Today I’m publishing a new story, In A Hot Place, on this website. You can download it here. The story is also published in a new book aimed at teenagers and in today’s Morning Star. ‘In A Hot Place’ is just 1500 words long and its inspiration is obvious. That said, the piece is not specifically about a particular secret prison, or one country’s involvement in illegal rendition. The narrator’s gender is open. It is pertinent to many stories in the news this week. I hope that, very soon, it will feel like a period piece.
I wrote In ‘A Hot Place’ in December of last year. I owed the editor, who was in a hurry, and I didn’t have an idea. I opened the paper, looking for a subject. There was the story of the fifteen year old tortured at Guantanamo Bay, the base that the USA illegally occupies in Cuba. I was about to visit this beautiful country for a second time and the article made me both angry and sad. I wrote the first draft within an hour. It includes one line taken verbatim from the news report, where a doctor was quoted. On the day that Barack Obama announced that he was going to close the base in Cuba, I read the story to an adult audience (see below) and realised that I wanted ‘In A Hot Place’ to reach as many people as possible. I’d like people to read it while it’s fresh, snatched from the headlines. I’d welcome its use in schools. So I told the publisher that I’d decided to make the story copyright free. I’ve asked them to donate my fee to Amnesty International.
You are welcome to republish ‘In A Hot Place’. Please link to it, put it in your blog, make copies for use in schools or distribute it in any way you choose. I only ask that you cite my authorship, do not change my words and suggest that, if you are publishing it in any commercial way, you might wish to make a donation to Amnesty International.