neelwrites/gassingabout/whatpegmansaw/fiction/flash/18/09/2017

WHAT PEGMAN SAW

Hosted by K Rawson at https://whatpegmansaw.com/2017/09/16/st-petersburg-russia/

St. Petersburg, Russia

JUST GASSING

(GENRE: Historical Fiction)

By Neel Anil Panicker

As the eight door state car, a shining black limousine screeched to a halt, a sprightly six foot tall man in an overall coat quickly ran upto and held the back door open.

A few moments later, Joseph Stalin, the most powerful man in Russia spoke.

“Nikolai, we’ve a problem. We aren’t killing them fast enough.”

‘Comrade, I’m aware of that. I have a solution. Have a look at this.’

“That’s a bread van, you fool”.
‘Only from the outside. It’s in fact a Dushegubka.’

“Now what’s the hell is that?”

‘It’s an airtight mobile gas van. What we do is simply strip our enemies naked, tape their mouths and bundle them into the truck. The piped fuel gas will ensure that they all die inhaling carbon monoxide even before the vehicle reaches the graveyard.’

“Excellent. Easy and quick riddance. This way we save on the bullets too. Long Live The Revolution.”
‘Comrade, there’s one small hitch. The driver would be able to hear the screams as the victims die slow, painful deaths’.

‘Oh, that’s wonderful. He gets free entertainment.’

©neelanilpanicker2017 #fiction #flash #historical fiction #whatpegmansaw #179words

HISTORICAL BACKGROUND

The gas van was invented and used by the Soviet secret police NKVD in the late 1930s during the Great Purge.[2][3][4][5][6][7]

The Great Purge or the Great Terror (Russian: Большо́й терро́р) was a campaign of political repression in the Soviet Union which occurred from 1936 to 1938.[1] It involved a large-scale purge of the Communist Party and government officials, repression of peasants and the Red Armyleadership, widespread police surveillance, suspicion of “saboteurs”, “counter-revolutionaries”, imprisonment, and arbitrary executions.[2] Mobile gas vans were invented to execute people without trial.[3][4][5] In Russian historiography, the period of the most intense purge, 1937–1938, is called Yezhovshchina (Russian: Ежовщина; literally, “Yezhov phenomenon”,[note 1] commonly translated as “times of Yezhov” or “doings of Yezhov”), after Nikolai Yezhov, the head of the Soviet secret police, the NKVD, who was later killed in the purge. It has been estimated that 600,000 people died at the hands of the Soviet government during the Purge.[6]

It was later widely implemented as an extermination method in Nazi Germany to kill enemies of the regime, mostly Jews.[8]

The Nazis began experimenting with poison gas for the purpose of mass murder in late 1939 with the killing of mental patients (“euthanasia”). A Nazi euphemism, “euthanasia” referred to the systematic killing of those Germans whom the Nazis deemed “unworthy of life” because of mental illness or physical disability

One of several methods used was the gas van. Such vans were first deployed in 1940 in “Euthanasia” operations. Hitler delegated the “Euthanasia” operation to Reichsleiter Philip Bouhler, Dr. Karl Brandt, and several doctors of their choice.

Prior to gassing, the victims were ordered to hand over all of their valuables. They then had to undress themselves and finally entered the gas vans. The two doors at the back of the wagons were closed, the tube then locked to the exhaust. To calm down the naked victims a lamp was switched on for some minutes. The driver then started the motor, which ran in neutral gear for about ten minutes. During this time the motor produced enough carbon monoxide to suffocate the victims. As they were so crowded together there was lack of air anyway. When the screaming and pounding had stopped, the driver started the drive to the cremation.

Nikolai Yezhov

Nikolai Ivanovich Yezhov (Russian: Никола́й Иванович Ежо́в, IPA: [nʲɪkɐˈlaj jɪˈʐof]; May 1, 1895 – February 4, 1940) was a Soviet secret police official under Joseph Stalin. He was head of the NKVD from 1936 to 1938, during the most active period of the Great Purge. His time in office is known as the “Yezhovshchina” (Russian: Ежовщина),[4] a term coined during the de-Stalinization campaign of the 1950s.[note 1] After presiding over executions and mass arrests during the Great Purge, Yezhov became a victim of it himself. He was arrested, confessed under torture to a range of anti-Soviet activity, and was executed in 1940. By the beginning of World War II, his status within the Soviet Union became that of a political unperson.[5]

 

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neelwrites/kalapani/FF/99words/historicalfiction/31/08/2017

FRIDAY FICTIONEERS hosted by the charming Rochelle at

1 September 2017

KALAPANI  (HISTORICAL FICTION)

By Neel Anil Panicker                   (word count: 99 words)

The man looked askance at the promontory spread out before him.

Who would believe that a mere 90 days ago it was a wild swampy mangrove.

