There was artificial thunder this morning, when we were digging the trenches close to the second perimeter fence, with machine guns facing us as we work.
The official camp noticeboard says they’re “for our own protection”.
I swear if there’s a phrase – in any language – I would NEVER want to hear again it’s “for your own protection”, or “for your own good”.
Above all else: survive.
The second perimeter fence is twice as high as the older one. I can’t see where the entrance/exit is, but I’m sure it’s somewhere close to the “official” one: the paved drive/walkway where “they” come in.
We come in through a tunnel and that, ironically, keeps us safe when the sudden bombardments happen.
* * *
They look like birds: the bombers. According to the rules of the Camp, the correct term is “enemy planes” but anyone fighting “them” is my friend.
They come in low: the bombers. Silently: until they’re close enough to do some damage, and then they wail.
Like I wailed when I was arrested. Like my friends wailed when they were bayoneted and left to bleed to death in the streets.
“Hey look! Ha! I’m a surgeon now! AAAAA-”
My best friend tried to put his duodenum back together with his hands. Died in mid-screech, like a hysterical pig falling off a cliff.
They have funny faces painted on them: the bombers. At least: they would be funny if they weren’t doing what they’re doing right now: framed by the rising sun. Wailing. And dropping things.
And since I’m in a new section of the trench it means I can’t get to cover in time. One moment there’s wailing: the next…
I dive onto the ground: land on my stomach and put my hands over my head. The ground shakes. Now I’m in the air with soil in my mouth.
I don’t think I’ve ever moved this fast outside a vehicle or aircraft. Inevitably: I stop.
My back collides with the mesh-work that makes up the fence. I’m stuck to its barbs: several feet above the ground. With limbs thrashing and thoughts melting from my head. Eyelids frozen open. The world around me gone: to leave those magnificent streams of blue light coming from me like whips of lightning.
Above all else: survive.
When there is no feeling left in my husk of a body, the fence loosens its grip.
The soil is completely ejected from my mouth when I land on the ground again and my lungs have finally given up.
With my final ounce of strength I roll onto my back, and look up at the yellowish-purple sky.
- NEXT CHAPTER -F