Paris, 8th arrondissement, a Saturday evening in December 2018
The projectile had been launched from the street with enough force to reach the large half-open window on the first floor, bounce through it on its frame and explode on the floor in a spray of fire. Terrorized, forcibly pushed by their mother to their bedroom at the back of the apartment, the two children, a boy and a girl, began to scream. The father, in socks and shirt sleeves, surprised in front of his Ligue 1 match on Saturday afternoon (an Olympique Lyonnais still so crumbly was led 2-0 by a surprisingly offensive LOSC), looked around him.
“Especially no water, especially no water!” he repeated to himself mechanically, trying to smother the fire with the plaid who, luckily, was hanging out on the living room sofa.
After several minutes of fighting the flames, the man struggled to extinguish the start of the fire that was reaching the curtains. Breathless with effort and fear, he then noticed the noise coming from the street. After turning off all the lights and, being careful not to be seen by the figures running and frantically shaking, he was able to observe, amazed, the spectacle of chaos that was taking place just below his house, in this residential area. usually so quiet.
Obviously, the Molotov cocktail thrown by the rioters was not particularly intended for them, it was already that. On the roadway, masked individuals dressed in fluorescent chasubles methodically aimed at the lighted windows of the first floors of Haussmann buildings. Others tried to break down a porte-cochere, which refused to give way, defended on the other side by besieged inhabitants. ” Bourges sons of bitches, we’re going to smoke you Yelled a tall guy very pissed off, and obviously also very tipsy.
A little further down the avenue, all the cars and scooters had been conscientiously set on fire. Taken by storm, the shops were one after the other ripped open, looted and then set on fire. Even the improbable and harmless esoteric bookstore which had, to this day, somehow survived the soaring rents in the neighborhood, disappeared in thick smoke.
“Samuel, don’t stay by the window, it’s dangerous.
– Yes, it’s good, it’s good, I know. They seem to be concentrating on the building across the street, those poor freaks. Are you alright, children?
– Terrorized, what do you think. But it’s quiet at the back of the building.
– And the neighbors? Fuck, I think about it … It was their daughters’ profession of faith, or something Catholics like that, today. Nice, a small riot of the good people, to brighten up the party …
– I saw them through the window. They are like us, they hide in waiting for it to pass.
– Damn, and the cops, what do they do, it’s incredible, this chaos …
– You want to turn on the news?
– No ! Out of the question that we continue to watch this bastard from BFM TV. Have you seen how they treat these puppets who don’t know how to align two words and ministers as equals? Everything is good to keep the idiots in front of their screens.
– Speaking of minister, don’t you want to call your buddy Maxime? He must know what’s going on, him …
– I think he has other things to do right now. It’s the revolution out there. ”
Exactly outside, hyper mobile rioters were enlivened by setting fire to whatever came to hand. After long minutes, a group of CRS, heavily harnessed and desperately clumsy, ended up walking up the street in slow motion, engaged in a very symbolic pursuit of the rioters. Relieved, the inhabitants of the middle-class neighborhoods began to applaud the representatives of the order timidly from their balconies. In this fairly successful “sound and light” show, the flashing lights of the police vehicles lit the facades of blond stone in blue. The scene painfully reminded Samuel of the images of the horror night of November 13, 2015.
In the distance, Paris continued to burn.
Chapter 1. Infection
“It is in the void of thought that evil is inscribed.” Hannah arendt
Thomas P. Paris 8th arrondissement, 10 years later
Thomas pushed away the grimy sleeping bag, stood up and glanced around, his mind, as it often, hazy and bewildered.
Around him, the vast living room of a Haussmannian apartment bathed in a soft morning light. It was already April. Through a large half-open window, the warm scent of early spring tried to diffuse into the room. Scents unfortunately far too light to cover the smell of disemboweled toilets as well as that, more acrid, of cold hash, which fought for supremacy in the apartment. Thomas burped and, searching for his threadbare sneakers and jeans (probably curled up somewhere), stared around the large room. Burnt in places, covered with empty beer bottles and pizza boxes, the Hungarian parquet floor was beyond repair.
Shaking himself, he walked over to the large fireplace and saw his reflection in one of the few mirror panels still intact. He observed her emaciated face, her cropped hair, and her badly stitched scar, which would attest for the rest of his life to his participation in epic street battles. A true urban warrior, seamed and battered, but ultimately indestructible. He smiled to himself and looked down at the fireplace. This is where he saw them. A brunette and a blonde, smiling and all cute in their communion or confirmation dresses, something like that of cathos reacts. The photo that emerged from the heap of rubbish piled there was not new. Eight years, ten years, maybe. There had once been a family who lived in this apartment, probably happy and certainly well-off. Thomas lowered his boxers, took out a badly washed penis and urinated in the photo. “Dirty little bourgeois whores,” he laughed, very proud of this new victory over the old order.
In the tagged entryway, Thomas grabbed his jacket and pulled out a brand new iPhone. The message loop on the Telegram app told him thathe was to participate in a preparatory GA of his group two hours later. A GA … God damn it, he had really become a shitty bureaucrat.
“Come on, vamos, companeros ! He put on his balaclava, which he rolled up into a cap, his mittens reinforced at the knuckles and his regulation yellow vest. Hesitant between an aluminum baseball bat and an iron bar torn off on a construction site, he weighed them one after the other. The metal bar was more of an urban warrior, but it was rusty. She had scratched his fingers despite his mittens the last time he had used them. He opted for the bat, which he had once tried to wrap barbed wire around, like in The Walking Dead – but the barbed wire wouldn’t hold, invariably slipped, and scratched his hands just as much. Fucking comics American, never realistic.
To buy the book, it’s here …