Yep!! If you like writing humor, this is a pretty good prompt for it. I should know...My brother (who was looking over my shoulder) and I were laughing our heads off almost the entire time I was writing mine.
Here's mine. It's 2008 words long. Hopefully it fits fine? Sorry if it's a little choppy in some places, I don't usually write in present tense.
Joe Tater wakes up to the sound of ticking! He glances around, slightly worried. And then. He spots it. There is a bomb in his bed!! He quite literally flies out of bed, quite the wrong reaction when it comes to explosive objects, and charges to his dresser, shouting: “Shirt! Pants! Wait!”
He stops as he realizes that impending doom in the form of a bomb on the bed is slightly more important than a shirt and pants.
“Oh.” He turns around veeeeeery slowly and proceeds to stare at the bomb on his bed. “Ahhh, right. Bomb. In the…bed?”
He glances around the room, at first looking for something to throw, then realizing that that would be a completely stupid idea and stopping that. As his sleepiness slowly starts wearing off, he finally stops to think. How to defuse a bomb. How to defuse a bomb.
“Hmmm…” Suddenly he snaps his fingers. “How to Defuse a Bomb by M.D.Ornithielian!” He turns and goes to the door, about to go to the library to find the book, and then he remembers.
“Pants!” He spins around and rushes back to the dresser. But wait.
“Bomb!” He almost turns around to go back to the door again.
“Pants! No, wait, no, BOMB!” He realizes that time is running out. The bomb is ticking. He scratches his head. Then snickers at his own hilarious predicament. Then he remembers.
“Pants, then bomb.” He runs back into the dresser, forgetting that he’s already at the dresser, and just about falls into his pants drawer. He manages not to fall into it, just barely, and once he’s regained his balance, grabs a pair of pants.
“Aha! Gotcha, you slippery little-” He stops himself, suddenly remembering the impending doom by name of the bomb on the bed. He glances at the bomb over his shoulder carefully, suddenly coming to the realization that the bomb can see him in his underpants. It is this thought that has him almost falling over in the attempt to get his pants on before the bomb can notice that his underpants have little super heroes all over them. He has so much trouble getting them on though, that in the end he accidentally sits down on the floor in order to finish. He jumps up triumphantly.
“I did it!!! Yes! I did i-” He cuts himself off again as a thought clicks back into place.
“There is a bomb in my bed. There. Is. A bomb. In my bed. In my bed.” He turns slowly to stare at the bomb.
“In my bed.” With that thought, he remembers. “The library!” He turns to the door, grabs the handle, and opens it wide.
It’s too bright. He slams his eyes shut. A blast of cold air hits him, and he realizes that he has just opened the refrigerator door. Which, come to think of it, should not be in his bedroom. He opens his eyes and glances around his bedroom, actually looking at it for once.
“Oh.” He has not opened the refrigerator. He has opened the fire escape. He closes the door, grinning at himself. Of course, it would help if he’d keep his eyes open while opening random doors in his bedroom. Or wait. He stares out the fire escape. This should not be a fire escape.
“What happened to my closet?” He slams the closet door shut, turning back to his dresser. It’s cold outside in the closet. He needs his shirt. He opens the drawer to get a shirt, and freezes. Someone is knocking on the door.
He glances up, saying quietly, “Nobody's home, dummy. He’s at the library.” The knocking doesn’t stop, so he raises his voice. “Nobody’s home, dummy! He’s at the li- Wait.” He pauses mid sentence. Who’s at the library? He turns to go answer the door, and opens his bedroom door.
“Hello, how are you, and what do you want?” Empty dining room doesn’t answer him. The knocking won’t stop. He hurries to the front door, ready to greet someone again. Then he stops. Shirt. He turns around to go to the bedroom and get one. The knocking gets louder. He turns back to the door, then back to his room, then the door, and back. Finally, his mind made up, he goes to the front door. He grabs the handle, forgetting that it is locked, and pulls. The door handle comes off in his hand. He stares at it a minute, uncertain, then yells through the door,
“The shirt is locked and I broke the pants. Just a minute.” He turns and goes back to his room, not hearing the loud question from the other side of the door,
“The shirt is locked?!?! How do you lock a shirt?!?!”
