"Wake up, Alban! You're having a nightmare." Mom shook me hard.
I wiped wetness from my eyes. "What?" I asked, "What's going on, Mom?"
"You were screaming in your sleep. That wetness was your tears. What happened to you today?" Mom's hand shook as she stroked my damp hair away from my face. She sat on the edge of the sofa beside me. "Do you know where your brother is? Your father is out looking for him."
The last time I saw Darvades, my older brother, he was holding a molotov cocktail cocked and ready to release. Our sister, Ola, pulled me down the nearest alley. I hadn't seen him since. What should I tell mom? I searched the room for any distractions I could find.
Mom took my chin in her hand and pulled my face close to hers. "Tell me. Tell me, now. You were screaming his name. There is no out."
On her breath, I smelled the garlic bread from supper last night. I sighed and I began, "Ola and I were taking Darvades his lunch."
Darvades worked at the local refinery, where the riots started. The rioters chased the enforcers down the street to the business district or so the local gossip reported.
Mom's head shook from side to side, trying to deny what I was saying. "You two told me that you missed all that nonsense. Those riots are stupid!"
Ola stood framed in the door of her room, only she and our parents had bedrooms. It took all the money we had to afford this ratty two bedroom ground floor apartment. Tears streamed down her face. She rushed over putting her arms around mom and me kneeling on the rag rug on the floor beside the sofa on which I slept .
"You're only thirteen, Alban." Mom turned to Ola, "You're only fourteen."
"I'll be fifteen in a few weeks, Ma." Ola said, "We got out okay. And the riots are not stupid. Darvades is fighting for better pay and safer working conditions. You know three boys were maimed last month alone."
"But Darvades still isn't home safe. Where can he be? I am scared." Mom's body shook. Tears rolled down her checks falling on to my blankets.
The front door swung open. Dad half carried Darvades who was covered in soot and blisters. But very much alive!
Hoped you enjoyed!