“No… what the—Mom and Dad are in the city!” Jess looked at us, his eyes wide and sincere. “That’s what Teri said, and then she started bawling. I mean…I almost bawled myself! Mom and Dad were over there, and…we couldn’t get to them, could we?”
Dale leaned forward in his straight-backed chair, hands clasped and elbows on knees. “So, what did you do?”
Jess grimaced. “We had our bikes, so we booked like hell for the culvert that drains into the river.”
“Across the river from the city?” I asked, just to be clear.
“Yeah. It was dry then,” Jess said. “No rain, no run-off. It’s big. We rode right in, because…well…it’s all concrete, and under the ground, and who knew when they might decide to start bombing on that side of the river! We were scared, man.”
Teri sat next to her brother, nodding in agreement. “We were too scared to go home,” she added. “Bombs were dropping on the city, and we could feel the impact, even though it was far off.”
Dale looked at Vance, then at me. Then he turned to Zack, who looked back at him with some measure of defiance. Leave it to Zack and his gang to bring strangers around, I thought. I wasn’t angry, but it was…disturbing.
“How did you end up here?” Vance asked. None of us had made it around to the other side of the city, where the river ran. The damage was immense. Driving around was too risky.
Jess narrowed his eyes in consternation. “No offence, sir, but we weren’t incapacitated. We rode our bikes, we walked–it’s taken us years to make our way, okay?”
I asked the real question: “Who dropped the bombs?”
Jess frowned. “The planes were ours.”
Author’s note: Inspired by a prompt on Writers Unite!
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