He goes back into his bedroom, shutting the door behind him and dropping the front door handle on his bed next to the bomb. He grabs a shirt out of his dresser and jerks it on, already having forgotten that someone is waiting outside his front door. The knocking starts again. He turns and opens his closet.
“Hello, how are you? Lovely morning, isn’t it?” He stops. Wait. This was his closet. He needed the door. He turns back to his bedroom door, leaving the closet open behind him. He hurries out the door and through the dining room to the front door. He reaches for the handle, and finds there to be no handle. Surprised, he yells through the door,
“What did you do with my door handle?”
A voice answers back, “What handle?? Joe, are you okay??”
Joe grabs the door by the hole where the handle should be and pulls. There is a loud crack. And a snap. He ignores that and finishes opening the door, swinging it wide open to see his friend Dave standing in the doorway. Dave looks worried. Very worried.
“Uuh, Joe? Was, uh, is, uh, I mean, the door?” Joe glances at the door, letting go of it as he does so. He doesn’t need to stand there holding it for ages while talking. The door falls over sideways off of its snapped hinges and bonks Joe in the head. Joe, taken by surprise, shouts,
“Whaddaya think you’re doing!?” And delivers a solid punch to the door, accidentally breaking straight through it. Dave’s eyes are the size of ostrich eggs.
“Are you sure you’re alright, Joe?”
Joe nods. “Yeah. There’s just a bomb in my bed this morning.”
Dave jumps backward into the wall behind him, alarmed. “A BOMB?!?!”
Joe just nods calmly. “Yep.”
Dave stares at Joe, slightly terrified. “Did- Did you- I mean, did you get rid of it?”
Joe grins. “I’m going to the library to get a book so I can defuse it.”
“You’re WHAT?!!???! Wait, is it still in your bed?!?! Joe, is there a BOMB in your BED right NOW?!?!”
Joe nods again, grinning. “Yep! My door handle is too, I think.”
“Your door- WHAT??!” Joe smiles, pitying his friend slightly. He hadn’t realized Dave was so slow. Of course there was a bomb in his bed! And his door handle! They made a good pair, actually. Joe sniffs. He hates the thought of having to break them up.
“What on Earth are you-” Dave starts, “Did you diffuse it?!?!”
Joe frowns. “The door handle?”
Dave looks ready to jump up and down. “The door hand- I mean, the BOMB! THE BOMB!”
Joe smiles. “Oh, you know, I needed a book to tell me how to cook. I mean, diffuse the bomb. So I was going to the library.”
“You were- Going- Book- THE LIBRARY?!?! You already KNOW HOW TO DEFUSE A BOMB!!!!”
Joe smiles slowly. “I know that. This was a round bomb, so I needed the book.”
“A round BOMB?!?”
Joe nods. “Of course! Round, and black, with a little fuse sticking out the top.”
“A little FUSE STICKING OUT OF THE- Wait. What???”
Joe nods. “A fuse sticking out of the bomb. It ticks.”
Dave looks about to yell, then seems to change his mind as this sinks in. “Wait. It ticks!?”
Joe grins, nodding. “I can show you! It’s on the bed.”
Dave swallows loudly. “I- On the bed?”
Joe nods, and figuring that Dave needs a little help, grabs his arm and drags him into the bedroom. The bedroom is freezing. Joe left the closet door open.
“See?” Says Joe, “It ticks.”
Dave backs toward the door, and Joe figures he needs a hand, so he pulls him right up to the bed.
“See? Ticks. Loudly.”
Dave jumps back, smacking Joe. “DOon’t do that!” He glances at the bomb, and the very not on fire fuse sticking out of it. Suddenly he smacks himself in the face and bursts out laughing.
“Joe! That’s not a time bomb! It does not tick.”
Joe frowns. “Well, what’s ticking, then?”
Dave starts. “Uuh…” Suddenly he is very aware of a soft ticking in the room. Coming from- “The alarm clock!!”
