chapter 1 - the arrestAuthor's Note: This is my first attempt at historical fiction. It is about gaining and feeding, but it's set in the Soviet Union during World War II. Please tell me what you think of it so far in the comments or let me know if there is some direction you want me to take it.
Leningrad State University, April 1941
Yana woke to the sound of a fist beating against her dorm room door. She jumped out of bed and looked at the clock on the wall, 2:37 AM. As she reached for the door handle, her hand was shaking with fear. She opened her door. An angry looking NKVD officer stood looking at her. "Yana Petrov?" he asked. She replied "Yes.", her voice cracking with fear.
"Step out to the hallway" he ordered her. Yana stepped into the chilly hall where there were other female students standing against the wall with a junior NKVD officer pointing a rifle at them. The officer asked her, "Where is your roommate?". Yana replied, "I don't know."
The officer holding the rifle motioned for her to stand against the wall. Yana looked at the girls lined up along the wall. There were dozens of them, all students like herself. Some she knew, most she did not. All of them were in their wool pajamas.
The senior NKVD officer walked down the line asking each woman her name and checking it against a list he had on a clipboard. When he finished, he addressed them all:
"You are being arrested for suspicion of Anti-Soviet Agitation, Article 58."
Many of the girls protested this. Yana pleaded with the officer, "This must be a mistake. I am a good Soviet. I was a young pioneer and have always been loyal to the state and to Comrade Stalin." The officer pulled his pistol and pointed it at her saying, "Shut up with your lies and stand against the wall. We know what you are!" Yana stood against the wall as she was told, knowing that the dreaded NKVD would think nothing of shooting them all.
The senior NKVD officer searched Yana's dorm room for a few minutes and then marched them all out of the dorms into the cold night air to a large ZIS-5 lorry waiting at the street. The junior officer ordered all of the women into the back of the lorry. They quickly piled into it, the officer shutting the back of it once they were all in. A moment later they could hear the lorry's engine start, and they felt themselves move forward down the street.
Yana's eyes slowly adjusted to the darkness in the back of the truck. There were enough gaps in the planking on the walls to allow moonlight to shine in. Those same gaps also unfortunately let in the cold. The women all huddled together for warmth in the front. Yana counted them, 27. At the back there was a round hole cut in the floor that was evidently to used as a toilet. Beside it there was a barrel of water. There was nothing else, no food, no blankets, nothing.
For the first couple of hours the women all remained silent, no one speaking a word. Eventually, they started whispering to each other, trying to guess where they were being taken. By now it was obvious they had left the city as they were no longer making regular stops. One of the women said, "They are taking us to Lubyanka". Yana replied, "You don't know that. None of us know that." Another woman called out, "Kolyma then!". Yana again, "None of us know where we are going, there is no point in these guesses. We are good Soviets. When Comrade Stalin learns of this, we will be set free." A third woman replied to her, "Oh, you silly, silly, naive girl."
14 chapters, created 4 years , updated 4 years
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