Mark Benjamin commented on a post on Blogger.
GLASSHOUSE

"Come on children," Ms. Blackwater, the class' History teacher said, urging them to follow her down the Museum of Historical Artifacts.

Sylvester was excited. He'd been waiting for this part of the field trip for close to six months, an absolutely trying time for an eleven year old. He bounced along to the front of the line, shoving his little-for-his-age body past his classmates, and almost bumped into Ms. Blackwater.

Turning back to see whether her pupils were all accounted for, Ms. Blackwater continued. "We are about to enter the Glasshouse Floor, where we shall take a look at some of mankind's most horrible criminals, spanning hundreds and hundreds of years."

Most boys in the group chattered eagerly whilst the girls moaned. "What do girls know anyway?" Sylvester thought, rubbing his hands gleefully. "THIS is the best part of the entire trip!"

"Who can tel me what Glasshouse means?" Ms. Blackwater asked, her eyes roaming over them. "Yes, Sylvester?" She asked with a knowing smile.

"Glasshouse was an informal term used centuries ago to mean prison." That was easy, he thought. He was after all, a history aficionado.

"Excellent, Sylvester! That's absolutely spot-on!" Ms. Blackwater said with a nod in his direction before turning and walking into the large hall as she explained. "Hundreds of years ago, mankind had an evil streak in them. To deter people from doing horrible things, the Government set up special places called prisons, where the worst were locked in cells until they died, to keep the rest of the people safe and sound." She paused at the first exhibition and pointed to a lady, lying on her side, hugging herself.

Sylvester looked up at the exhibition and thought on how it looked like someone had dipped her in tin and laid her out, almost prettily.

"This evil woman, Lilian Tufor, killed her entire family and three police who had come to arrest her," Ms. Blackwater summarised the plaque that was next to the murderous tin lady. "As you see, the entire hall is full of thousands of these exhibitions and we can not see them all even if we were here all year."

A loud groan came from Sylvester's fellow male students, his being the loudest, whilst the girls were already turning round to head out, giggling.

"Now, now, before we leave, I shall take one question," Ms. Blackwater said, saving them a few more minutes in the Glasshouse Floor.

"What are all the green lights at the bottom of each exhibition for?" Jackie, a spectacles-wearing, all round busybody if you asked Sylvester, asked. He knew the answer and raised his arm.

Ms. Blackwater answered instead. "The criminals are still alive, and the metal-like coating, as well as the technology in place, helps keep them from ageing and falling sick. These criminals are so terrible, that they are kept alive for all eternity. The machinery gives them a constant and painful electrical shock for all time in the name of justice."

The class nodded, in agreement with the punishment. As they turned to leave, Sylvester looked down the entire floor, one so long he couldn't even see the end of it. Suddenly, the lights on all the exhibitions started turning from green to red, one by one, in rapid succession.

His eyes wide, Sylvester turned around to find the rest of his group had already walked away. He knew what the red light meant. Turning to look at the tin lady, he saw that the red light on her exhibition was already on. But that wasn't what frightened him the most.

The tin lady, Lilian Tufor, was no longer in her glasshouse.
Shared publiclyView activity