Joe jumps three feet into the air and hits his head on the ceiling. “MY ALARM CLOCK IS A BOMB?!??!?!?”
“NO!” Shouts Dave, “Your alarm clock is NOT a bomb!”
But it’s too late. Joe has grabbed his alarm clock and thrown it out the open closet door.
Dave drops his head into his hands. “Joe…”
Joe grins triumphantly. “I diffused it first, Dave, I took care of the problem!”
Dave shakes his head slowly. “Joe, you don’t throw bombs. Even diffused ones. They have a bad habit of exploding on imp-” He cuts himself off as he sees impending doom in the form of Joe in the process of throwing the bomb out the closet.
Dave rushes forward, grabbing Joe’s arm. “NOOOOOOOOO!”
Joe grins, about to launch the bomb and Dave out the closet.
Dave screams at the thought of being pitched out a closet with a useless bomb and exploded by said useless bomb.
Joe realizes that Dave apparently doesn’t like the idea of going for a fly, and drops him and the bomb onto the floor. Dave screams again and just barely catches the bomb before it hits the floor.
“JOE!!! DON’T DROP THE STUPID BOMB ON THE STUPID FLOOR!!”
Joe frowns. “Would you rather I drop it on the stupid ceiling?”
Dave groans and nearly drops the bomb on the stupid floor. “No, I would NOT rather you drop it on the stupid cei-”
Joe grins, guessing what his friend is saying. “Good!” And then he kicks the bomb out of Dave’s hands and out the closet.
And then choked laughter bursts out from the stupid ceiling.
Dave and Joe both look up at the ceiling, where Frank is holding himself up in one corner. He is laughing. “That- Was- That- Just- Daaaaaaaave! You scream like a girl, dude!”
Joe frowns, not getting the joke. “He does not! He screams like a barn owl!”
This triggers another round of explosive laughter from Frank, who drops to the floor, unable to hold himself up while laughing.
Dave glares at Frank. “I do not scream like a- Hang on, how long have you been there?!?”
Frank grins. “Since six thirty this morning! I knew Joe wakes up fast and early, so I figured I’d better put the bomb in here before then.”
Dave stares at Frank, dumbfounded. “YOU put the bomb in here?!?”
Joe nods happily. “Of course he did! Speaking of which, has anyone heard it blow up recently?”
Frank stares at Joe, slightly shocked. “I…Think you need your breakfast, Joe. And maybe some STRONG coffee.”
Joe nods. “What?”
Dave turns to Frank. “WHY on EARTH did you put a BOMB in Joe’s bed?!”
Frank grins. “It wasn’t a bomb, dude! That’s just a prank bomb from the gimmick shop down the street!”
Dave goes pale. “A gimmick?”
Frank nods, grinning.
Joe nods as well, also grinning.
“Yeah,” Frank says, “You guys thought it was real, but that was a total fake!”
Ramona woke from a bad dream. She had tossed and turned in her sleep, but her arms and legs were held tight by some unseen foe, and she could not break free. It was truly a nightmare. But she was waking up now, and relief washed over her. Finally, she had left the bad dream behind her.
Except, she found she really couldn’t move her arms and legs. In the glow of her oil lamp she saw the problem, and it astonished her.
“What the—” she began but stopped mid-sentence.
Her arms and legs were bound and tied to the bedposts. Arms stretched wide and legs spread eagled, she was trussed up more effectively than a chicken. She tried to remember how she had gotten into this mess, but she couldn’t.
“You’re awake now, and that’s good. Yes, that really is good,” said a mellifluous voice.
“Let me go,” screamed Ramona.
“No, I’m afraid that just won’t do,” said the voice.
He stood up from a chair in the corner, and Ramona saw in her field of vision the man approaching her bed.
“Who are you?” she demanded.