Each cell, a mere 13.5ft by 7.5ft, comprised a 6ft by 3ft wooden bed. A  barred 3 feet by 1 feet grate served as the sole ventilation.

Richard Carnac Temple, chief commissioner of the Andamans, turned to his aide.

“Week one all prisoners to be manacled, hung upside down from wooden pegs, flogged, and force fed gruel riddled with crushed lizards. A fate worse than the hangman’s noose awaits those who do survive.”

©neelanilpanicker2017 #FF #fiction #kalapani #andamans

HISTORICAL BACKGROUND

Inside Cellular Jail: the horrors and torture inflicted

 http://www.independent.co.uk/news/long_reads/cellular-jail-india-integral-country-fight-freedom-independence-british-colony-andaman-and-nicobar-a7883691.htmlby the Raj on India’s political activists

click

neelwrites/gazingintoastarryreality/fiction/SPF/20/08/2017

Sunday Photo Fiction – August 20th 2017

get the InLinkz code

Hosted by J Hardy at https://sundayphotofictioner.wordpress.com/2017/08/20/sunday-photo-fiction-august-20th-2017/ 

GAZING INTO A STARRY REALITY

209 08 August 20th 2017

By Neel Anil Panicker

My name is Galileo.

Galileo who? Galileo what? Did I hear you say?

Well, not surprising, though.

In this fast paced emoji driven, information pumping adrenaline high robotic age whoever has the time for digging out relics of some hoary past?

Well, if it’s any consolation, I’m the one to whom is attributed the famous phrase Eppur si muove.  It refers to my claim that it’s the Earth that revolves around the Sun and not the other way around.

Big deal, you might say.

But I tell you, in my day around 500 years ago what I said was considered a sacrilege.

The omnipotent, omniscient custodians of the Church (read God) took serious umbrage to my utterances.

I was incarcerated in a deep dungeon, and made to drink poison.

Hey, why am I telling you these things? It’s a story long interred and buried in the dustbin of history?

Right?

Well, folks, I’m doing this so you and the generations that would follow yours learn to stand up to all manner of wrongs and injustices perpetuated in this world in the name of God, that you understand there can exist a happy marriage between science and morality devoid of mass hatred fueled by religious bigotry.

(neelanilpanicker2017 #spf #fiction #200words

BACKGROUND: And yet it moves

“Eppur si muove” redirects here. For other uses, see Eppur si muove (disambiguation).

And yet it moves” or “Albeit it does move” (ItalianE pur si muove or Eppur si muove [epˈpur si ˈmwɔːve]) is a phrase attributed to the Italian mathematician, physicist and philosopher Galileo Galilei (1564–1642) in 1633 after being forced to recant his claims that the Earth moves around the immovable[1] Sun rather than the converse during the Galileo affair.[2]

In this context, the implication of the phrase is: despite his recantation, the Church’s proclamations to the contrary, or any other conviction or doctrine of men, the Earth does, in fact, move (around the Sun, and not vice versa). As such, the phrase is used today as a sort of pithy retort implying that “it doesn’t matter what you believe; these are the facts.”

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neelwrites/she’sgottheblues/FF/fiction/16/08/2017

FRIDAY FICTIONEERS hosted by the prima donna of short fiction Rochelle at

18 August 2017

SHE’S GOT THE BLUES

(genre: historical fiction)

PHOTO PROMPT © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

 

By Neel Anil Panicker

A week ago Asha watched on TV the heart wrenching visuals of countless Blue Whales swept ashore, their glistening gargantuan lifeless forms on the sandy ocean bed.

Quite a few had turned this vista into a photo-op, clicking selfies while poking, nudging, pricking at the creatures in a misplaced show of braggadocio.

Watching the horrific grainy images, Asha had dropped more than a tear,

her heart breaking out in silent prayers for the departed.

A week later it was revenge time; the blue whales played a game on her only son.

A mother paid the price for a son’s hubris.

©neelanilpanicker2017 #FF #fiction #she’sgottheblues #100words

HISTORICAL BACKGROUND

Blue Whale (game)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Blue Whale Game (RussianСиний кит, Siniy kit) also “Blue Whale Challenge”, is an Internet “game” that is claimed to exist in several countries. The game allegedly consists of a series of tasks assigned to players by administrators during a 50-day period, with the final challenge requiring the player to commit suicide.[1][2] The term “Blue Whale” comes from the phenomenon of beached whales, which is linked to suicide.

Blue Whale began in Russia in 2013 with “F57”, one of the names of the so-called “death group” of the VKontaktesocial network,[3] and allegedly caused its first suicide in 2015.[4][5] Philipp Budeikin, a former psychology student who was expelled from his university, claimed that he invented the game. Budeikin stated that his purpose was to “clean” the society by pushing to suicide those he deemed as having no value.[

neelwrites//it’sabouttime/whatpegmansaw/13/08/2017

WHAT PEGMAN SAW

Pena, Portugal

IT’S ABOUT TIME

GENRE: HISTORICAL FICTION

By Neel Anil Panicker

A woman’s face etched in a beatific smile and holding in her arms a barely three-month-old baby girl greets Emily.

