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  • Arranged Love
    remain corralled together due to kids family expectations or the simple fact that divorce is unthinkable I saw that happen with my uncle who married Mom s elder sister Somehow Mom and Dad s relationship grew into something deeper Not once did I see the two of them hug or kiss Yet their intimacy was hard to miss It was there in their banter in the smile Mom had for Dad in the morning even after forty years of marriage in the way Dad would enter the house with a spring in his step and her name on his lips even as a grand old man After she died the only time I ever saw his eyes ignite was when he was talking about her He lost interest in everything else living the seven years he had left as a man waiting to die It was on December 31 1996 that Mom fell down in the house to break her hip The doctor assured us that it was an ordinary fracture She was moved to the hospital to await an operation Dad and I would go to her every day after breakfast Dad couldn t wait to leave and normally reached the breakfast table well before me That day he wasn t there I went to his room to get him I found him sitting on the edge of his bed in his kurta pyjama I was taken aback I had expected him to be showered and dressed He didn t seem to hear me the first time I asked why he wasn t ready When I repeated the question he turned a stricken face in my direction Before I knew it he had started sobbing Maybe he had a premonition that this was the beginning of the end for Mom She had too many health issues for a successful operation to be conducted on her hip Even though she was able to walk in a pair of special shoes the obvious limp dented her morale As the year wore the pain in her hip returned and she was forced to take to her bed Her tuberculosis nascent until then became rampant By the end of the year it had gnawed all the skin off her bones She was skeletal and coughing out phlegm every few minutes Maybe Dad could see all that in his crystal ball that morning Maybe he could look even further into the future and see us standing over her dead body a year and a half later Maybe that was why he went to pieces I stood there watching him in disbelief I was twenty eight then For as long as I could remember Dad was the one who had wiped everyone s tears To see him sobbing was unnerving At the time I d never had a loved one die on me I had no idea of the enormity of losing someone close to you leave alone your companion for life All I could

    Original URL path: http://www.litro.co.uk/2015/08/arranged-love/ (2016-02-15)
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  • “Please do not walk through the mass grave”
    you for a dollar each A sign informs us that this was the infamous killing tree where children torn out of their mother s arms were dashed head first against the trunk before being tossed skulls split but still alive into the mass graves that contained the bodies of their executed parents Beside the tree a glass box stands containing among other things a tiny pair of blue shorts When the rain comes explains the guide old things rise to the surface There is a lot that is still buried A lot we have still to find A tiny human jawbone sits on top of the box If the killing fields are preserved in such a way as to try and ensure that we never forget what took place here then it is the next stop on the tour that exists as a reminder of just how easily all of this could happen again Having spent the past few years teaching in Public schools across Asia the familiar structure of Tuol Svay Pray High School is unnervingly familiar to me The empty outer courtyard and classroom layout is more or less identical in structure to the public schools that can be found across South East Asia to this day In 1971 the Khmer Rouge seized this school and transformed it from a place of education and learning into the torture interrogation and execution factory S 21 Wandering lazily around the abandoned classrooms turned torture cells there are more signs bolted to the walls The signs display laughing faces with a red x marked through the mouth The message is the same all over Do not laugh here Do not smile I wonder again who the message is directed at The horror of this building now preserved as a permanent museum to the evil that took place here is in its silence It is carried less by the grim records that can be perused by visitors but by the absence of children from their natural environment It is S 21 s existence not as a former torture camp but as the ghost of a school that shakes a teacher the most Riding back to our hotel at the other end of the city the signs advising people not to smile begin to disappear and gradually the familiar Cambodian warmth returns on the dusty side streets A motorcycle strapped with at least fifty bemused looking live chickens blares past us and I smile and shake my head at my girlfriend in a sign that we are returning to what passes for South East Asian normality Still as we ride my mind can t rid itself of all those signs and I wonder what sort of pathologically unbalanced person must have wandered into the killing fields or the prison camp of S 21 and laughed at what he saw there What kind of a maniac I wonder needs a sign to tell him not to smile at all of that horror and atrocity

    Original URL path: http://www.litro.co.uk/2015/08/please-do-not-walk-through-the-mass-grave/ (2016-02-15)
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  • Michael J Teasdale, Author at Litro Magazine
    Michael Teasdale is an English writer originally from Newcastle upon Tyne He has enjoyed spells living in Sweden Vietnam and China and currently lives in Ko Samui where he collects cats He has previously written for Novel Magazine in the UK and blogs and writes at shoeboxofstories com Website Twitter Facebook Contact Us General 44 0 20 3371 9971 info litro co uk Sales Advertising enquiries 44 0 20 3371 9971 Email Sales Magazine Editorial editor litro co uk All Online Editorial online litro co uk Book Reviews Author Interviews reviews litro co uk Film Arts Editorial arts litro co uk Litro Lab Podcast litrolab litro co uk LitroTV litrotv litro co uk Litro Listings listings litro co uk Subscribe Stockists Submissions Advertising Our Team About Litro Litro Magazine is a free short stories and creative arts magazine in print and online Providing a place for readers writers and the broader creative community to discuss various aspects of literature arts and culture through features reviews non themed fiction interviews columns and more Perfect reading for those with busy lives When the first issue of Litro was published in April 2005 the main free paper for commuters and city dwellers was the morning Metro Since then many tabloid style free sheets have joined the field like the Metro these can be skim read and quickly discarded Litro is different our central aim has always been to provide commuters and city dwellers with an inspiring thought provoking alternative that takes you places you don t normally think about when travelling around the city We believe literary magazines should not just be targeted at writers themselves or even those with a particular interest in literature instead Litro believes in reaching the general reader whether they be a commuter someone browsing in a bookshop

