Ed. Note: A page from the lost diary of Simon Kadurka. Kadurka was a musician who the Soviets did not trust. They had recently rolled their tanks into the Czechoslovakian capital rounding up dissidents. Only a few entries survived and were mailed to our offices.
Prague. August 23, 1968.
It is day one and I’m in some kind of cell somewhere in the western part of the city. It’s very hot and the bed is quite firm and uncomfortable. There are rats and cockroaches. Of the two, the rats have the better sense of humor. On the plus side, one of the guards enjoys my guitar playing. I indulge him by playing Bach etudes, and he returns the favor by not electrocuting my genitals.
Prague. August 24, 1968.
The staff here has discovered I am quite handy in the kitchen. My mother was an excellent cook, and I learned several recipes. Oh, the things one can do with paprika. The ingredients would be provided for me as I’ve been told I am to prepare enough for ten cellmates and four guards seven days a week. I asked if I should make enough for the rats and cockroaches. They didn’t appreciate the joke and electrocuted my genitals.
Prague. August 29, 1968.
The guards adore my Houskove Knedliky, and I find myself making extra. Then, as I was being led back to my cell, I was struck with an idea. If I can poison the guards, my cellmates and I could escape. It’s a wonderful plan as I’ve gotten in the guards’ good graces with my culinary wizardry. But I’d need an accomplice. I can’t do this alone.
Prague. August 31, 1968.
If this plan is going to work I need to find someone I can trust. I’ve chosen Vaclav Hudek. Hudek is a musician like me – a drummer. His backbeat on sambas needs some work, but he’ll do. He seems trustworthy. I told him this would be our secret, and he would soon enjoy his freedom. He nodded and smiled oddly, but I was confident I had made the right choice. Our freedom would soon be at hand.
Prague. September 1, 1968.
I am scheduled to be executed at dawn. You can never trust a drummer.