They could take whatever they want in the stores without paying . Take as much as your two hands can carry and make sure you leave without dropping anything. That in itself is a mission; bodies collide as they all rush to the items they dreamt of possesing. In these situations, take what you can grab because whatever it is–big or small–is worth something.
The store is Game, the shop that specialises in electronics. Those who knew this day was coming or those who live close by have the advantage of coming in groups or with big bags and trolleys. Others come with vans.
Andile Mbulazi was in the shop looking for a lamp. Load-shedding was scheduled for tonight so he’d also need to buy paraffin for his paraffin stove.
There’s only R50 in his pocket. R10 of that is for a taxi that’ll take him back to his one room shack. He soon exhales a breath of disappointment. The prices under the different lamps range from R100 to R175. Some candles will do. The old woman tries to reach for a silver flusk but her bony finger only scratches the shelf.
“Excuse me,” Andile walks to where she’s tip-toeing. “Let me get that for you,” he smiles, then stretches his hand to grab the flask. He hands her the flask, she snatches it, holds it with her underarm and walks away with her wooden stick.
Andile just stands there. “A simple thank you wouldn’t hurt,” he mutters. He starts to look around. He needs to find where the pack of candles are and a Bic lighter. But Bic might be expensive so he’d need to settle for a cheaper brand. Or some matches. He finally finds the candles and there’s a short, thin man who’s a single pack of yellow ones. In a split second Andlie exchanges looks with him. The noise continues. Andile and the short man look at each other again. They noise approaches them, they stare at each other once more. It’s the sounds of screams and bickering, one that causes shoppers to rush to where it’s doming from. Andile drops the candles and follows the short man in running to the store’s entrance, where this noise blares from.
Tell us: what do you think is about to happen?