–Well, the 'Peaceful Protest' has been a massive failure,– Rouben didn't hesitate to mention when Tatjana and Cyril dragged themselves home, announcing themselves with hacking coughs and eyes puffy from pepper spray.
They were the last ones in. Dragomir was still dabbing at his face with a wet cloth, and Krasimir was attending to a small bruise, but he jumped up as soon as Tatjana and Cyril were made present, and Rouben snapped at them.
Cyril touched his eye, and rubbed it fervently. The pain seared around his eye, and for a second he was convinced it would fall out, and he wailed in shock and pain. Krasimir rushed up to him, and said, –Don't rub it. It'll make it worse.– and began to attend to him.
–Rouben,– said Tatjana after she had washed her face in Dragomir's kitchen sink, –It hasn't been a disaster at all. I'd say it was a blazing success.–
–Yes. The Police used tear gas and pepper spray on us: we have every right to be angry now, and as Cyril said, they're in the wrong. Oh, just wait for the press coverage!
–The Riot will not be televised,– said Krasimir as he dabbed at a weeping Cyril.
–That's fine,– said Dragomir. –We have Youtube, and Facebook, and Twitter.–
–You're all so media-hungry,– said Rouben. –I wonder at you all sometimes. Are you all looking to change the pitiable state this country's in? Or do you all want to be pop stars?–
There was a general silence at this point. Rouben Waletzko put his hands in his pockets. –Well,– he said, after a while, –I'm going out. I'll see you guys later. I'm going to make a real change round here.–
The door slammed. Suddenly, there was a squeal from the kitchen sink. –Look!– It was Tatjana, and she was waving a phone. –Look! They've put it up on YouTube!–
–How many views?– asked Krasimir.
–In the space of thirty minutes!
–Oh, we're a YouTube sensation,– said Dragomir to Tatjana's excitement.
–Oh, why don't you understand?– said Tatjana. –That means there are people watching our Revolution! Don't you understand how important that is? Look...– She began to scroll down. Cyril looked up, his face and nose beginning to swell. Krasimir tactfully squirted some ointment onto his finger. –Well done for uploading...MAKE YOUR CAMPAIGN FOR YOUR CAUSE...That's outrageous behaviour from Police, we'd never get that here in Australia...I am American and they deserve their freedom...Read that! America! Everyone's for us, we've got so much support!–
–That's wonderful. Now let's have dinner.
Dragomir, who had last spoken, finally got up and went to inspect the meagre contents of the cupboard. He made a light dinner for his friends, while Tatjana spent the whole time on her phone, and Krasimir attended to Cyril. In thirty minutes they had eaten dinner and were preparing for bed, which they went to immediately, Tatjana in Dragomir's room, and Dragomir, Cyril and Krasimir in the living-room. Rouben did not show his face for the entire evening.
Dragomir lay awake until about midnight, fully expecting the Police to rap on the door throughout the night. It had been a long day, however, and sleep began to cloud his mind: the room was quiet, save for the odd creak coming from upstairs, and the breathing of his comrades...
He was suddenly and harshly brought back to consciousness by a fantastic flash and the sound of a very loud explosion a few streets away.