Something serious has happened, but you don’t know it yet
Most of you will still be at work this time of day. Something serious has happened, but you don’t know it yet.
When you get back this evening, you will find your home has been demolished. Just flattened. You have no idea why. Your family may or may not have been in it. Everything you own certainly was. Your neighbours have disappeared. You stand there looking at the remains, trying to process the scene. It’s impossible. Then you start to dig frantically, but it’s no use. It’s just a mountain of rubble. You should call the police. You try your phone, but you’ve been cut off. You look for your car. It’s gone. WHAT IS GOING ON?
You sit on the curb confused. You’re tearful. You feel the whoosh of someone running past, behind you. When you turn your rucksack is gone. You look around, but the culprit is nowhere to be seen. But you realise all the shops are closed… except a little corner shop. You go in and ask the woman behind the counter for help; ask what happened. She doesn’t understand. She talks back in a foreign language. Seems upset. Or angry. Your stomach rumbles. The shop’s shelves are almost empty. You get a bottle of water and a chocolate bar. She asks for 200 $US. When you protest, she calls her husband and they throw you out.
You try to get money, but the cashpoint swallows your card. You wander aimlessly for a bit. The streets are empty. You’re very hungry. You see a discarded, half-eaten chicken thigh. It’s covered in muck. Something takes you over and you fall on hands and knees and grab it. You pat the dirt away and bite. You feel maggots wriggle in your mouth. You vomit. As you’re trying to recover, out of the dark, A MAN EMERGES. His look is crazed. He’s ranting. He’s holding a machete. It’s dripping with a dark red, viscous liquid. He’s heading right for you.
Instinct kicks in. You run. He runs. You turn a corner and duck into a dark doorway. You hold your breath. He runs past. With a creeping terror in the pit of your stomach, you realise, you’re not alone in the dark. A neighbour of yours is there. She tells you that there are thousands like Machete-Man. Millions. Some sort of mass hysteria. Or a virus. Nobody knows. They have been on a rampage all day. “Where the fuck have you been?” she hisses.
She tells you, that your other half is dead. As is your son. You ask about the town where your extended family lives. Lived. Obliterated. “Sorry”, she offers limply, “but your little daughter is alive”. Taken in by the police. Neighbour doesn’t know where to. She tells you there’s not enough room in this doorway. “You have to leave”. She brandishes a kitchen knife. She shoves you out. Machete-Man hears the commotion. He’s about 100 yards away and he is coming for you. You walk the other way. You hear a scream behind, as he dispatches your neighbour with one blow. You plead with passers-by for help. Some ignore you. Most run away. One spits at you and screams abuse. Another takes out a piece of wood, with long rusty nails through it, and joins Machete-Man. You start to run. And you keep running.
You’ve been a REFUGEE for barely an hour.