They say the place is hot, that it won’t be long before they send in the marines to restore order in the region. They say the heat’s driven the locals crazy, that it’s not normal—May and not a single drop of rain—and that the hurricane season’s coming hard, that it must be bad vibes, jinxes, causing all that bleakness: decapitated bodies, maimed bodies, rolled-up, bagged-up bodies dumped on the roadside or in hastily dug graves on the outskirts of town. Men killed in shootouts and car crashes and revenge killings between rival clans; rapes, suicides, ‘crimes of passion,’ as the journalists call them.
Don’t you worry, don’t fret, you just lie there, that’s it. The sky flashed with lightning and a distant rumble shook the earth. The rain can’t hurt you now, and the darkness doesn’t last forever. See there? See that light shining in the distance? The little light that looks like a star? That’s where you’re headed, he told them, that’s the way out of this hole.”