The thought of sunny days and afternoons lounging in my backyard by the pool were a distant memory now. A pool? I shook my head. Now it seems like something the rich people on the outside would say. I had no idea how good I had it. Now it looked as if there were a permanent grey cast over the sky. Everything was dark, everything was gloomy. A friend of mine used to say she got depression when the weather was bad or if they sun wasn’t out. Now I wonder if our depression caused the sun not to shine. If God didn’t want to lead us on with false hopes of a better tomorrow. Showing us mercy by keeping the sun at bay.
I walked over to the fence incasing us all and looked up. Hoping for a minute I’d see some opportunity of escape that I hadn’t noticed the past two months I had been here. Same as before, a chain link fence 50 feet high with barbed wire pointing in at me. There’s no way anyone could make it out of here. I saw a guy try to escape two days ago. He was probably 23 years old, you could tell he had been locked up before. Not in the camps but in jails back when they had existed. He had all the jailhouse style tattoos and he had been questioning authority since day one. He made it about twenty feet up, only because the guards let him for their own entertainment. They probably saw it as a game. In fact, I think after he fell I saw one give the other a one-hundred dollar bill so they were obviously betting. I’m glad they find our impending doom so amusing. He screamed in agony, his leg was bent in the opposite direction and his bones were poking through his skin. I looked at the guards, a heavy set female officer shook her head. She saw me. She looked right at me then her eyes darted to the ground. I thought that was strange… the guards had been in government captivity since they were young, brainwashed with videos of violence, not allowed to view anything that showed any human emotion besides greed, anger, violence and envy. They were all sociopaths without a conscious. It seemed as if this woman looked at me with concern… or maybe not. Maybe it was all in my head.
A male guard grabbed the rifle off his back. In less than two seconds the guy had a bullet in his head. That’s how quick it takes a guard to aim down their sites and shoot you. Two seconds. The guards laughed then walked back inside to their quarters. They had left the body for all of us to see. Even this morning it was still there for a few hours, before the janitors dragged it away due to the smell. Well that’s what we call them at least. They were the lower rank governmental officials from before. The ones that wanted change, but they were as oblivious as us about what was happening. They thought the rapid increase of government control was due to the economic decline.
Now they are well aware. They are forced to clear out dead bodies and throw them in these giant plastic coffins. About three or four bodies can be stacked on top of each other before it is considered full. Then they are transported by trains to the dump sites. Their bodies are disposed of like trash. The janitors also clean the government quarters. They shine the desks, mop, vacuum, serve them their food and have other duties relative to that nature. Our area gets no cleaning besides body disposal. The janitors that would not obey were locked up in cells that are located in the main building. They are beaten and tortured until they die or until they follow the orders given by the higher-ups.
“Don’t even think about it Alice.” My train of thought ended abruptly. It was Hameed. Hameed was an older Muslim man that was located in my section. We became quick friends bonding over our interest in card games. Even though we don’t get much here as far as necessities go, they have some old books in the shelters, decks of playing cards and board games. Which I find to be odd, but nevertheless it makes living here a little easier. Not that it’s easy by any means. “I wasn’t.” I said. “I was just thinking…” “What about?” I shrugged. “Nothing in particular.” I didn’t want to talk about my desperation for escape and how by the end of today I would probably be dead like the others. About what I was hiding. Everyone felt as I did, nobody wanted to be like the others. The people who constantly sobbed and screamed about how this isn’t right. This can’t be happening. About how they don’t want to die. It just wears on everyone who is trying to be strong. The people who are trying to deal with this situation. “Look what I have.” Hameed reached into his pocket and handed me a wrinkled bag of beef jerky. A smile crossed my face. “How the fuck did you get this?” “Ron…I won it from Ron in a poker game.” Hameed pointed to Ron, who was leaning against the building. He was a heavier set man with a big mouth and an even bigger temper. Ron made eye contact with me then looked to Hameed who was still pointing toward him. He flipped us both off.
I grabbed a small piece of jerky and popped in my mouth. “I’m surprised he actually gave it to you after you won.” He shrugged, “He may be a prick but he’s not a cheat.” The jerky tasted like steak compared to the shit we’ve been served here. Hameed snatched the bag back from me. “I have to save some for Aila.” Aila is Hameed’s daughter, she’s about seven years old. They are lucky they were placed in the same camp. “Sorry.” I said. I brushed my fingers through my hair and sighed when they got caught in a knot. “Ya know a shower would be nice every now and then. My hair is turning to dreads.” Hameed laughed, “You women are all the same! Do you see where we are?! And your complaining about a shower?” I shrugged, “Well I’m gonna die here anyways I’d at least like to be clean.” Hameed was silent. I regretted what I had said immediately after the words escaped my mouth. We were both trying to pretend this wasn’t happening. We were both strong minded individuals who used to stand up for our rights and what we had believed in. Now it was impossible, if we were to fight back we would die. I know I will die here anyways but I would like to try and live as long as possible for the slight chance of being released. Swallowing our pride was almost as impossible, but our will to live was stronger. You can’t act out of emotion here, you have to use your head and think things through. Otherwise you don’t stand a chance.
The loud drone of the horn interrupted our grim thoughts. This was it. I had no time to think. We stood at attention waiting for the guards. One by one they filed out the door. Each step in completely in sync with one another. My eyes looked to the female guard I had seen earlier. Her eyes focused on the back of another guards head. Emotionless. I was wrong. The horn stopped. I looked around hundreds of prisoners standing straight. Even the children. Hameed had sweat beading down his face. He was fumbling to tuck the Jerky out of sight. One of the guards slightly turned his head and he stopped immediately. I glared at Hameed and in return he rolled his eyes.
One of the guards we had appropriately dubbed “Reaper” Took a step forward. “Well as you know
Today is the first of a new month.” His voice was deep and intimidating. “We have no room for the weak, no room for the old, and no room for the useless. A new shipment is coming in from the east and we must avoid over-population. Those who have succeeded in their environment, proving to be an essential component to the New World Order will be transferred to a new camp toward the west. These camps have better opportunities for stong minds and will help you to grow and mold to your full potential!”
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