1 comment


It was a quiet Sunday afternoon in the city. The temperature was warm for the winter season, but according to the ground hog, spring would arrive early. Vendors had parked along sidewalks through the park selling everything from balloons to ice cream. Children ran and played as their parents watched with smiles. Everyone was enjoying the day.

The peace was suddenly disturbed by police arriving on the scene urging everyone to leave the park immediately. Some didn’t want to leave, but the officers said they would have to so park keepers needed to spray the area for mosquitoes. Most didn’t believe the excuse, but the evacuation was being forced on the public and they had to comply. Many waited in the surrounding area near their cars parked along the streets and on sidewalks lining the perimeter of the park.

The bomb squad arrived on the scene, followed by news teams in their vans. Police officers lined the park entrances and barricades were set up. The bystanders’ curiosity grew.

Everyone waited and watched as two men dressed in their EOD (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) suits exited the van. The two men ignored the crowd as they passed through and entered the park. One carried what appeared to be an ordinary, red tool box. The other followed him somewhat timidly. They walked to the center of the park and stopped at the pavilion.

The man with the tool box handed the box to his partner and began to circle the structure. “Don’t see anything on the outside, wait,” he paused at a small door, “seems the lock has been broken.” He opened the door. He held up his hand and looked at his partner. “Get the flashlight from the tool box and follow me.”

The other man sat the tool box on the ground. His hands began to tremble as he opened it and handed the other man the flash light. He began to step in behind him.

“Don’t forget the tool box!”

“Oh,” he stammered and quickly retrieved it.

As the flashlight beams circled the underside of the pavilion, the two men’s eyes looked closely for anything suspicious. “There,” the one holding the flashlight pointed to a panel near the entrance. It looked normal to his companion. “You don’t see it do you?” He crossed over and pointed to a set of wires on the outside leading into the box. “Those wires don’t go with this box.”

“But why would anyone want to blow up this pavilion?”

“There is to be a concert tonight sponsored by the committee to reelect Mayor Welch.” He took the tool box out of his partner’s hand. “Yep, glad we didn’t reach in and turn on the light.

“Didn’t know there was one.”

“Right there in the center. You’ve got a lot to learn.” He shook his head and opened the control box. Shining the flashlight on the switches inside, he found a small timer, he traced the wires leading from it and followed them to the bomb. There he found a simply made bomb of dynamite typed together with duct tape and a second timer. “Hmmm.”

“What is it?”

“Someone called this in, didn’t they?”

“That’s what I heard.”

“Well, the timer in the control panel hasn’t been set and this one has."”


“Interesting. You have any enemies?” He chuckled. “I think somebody wants us dead. Get over hear and bring me the tool box.”

Third time’s the charm. He thought as he stared at the wires attached to the timer. Yep, just three wires and I have to decide which one to cut. The timer was on five minutes. His hands trembled.

"We don’t cut this thing off soon we are in trouble," came a voice in his ear. "Come on, uno, dos, tres."

"I know, I know, and why the Spanish?"

"This bomber was Spanish, wasn't he?"

"He came across the border illegally. That doesn't make him Spanish. Which also rubs me the wrong way. Mexicans and South Americans aren't Spanish either. Geez, you'd think people would get it." He clipped the blue wire and gave a sigh of relief. "This guy was not from South America or Mexico. I'd say he was middle eastern maybe or something. Never heard of a Hispanics doing anything like this. Have they found him yet?"

"Haven't heard. Try the white one."

"Who's doing this?" Wish this guy would get out of my ear. "Could you give me a little room here?"

"Sorry." He moved back. "So how much longer?"

"A lot longer if you don't leave me the heck alone. Just watch and learn." He looked over his shoulder at his partner and wondered why he always got the rookies. "Better run, I think I did something wrong."

He backed up. "Seriously?"

He clipped the green wire. "You have kids?"" 

"Yeah, a boy and a girl,"

"Want to see them again?"

"You are an ass hole."

"Comes with the job." So far so good. Now the white wire and we should be good, if I did the sequence right. Uno, dos, tres. He began to sweat as he discovered a fourth wire. A black one hidden away. "This is new."


"Two more wires. Another white and one black."

"Do you know which one to cut first?"

"You never know." Idiot. "Nope that's what makes this job so interesting. You know the guys and me place bets on who will make it to their next birthday?" He chuckled under his breath. "Uno, dos, très." He looked at the timer. They had only one and half minutes to go or the whole place would blow up. There wouldn't be a trace of either one of them. 

"Wish you would hurry."

"Not a good idea."

The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures. He leadth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

 His hand shook as he cut the white wire. He took a deep breath and let it out slowly. Glancing at the timer it sped up. “Oh, shit.” Uno, dos, tres. “Please, God, let this not be it. I’m not really ready.” He cut the black wire.

February 02, 2020 20:25

You must sign up or log in to submit a comment.

1 comment

Ola Hotchpotch
03:34 Feb 08, 2020

The specialists really know their job


Show 0 replies
RBE | Illustrated Short Stories | 2024-06

Bring your short stories to life

Fuse character, story, and conflict with tools in the Reedsy Book Editor. 100% free.