TITLE: The Devil's Kaleidoscope
GENRE: YA Historical Fiction
The military policeman raises his rifle to his chest and pushes us toward the low wooden jail door at the back of the police station. “Bedros Andonian!” He yells Father’s name through a small, square window with iron bars beside the door. A thick smell of human waste surrounds me, like that gendarme poured it straight out of a bucket onto the dirt floor.
I peer through the bars, trying to distinguish Father from all the other Armenian men crammed together in the dark cell, some stooping under the low wooden beams of the ceiling. I can’t find him, even though I’m standing on my toes to get a clear view since this window is nowhere near eye-level for 13-year-old boys.
“Stinky.” Garo twists his head around and buries his nose in my shirt, still clutching his toy boat, as I hold him up near the bars. Father’s probably been choking on the stench for hours, but we rushed over as soon as we heard the military police took him.
People shift positions inside as the gendarme takes up his post behind us. He reeks of rotten meat, or maybe that’s the jail. I clamp my mouth shut to keep from gagging. A glob of spit sticks to his scraggly beard. Half of his teeth are missing. Turkish gendarmes always look scary, but this one looks deranged. He’s the one to lock up.