The storm ended: one of the Guards out with our work detail suffocated in his turret.
Death lives in this Village: but when a Guard dies...in such a stupid way...questions are asked. Inspections are carried out at every level. The Camp Commandant has to answer for the loss of a Beloved Citizen: and nothing’s more dangerous than an embarrassed man in his position.
Everyone is on edge, and I can’t stop laughing.
The good news is that we – the prisoners – are to remain in our dormitory and not work for a few days.
The Guards will be out there instead: clearing the mountains of dust accumulated next to every structure.
Rumour has it the dirt-piles are so high a person could hop on top of a post and escape without being electrocuted.
Speaking of which: they probably used the dead Guard’s body to test the fence. Maybe the machine guns, too. My sentence has been deferred.
It’s hilarious. I should sleep now.
* * *
Today’s assignment: dig some holes. Same as yesterday’s and the day before that.
Above all else: survive.
“I’ll be damned if we don’t meet today’s quota,” the Chief Overseer says as we begin our work.
We aren’t digging the type of hole that worries us. Today we’re digging a trench.
Because, believe it or not, we have to separate our camp from the approaching battlefront.
They’re winning the war. Anyone who says otherwise – in grey uniform or brown – gets a quick improvised mace to the back of the head. No one wastes bullets any more.
They’re winning the war, but the front line keeps getting closer. A year ago it was 100 kilometres away. Now it’s 20. We can hear the fighting. Smell the gas sometimes.
We aren’t relocating the camp because they believe no one would bomb a prison camp – ahem: Reform Village. So we’re the safest people on the planet, according to the Camp Commandant – ahem: Mayor. We must be grateful for everything the Nation has provided.
They say if you take 3 whiffs of the gas you forget where you are for an hour. In this camp an hour lasts a day.
- NEXT CHAPTER -E