3 o’clock

Nations lead, by gods, but simple people with great names- pure gold ripens from their tongues, to blossom in the listeners’ ear. They call young humans with words; to kill, slaughter, rape, and decimate these cities built by people. People like them, with childhoods, with beliefs, the problem in part away from theirs. We all have this heart that beats; at what point does it become ok to stop a million hearts from beating at once.

He passes by the busy bees as he makes his way to the sandwich shop. No one seems to care or notice the duffle bag is handcuffed to his wrist. It catches what little light there is on this gloomy morning. It shines before it disappears in his sleeves cuff as he steps. He’s of average height, weight, and age, the type of person who they direct the billboards to in this business district. A corporate mindset was the one thing he did not share. The sweat was covering him in a thick layer of moist nervousness; he had the look of being out of place that is if you took enough time to look. He takes a seat at the table just out of sight of the one waitresses view, the lunch rush was over. The shop was running on a skeleton crew.  His eyes move with the seconds on his watch. A twitch as every second pass, it strikes 3:00 o’clock. His fist clenches. The gas fills the pit with 50% life, 50% poison. The bond begins, soon producing helium. The helium releases the neutrons to dance freely. They soon create a chain of events that unfolds this business district into bits.

They play the explosion, again and again, each time it rips our heart strings clear out of our chests, as someone was just playing too god damn hard. Not even an hour later the culprits announce themselves, with smiles of pride their message is broadcasted to the horrified faces. They make claims of gods, of rights, of justice and any other bullshit they could come up with. She was stuck to the TV; the scenes of radiation poisoning were coming in.  Cameras rolling, the story of the year. The whole fucked up system made me want to vomit. I splash water on my face; cupping some with my hand it fills my mouth. I return to the living room, they have a picture of the man behind the trigger. The picture seemed like it was from a birthday party, he had a look that said: “I didn’t mean to.” She looks up to me and I nod. With a time and a face, I set off.

He passes by the busy bees as he makes his way to the sandwich shop. I notice the duffle bag is handcuffed to his wrist. It catches what little light there is a beacon to follow. He was nervous- his pace was faster than mine. I make double time to catch up with him. He sits down, placing the bag gently next to him. I am a few steps behind him when I spot the wire to the manual trigger in his hand, about 10 seconds to 3 he begins to take deep interest into his watch. With a forceful right hand, it connects to his temple sending the shutdown message to the rest of his brain. The clock strikes 3 and there is no boom. The vans tires screech behind me, I spin enough to see the man in the hood clock me in the same manner as before.

I lie down in the van, hands and feet bound tight, next to me is the duffle bag. I rock my head to get a better look at my surroundings. Lights flash as something, probably a boot stops me.

I come to the sound of gravel crunching under the van’s tires. I hear the men arguing outside about what to do with me and why they didn’t set off the nuke. A lot of back and forth, it’s decided by the man with the thickest Texan accent I have ever heard that I may be useful. They drag me out of the van but leave the duffle bag there. This is when I spot the bloody handcuff still attached to the bag. I don’t put up much of a fight as they drag me into the house. They set me on a worn recliner. I feel comfortable for a second, that is until the thick Texan accent comes walking in the room. I make eye contact for too long so he hits me across the face with the belt in his hand. I bite my tongue and taste blood. “Who sent ya?” he asks before striking me again. I have been in this situation before, but I no one was going to save me this time. He strikes me again, I let out a fuck, but I guess the F was the only bit they heard. “Did he say, F… Bee… Eyes…?” one of the armed goons asked. I was surprisingly annoyed by the way he said it. “Least you can do is say right, you honky prick!” A stupid move on my part. The buckle part of the belt catches my cheek leaving a neat gash. I’m quiet again. I feel the warmth around the pain as the thick Texan accent badgers me with questions about being an agent of the F.B.I… “Are you with the F.B.I.? How much do they know?” he asks. “You know nothing of interrogating with torture do you, I could tell you anything just to make you sto…” He cuts me off with a punch to the gut. I gasp for air and regain my composure. “Like I was saying, torture doesn’t work. You’re not going to get the answers you need from me, maybe if you showed a little hospitality.”  He was about to strike me again with the belt but stopped. “Can I get some water, or maybe something stronger?” I ask. He punches me once more; well it was worth a try.

I gave them all the answers they wanted to hear, that the F.B.I. knew everything about them, this location, everything. This sent them into a hurried rush; they were going to move camp. I hear the Cessna prop go as the honky prick from before guides me outside with an AR to my back. It was a pitch black as he leads me to a ditch and has me stand at the bank. My knees were shaking as he walked back several paces from me.  My mind races, I look behind me and see what look to be two bodies. Instead of back, I run forward and knock the prick down before he could get his AR to shoot. With a bloody head, I use it to smack his. Two more forceful thuds and he’s out. In an awkward movement, I fish the keys from his pocket. A couple more strange twists and one cuff is undone. The Cessna engine begins to pick-up in the distance, I fetch the AR from the unconscious prick and run towards the sound of the engine. It was taxing its way up a small dirt runway, I use the light attached to the AR to shine on the plane, and I make speed with it. The gull-winged door opens and lifts above the Texan’s head. “What the fuck is it?” He calls out. I pull the trigger and the AR lets off a full auto burst into the Texan and the plane making holes in the door above him. He hangs from the door attached by his seat belt. The Cessna picks up speed; I drop the rifle and pick up my speed as well. I feel the dirt slide under my feet as I grab the edge of the cabin. The bends of my fingers ache as I pull myself up just as my foot leaves the ground the plane does too. It jolts skywards pushing me back down; the lights from farm house grow distant as we climb. The plane levels off as I begin to struggle my way back up, with one hand the pilot tries to close the open door, the dead Texan stops it from closing on my fingers with his bloody head.  The door lifts back up, I manage to get one foot onto the landing gear and use it to push myself inside. The pilot a meek man takes a swing at me but misses. I grab the back of his hair and slam his face into the LCD screen.  The screen holds but his nose does not, he cries in pain. One more slam and he is silent. As he was easier to move, I unbuckle the pilot and put him in the backseat, this is when I see the plane’s cargo is the same duffle bag, the same nuke as before. Almost like a video game I take the stick to my left, I tilt it slightly and the plane moves with the nudge. With one hand I pull the mess that was the Texan up in the seat and close the door, my ears pop a little from the pressure change. The bullet holes let off a light whistle. I wipe the LCD display to remove the pilot’s blood and the screen changes. A map with the plane in the center in its path was downtown Houston to the left the Gulf of Mexico. With careful taps to the stick, the plane begins to point to the gulf. I search the dead Texan for my device and find it in his breast pocket along with my smokes. I light one and watch as the lights below vanish. The map on the screen states we’re several miles from the coast. I use the dead Texan’s hand to tilt the stick forward. The plane makes a whine as it begins to plummet to the sea below. I hit my device.


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