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After My Sister Was Raped

        After my sister was raped, we put her in the car and drove her through South Central Los Angeles, she in shock by then, not just from the violation but from the knife wounds.
        South Central was never exactly upmarket, but, since the invasion, no cops, all the cops dead or shot or run away, no cops, no ambulance, no nothing, and the troops not interested in any kind of crime smaller than weapons of mass destruction, well, believe me, nothing worse than human beings.
        We turned a corner and suddenly bullets started slamming into the front of the car, I could hear them impacting against the engine block, and I was about to floor it when Jack said, no, man, cool it, that's just their way of telling us to slow down, it's, like, you know, roadblock policy, saw it on TV.
         So he was lucky, must have caught the news, hard to do with the power cuts twenty hours out of twenty-four, so how are we supposed to know anything? Anyway, this is how it is - they shoot bullets at your car, it's a gentle way to tell you to slow down. If you don't know that, then they shoot you dead. Hey, what do they care? To them, we're the enemy.
         So I stop, and a couple of soldiers come swaggering up, roust us, search us, search Lucinda even, don't care that she's in shock, don't offer help, don't offer nothing.
         "A thousand dollars?" said the bigger soldier, the one with the Saddam moustache, who speaks pretty good English, better than you'd expect. "What you doing with a thousand bucks?"
         And they confiscate it, just like that. Protest? They might shoot us all, out of hand. Cash, you're not supposed to carry cash, is their attitude, they say it's for the terror campaign, but with the ATMs out, no banking system left, what do you expect?
         So we drive on, and my head is spinning, you know, that thousand bucks was my business, I'm buying and selling second hand stuff, now what am I going to do? I don't see the point of fighting, you know, they beat us, nuked us, trashed us, got in quick with the anthrax, the death gas, the microwave satellite thing, you ask me, I'd say, no, no, forget the guerilla warfare thing, but this, this makes me feel ....
         And then we're at the morgue. But the Red Crescent emergency medical aid post that I saw on TV a week ago - the last time I saw TV - has gone. Okay, the morgue is where you go to report rapes, but there's nobody there, come in the morning, come between nine in the morning and one in the afternoon, says a sign, and I say, Lucinda, Lucinda, but there's no answer, she's dead, and a part of me is dead, too, dead enough by now to kill.

the end

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Hugh Cook

AFTER MY SISTER WAS RAPED first posted 2003 August 05 Tuesday. Copyright © 2003 Hugh Cook - all rights reserved.