بومة بيضاء (intifada)
I gather the solution in ten-gallon drums, all the time working on the technique, moving towards an exact science, wherein the “material” created would cause the greatest damage and loss of life. The recipe is Jer’s grandfather’s one from the old days, when he and his butties
traipsed about the countryside in the night, setting fire to police stations and watching from the hedgerows as the flustered guards ran about trying to quell the flames with buckets of water and gravel.
These days, I am a sharper tack and apply techniques gleaned in foreign lands, in desert regions. Days and nights that’d melt the face off you with the heat, and then the cold. Words I learned here: intifada, hanum, بومة بيضاء. You were a widow at twenty-nine. Twins—girls. When they were at school I snuck into your house to drink hot, sweet tea, and then we’d make love, the sweat sheening on your skin. They liked the Jelly Babies I brought from home. You refused to say goodbye when I left for good and walked back inside without a word.
I seal the drums for transportation to the hollowed-out underground caves where we store them until ready to make a statement. I keep track of the locations on an old ordnance survey map of the region. The last time we planted a device it was a complete flub. Something about the switch, a loose wire. The bastards were able to drain it safely. Next time, I’ll bring the intifada.
James Claffey lives on an avocado ranch in Carpinteria, CA, and once, whilst driving home late at night from a rural assignation in Ireland, narrowly avoided a sleeping cow.