Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Bomb Scare

For audio click here 
Every now and again I use a a news story as  a writing prompt. I try to imagine how the 'hidden' part of the story unfolds. This is one such occasion. A link to the news story is at the end. This is an imagine history and is no way meant to portray the real people who feature in the news story. 

Derek had a problem. Quite a big problem. In fact, a fucking huge problem. One of Derek’s bombs was missing. He should have had twenty, but there were definitely only nineteen. How on earth do you lose a bomb? He counted them again, then checked the van for the umpteenth time. Shit, this wasn’t good. He stroked his beard and then tapped his finger on his cheek staring at the holdalls scattered around the back of his van.
“Hmmm,’ he said. “Where did I leave you?”
He got his phone out of his pocket and dialled Andy, his colleague.
Brrr, brrr, brrrr No answer.
They weren’t real bombs of course. They called them Radiohead bombs; fake plastic, bombs used for training exercises. Derek and Andy would go to public places, shopping malls, football stadiums, conference halls, airports and plant a bomb or two and then see how long it took the sniffer dogs to find them. Sometimes members of the public would find them first and phone them in. That was good too. It showed people were being vigilant.
This week they’d been to Bluewater shopping centre, Twickenham rugby ground and Old Trafford, somewhere along the line one of their bombs had been left behind. He scratched his head and sucked air in through his teeth. He hit Andy’s number again but again there was no answer.
His watch said quarter past five. His throat said, I’m thirsty and his wife was expecting to get down to Devon first thing in the morning. It must be in Andy’s van, and if it wasn’t, then well, they were so well hidden no member of the public would find it. It could wait until Monday.
He threw the other bombs into the back of the van, locked it, and walked the hundred metres to the pub.

A light sea breeze drifted in off the gently lapping water. Derek signalled to the waiter that he’d like another bottle of Prosecco. He smiled and picked up his knife and fork; the fish was delicious, the sun was one his balding head, the view was splendid, and even his wife Teresa looked lovely in the seaside air. He sipped at his wine and shovelled another forkful of fish into his mouth.
His phone buzzed on the table. He looked at the screen. “Andy!” Bloody hell he’d taken nearly forty-eight hours for the lazy bastard to get back to him. He turned the phone over, it could wait a few more hours. It buzzed again, but still Derek ignored it. He looked out to sea, watching the sail boats bobbing on the lazy waves and dreamt of sailing off into that horizon.
A shout from the pub next door broke his day dream.
“What’s going on?’ he said to the waiter, who’d arrived with the wine.
“Oh something to do with football sir,” the waiter uncorked the bottle and poured Derek a new glass. “Yes, apparently that Manchester United Bournemouth game has been called off.”
“Oh really, why?” Derek asked.
“Well someone said they’ve found a bomb in one of the toilets.”

Derek’s wife got a faceful of wine as Derek’s mobile started to ring again.

And here is the story.

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