“Holly shit,” the short guy says. The four security guards use the glass doors to block the people. But the guards are outnumbered. The loud people break the glass and they pour inside the store. Some of them get cut by the glass pieces but they don’t realize, the bleeding will alert them later on.
The women in pink and black jerseys, who work in tills, run from the seats. What the hell is going on? Money gets snatched by the many hands that want it, some of the money gets teared.
“What are you waiting for?” The short man says, looking up at Andile while tapping him on the thigh. The short man runs to the tills.
Andile looks around the store. Everyone is taking something. A fat guy who’s carrying a box of Stuyvesant cigarettes runs around with a smile. He collides with someone and falls on his belly, the box spreads on the floor, spilling the cigarettes. The fat man screams under the running legs. He has become a bouncy carpet.
Andile starts to make his move. There’s no need to run to the tills, the money has been finished. So he returns to the candles, takes one pack and shoves it it in his pockets. The candles are untouched, that’s because at this moment things are being taken for free and who would think candles? Andile starts running while getting pushed by the many people. The floor is covered with different types of chips, biscuits and other things. Andile almost slips on the cold drink wetness. People scream and scramble above each other. Others are laughing and eating, while some are shooting a video. Andile’s eyes bounce around the shelves. What should he take?
The long lit bulb above him malfunctions on and off. He looks up at it. Electricity. There’ll be load shedding tonight. Andile’s own bulb in his head switches on. He uses his hands to push past the people. He reaches the electronics section. Plasma TVs on display gets pulled from the plugs, one falls screen first on the floor as a Samsung washing machine gets lifted by two guys.
Andile finds the generator. It’s the remaining one. His hands and three set of hands quickly grab it. The pulling begins but all the hands get beaten off by a wooden stick. It’s the old woman, the one Andile helped get the flask. “You!” He says. She just jumps on the red and black generator with her stomach and covers it with her arms and legs. “Fuck off!” She screams at them.
There’s a bomb-like sound. Purple smoke emerges from the store’s entrance. “It’s the police!” Someone says. People start to run around, like rats discovered at night when the lights are switched on. The back door which is the exit for the staff gets broken by the people. They rush through it with their things, those who took big things struggle to squeeze through. There’s a siren. The old woman has thrown her walker stick away. She now drags the generator to the staff exits door as the looters keep pinching through. Andile needs to be out of here but he can’t leave with candles only. The space which displayed laptops is now empty. There’s only one Plasma TV left and it’s the one on the floor with a cracked screen. A few Samsung refrigerators and washing machines are still there but Andile is all alone. These look heavy. He looks around and sees a photocopying machine which was taken out of its box. They probably left it for something better.
Andile runs to the photocopying machine and picks it up. At least he’s not leaving empty handed. He compresses through the door with others and makes it out. As he walks home with his photocopying machine he sees that many stores are being looted as well; including street vendors and Indian tuck shops, especially liquor stores. But CNA, the store that sells books, looks untouched and uninterrupted; it’s business as usual.
Tell us: Were you also involved in the looting? If yes, what do you remember taking?