Friday, October 16, 2009


Just found this lying somewhere on my computer...

He woke up with a start.

It was just Ivan snoring loudly. It was not yet morning. Thank God. How he hated the mornings. He looked at the sky outside the barred windows. There was a red glow in the sky. Dawn was but just a few minutes away. He clutched at his blanket tighter, holding it against him. It was cold and the tattered blanket provided him little warmth against the biting cold. He wondered how much longer he would be in this wretched place.

He lay back on the stone floor and looked at the ceiling. He could remember every crack, every spider web on it. He recounted the day when they had come to his farm. It was the same time about now.
“Zhebir . Zhebir, wake up”, she had said. “There’s someone at the door. Who do you think has come at this unearthly hour?”.
“It must be Ivan. He must have …”.
“Open the door. Quick.” came a loud voice from outside.
“Before we break the door.”
There was a resounding crash and the door was in splinters. In entered a lieutenant with seven soldiers behind him. “We have a warrant” he said holding a piece of paper before Zhebir’s face. “Take him away. Do what you have to. I’ll be back in some time”, he said looking at Zhebir’s wife lying naked, who was desperately trying to cover herself with the blanket.
They dragged him outside holding him by his legs and took him to the middle of the field. They tied him so hard that he couldn’t feel his hands anymore. Then the beatings started. They took turns beating him with batons until they got tired of it, all the time accusing him of being a traitor and calling him a terrorist. All the time he could hear ear shattering screams from the cottage. He closed his eyes trying to block it all out. He could hardly stay awake anymore.
Finally the lieutenant came out, a smile on his face.
“Take him to Stavropol”.

They shoved him inside the back of the truck where there were more than thirty people all of them covered in blood, some of whom he thought he could recognize. After what seemed like hours, the truck finally came to a stop. They were lined up outside the iron gates. He remembered having looked up at the imposing prison walls and feeling a sense of dread pass through his very soul.
One by one they entered the prison with both sides of the path flanked by soldiers holding batons.
“Welcome to hell”, he heard the lieutenant say. They were made to strip in the biting cold. And then the beatings started all over again. They beat him on his head, neck, kidneys and testicles until he passed out.
The next day when he woke up, he was sore all over. His body was bruised and swollen . He was sure he had broken a few ribs.He looked around. The room seemed to shrink everyday.
He felt claustrophobic here. How he longed for his warm home. For just one passing moment he could feel the warmth of his wife’s touch on his hand, smell the fresh bacon and hear the pitter-patter of tiny feet running around his house. A tear rolled down his eyes. What had he done to deserve this?

To be continued....