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Mysterious justice. Daily story · 13 September, 2013
  • We were walking along the rock-toothed jaw of Elmina Castle, the oldest European building in sub-Saharan Africa and one of Ghana's last vestiges of the Portuguese and Dutch slave trades. Two ancient cannons pointed out toward the distant point where the thick, churning blue of the ocean met the vapid blue of the sky.

    "Jake, I tell you, these cannons, they are like, like the penis! The penis of the castle!" The Major's eyes shone black between heavy lids.
    "Ahh, tch-tch, don't you listen to him, Jake. For if the castle is the man, then woman is the ocean, and I tell you, the ocean would swallow the cannons and their shootings like nothing!" She snapped her fingers on the first syllable of 'nothing,' sending soft tremors up her kente-cloth gown.

    We rejoined the tour group and began the ascent towards the commander's quarters, high above the windowless cells where slaves were held until being sent off to South America or Europe. One of the young Ghanaian boys in the group tugged free of his mother's hand and leaned over the edge of the castle toward the beach, thrusting his finger at a basketball hoop that jutted up from the sand, its hoop less than a meter from the ground.

    The tour guide, a young woman wearing a broad sunhat, coughed uncomfortably. "There were some who thought we should try to... disarm the castle of its past, and make this a positive place for Ghana, instead of a painful place to remember. They tried several times to lay in athletic facilities on the grounds, but each time the dunes shifted to cover them." The adults nodded at the mysterious justice, but the child had not yet torn his eyes away from the ghost of a basketball court.
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