THE STRIPEY

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic

A modern day Concentration Camp victim escapes.

The Stripey

 

He was standing at the entrance to his house when he first saw her, a blob of fluorescent orange against the grey and green landscape. He was looking across his ten acre plot, down the slope towards the valley bottom where a stream hurried along, bubbling over and around the boulders and slate. She must have come over the ridge and descended through the Forestry Commission conifers that grew thickly on the far side. The blob was crouched over the stream, drinking, when suddenly it sat down and then keeled over, half in and half out the water, and lay still.  He went back into his house, put on his boots and his fleece jacket and started down the tufted grass slope to investigate.

He had been a right of centre tabloid journalist when, after years in the political wilderness, the National Party swept to power and snapped him up. Now his writing always supported the party line and his employers were not ungenerous. He had a prefabricated replica of a single storey Long House with a roof that, from a distance, looked almost like genuine slate. The effect was slightly marred by the solar panels and the satellite dish mounted on it. It was in a lovely spot in the Borders if you accepted that Camp 5, on the other side of the ridge with its harsh lights, fences and watchtowers, was out of site and out of mind. Officially for re-education he knew that Number 5 was designated a 204 camp and the slogan that appeared over the main gate, “RE-EDUCATION THROUGH HONEST TOIL”, didn’t, in this case, really apply. Some of the camps provided labour gangs that were seen about in their distinctive clothing carrying out manual tasks. People had adjusted to the new reality and would look away or cross the street. However, the only way anyone came out of a 204 camp was as fertilizer.

As he got closer he could see that the blob was a young girl, olive skinned, with dark hair so closely cropped that she was almost bald. She was wearing thin orange button front coveralls with black vertical stripes and cheap black plimsolls. A “Stripey”. She must have jumped from one of the transports and fought her way over the ridge. He wondered if they had missed her. “Almost certainly” was the answer. She was semi-conscious and he picked her up and supported her as they started up the slope to his house. She smelt appalling, a mixture of dirt, sweat and the miasma that comes with an ailing body. Once in his house he took her to his bathroom and ran a warm bath. She protested weakly as he stripped off her plimsolls and filthy coveralls. He eased her into the water and washed her like a baby. She was thin to the point of emaciation and covered in bruises and burns from the “Tickler” cattle prods that the guards used to urge their charges to greater efforts. Afterwards he wrapped her in his spare duvet and spoon fed her Pea and Ham soup from a tin he had heated. He put her coveralls and plimsolls into his washer/dryer and when he came back she had fallen asleep on his leather sofa. He stood and looked at her for a long time.

They were quite polite when they came for her the next morning, thanking him for his cooperation. He had phoned them while she slept. He watched stony faced as they dragged her over to their Unimog transport but his eyes were wet. He felt sorry for the girl but he was a Party Member and, under the National Party, self-preservation was everything.

The End

 


Submitted: May 07, 2012

© Copyright 2021 Mart31. All rights reserved.

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Comments

KatzieWhatziz

I didn't know there are still victims of concentration camps which is very sad :( I always learn something new in Booksie which is great. I love this story and the title is soo clever. I got my title Meat Puppets from a unknown band. Goo titles are very hard to think of isn't it?
This is wonderful.

Mon, May 7th, 2012 12:53pm

Mart31

Thanks for your comments. Let me reassure you that there are no Concentration Camps - its all in my imagination. The story takes place about 10 years from now in a country where a Nazi style party has come to power. I had some fun with it making the designation of the camp 204 which is Hitlers birthday (20th April and the sign over the gate is as close as I could get to "Work Makes Free" which was over the gates of the Nazi camps. "Ticklers" were invented by Robert Heinlein in his Sci Fi novel Farnhams Freehold. I cant claim any credit for the word "Stripey". It was used by British prisoners in the 2nd world war to describe the inmates of the concentration camps - because of their striped uniforms.

Mon, May 7th, 2012 7:27pm

KatzieWhatziz

Oh i see. BTW if you want to reply to a person's comments. Just go to ''comments'' which you can see next to your ''portfolio'' . Click on comments and then you see someone's comment just click on ''reply'' and you'll know the rest :)

Wed, May 9th, 2012 5:44pm

Author
Reply

OK thanks

Wed, May 9th, 2012 11:08am

Insane Membrane

ahh but isn't it ? self preservation I mean . I enjoyed the twist I was expecting an escape or sex not the betrayal

Thu, August 30th, 2012 5:10pm

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