It was not in the middle of the night, as I had feared, but they came all the same.
They came as I knew they would. We were on their list, and so they came. They had their orders, you see? That’s why they came.
No knock. No warning. They just came.
They broke down our door. They broke our window, too.
They came with snarling dogs, with sticks, with handcuffs, with pointed guns, with bloodlust filled eyes. That’s how they came.
They snatched my little girl’s earphones from her head. That’s what they took first. Then came our phones, my watch, my wife’s necklace, too. Even my son’s baseball bat and glove.
They came and they handcuffed my son, my daughter, my wife and me.
They came and they marched us out from our house, our home. They marched us out, gagged and bound.
It was a Sunday afternoon.
My neighbors came out, I’m sure they heard the noise, the crash and bang. They came out and stared and watched as they came and took us away.
No one spoke. There was no other sound except that of some doors being shut.
I could see Bill and Terry, who used to come over for a drink or two, once in a while.
I could see John and Martha, whose little boy, Timmy, fell off a tree once and broke his left arm. I took him to the hospital, John was away and Martha, well, Martha was a mess. My wife stayed with her.
I could see Barbara, the neighborhood flirt who was no flirt at all, just a single mom, with two jobs and a son, who had long legs and liked to wear short skirts and brought chicken broth and brownies when someone was sick. The wives hated her.
I could see Dick. Six months ago he borrowed my drill and hadn’t returned it yet. Damn. Now he never would. His wife Jane was there, too. She had a bruised eye. Must’ve bumped against the door again.
I could see Tom and Jerry, the gay couple from across the street, staring, fear in their eyes, wondering not if, but when, they’d come for them. They’re on a list too, you see?
They were the last I saw before the black hood came down.
They shoved us into the van.
They took us away.
We were undesirables, you see? No room for both. No room for us.
They came and no one said a word.
They came and away we went.