Friday, May 13, 2011

Tick Tick Tick

The man stood hunched over the device, clippers in hand. There was no ticking like you hear in the movies. This baby was all modern. Digital clock, digital counter, deadly silent. It was a simple creation, really. He'd handled worse. He wiped his sweaty palm on his suit jacket as he examined the three wires. He watched carefully where they each connected, drawing a blueprint in his head. The colors weren't normal, but that didn't matter. Any bomber with half a brain knew not to connect the wires in the way the directions give or they'd be extremely easy to defuse.

His legs and back started to ache, so he shuffled his squat a bit.

"Any idea?"

The voice came from his left, his partner. He held up a hand, shushing the man. This new guy was annoying. He couldn't sit and wait patiently like his last partner. Didn't he know that this was precision work? Well, the man thought, if he bugs me enough, he'll find out how unpleasant that can be.

The man with the clippers frowned and positioned them carefully before snipping the bright pink wire. There was a collective gasp around the room, causing the man to wonder yet again why so many people insisted on being there when a bomb was defused. What if something went wrong? They'd all be less than ground beef. But nothing went wrong this time. He knew what he was doing. The countdown stopped and the breathing continued.

He went to work dismantling the rest of the bomb, placing the pieces in separate compartments of the special kit he had. When it was all done, he stood up. The others in the room were congratulating themselves, as usual. He shook his head and walked out the door, followed by his jabbering partner. He jerked his head to the side, causing his neck to pop and relieving some tension.

They could see the street through the glass of the front door. The crowds were cheering and the police weren't doing a good job of keeping them back. They'd apparently been notified that the bomb was defused. The man opened the door and stepped through. He knew something was wrong when he heard the air suck out of the space around him. It lasted for only a fraction of a second, but it had him turning to his partner to throw the man from the steps. The explosion aided the toss and the partner ended up near the crowd.

As he lay on his back in the rubble, he looked around. The blast had taken out the entire front of the building and littered the crowd with debris. People were screaming. He couldn't feel his left arm. A decoy, thought the bomb expert. All it was was a decoy. Then the world went black.

**There are 15-minute writing dashes at Milk Wood in Second Life every day at 5amSLT and 6:30pmSLT. This story is from the 5-10-11 morning dash, using the prompt "defuse."**

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