in cloth and an old, straw hat over a tired, bronzed face. A sharp pang of sympathy rattled within me and I pointed to some fruit I didn't want. I dug deep for some change, paid and smiled as she handed me a stick with a bag of sliced melon dangling from it. She thanked me, gathered up her wares and strolled off on her way down the beach. I returned to my book and surfed through the pages when it suddenly felt hot. Can we turn it down to tropical; I smiled as a bead of sweat rolled down my nose, stopped and dropped onto a page. I wiped it away, squinted up at the sun and strained my eyes. A rank stench in the air roused my attention and scanning the area, I couldn't tell what it belonged to. My parched throat and dried lips cried out for water and scrambling in the sand for my bottle, I couldn't find it. I stretched for my things, everything had vanished – my bag, my book, and the melon. I lay back as my head brushed up against a foot. I turned to apologize and couldn't be more shocked. Many dirty, stinky, bodies, lying crammed together within so little space. I covered my ears as a cacophony erupted in a language I didn't know.