Driving through neighborhood streets, Johnson saw children exploring the havoc left by the heavy rains. Lifting clumps of leaves that had fallen into the gutters, strewn everywhere across the lawns, the debris left by the storm now served as entertainment.
Where is the caution in these people, he thought? Don’t they get it? Am I the only one who does?
Everywhere, people where enjoying the beautiful sunny day, cleaning up after the storm. Wearing shorts and sandals, for God’s sake!
Where were the combat boots, the camouflage fatigues, the readiness gear? Has the world lost it’s mind?
He tooled the sedan along D Street until he reached the intersection at Main. An officer was directing traffic. Ah, ha, thought Johnson! It seems someone is on their toes. The police are not usually this present. They hang around the diner drinking coffee. Sometimes you see them parked at the edge of town, lurking, waiting to catch out-of-town speeders. Huh! Yes, there is something in the cards, I can feel it!
Parking in front of the Best Buy Hardware store, he got out and stood at the sidewalk, taking in the scene. In front of the hardware store they had put rakes and wheelbarrows on display. Just inside the door were the more expensive items, the chainsaws and cutting shears. Further back near the counter were the work gloves. Everything was readied for the rush of customers Mr. Reeves knew for sure would be coming in. A sign had even been freshly painted with a white soap marker on the window: Open Early!
How absurd, thought Johnson. This was nothing. Wait until tomorrow.
Down the street, Al’s Groceries had fresh apples displayed in front of his shop. Bananas hung from a metal pole next to a crate of tomatoes on a wooden table. Johnson watched as people wandered in and out of the store, shopping like there was not a care.
The barber shop, too, seemed to have customers. Getting a haircut at a time like this, thought Johnson, with time and space itself hanging in the balance?
The Orpheum Theatre even advertised the afternoon matinee on its marquee: War of the Worlds. How appropriate, thought Johnson.