B looked around the room. Ragged faces, dirty faces. Hungry bodies. Bruised, beaten, tired bodies.
Something rattled the door.
The women shrank back against the walls, but B held her ground, gripping a broken broomstick. She prepared to face whatever might burst through the door, whether it be men or monsters disguised as men.
Boot steps faded away.
B turned on her heel. The women silenced. “We’ll never be safe,” she said. “Not anymore.”
Scared eyes watched her.
“But I’ll tell you this,” B said, “they might torch the city, they might invade other blocks, the whole moon-blighted world might crumble out there. But this block right here, my block, my women, it will stand. We will stand. We will fight whatever comes through that door and we will win. Stand up. Stand together. And stop staring at your blasted feet. Look them in the eye and fight back.”