<Where is it? You! WHERE IS IT?>
Screaming in Japanese, the guard did a foxtrot of fury in front of the Australian prisoners. Half-starved and three-quarters worked to death, each still managed a smirk, an expression of amused and insolent cheek that only intensified the ridiculous little tyrant’s rage-dance.
<WHERE DID MY MOTORCYCLE GO?>
Stretch finally spoke up in his broad Queensland drawl, “Well we didn’t bloody take it did we? We’ve been building your bloody railway bridges all bloody day haven’t we?”
Behind the laughing Aussies, hidden deep in the foundations of the bridge, mortar hardened around the entombed bike.
Word count 100
A slightly more personal story for the Friday Fictioneers today, as this is a dramatization/fictionalisation of a story my grandfather told me decades ago when he was talking about his time as a Prisoner of War of the Japanese at Changi in Singapore during WWII*. The essential elements of the story are true – a Japanese guard was distracted (possibly sleeping), and whilst distracted the Australian and British POW’s stole his bike and ‘integrated it’ into the structure they were working on as a little revenge against their captors. I can’t strictly remember if it was railway bridge or an something else (an aircraft runway?)… thus the ‘fictionalisation’ aspect to this tale. (Also my Grandfather was never called Stretch).
I suppose what I really wanted to get across here was the much lauded sense of defiance of authority through humour that forms such a central part of Australian’s national pride. The ‘Larrikin’ spirit you might say. (Perhaps an odd choice as, as my Grandfather was a Brit…).
You can find the rest of the Friday Fictioneer stories prompted by this photo here.
Let me know what you think.
*WWII has been in the back of my mind, as I recently finished reading the graphic novel ‘Maus’ by Art Spielgeman – a harrowing comic that is part an exploration of the horrors of the Holocaust, and part exploration of the difficult relationship between the cartoonist and his father, a survivor of Auschwitz. I did a book review of Maus yesterday (link here).