It was a day like any other. People were commuting to the office; the postman was doing his rounds. But unbeknownst to most citizens, unrest was brewing. A small group of rioters were moving down the streets, peacefully at first. As they moved, they sang songs and laughed and joked. More and more people, intrigued by this jovial group, joined their ranks until the small group had grown into a large crowd. The day grew warmer, and as the temperature climbed, so did the tempers. Before long the crowd turned loud and violent. They overturned cars, broke shop windows and forced innocent bystanders into their midst. At midday, riot police were called out to deal with the now violent crowd. They pulled armored trucks across the streets, and lined up in full riot gear, striking their nightsticks against their shields to draw the crowd’s attention. The crowd reacted by throwing rocks and burning bottles at the riot police. Some of the more violent rioters rushed the police, slamming against their shields, fueled by a berserker fury. It was a scene of absolute anarchy…
6 year old Alden poured himself a tall glass of milk. As he put the milk container back in the fridge he pondered a faint drone of noise in the distance. Picking up his glass of milk, he moved into the lounge area. He sat down and turned on the television. While flipping through the channels, he noticed that his father had left the paper lying on the coffee table. Its front page was covered with rumors of unrest and sporadic violence. He settled on a cartoon and for a while enjoyed the animated antics of the characters on the screen. At about midday his father entered the room. “Alden, I think you need to get some fresh air. You can’t spend the day cooped up inside. Go on, go play a bit.”
Alden dutifully put on his sandals and wandered outside. The drone he heard earlier had grown louder. He decided to investigate the source of the noise. Lost in his imagination, a place filled with dragons and brave knights, he happened upon the source of the noise without realizing it. As he snapped back to reality, he realized that he was lost in a crushing sea of legs. They pushed him, and jostled him. Crying out, he tried to get the attention of the people around him. After realizing that they could not hear him, he tried pushing his way out, only to be knocked to the ground. Some-one stepped on his foot and he wailed in agony. He scrambled to his feet, and limping, tried to push his way out of the crowd again. The noise was unbelievable.
After what seemed like an eternity, he was pushed forward, into a hard plastic shield. The riot police, too caught up in trying to fend off the violent crowd, did not even notice him. Alden had never felt fear like this before. He was being pushed and bruised and stepped on. He cried out for this father, his mother, any-one who could hear him. A boisterous teenager knocked him down, and Alden began to feel angry. Every time he tried to get up, he would be knocked off his feet. He felt his anger deepen into a black rage. He shot to his feet, opened his mouth and screamed.
The sound knocked the crowd and riot police off of their feet. Windows blew apart, car alarms started yowling, and pieces of masonry were shaken loose from buildings. Two blocks away Alden’s unfinished glass of milk shattered, spilling milk all over the table. His dad scrambled for cover as the windows imploded. Alden screamed a scream of defiance, of rage, the sheer volume knocking people senseless. Dark veins stood out on his neck, and smaller ones appeared on his face. All around him large pieces of stone and debris started lifting into the air. Still Alden screamed.
When he finally doubled over, completely out of breath, the stones and other debris hovering in the air crashed to the ground. All around him the crowd and riot police were laid out flat, none of them conscious. Alden stood panting, trying to regain his breath. After what seemed like an eternity he straightened up and started painfully making his way back to his home. He looked around at the people lying all about him, and smiled.
A few minutes later, the first of the stunned rioters started moving. Slowly people started regaining consciousness, and then stumbled home. No-one knew what had knocked them flat. As the crowd dispersed, a few of them noticed a young boy, seemingly lost in his own world. Some marveled at this innocent boy, in the midst of all the chaos, wearing a sweet smile on his face. And some rejoiced the fact that, in the middle of all the hatred and anger, innocence was still present.