Escape From Kroo Bay
by Byron Barton
Kossi glanced at the dead body sprawled across the bus stop floor. One ragged leg was draped over a weathered wooden bench while the torso was splayed in a half-twist over pitted concrete. Old newspapers and candy wrappers partially covered the corpse like a loose patchwork quilt. If not for the slack in the man’s jaws and dark goo pooling in his worn denim shirt, the corpse might simply be a passed out drunk.
Dead bodies on the street weren’t common in Freetown, but they weren’t particularly unusual, either. Kossi shuttered, thinking back to the civil war, when the RUF had temporarily taken the city and left behind enough stiffs and severed limbs to fill a dozen mass graves. Ebola hadn’t left nearly as many bodies behind, but the panic was the same. At least they could see the rebels. At least they could hide or beg or buy their way out of trouble. Ebola was invisible, and as indiscriminate as a child soldier jacked up on brown-brown.