When Mr. T------ got home that afternoon he found the neighborhood in an uproar and his house in ruins. People were shouting about another airstrike, an erring plane, and another of the enemy's "smart bombs" gone astray. This was the second time the T------s had a house in which they lived destroyed in this way. He began screaming questions about his family.
His heart skipped a beat--several of them--as he dashed forward through the crowd, elbowing people aside. No one tried to stop him, not even the police officers. The A--------s and the Z-------s, his neighbors on either side, stood in front of their homes, which were strangely undamaged, seemingly in a daze. They saw him, then heard him shouting about his family, and came forward to reassure him that his wife and young children were safe, but had been taken to the nearby hospital to be checked out, just in case.
"My cousin has a house for rent," said Mr.
A--------. "It will do you and your family just fine, for it is fairly new, clean and very spacious. I am sure that all the neighbors will pitch in and help you move when you are ready to do so."
But as he turned to gaze again in bewilderment at the smoking crater where their home had stood only hours ago, Mr. T------ realized that he and his family would have only themselves to move.