The sunset perfectly over the apartment complex. Tension on the street rarely lifted up to the balconies. Thomas was free to dream of his home hundreds of miles southward. The hills of South Carolina are a magical place, the only escape for July heat and bounty of wilderness. But this is Baltimore. Gritty. Dark. Depressing. Nearly hills fall to old show rivers and bays.
A loud banging echoes through. The banging intensifies. “Get your ass out here. We’re gonna the care of you. Like your people did to us. Just like dat!”
Thomas didn’t know the voices. He didn’t know anyone here. His truck has been broke into once. It’s the city.
Hanging from his balcony drapes a red, white and blue flag. Faded it’s three broad stripes and thirteen stars still show clearly. It’s a reminder of home.
The door starts to rattle. The chain is only thing holding on. It time to get out. The side fire escape is only option left. He grabs his keys and gun.
Six floors wrapping tight circles. Metal clangs with each running step. The alley leads away from building. He’ll have to squeeze past dumpster to recover his truck.
The blue Ford truck hasn’t been reached yet. There’s loud noises from all sides. They are systematically rooting out the southerners. There are terrified screams from the second floor. Shots fired.
Jumping in and driving over a curb. The license frame that says “my hearts in dixie” disappears into the twilight.