“I am the boogey-man. The one who is always in the shadows. The unseen one, come to claim his victim. The one you always sought and who you suspected ran London’s underworld. Now I have come to claim another victim. You see? At the foot of your bed is a bomb, and now I am turning the timing device on to explode in ten minutes, and you will be blown to smithereens. Au revoir, sweet Sherlock,” and here he gave a theatrical bow. “Oh, and if there are any questions you wish to ask me, now is the time to ask them.”
“A bomb? You set a bomb to go off at the foot of my bed?” gasped Ramona.
“Yes,” and the shadowed man smiled mysteriously.
“Well, first off, my name isn’t Sherlock, and second off, you’ve got the wrong person. I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
“Ah, nice try, Sherlock Holmes.”
“I’m telling you, that is not my name.”
“Ah, but it is a nice try.”
“Look on my desk. You’ll see letters addressed to a Ms. Ramona King. Honestly, check it out. What kind of a supervillain are you anyway? You’re confusing a man for a woman?”
“Well, I was in rather a hurry, you see…”
“Bless me, check the letters on my desk! You just have to walk across the room.”
After a moment’s hesitation, the man of shadows, who was by now beginning to have doubts, walked over to the desk to put this bed once and for all. After a momentary shuffling of papers and staring at them each in their turn, while Ramona desperately and futilely tried to free herself, he turned and said, “I don’t understand how I could have made such a mistake.”
“See! I told you! Now untie me and do it quickly.”
“I’m really sorry—”
“Never mind that, just untie me!”
“Yes, yes, of course.”
The man of shadows hurried over to the bed and began untying Ramona. While he was untying her, he continued prattling.
“I’m sorry for drugging you, too,” he said. “That was really inexcusable.”
“Well , I’ve loosened your bonds, and undid the bomb, and am taking it with me. See?”
“Yes, I see. Get out!”
“Could I make it up to you, maybe if you’re free for dinner?”
Ramona was busily untying her bonds the rest of the way.
“Yes, yes,” she said, unthinking.
“Shall I pick you up around eight, then?”
“What? Yes, around eight.”
“Very well, then.”
And here the man of shadows bowed deeply and exited the room whistling a happy tune. He had secured himself a date after an inauspicious beginning. A very satisfying ending.
Ramona was almost done untying her feet, when she stopped and thought, What a strange man.
She got to work untying until at last she was free. Sitting up in bed, she was suddenly dumped unceremoniously on the floor by a tremendous explosion.
My goodness, she thought as she brushed herself. I wonder if he forgot to turn the timer off.
Mason was cozy in his bed when he felt something was off, he opened his eyes to his bedroom. It looked the same as he remembered although slowly looked around to find himself covered in wires. He uncovered a bomb beside him and his heart fluttered.
He attempted to get up but the wires held him down.
He panicked, "Help!"
He thought for a moment when he remembered his wife was out of town for the weekend, and his adult kids should be at work at the time. He reached for his phone to find he forgot to put it on the charger at his bedside last night.
He closed his eyes, he wanted to start snatching the wires out one by one until he was free but he stopped himself. That might be stupid.
Mason was no bomb squad, but he needed someone to free him.
He held his eyes as he tried to calm himself, he needed to think this out.
When Mason heard a rattle from the other room and remembered his wife had recently talked him into buying one of those new robot butlers. The one's that float and make fresh coffee.
He decides the robot might be his best help.
"Help!" he called again, "Weston, help!"
The robot was called after its parent company, Weston corporations. So Everyone was named Weston until given a proper name if the family.
The robot opened the door and with the upbeat personality they bought him with, he respond, "Mr. Mason! It's good to see you awake! I have already started your coffee for today."
Mason tried to speak the obvious, but it seems to naively talk on, it was a robot after all.
"If you need me I will be outside tending to the flowers!" Weston responds.
"Wait!" Mason yelled out and stopped the robot before he can hover off somewhere out of earshot.
"I need help," Mason responded.
"Certainly sir, how may I help you?"
"I need you to call the authorities... get help."
"What seems to be the problem sir?" he sounds more concerned. "Has neighborhood watch alerted you of robbers? Shall I lock the doors?"
"Weston, there is a bomb in my bed."
The robot paused, Mason hoped this was programmed into him.
