(This is the conclusion of “The Cultural Works” story. This will be a short post, so that I do not leave the ending out. I will be taking a two-week vacation, as I always do this time of year. More details in my weekly Friday wrap. Kati~)
Not long after it was time to go march back to the camp. Knowing the guard at the gate, he would only ask me what was on my pockets. Each time I told him nails and he would in return motion for me to go in. On this particular day, a high-ranking Russian officer was standing next to the other guard. I walked up like usual and he asked me what I had in my pockets, like all the times before. In Russian, which I had learned much of I replied “nails” (voszik?). As he was about to let me go, the Russian officer said, “aren’t you going to search him?” At this point he had no choice, so he reached in my pockets and started to sweat profusely. Instantly he realized I had lied and then started to turn red in anger. There was nothing else for him to do except remove his hand from my pocket. The biscuit flour had caked his hand in a white powdering covering.
I officer right next to him withdrew his gun from his holster and held it to my head. It happened so long ago but I remember him pausing and looking down at me. I don’t know why he didn’t shoot me right there on the spot. I have thought about it many times, wondering if maybe it was because I was so young or that he had a son my age, I would never know. He put his gun away and slapped me across the face with the back of his hand. I fell to the ground in pain while he stood there cursing at me. I could have been shot for stealing, but instead I was locked up in solitary confinement for one week.