Elijah’s grip on my arm grew stronger, it hurt but I couldn’t let it show. This was time for the brave face, for his sake. Being so young he was oblivious to the evil surrounding us, I wanted to protect his innocence. I knew what lay ahead, although I wish I had Elijah’s innocence, ignorance is bliss.
So many of the same faces with blank expressions surrounded me, trying to find comfort in each other’s eyes, many with a sense of denial. Herded like cattle we followed orders to line up, the queue of my hopeless brothers growing longer.
I thought about my life as the orders followed to undress, overalls covered in mud form the days working filled the tiled floor. We followed on one by one into the room, communal shower we were told. We huddled together, feeling a sense of unity. The door shut, blackness followed.