    Original URL path: http://www.litro.co.uk/author/michaeljteasdale/ (2016-02-15)
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  • Like Nacky Sacky
    for untidy without ever entering the freeway of my speech The phrase was so ubiquitous in our home that I took it to be widely used outside our home too but as time passed I sensed the puzzlement of my friends should they be in earshot when they stepped mud in to our house on the rainy days of summer It has been said in our family that a book could be written about the expressions or what my mother would call the sayings that she used and seemed unique to her or at least unique to her time and her upbringing I recall a morning from my early schooldays when she was attempting to direct me in a change of clothes from pyjamas to school uniform This was not a plan I was all that interested in Time was against her and the stress was starting to mount Exasperated she snapped Its like the agony in the garden getting you to school I helpfully revealed to her that we weren t in a garden we were in my bedroom and I asked her what she meant Her irritation melted and an embarrassed laugh followed I shouldn t really say it it s out of the holy bible Its one of the stages of the cross when Our Lord was crucified Sensing an expository mood I took the opportunity to have another great mystery revealed And Mammy what does nacky sacky mean Nacky sacky she asked She turned down the corners of her lips opened her eyes to the full and gently shook her head I don t know I never heard that before You re always saying it Ma its like nacky sacky in here She smiled and a puff of amusement escaped her nostrils You mean Nagasaki Ah I shouldn t say that either It was from the war My own Mammy used to say it I ll tell you when you re older My mother was one of 10 kids the eldest born in 1934 the youngest in 1947 They ran like a flourish up the musical stave a perfect sequence of notes A kid each year bar the silent beats of 42 to 44 when her father enlisted in the army He returned home having been medically discharged in 1944 resumed family life and continued expanding his family As summer turned to autumn in 1945 my grandmother was again with child A little girl a little boy and a fat man all fell to earth that August That little girl was my mother The little boy and the fat man were the codenames for the atomic bombs that ended the lives of 200 000 people at Hiroshima and Nagasaki About Neil Walsh Neil Walsh has been described by his daughter as sometimes looking like the grumpy tropical fish that lives in the tank with the cave in the pet shop where she bought four goldfish three of whom are still alive He usually denies being a

    Original URL path: http://www.litro.co.uk/2015/08/like-nacky-sacky/ (2016-02-15)
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  • Neil Walsh, Author at Litro Magazine
    by his daughter as sometimes looking like the grumpy tropical fish that lives in the tank with the cave in the pet shop where she bought four goldfish three of whom are still alive He usually denies being a Communist He has written things and sometimes been patted on the back for this Aspires to play the lead role in an aftershave commercial some day Website Twitter Facebook Contact Us General 44 0 20 3371 9971 info litro co uk Sales Advertising enquiries 44 0 20 3371 9971 Email Sales Magazine Editorial editor litro co uk All Online Editorial online litro co uk Book Reviews Author Interviews reviews litro co uk Film Arts Editorial arts litro co uk Litro Lab Podcast litrolab litro co uk LitroTV litrotv litro co uk Litro Listings listings litro co uk Subscribe Stockists Submissions Advertising Our Team About Litro Litro Magazine is a free short stories and creative arts magazine in print and online Providing a place for readers writers and the broader creative community to discuss various aspects of literature arts and culture through features reviews non themed fiction interviews columns and more Perfect reading for those with busy lives When the first issue of Litro was published in April 2005 the main free paper for commuters and city dwellers was the morning Metro Since then many tabloid style free sheets have joined the field like the Metro these can be skim read and quickly discarded Litro is different our central aim has always been to provide commuters and city dwellers with an inspiring thought provoking alternative that takes you places you don t normally think about when travelling around the city We believe literary magazines should not just be targeted at writers themselves or even those with a particular interest in literature instead

