neelwrites/whatasight!/whatpegmansaw/fiction/flashfiction//174words/26/09/2017

WHAT PEGMAN SAW

Hosted by  at  https://whatpegmansaw.com/2017/09/23/sambor-prei-kuk-temple-cambodia/

Sambor Prei Kuk Temple, Cambodia

WHAT A SIGHT!

By Neel Anil Panicker

“Over there,” said Sunleang, his fingers pointing towards a huge compound wall over which rose the temple arches, “is the Prasat Sambor. Who wants to view Indian influences in sandstone lotus petal carvings in a 7th century temple structure

declared a UNESCO World Heritage site?”

Screams of ‘We’ rent the mid-afternoon air.

They were standing outside the northern periphery of the Sambor Prei Kuk, some 200 km north of Phnom Penh.

As the boisterous bunch of camera strapping tourists raced ahead, a young girl

stepped back.

‘Have had enough of India back home. Show me something else.’

The stocky guide’s eyes lit up in an evil smile.

“Follow me. I will give you the time of your life”

***

Three days later…

The Cambodian Police today discovered the headless body of a 16-year-old Indian female tourist from a remote forested ridge in Prasat Tao. They suspect it to be a case of human sacrifice though sexual assault is not ruled out. This is the fifth such incident to have happened in the past 18 months. 
©neelanilpanciker2017 #whatpegmansaw #fiction #shortstory #175words

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WHAT PEGMAN SAW

Hosted by  at  https://whatpegmansaw.com/2017/09/23/sambor-prei-kuk-temple-cambodia/

Sambor Prei Kuk Temple, Cambodia

WHAT A SIGHT!

By Neel Anil Panicker

“Over there,” said Sunleang, his fingers pointing towards a huge compound wall over which rose the temple arches, “is the Prasat Sambor. Who wants to view Indian influences in sandstone lotus petal carvings in a 7th century temple structure

declared a UNESCO World Heritage site?”

Screams of ‘We’ rent the mid-afternoon air.

They were standing outside the northern periphery of the Sambor Prei Kuk, some 200 km north of Phnom Penh.

As the boisterous bunch of camera strapping tourists raced ahead, a young girl

stepped back.

‘Have had enough of India back home. Show me something else.’

The stocky guide’s eyes lit up in an evil smile.

“Follow me. I will give you the time of your life”

***

Three days later…

The Cambodian Police today discovered the headless body of a 16-year-old Indian female tourist from a remote forested ridge in Prasat Tao. They suspect it to be a case of human sacrifice though sexual assault is not ruled out. This is the fifth such incident to have happened in the past 18 months.
©neelanilpanciker2017 #whatpegmansaw #fiction #shortstory #175words

 

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]

 

neelwrites/manfishing/whatpegmansaw/poisson-blanc-quebec/shortstory/03/09/2017

WHAT PEGMAN SAW

Poisson-Blanc, Quebec

Hosted by the brilliant K Rawson at  https://whatpegmansaw.com/2017/09/01/poisson-blanc-quebec/

MAN FISHING

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

By Neel Anil Panicker

Over a 100 km of waterways to lose yourself in; charmingly small campsites hidden under pine forests, pristine beaches to bathe in sheer cold waters and stunning landscapes that are a visual fiesta.

The Notre-Dame-du-Laus at this time of the year is a hullabalooza of campers.

Larocque’s corner store is teeming with holidayers eager to buy themselves a day’s fishing permit.

But a seasonal permit?

Well people do buy them, especially the off campers, the ones who come all alone and love escaping the harsh summers wherever they come from; the quieter, serious loner types who’ve sacrificed themselves to the pleasures of forgetting and getting lost in the arms of Mother Nature.

But a double seasonal pass? That too advance payment? That was strange.

Alfred’s eyes went aglow.

He left his vantage point at Julie’s, and trailed the man as he thrust the stamped blue piece of paper into his baggy shorts and made his down the to the river front.

None would care if this man disappeared, he surmised.

