wormwood, pt. 20

lady i swear by all flowers.

The police blockades were abandoned as Rosalind and Nicole walked through the city. They had better things to be doing now. Emergency vehicles raced past as they walked hand in hand, heading to the skyline, to what must have been the heart of the fires. The storm was nowhere near sufficient to explain the damage to the cars and buildings here. Cars were on fire. Doors and windows were smashed in on houses. Bodies lay bloodied in the streets, little dark shapes only visible by the light of the burning skyline.

Someone was sitting on the sidewalk up ahead--a boy somewhere in his late teens or early twenties, sitting and smoking a cigarette. He spoke as they passed: "Where are you going?"

"Home," said Nicole.

"You don't have a home anymore, lady. You look like you're going into town."

"Yeah, something like that."

"I heard they were shooting people in town now. Anyone they see out, they said. Figured anyone still on the streets were just there to cause trouble. No looters and no rioters."

"Where'd you hear that?"

"People that came from town. You don't want to go down there. You'll just get yourself shot."

"Well, thanks. I guess we'll keep our eyes open."

"Hey, don't blame me when you end up dead."

They kept walking. Once they were a few blocks away, Rosalind said, "Well, this should be fun."

"Yeah, I just hope the car's still there. They haven't invented a cop that can stop me."

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