"Silliness, I'm sure you're just hungry, I'll have breakfast hot and ready in no time, sir!" He hovers off before Mason can stop him again.
Mason evaluated the bomb more carefully as he tried to think of something else to get free. It was like a clock with wires, his heart raced as he looked at two hours on it. He thought until he remembered his cousin had returned from deployment and her landlord didn't allow her to keep his companions in the house. So they were out in his garage.
Now he just had to get Weston back in here to go get them.
"Weston!" He yelled until he came back.
"Yes Sir!" He says so cheerfully it almost annoyed Mason.
"Go get Gunner."
The robot paused again.
"Um..." Weston responds, "sir... all due respect, I don't much like Gunner. He's how you say... a bit much."
"Please Weston, go get Gunner."
"May I ask why sir?"
Mason rolled his eyes, "I just have something to share with him."
Weston paused again, "um... alright, I'll do as you wish."
He hovers off toward the garage and Mason hears the door open. He watched Weston hover past the room again and heard more pots and pans clanking.
Finally, he sees a military-grade robot enter the room, "reporting for duty!"
"Thank God." Mason leans on the pillow, "Gunner, help me."
"What seems to be the problem?" Gunner asked in his serious tone of voice, "enemies on the premises? Not on my watch!"
"No!" Mason sighed, "please, Gunner... I have a bomb in my bed."
Gunner paused, Mason stared at him as he thought ‘oh please not this again.’
"The enemies have invaded the base! I'll send them packing!"
"Gunner!" He yelled as he tried to reason with him on a level he understood, "they're already gone, just help me get out of this trap."
Gunner hovered closer, "Hm..." he scans the wires, "looks like some top-of-the-line tech. That's right! As a matter of fact, this is the type of bomb that if you move an inch you'll be blown out of this room. BOOM!"
"That's right! Exploded like a firework on the fourth of July." Gunner paused for effect, "in AMERICA!"
Mason stared at him having forgotten his programming was set to super-patriotic. At this point Mason didn't know rather laugh or cry.
"Gunner," he collects himself, "help me get free."
"Unfortunately I am not programmed to defuse bombs, not after that helicopter incident when I got deployed."
"I need to get free Gunner, can you deprogram yourself?"
"DENIED!" Gunner yelled, "That would be treason, against AMERICA!"
"So what do I do!" Mason yelled at Gunner.
"I got a plan sir!" he yelled like he was on a military mission. "I am not able to do so sir! Although my partner K0 might be able to do just the thing."
"Fine... get him."
"ROGER!" Gunner then hovered back to the garage.
Mason tried to hold onto what little hope he had that these robots could figure out his problem.
Weston returned, "sir your waffles are finished, would you like some eggs as well."
Mason shook his head, "yeah." He decided to play along because stating the obvious wasn’t helping.
"Right away!" Weston then returned to cook.
Finally, a little round robot that floated higher than the others and had lots of antennas on its approach, this one couldn't talk.
"K0..." Mason said, "I need to get this bomb to stop."
K0 floated there without a word as Gunner entered the room.
"K0 says that can be done, sir!" Gunner spoke on his behalf, "although it might be painful sir!"
"Painful how?" Mason said.
"K0 says it might electrocute you, sir!"
"What? Are you insane!" Mason responded.
"No Sir!" Gunner continued, "shall we begin sir!"
Mason reluctantly nodded and he heard an electric sound that powered up inside of the little robot. Then he felt a jolt of electricity that made his hair stand up. He looked at the bomb and it went black.
"Mission successful!" Gunner responded.
Mason freed himself from the wires. He left the room and sat down as he took a deep breath on his sofa. Weston brought him his breakfast and Gunner followed him as if he had to be dismissed.
K0 on the other hand was staring at the stove, Mason had hoped he didn't think that was a deadly weapon too.
"Thanks, everyone." Mason decided he owed them that much.
"Sir yes sir!" Gunner responded.
He waited around until he heard a voice outside his window. Mason got closer to hear a man asking why his device was deactivated.