    Original URL path: http://www.litro.co.uk/author/neil-walsh/ (2016-02-15)
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  • Bangkok or Bust
    green orb to my breast I sucked its contents through a straw feeling its salty sweet blood mingle with mine Ahhhhh A man lay asleep under a tree his face scarred from bleach Across from him a child made happy noises All was well I asked Paul why no one seemed to care much about road safety or poverty We were in a cab the back window view entirely blocked by stuffed toys You have to remember there s a strong belief in reincarnation here Most Thais think I ve had a good life and if I die I die And they re generally happy go lucky Could that be true Earlier I d had an exhilarating ride on the back of his scooter clinging on for dear life I still can t work out how the Thai girls manage it side saddle must be something they learn from birth like learning to bend their hands backwards Day four we visited The Golden Buddha the world s largest solid gold statue which for years was covered in plaster before some klutz dropped it revealing the jackpot beneath We d had to run across a walkway of sun soaked rubber to get to it singing the bottoms of our feet in the process As the cool marble soothing our soles Buddha smiled at us laughing a little perhaps Thais have asbestos feet said Paul later As we were in the vicinity we went shopping in Sampeng Lane I bought two presents for my baby niece a painted crane and a vest advertising Chang beer I think she liked them Later on we compared heat rashes Mine was worse than K s and I d been slapping on the hydrocortisone Nah what you need is cooling powder said Dan Dan was Kaylene s brother and lived in Thailand in the South so he should know He d also recommended a potent green salve for mosquito bites that almost burnt a hole in the back of my knee I think it s not meant for soft tissue Dan said as I yelped Dan and his girlfriend Nong would be travelling with us for the next leg of our hols First stop was Korat and Phimai Phimai is an Angkor Watt style temple complex a city bombed by time through which we wandered reverend as spirits especially me who d been applying the Factor 50 like my life depended on it You are Phi of Phimai said Nong meaning Ghost of Phimai Earlier on Dan had picked a ylang ylang flower and handed it to me I d gazed down at its five marble petals spiralling to white in my palm It was like I d never seen a flower before Day seven was Kao Yai a place full of macaques elephants and supersized vines I never realised the jungle was so loud Worse than a construction site with its buzz saw cicadas and ripping screeches and the occasional mysterious timber crashings that cause

    Original URL path: http://www.litro.co.uk/2015/07/bangkok-or-bust/ (2016-02-15)
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  • #EssaySaturday Archives - Litro Magazine
    is a suspicious amount of duct tape wrapped around the wing of the little Cessna There is no door just a gaping hole in the side of the plane But at least I have a parachute Right left arch Read more EssaySaturday This tag is associated with 5 posts Litro TV Recent Posts Bringing Up Baby In the Night Time Before the Sun Rises at the Gate Theatre True Love in Los Angeles A R BY ANY OTHER NAME The Echo Travelling in Fiji The Litro Blog View Archive 11th February 2016 Litro 149 The Love issue Letter from the Editor By Eric Akoto Love we spend our lives craving it in one form or another searching for it and talking about it Its meaning is felt more than it is clearly expressed Some call it the greatest virtue Continue reading 9th December 2015 Litro 148 The Going Home issue Letter from the Editor By Eric Akoto This month in Litro 148 we explore the notion of what Going Home means to us Is it a familiar physical space A refuge A feeling A state of mind Or is home actually to be found in another human being maybe your partner your parents How do you know when you have found it Continue reading Contact Us General 44 0 20 3371 9971 info litro co uk Sales Advertising enquiries 44 0 20 3371 9971 Email Sales Magazine Editorial editor litro co uk All Online Editorial online litro co uk Book Reviews Author Interviews reviews litro co uk Film Arts Editorial arts litro co uk Litro Lab Podcast litrolab litro co uk LitroTV litrotv litro co uk Litro Listings listings litro co uk Subscribe Stockists Submissions Advertising Our Team About Litro Litro Magazine is a free short stories and creative arts

    Original URL path: http://www.litro.co.uk/tag/essaysaturday/ (2016-02-15)
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  • Fiji Archives - Litro Magazine
    2016 Litro 149 The Love issue Letter from the Editor By Eric Akoto Love we spend our lives craving it in one form or another searching for it and talking about it Its meaning is felt more than it is clearly expressed Some call it the greatest virtue Continue reading 9th December 2015 Litro 148 The Going Home issue Letter from the Editor By Eric Akoto This month in Litro 148 we explore the notion of what Going Home means to us Is it a familiar physical space A refuge A feeling A state of mind Or is home actually to be found in another human being maybe your partner your parents How do you know when you have found it Continue reading Contact Us General 44 0 20 3371 9971 info litro co uk Sales Advertising enquiries 44 0 20 3371 9971 Email Sales Magazine Editorial editor litro co uk All Online Editorial online litro co uk Book Reviews Author Interviews reviews litro co uk Film Arts Editorial arts litro co uk Litro Lab Podcast litrolab litro co uk LitroTV litrotv litro co uk Litro Listings listings litro co uk Subscribe Stockists Submissions Advertising Our Team About Litro Litro Magazine is a free short stories and creative arts magazine in print and online Providing a place for readers writers and the broader creative community to discuss various aspects of literature arts and culture through features reviews non themed fiction interviews columns and more Perfect reading for those with busy lives When the first issue of Litro was published in April 2005 the main free paper for commuters and city dwellers was the morning Metro Since then many tabloid style free sheets have joined the field like the Metro these can be skim read and quickly discarded Litro is different

    Original URL path: http://www.litro.co.uk/tag/fiji/ (2016-02-15)
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