jueves, 26 de agosto de 2010


I've talked much on how about the city: On what it has become, the damage, and the struggles within; but I've not talked about the weather.

Supposedly, this is the rainy season, but it has been rather dry and hot this time around. However, the wind has blown quite a lot, and I have seen rain-heavy clouds just above the horizon.
One thing is to protect from the elements when there's power, civilization, order; a different thing is when there's no such thing: A heavy storm brings out lots of dust that will cover your visibility and will hamper your mobility. Thunderstorms will -a small chance, but it is quite real- knock you out permanently with lightning. Soaked in rain will bring a cold, and weaken you. You have to read the patterns, see the environment. Your knowledge is your most important weapon.

Here, the sound of cicadas are the prelude for rain, there's the excessive heat that is a dead giveaway that a huge storm is brewing, stuff like that.

Indeed, a few hours after I buried my parents, the clouds were gathering. I needed shelter quickly. So I moved fast as I could. However, I needed to move away from where I was, the zone was heavy with looters days before, it was not gonna be different now. Me and my dogs kept moving in the shadows, and ran when we could. The sound of the wind howling in the rubble and the wreckage of cars was eerie, but it was more worrisome was the sound of the odd distant car, blistering narco-corridos (music of Mexican bandas that praised the drug dealers) and one of two gunshots. Looks like the drug lords were not messing around with their little idea of making a stronghold here.

When the first drops of rain started to pour, I got into the old money neighborhood of the city. I was expecting wrecked cars, destroyed homes, fire... But there was nothing of that.

The houses, perhaps not as big was other 'Old Money' districts were intact. There was the odd car stalled in the middle of the road, but other than that, it seeemed that nothing happened here, as if civilization still was intact.

The wind was starting to get violent, and the rain was getting heavier and heavier. My dogs were nervous, and so was I. I quickly climbed the wrought iron fence of the nearest house, shouted to see if there was anyone there a few times, and when I heard no answer, I broke the lock with a couple of shots of my gun, and let the dogs in. As we got closer to the main entrance, the first lightning was seen. I knew nothing of lock-picking, so I used the same tactic with the door, using my gun to bust open.

The sound of the dark interior was thick, only the sound of the howling wind, the dogs sniffing around, and my steps, were the only things that interrupted that solemn silence. I kept calling for anyone, but as I went down the dark hallway, my steps started to falter.

For the first time in a while, my fear of the dark kicked in. I felt the urge to run away from the house, venture into the storm, I didn't care, my steps were less sure, and my neck felt stiff. Still, I needed to go on, I needed shelter.

My dogs were sniffing around, seeing them near me was comforting enough, but, I let out a scream when I opened a door. A dead body came falling down, making a powerful thumping noise that resounded in the house. I was an old man, tall and thin. His eyes slightly swollen, and cold as dead can be.

I turned on the flashlight, and lit up the room. It semeed the occupants of the house commited suicide, as there were more bodies here, all calm and in different beds in the bedrooms. I saw pill containers, and saw that these were powerful sleeping pills. All empty, the place did no reek of death. They must've died recently.

Once the rain was less violent as it was, I grabbed the bodies, one by one, and went out to the garden. I picked a shovel from a shed in the garden, and proceeded to dig, to give them proper burial.

That's one of them, the old man, suddenly grabbed my arm. It completely freaked me out, but it seeemed he did not took the full dose. He begged me not to kill him, to bring him water. I asked him where was the kitchen. I took off and gave him a glass from water that I found in several gallons, well hidden from prying eyes.

As he drank, he told me everything he knew of what happened right after the Fires started.

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