Mason walked outside and confronted the man, “you’re the person who put a bomb in my bed?”
“What,” his eyes dart around as if he was blowing his cover, “no not me! Must have been someone else.”
Gunner exits the house followed by K0.
“What’s that in your hands?” Mason asked.
He held some remote with a big button on it.
“That’s isn't nothing sir!” yelled Gunner, “that’s a remote trigger for a bomb sir!”
He paused, “K0 is right sir, this is most likely the culprit who planted the bomb, sir!”
“No!” he yelled, “not me!” he tried to hide the trigger behind him.
“Activating save AMERICA mode!” Gunner yelled and began shooting small lasers at him sending him running.
K0 followed shooting electrical shocks after him all the way down the street until they were no longer without sight.
Mason called out, "take him to the authorities when you catch him!"
Mason went back inside and sat down. Weston brought his coffee to him. A bit later Mason's cousin returned in her military fatigues.
“Hey cousin, just checking in that Gunner and K0 aren’t too much to handle…” she paused looking around “so... uh... where are they?”
Mason stared at his cousin then responded, “it’s a long story.”
It’s hard to sleep in a hospital bed. Not that the bed isn’t comfortable. Well, maybe that’s not accurate either, but the problem is not the bed. It’s the nurses who keep coming in to be sure you’re still alive. They fiddle with all those tubes running into you and then apologize for waking you up.
I guess it’s not so bad, because you don’t have to get up in the morning and go to work. You can sleep during the day, unless, of course, they check on you every couple of hours.
The food’s not bad. Certainly better than whatever I can fix in my little apartment. And I don’t have to do the dishes afterwards.
But there is the pain factor. I’ve never had broken bones before. The pain medicine helps, but not being able to move much, even breathing hurts.
The cop and I chat back and forth some. He’s not such a bad guy.
This afternoon, he has visitors. Two cops carrying a suitcase. I wonder how many clothes they think he will need to have a whole suitcase. And since cops make me nervous, I pretend to be asleep.
“George,” one of them says to him. “We have a little problem.”
Oh, so the cop’s name is George. I guess we never exchanged pleasantries like our names.
“What do you need, Sam?” my cop asks.
“It’s what’s in this suitcase,” Sam replies. “We think it’s a bomb. It was left on the corner of 5thand Grand. Nobody knew anything about it.”
Oh! That’s great! These two guys come in carrying a bomb into a hospital? How many people do they expect to blow up! And I’m in the same room with them and it.
“Did you x-ray it?”
“No, we just brought it to you. You’re the expert.”
My bicycle cop is a bomb expert?
George sighs. “Let me call a nurse. They can x-ray it here.”
I must be dreaming. This would not happen in the real world. So I’ll just let this work itself through. At least, I know it’s not a real bomb because it’s a dream. Even if a bomb goes off in a dream, no damage is done, no casualties.
A nurse comes into our room and goes to George’s bed. “You rang?”
“Yes, I did. We need an x-ray. Can you do that for us?”
“We just x-rayed you yesterday when you came in. That’s why your legs are in casts.”
“No, not me. We need this suitcase x-rayed.”
“The suitcase?” I couldn’t see her reaction, but her voice told me she didn’t believe him.
“Yes, we think it has a bomb in it.”
Now remember, the doctor therapist from this morning probably wrote something about us in our charts. If my cop was right, he would have made some comment about George being a smart aleck. And he was always teasing the nurses anyway.
I think I hear a sigh, maybe from the nurse. Her response is “Well, there’s an x-ray machine right next door. We have one on every floor.”
I don’t hear any sarcasm in what she says. When she walks out our door, she’s carrying the suitcase. The other two cops follow her.
A few minutes later, somebody in a nearby room screams. “It is! It is a bomb!”
A male voice agrees. “That’s what we told you, ma’am. That’s why we brought it here to George. He knows what to do with these things.”
The two cops come back with the suitcase. I don’t know where the nurse goes, but probably as far away as she can. I wonder if I’ll see her later in the day.
Probably not, if the bomb explodes in our room, I won’t be seeing anyone.
