I intend to write a creative writing piece that describes a scene and focuses on the details of the human senses.
Each golden gate stands open for 10 hours a day patiently waiting for tourists to pass through them to glimpse into the stories and lives of 2 million victims from a Cambodian genocide. The Khmer Rouge.
Listen. Click, static, pop goes the electric transceiver wrapped around your head as survivors’ talk about their journey through this four-year event. Long, tall, wispy grass sways on either side of the neverending gravel footpath in this historic area. Worn benches sit 100m apart from each other, 3 to 4 people sitting on each old wooden bench. Slumped over with their head in their hands and tears in their eyes are tourists/people overwhelmed by the true stories of survivors playing through the headsets. Graves as large as a king size bed with over 400 headless bodies piled on top of one another and filled in with a pile of dirt. Staring at the empty pit, motionless, unable to speak or move without feeling like every bone in your body will break.
Stop. Everything feels quiet and lifeless. Empty feeling in all stomachs. Torn hearts. A tall building stands, towering over every one in the middle of the scene. Like a giant you feel drawn to meet it and see whats inside. Tears in everyone’s eyes when people walk past the building as high as the sky, filled to the brim with skulls and bones, meticulously arranged by sex and age. The skulls stare back through the glass, trapped with no way of escaping. Each skull with their own story unable to ever speak, slowly collecting dust and fading away.
Breath. It’s tight, you feel claustrophobic with your skin touching cold walls or the large glass cabinet filled with memories and stories. Walls are colourless and drab. So close to your skin. Standing sideways squeezing past people and sensing the distant response from everyone around you.
Look. A small old book stand is filled with all of the same books called survivor are being sold by an 80-year-old Cambodian man whose name is Chum Mey, one of the seven survivors from the Cambodian genocide. Walking over to a small stand that a lot of people are crowded around. Intrigued you find tourists listening to more stories and purchasing books for their own. Taking off the fuzzy, electronic stories at the end of the day reflecting back on what it would have been like living in 1975 as a victim in the Cambodian genocide is unimaginable.
Remember. The Khmer Rouge a devastating and painful era. A time where everyone had to fight for the lives or the lives of their loved ones. Four years of determined individuals battling for success and striving to survive. Knowing that they must run and flee for if they get caught, their lives will be destroyed and taken from them without a say. Remember those who were tourists just passing by. Those who were locals. Those who were academically advanced. Those who were Vietnamese. Those who were religious leaders. Even remember the victims who wore glasses or had a child. Remember the 1.7 to 3 million people who were brutally murdered because of one mans’ opinion.