The rumblings of unrest finally emerged on a hot August day. Frederic was working his shift at a small electronics store when it happened. As usual during the summer, there were few customers, so Frederic spent most of the day enjoying the air conditioning and watching the wall of silent TVs across the store from the checkout counter.
A crowd loud people ran past the store window. Frederic took his elbows off the counter and leaned forward, trying to see where the crowd was going. Another clot of people passed by. One of the people straggled and stopped in front of the store window. He got up close to the window and looked in with his hands shielding his eyes from the unrelenting sun. He saw Frederic and then banged on the window with his fist.
"Hey!" exclaimed Frederic.
"We're going downtown! It is on!" yelled the man.
Frederic rushed around the counter and shouted, "What is?"
The man ripped open the door and stood in the threshold, sweaty and grinning.
"We're going to purge those fuckers for good!"
"What? Who are you talking about?"
"The aliens of course. They think they can just come here and live here, but this isn't their planet."
"But they have nowhere else to go--"
"Not my problem."
"They're not doing us any harm--"
"You're not one of those sympathizers are you?"
The man spat on the carpet, glared at Frederic, and ran back out onto the sidewalk. Frederic tentatively went outside and stood just outside the door. The heat pressed in and he immediately started to sweat. More people ran by with expressions that combined both anger and joy. Someone jostled Frederic, grabbed his shirt, and pulled him along. More hands pushed him.
"Stop!" he yelled, throwing his hands in the air. "Don't touch me!"
A middle-aged woman pushed him angrily into the store window.
"Don't you tell me to stop!" said the woman, with her mouth an inch from his chin. "God-damned alien-lovers! Do you know how much these things are costing us to house?"
"What does it matter to you?" asked Frederic.
"It's my tax dollars! You don't make enough money to pay taxes you retail monkey, so how would you know anything about it?"
"You heard me," she said venomously, before joining the crowd again.
Frederic turned and shoved his way into the oncoming crowd like a salmon swimming upstream. He made it back to the door of the store and went in, locking it behind him.
"This is insane," he said to himself. The crowd outside was getting thicker, and someone hit the store window with a rock, making the window spiderweb out.
Frederic ran to the back room and locked himself inside. He went to the far corner, and sat down on the floor.
"There's nothing I can do," he said, eyes wild, rocking back and forth. He heard the store window give in completely, and then the shouts of triumphant looters. Frederic pulled up his knees and started to cry.