Comic 30 - Chapter 5 - 1

2nd Feb 2021, 8:13 AM in Chapter 5: Then fall together

Up. Down. Up. Down. The hoe is blunt, and the ground is hard. The boy's sweat is cold under the pale morning sun, his body shaking with effort, yet he's falling more and more behind the others. He stops to wipe his brow and is hit viciously from behind.

"Move faster! I don't want to do your share of the work!"

He doesn't dare turn. He just nods and swings the hoe again. Where is he? What's he doing there? Who is he? He can't remember.

Then he's in an endless warehouse, dusting and reshelving unlabeled boxes, from floor level to high above his head and back again. It stinks of chemicals. His eyes hurt, his lungs hurt; he stops to cough and a mocking voice sneers in his ear.

"You're not going to die from it! Go on, we don't have all day!"

He nods and stumbles on, balancing a stack of heavy boxes in his arms, trying to ignore the pain in his spine. What's the point? What's all this for?

At noon they're allowed in a painfully hot kitchen, but only to peel flaccid potatoes with blunt knives. There aren't enough knives to go around, and those who didn't get one are blamed for it. Who is this for? They're never allowed in the dining room proper, but as they're led away he sees faceless people in drab uniforms filing in.

In the evening, they shuffle construction materials around between two wooden shacks. The boy's arms quickly cover in scrapes and cuts, but there's no water. The setting sun sees him unloading shingles from a truck. His knees are wobbling, but he can't afford to drop one. It all goes on long into the night.

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