Now I’m curious. If I can figure out how to open the curtain between our beds, I can see what’s going on over there. Obviously, I can’t get out of bed, and I can only move one arm.
But my mouth works. “Hey, you guys. Open the curtain and let me see.”
One of the cops slides the curtain back a little and sticks his head into my side.
“What do you want to see?”
“I want to watch George defuse the bomb.”
Strangely enough, he nods and slides the curtain open. “There. Will that work?”
“Yes. I can see it all now. Thanks.”
“You’re not scared?”
“Of course not. This is just a dream. Nobody gets hurt in a dream, not really.”
He shakes his head and turns back to George, who is examining the suitcase.
“Can’t you just open it?” asks the other cop.
“Not if it’s booby-trapped,” George mutters.
“So how will you know?”
“By opening it.”
I sure wish I could get out of bed and watch what he’s doing. This is much more exciting than being stuck in the elevator. That was rather boring, at least, until the end.
George flips open one latch and pauses. No explosion, so he opens the other. After a few seconds, he takes a deep breath and raises the top. Nothing happens.
“OK, now. Let’s check the wires.”
“Isn’t it usually the black one you clip?” asks one of the cops. I don’t know which one is Sam, but it sounds like Sam.
“That depends,” answers George, “on how it’s wired. And in this case,” he pauses and looks over the bomb, “there is no black wire. They’re all red.”
He looks closer. “And there’s only one wire.”
“So you’ll cut the red one?” I ask.
He glances over at me. “Oh, hi, kid. You’re in on this too?”
“Well, I’m within range if it explodes, so I thought I ought to see what you’re doing.”
“Is there a timer on it?” asks the one whose voice is not Sam’s.
George peers into the suitcase. “Probably. If it was remote controlled, whoever set it wouldn’t be able to see it here. When you guys picked it up, was there anyone suspicious looking in the area?”
“Fifth and Grand?” Sam sneered. “There’s always someone suspicious looking there. At least one, but three or four most of the time.”
“Did anyone follow you?”
Cops are supposed to be aware of those things, I guess. At least, on TV they are.
“Not that I saw. Did you notice anyone, Bob?”
(Note: writing at different times, I changed tenses here.)
Aha! Now I knew both of their names. Sam was the taller one, balding on top. Bob was shorter and stouter.
Bob shook his head.
George wasn’t finished with his interrogation. “Was it ticking when you picked it up?”
“I didn’t hear any ticking.” Bob looked at Sam. “Did you?”
“Is there a clock in there?” Sam asked George.
“Not that I can see, but I haven’t dug into it yet.”
I have to admit that, even though this is a dream, I’m feeling nervous. Why would someone leave a bomb on a street corner that hadn’t exploded yet? Fifth and Grand was a half hour from the hospital, and these guys have been fooling around with it for another half hour. How much longer did we have, if it was on a timer?
And if someone was going to detonate it remotely, where was he? He would have to be somewhere nearby, wouldn’t he? And why weren’t these guys concerned? Did they think it was a dream too?
I started to ask, but George interrupted me. “Here it is, the timer. It’s a little clock. It’s set for 4:30.”
I think Sam’s not very bright, because he asked, “AM or PM?”
I shook my head. “Is it digital or analog?” I asked. If it was a 12-hour analog clock, it would go off at the nearest 4:30, which was only 15 minutes away. If digital, it might be on a 24-hour schedule, so it could be 15 minutes or 12 hours and 15 minutes.
Either way, I sure hoped this was a dream.
“Analog,” George answered. “It’s a cute little Mickey Mouse clock, like I had when I was a kid.”
OK, so this bomb is set to explode in 15 minutes, and these cops are standing around admiring the clock. Not something that makes sense to me.
“So are you going to cut the wire?” I asked.
“Well, that depends. Cutting the wire might trigger the mechanism, and it would blow up early.” He paused. “You might consider crawling under the bed in case it does. The bed will give you some protection.”
Right! I’m in casts and can’t move either arms or legs. How am I going to get under the bed?
