A brick shattered the convenient store’s door. Seven hooded figures barged in. Two knocked down rows of junk food. Seeing where the others went was impossible from my apartment. I assumed to steal alcohol. The two who knocked down the junk food were now ravaging the refrigerators. They poured out different colored juices and chucked the empty bottles across the store. One nearly slipped running from one fridge to the next. I wish he had slipped and cracked his head open.

Poor Sam. That store was his life’s work. I imagined him cussing at and ordering the looters out. But Sam was a little old man. Hopefully he’d stay out of harm’s way until they finished.

Half a block down were the chanters. Reciting rehearsed slogans; holding cliché signs; wearing shirts with pictures of their beloved deceased; raising fists. Who could understand their cause among the glass shattering, yelling, sirens, fireworks, barking dogs, and car alarms? No one. But their cause didn’t matter. It was a diversion for their looting friends ruining people like Sam’s lives.

One chanter strayed from the pack. She climbed on top of a SUV and screamed into her megaphone, “No rights, we fight! No rights, we fight! No rights, we fight!”

The others chimed in. “No rights, we fight!” echoed through the neighborhood. It was another lame saying they used to justify their destruction. The world was supposed to feel sorry for and forgive them for burning cities down?

A door slammed down the hall. I got to my front door just in time to catch a flash of movement through my peep hole. Some of my neighbors must’ve wanted a piece of the action. Funny. I’d never taken them for opportunists.

Now the chanters were deafening. I returned to my window and saw swarms of people. I couldn’t see a lick of asphalt. Some were on top of cars smashing windshields or surveying the area. Most carried rifles.

I thought better of continuing to watch and grabbed a beer. The risk of being spotted was too high.

I plopped down on the couch and cracked open my beer. I turned on the local news and saw a young reporter surrounded by chanters downtown. She was blabbering about how this was the fourth abduction from a protest in the last nine months. She reminded the audience the first three were still missing. The chanters behind herwere losing patience and claiming the missing persons exemplified their protests.

A chanter knocked the reporter out of the shot. He yelled about the latest missing person and vowed to “bring the perpetrator to justice.”

Perpetrator. That’s kind of a big word for you guys, yeah?” I said.

Number Four had been staring at me since I removed his blindfold. His eyes were bulging out of his skull. The sock in his mouth was soaked with saliva. His wrists were bleeding from the zip tie. I patted his thigh and reassured him justice would be served.

It was just a matter of whose.

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