He used to think the river as a big, beautiful woman loving and nurturing her children with her ample bosom and comforting arms. With her soft throaty voice she sings them to sleep at night.
The hurricane changed it into a savage sea monster. It unleashed its claws and swept away houses with people in them. His roof was blown away and his possessions were stewed in muddy water. In one day he lost everything. He can't bear the sight of the river now.
He heard the police had set up an evacuation center at “The Point”--a small town spared by the hurricane and flood. He hopes they have food there. He's getting hungry after walking several hours on foot.
This town makes him uncomfortable. He saw a few glances behind the curtain along the way. Plantation style houses with summer blossoms and wrought iron fences can make a postcard ashamed, yet he feels he is being watched with unwelcoming eyes.
Some trees are lying on the street blocking his way. They are arranged not by wind, but by human hands. He looks around. Going back to bypass it will take too long. He's losing energy under the inferno heat. He bends down to remove the trees.
* * *
Robbie sees him passing his house and gets his shotgun out. He calls the boys and tells them where the guy is heading. The boys say they will be there soon. They are going to get him this time.
We set up the barricades to give you warnings, he says to himself, not my fault if you’re too dumb to get it. This town is special. We take good care of our properties, and we are not going to let some looters ruin it. Hurricane or not, you people are not welcome here. The sheriff told me they didn’t have enough people to maintain order. Do what you have to and leave them by the side walk, he said.
Robbie pats his shotgun proudly. He's grateful he had the smarts to get it at the first sight of the drones of those people flooding in to the center. No low lives like them are going to destroy our town by stealing or looting. We'll show them who’s in charge here.
* * *
The sound of the blast bounces off the water and ripples away slowly. Donald feels the pain in his neck, arms and back before falling to the ground. Two or three guys with guns pointing at him looking from above, their silhouettes big against the blue sky blocking the sunshine. He doesn't feel the heat anymore.
“We got you, nigger. We got you!” Robbie says. Donald sees anger in his eyes, but more than that, he sees fear glittering behind it. I know that fear, he wants to say. He had felt it many times before--every time he passed a man like him.