13. March 2013 · Comments Off on A Beach of my Own · Categories: I. 11 to 12 years

Someone shows me the way to a beach.  From the main road I turn up a wide, winding road, all the way up until I see a stone drinking fountain on the left side of the road.   Instead of continuing on the road which bears right, I follow a dirt path straight ahead.

The path leads down to a little beach.  I am the only one here.

The beach is small, surrounded by hills, but there are lots of rocky areas to explore.   At one corner, there is a small concrete structure that gives a little shade.

I go there almost every day.



Once in a while, two or three children come by.  They are farmers’ children.  They never come to swim.  They stay only for a short time because they have chores to finish.

They tell me horror stories, all about the Japanese occupation still fresh in their minds.  They say that the concrete structure was a guardhouse.  Japanese soldiers tied British soldiers there to burn in the hot sun until they died.

They show me where if I dived down in the water I would see the soldiers’ bones.

From then on when I am in the guardhouse I think of those soldiers.  I see them as brave young men whose suffering is over.  I know the soldiers aren’t down there whether or not there are bones.   I don’t want to see bones.   I don’t go in the water there.

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