Four Hours of a Revolution
by Premee Mohamed
Rebels, like vampires, prowl by night, sleep by day; they are short on everything in the besieged city – bullets, socks, soap, bread – but mainly they are short of sleep, for they fight under starlight, hide under sun in secret places. And yet their enemies are most vulnerable at night when, like all good civil servants, they retire to their houses and lock their doors. Until they swap schedules neither side will eliminate the other.
So the revolution is easy enough to find as I whisper up the wall of the apartment complex, slide under the half-inch of space left by the open window. They will not open it further, even though the little boarded-up living room is intolerably hot. As it is, they sweat profusely in their sleep, even the lucky few shaded by the walls.
One has, deliberately I assume, curled up in an armchair under a poster reading ‘PUNK ISN’T DEAD BUT IT WOZ UP AWFUL LATE LAST NITE.’ On the poster, two men sleep in a train seat, cartoonishly rendered in hot primaries on a black ground. The rebel in the armchair echoes their pose, but instead of a tired friend she cradles a stolen police rifle, its distinctive silver finish oversprayed with matte black paint, the camera blocked with a glued-in coin. The police carry them proudly, counting on the reflected glare to carry their message far ahead of them; the rebels carry them only at night, counting on stealth.
It is this girl, Whittaker, in the armchair, in this war, that I am here to claim. In due time, as is her right and my duty. For I am Death.