Beyond Man and Machines, The Hood, part 1.
Detroit, 31st December 2011, 1200pm 3 weeks before total evacuation of North America.
Ronald Breaker had watched the chaos in the streets on the first day and had barricaded himself in his flat. He had made preparations long beforehand for such a day.
He knew it was coming. The world had changed from when he was younger. He used to walk to the local store, smile and wave to the people he knew on the street, which was most of them. The shop owner would ask how his mother was and give his family a card for Christmas.
Over the years things had changed, The streets had got meaner and blacks had taken over the neighbourhood.
There was now graffiti on the walls and young punks hanging out on the street corners. He was hassled by them a lot as he went to get his groceries, asking where he was going, where he lived, laughing at him, telling him he was lost.
It was not as bad at first, but more and more kids would be hanging out. They got bolder, grabbing his bags, threatening to hit him, following him on their bikes, laughing at him, riding past him then breaking in front of him; blocking his path. On one occasion they blocked him on the underpass, pushing him, they asked where their money was for passing through their hood. He had nowhere to go and didnt like people crowding him, he pushed one down off his bike and pushed through those standing beside him. He just wanted to get through. They piled onto him, punching and kicking. Spitting on his badly beat body; leaving him barely able to walk home.
After 3 months in hospital and a further 3 months recovering at home, Ronald decided to never leave the flat again unless he had to. He stayed at home ordering his food in, never leaving the flat. The kids spray painted the front of his flat and hammered on his door from time to time. Saturday night would be bottle night, as they are thrown at the front of his house.
When he first heard the shouting, on the first day, he thought it was just kids messing around. Then as it got worse, thought it was a riot. He peered through the boarded up window, seeing a bunch of kids dragging away a man in his forties along the street, kicking and shouting. Pulling him into the block of flats opposite.
Ronald called the police but could not get through, he looked again and the streets looked clear. He called the council, no answer from them either. He listened to the news, it seemed the whole country was evacuating, the announcer said everyone must leave for the safe zones but he wasn't going anywhere. He had lived here all his life, the blacks hadn't chased him out, and there is a not snowballs chance in hell of this, whatever this is, chasing him out either.
The following day the electric cut out. Ronald started up his own generator, covering up the windows so no light could get out, listening for sounds. On the second day the streets were completely empty, an eary silence where they used to be busy noises. He kinda liked it... there were screams now and again but they did not last for long.