©neelanilpanicker2017 #whatpegmansaw #fiction #170words

neelwrites/dwarfingaround/whatpegmansaw/fiction/shortstory/26/08/2017

Wroclaw, Poland

Hosted by J Hardy Caroll at

Wroclaw, Poland

DWARFING AROUND

Waguś (Wago), wrocławski krasnal znajdujący się w biurowcu WAGO przy Pięknej 58a; autor: Beata Zwolańska–Hołod

By Neel Anil Panicker

Sofia cried out, “Oh my God, isn’t that cute!”

Oscar stared at his partner, his cherubic face breaking into an amused expression.

It had been almost a week since the two University of Florida Fine Arts students had flown into Wroclaw, and all she was interested in were the dwarfs, the cheeky one foot tall miniature cartoonish characters that dotted the ancient’s town landscape.

True, he agreed, they were different__charmingly weird, if not outrightly beautiful.

I mean who wouldn’t like a bronze figurine, barely knee length high, and placed at nondescript places such as behind bushes, bordering sidewalks, alongside river fronts et al; each one of them emblazoned with myriad human expressions that captured the everyday oddities of life.

“Why don’t we visit the Raclawice Panorama,” Albert asked, half hesitantly.

“Isn’t that something to do about the Polish victory over the Russians?”

Al nodded his head in affirmation, adding, “A massive circular painting captures the historical feat is a must see”.

“ I am game,” gushed Sofia, not failing to add, “ But after that I need to resume our “Dwarf Hunting”. There’s still some 75 more to discover”.

Oscar nodded resignedly as the too hopped onto a bus.

©neelanilpanicker2017 #fiction #whatpegmansaw #thedwarfs #wroclaw

HISTORICAL BACKLGROUND:

Wrocław’s dwarfs (Polishkrasnale, krasnoludki) are small figurines (20-30 cm) that first appeared in the streets of WrocławPoland, in 2005. Since then, their numbers have been continually growing, and today they are considered a tourist attraction: those who would like to combine sight-seeing in Wrocław with “Hunting for dwarfs” are offered special brochures with a map[1] and mobile application software for smartphones.[2] As of 2015, there are over 350 dwarfs spread all over the city. Six of them are located outside the city at the LG plant in Biskupice Podgórne.

History[edit]

In 2001, to commemorate the Orange Alternative (Polish anti-communist movement), a monument of a dwarf (the movement’s symbol) was officially placed on Świdnicka Street, where the group’s happenings used to take place. It is probably one of the few cases in the world where such a subversive group has been honoured by the city authorities, who commissioned the placing of a statue of a dwarf in the city centre. In 2003, the Mayor of Wrocław, in an attempt to continue the new tradition, unveiled a small plaque on the door of The Dwarfs’ Museum. It can be found at the height of human knees on the wall of a historic tenement called Jaś, which is situated between the Market Square and St. Elizabeth’s Church.

The figures of the dwarfs, which are smaller than the Orange Alternative monument on Świdnicka Street, were placed in different parts of the city. The first five, designed by Tomasz Moczek, a graduate of The Academy of Art and Design in Wrocław, were placed in August 2005. These were the Fencer near the University of Wrocław, the Butcher in Stare Jatki arcade, two Sisyphuses on Świdnicka Street and the Odra-Washer-Dwarf, near Piaskowy Bridge. The name of the last dwarf is related to Pracze Odrzańskie, an estate on the outskirts of the city. Since that time, the number of figures has continued growing.

A ceremony unveiling two other dwarfs took place on the day of June 18, 2008. They were situated on Świdnicka Street, next to W-skers: a dwarf in a wheel chair. The figures represent two disabled dwarfs: the Deaf-mute and the Blind. They are part of the Wrocław Without Barriers campaign, which aims at drawing attention to handicapped people living in Wroclaw. Five days later, at the Hematology and Pediatric Oncology Clinic in Wrocław, another dwarf was erected. It was to be the third female dwarf, Marzenka, whose design was based on the logo of the Mam marzeniecharity.[3]

The Dwarfs Festival takes place in Wrocław every year in September.

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/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.