‘The Button’, Chapter 1. A book by Katherine M Waters

Charlotte was on a school history trip in Warszawa,  she wasn’t in Warsaw, she was in Warszawa.  As she’d explained to Ellie it was always cooler to use the local name. “It separates the travellers from the tourists. No one says I’m going to Florence,  we all say we’re off to Firenze. Its like, when we get back to school,  don’t say Urg Autzwitz was gross, say the most disturbing visit was to Oswenciem, it makes you sound so much more sophisticated”. Anyway, Ellie hadn’t ‘got it’, it was their last day and she’d chosen to sit in a juice bar in the Old Town with Tanya, rather than visit the Getto with Miss Fijalkowski. So Charlotte was standing in an old prison cell, in Pawiak Prison Museum, what had been the ghetto prison. Josh, Sam and Amy Tyler had all been there a minute ago with Miss, until Sam pointed out that the majority of the first prisoners were teachers. “Why did that happen miss?” “They wanted to get rid of all the intelligentsia,  so that no one would question what came next” “Sick”. “It’s not sick, idiot”, Charlotte said it’s terrible.  “Well this place is boring, there’s nothing to see”, “oh, I think it’s great,  it’s less touristy than the others, more, authentic.” With that Charlotte had pointed to the objects on the table. Everyone left the cell but she carried on looking at the table.  This museum was different from the others,  it was quieter, the objects were not behind glass and there were no cameras. Bending forward she reached over and picked up a little button,  she knew she was alone, she put it in her pocket and walked out to follow the others.

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