A tear drops from her eyes as she places in her pint sized bag the sepia tinged black and white photograph, the sole reminder of the only family she ever had.

Outside, she cranes her neck upwards and peers into the sky.

The bright orb of fire sends a pleasant tingling sensation surging through her veins, warming the cockles of her heart.

‘But why’s there no blast? Why the delay?’

Emily wrings her hands anxiously and peers yet again into the sky.

Slowly, as if goaded by the power of her unflinching eyes, the clouds give way and bright dazzling rays sparkle onto the earth.

And then as if in pronouncement, a huge ear splitting sound blasts through the atmosphere.

It is the sundial’s cannon ball strike signalling noon time.

It’s also the prompt for her to head for the main road.

There awaits Francis, the love of her life, the liberator of her soul.

©neelanilpanicker2017 #whatpegmansaw #fiction #pena,Portugal

neelwrites/it’stime/whatpegmansaw/historicalfiction/13/08/2017

WHAT PEGMAN SAW

Pena, Portugal

Hosted by the wonderful H Hardy Carroll at

Pena, Portugal

To enjoy stories inspired by the What Pegman Saw prompt or to submit your own 150-word story, visit the inLinkz button:

IT’S ABOUT TIME

GENRE: HISTORICAL FICTION

Image result for sundial, PENA, PORTUGAL

By Neel Anil Panicker

 

IT’S ABOUT TIME

GENRE: HISTORICAL FICTION

A woman’s face etched in a beatific smile and holding in her arms a barely three-month-old baby girl greets Emily.

A tear drops from her eyes as she places in her pint sized bag the sepia tinged black and white photograph, the sole reminder of the only family she ever had.

Outside, she cranes her neck upwards and peers into the sky.

The bright orb of fire sends a pleasant tingling sensation surging through her veins, warming the cockles of her heart.

‘But why’s there no blast? Why the delay?’

Emily wrings her hands anxiously and peers yet again into the sky.

Slowly, as if goaded by the power of her unflinching eyes, the clouds give way and bright dazzling rays sparkle onto the earth.

And then as if in pronouncement, a huge ear splitting sound blasts through the atmosphere.

It is the sundial’s cannon ball strike signalling noon time.

It’s also the prompt for her to head for the main road.

There awaits Francis, the love of her life, the liberator of her soul.

©neelanilpanicker2017 #whatpegmansaw #fiction #pena,Portugal

neelwrites/highplaceofsacrifice/whatpegmansaw/abloodyworship/historicalfiction/08/07/2017

WHAT PEGMAN SAW

Petra, Jordan

A superb fictional travel photo prompt that the wonderful K Rawson challenges us with on a weekly basis  at

Petra, Jordan

A BLOODY WORSHIP

Genre: Historical Fiction

Image result for human sacrifice, petra, jordan

By Neel Anil Panicker

Om couldn’t believe his eyes __a hand levelled rocky expanse stared at him.

After a memorable night at the Theater and the Street of Facades, was this really the promised ‘Big One’.

 “And to think that I climbed 800 sign posted steps up a rocky slope for this?” he chided himself.

As if reading his thoughts, Derek, his Australian friend, uttered, “You seem not too happy, mate. Wait till I show you something”.

 “Now what’s that?”, inquired Derek, irritation creeping into his tone.

 “See that raised platform over there,” said his friend, pointing to the left.

Om’s eyes followed the lowered fingers.

Perched on a cliff a heart stopping 170 metres below them was an altar.

There were over a dozen of these, all around 15 m long and 6 m wide. Each altar, set up on four steps, had a wash basin to one side.

“That’s the High Place of Sacrifice. The wash basins drain out the blood which then runs down the mountains. And some of them are of humans.”

(neelanilpanciker2017 #whatpegmansaw#historicalfiction#highplaceofsacrifice

Image result for human sacrifice, petra, jordan

HISTORICAL BACKGROUND:

The main alter was for the burnt sacrifice. It contains several small steps and a niche where the fire could have been used. However, there are no evidences of fire at their altar or the other altars around Petra. Built into the two altars are wash basins.

Were there ever human sacrifices at Petra? There is no hard evidence but there is a Nabataean inscription at Meda’in Salehwhich reads “abd-Wadd, priest of Eadd, and his son Salim, and Zayd-Wadd, have consecrated the young man Salim to be immolated to Dhu Gabat.

Their double happiness. The god Al Uzza is also known to have received the sacrifice of boys and girls. In particular, the pagan philosopher Porphyrius states that once a year a boy’s throat was sacrificially cut at the oasis of Dumat some two hundred miles from Petra.