“Sam,” George suggested, “help the kid out of bed and get him under it.”
That idea frightened me more than the bomb itself. I watched Sam as he approached.
“You heard the man. Let me help you.”
The nurse call button was within reach. Should I call a nurse to help him? Should I let him put me under the bed? This was becoming stranger than any dream I’ve ever had.
“But I won’t be able to see what George is doing,” I protested.
“Better than never seeing again,” Sam replied.
“Ten minutes to go,” announced George.
“Are you going to cut the wire?” Bob asked.
“Just before the time hits,” he answered. “If cutting the wire triggers the explosion, then I should wait as long as we have time.”
Sam carefully lifted me out of the bed. When my ribs objected, I decided this wasn’t a dream. It hurt too much. I tried to stop him, but he was bigger than me. He slid me under and joined me there.
A scuffling sound was followed by Bob joining us on the other side. It occurred to me that one on either side was offering me some extra protection.
“So we’re just going to leave George there on the bed with the bomb?” I asked. “What kind of friends are you, anyway?”
Bob laughed like the Joker. “Nobody ever said we were friends, did they?”
For a long time, nobody spoke. My nerves and the nervous energy on either side overcame the pain in my ribs.
“Five minutes left,” George announced. “I’m going to pull the wire out of the clock.”
“Does that do the same as cutting it?” Bob asked.
“The whole purpose is to disconnect the bomb from the timer. How it’s done really doesn’t matter.”
I felt both cops inhale deeply and hold the air. I guess I did too.
“Ready?” George counted to three. “Set?” Again a three count. But he never said, “Go.”
“There. It’s done.”
No sound, not even the sounds of the three men breathing. I know at least two of them were, because I could feel their lungs expand and contract.
“Are we still alive?” I asked.
“So far so good,” he replied.
The alarm went off, and the three of us under the bed slammed into each other. In the middle, it felt like a gut punch.
What followed was a crashing sound and then swearing. George was so startled he fell out of bed. Not good for his casts.
Somehow, I had managed to hold onto the nurse call button, which I pushed.
The older nurse, not the one who helped with the x-ray, stepped into the room. I couldn’t see her, just her feet, but they didn’t move. My guess was that she was surveying the room in all its glorious disarray. She couldn’t see me or the other two cops. All she saw was George lying on the floor with the suitcase on his chest. At least, that’s what I saw over Bob’s belly.
She didn’t make a sound. Her feet just turned around and walked back out of the room.
She came back with an orderly. I couldn’t see how they lifted George, but I think the orderly brought in a board of some kind. While they were picking George up and resettling him, Bob and Sam crawled out from under my bed.
The nurse’s feet turned in our direction. “What were you …?” Nobody interrupted, but she didn’t finish her question.
# # #
Sam reached under the bed to pull me out. The nurse’s feet stayed in my direction. “Just what …?”
Apparently she couldn’t finish a question.
Sam started to explain. “We thought it was a bomb in the suitcase. If it went off, he would be safer under the bed. …”
She interrupted him. “And you two apparently thought you would be safer there too.”
Bob hung his head. “Well, it seemed like a good idea at the time.”
By then they had me out and were lifting me onto the bed. One of them held me under my arms and the other had my feet. I don’t weigh all that much, but they had a hard time getting me up onto the bed. They managed to get my legs and my shoulders up high enough, and then they just rolled me onto the sheets.
I saw the nurse look at the orderly, but neither one said anything.
The orderly came over to my bed. “You feel OK?” he asked.
“No worse than before. It’s mostly the ribs.”
He felt my various casts. “Nothing seems to be damaged. Should we x-ray him?”
The nurse exhaled deeply. “Probably would be a good idea.”
They wheeled me into the room where the other nurse had x-rayed the suitcase.
When I came back out, they said, “You’re fine. Nothing broken that wasn’t already.”
I looked at the nurse and asked, "Do people feel pain in a dream?"
She shook her head as she closed the curtain between the cop and me. "No, this wasn't a dream, and I'm going to turn in my resignation right now."