The sound of a gunshot distracted me. I stood up and pushed the chair backwards. I walked to the window of the wooden barrack and peered outside. Just outside the barrack, was a soldier with his back to me, and his gun pointing toward the floor, at the body of a prisoner. As I stood watching, the soldier slowly returned the gun to its holster, but before he did, he cocked it and shot the body of the prisoner again, before he stepped over it and walked off. I cringed as the corpse jumped up from the impact of the bullet. The sight of the shooting itself bothered me as much as the next guard here. I walked back to my desk and sat comfortably in my wooden chair. I stared blankly at the papers in front of me, endless pages of bullshit. And I was here reading through them all.
“Fucking clerks.” I said aloud, as my hand involuntarily rubbed my forehead in frustration.
The papers were strewn everywhere all over the makeshift desk.
I picked up the papers I was just reading, this woman’s documentation of her time here. I wondered where she’d got the paper in the first place. But then again, I didn’t really care. She was probably dead now.
I realised, that she would never know what happened to her luggage. Their last personal possessions, any reminders of their life, were taken away. Stored in warehouses, or burnt. It didn’t really matter. It was ridiculous thought, that anyone would need their best china or fur lined coats here. But who would’ve known that.
I leaned back in my chair and threw my feet up on the table. The dirt and snow caked to my boots began to melt off which tore and smudged the ink on the paper. I really couldn’t care less. Just a few papers less for me to have to file.
I resolved to take a handful of scraps and work through them as carelessly as I could. I really didn’t think it would make a difference. No one would notice that ill-kept records, made up for no purpose other than to save face in fear of the Red Cross, were improperly filed, if at all. As I started to sort through them, the numbers and words on the pages swam before my eyes. I stared at the words, but I wasn’t actually reading them. I threw them down in boredom and frustration. I placed my elbow on the arm of the chair, and rested my head against my closed fist.
I was tired, I’m always tired. My eyes began to slowly lull shut. Despite all the noise outside, the dogs barking, the sound of feet running through the snow and boots slamming down on wooden planks, I was accustomed to the noise. I heard, but didn’t listen to it, and slowly it faded all out. A wave of calmness slowly distilled over me. Unconsciously, images of this girl began to construct themselves before my eyes. My body stiffened up, and I opened my eyes immediately. All the prisoners look the same. I reminded myself that this girl was now a corpse buried or burnt in a mass graved, covered in lime to speed up their decay. I stared at the pile of papers that had the girls writing in it, and I snatched them up quickly and sat them in my lap. I found my place where I left off almost immediately, and with some debate of my conscience, I decided to read on.