The Amazon Breakthrough Awards, 2014
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With pearls of perspiration trickling down his face, Ravuth could feel his heart beating wildly. He covers his mouth, hoping that they can’t hear his laboured breathing. Motionless, he prays that the Khmer Rouge won’t be able to see him crouching behind the thickets of prickly ash.
“I’m sure I heard something,” said one young Khmer Rouge soldier, standing at the jungles edge.
“Go further in and take a look then,” said the other teenager.
The boy nervously points his rifle into the jungle. The other smiles, wipes his red checked krama across his face and growls.
“You imagined it. It’s dark in there and too hot to be chasing around for nothing.”
The boy looks into the ominous jungle. Slinging the AK47 over his shoulder, he turns around and walks back to the village mumbling, with his comrade walking behind him sniggering.
Relief floods over Ravuth as he watches the pair going toward the village. The shocking events of the past few hours now took its toll. Slumping onto moist vegetation, he weeps. Being unable to understand how these teenage thugs, who appear of same age as him, could have caused so much carnage and why? He ponders, ‘Who are the Khmer Rouge, and where are they taking my family and the other villagers?’
Fearing for his family, Ravuth knows that he must find some way to rescue them. It’s twilight when he emerges from the hot, humid, jungle. He hasn’t seen or heard anything for hours, so assumes that the human nightmares have gone, along with their prisoners.
Ravuth walks into the village. The old wooden homesteads are now just smouldering embers. The stench in the air makes him gag as he goes over to the charred remains of Dara and the slaughtered old folk
Enjoy this great novel, along with the other books by Robert A Webster
About the author - Originally from Cleethorpes, a seaside town on the east coast of the United Kingdom. Robert A Webster now lives in the southern Cambodian coastal town of Sihanoukville. Robert has written and published seven books and produced six audio books; with a screenplay based on Siam Storm.
To connect with Robert