(November 2nd, 2004, 11:08 am)
This is a quick story I knocked up for alt.cyberpunk.chatsubo
It's a word association challenge from the two words of the title...enjoy:
A myriad twinkling stars, hard and sharp and crystalline. They burrowed into flesh and rained down into stupidly upturned eyes. Without the screams, the singing of the glass shards as they died on the hard ground was beautifully musical. The remains of the window sat in the frame around a jagged maw, frozen open in horror at what had befallen it.
The awareness that worse was to come was slow to arrive, a slinking dread that palpably moved from person to person as they each finally noticed what had made such a dramatic entrance.
A gelatinous mass sat innocuously amidst the panic, strait-jacketed by mass of coiled wires, one LED blinking red for danger, an optical staccato signaling approaching doom.
Hours later, once those trampled in the stampede has been cleaned from the floor, still it sat. On. Off. On. Off. Will I? Won't I?
"I have no idea what the hell that is," he said, he whose name was Frank.
"What do you mean?" said the other, whose name is irrelevant, "It's a bomb. Your our security director. We pay you to know what the hell it is."
"Indeed. And if it were a bomb, I would recognise it. But it's not."
"But...You said that was plastic explosive."
"And it's got wires going into it."
Frank nodded again.
"So in what way is it not a bomb?"
"Because there's no way of detonating it. It's just a lump explosive wrapped in a load of wire. There's no trigger, no power-source with sufficient juice to set off the detonator, nothing. It's as dangerous as a lump of silly putty."
"So, what are you saying? It's not going to explode?"
"No boom for you today."
Frank sat in his office, watching the still-blinking eye that threatened so much, yet had delivered nothing. It was soothing in a way. What was attached to it that disturbed him.
His loins vibrated, and Frank started. No matter how often it happened, his phone always made him jump.
"Yes?...How many?...Whoa...That's a lot of explosive to waste. I really don't like this...Yeah. Well, let me know."
Twelve more, one in each major corporation office in the city. But no matter how he poked and prodded the pink gloop in front of him, he could see no way they would ever actually work, and they were built like that deliberately. The wires to the detonator were wired correctly, they just weren't connected to anything. Just five metres of heavy-duty core, ending in nothing.
Symbolic? Perhaps. Damned expensive warning. Frank shivered at thought of a group with enough cash to send out this amount of explosive simply as a threat.
He hit redial on his phone. "Yeah, stupid thought. I assume no one's found anything resembling a battery or such anywhere nearby?...Thought not. Pretty lousy design to lose it on every delivery...Yeah, yeah, I know. But when you're sitting five feet from this much explosive, being insanely careful is perfectly sane behaviour...Yeah, night."
Frank jerked awake as his genitalia vibrated again. His back ached from falling asleep in his chair and his arm had gone to sleep, which turned the entire procedure of answering into a very painful and complex farce.
"What you got?...No, I feel asleep, you just woke me up...Okay, gimme a second."
The news channel flickered into life on the monitor to his left. Within the glowing window a newsreader hunched, intoning words from his teleprompter.
"...unknown forces in control of the power station are refusing all attempts at communication, and are attempting to overload...expect...pulses...off all...devices."
Frank looked around. The electronics were going crazy. Whatever the hell the group was doing to the station it was sending some major EMP's through the system.
Heavy-core coiled wire.
There was no tomorrow.
(November 2nd, 2004, 8:14 pm)
Hahah - really nice.
Couple things I saw:
"Your our security" I think you need "you're".
"he whose name was Frank" I think it'd be nice if you emphasised this second "he". It was a bit tough on the first read.
"painful and complex farce" I like the word "farce" here, but I somehow think there's a better word for what you mean. Maybe "charade" or "parody", even though the latter would require a re-phrasing.
(November 19th, 2004, 11:34 am)
I spotted a couple more errors myself re-reading it. Ah well,that's what feedback si for, right? :P
I think 'farce' is about the closest to what I wanted - being a ridiculously comical mockery of the original. Charade and parody don't quite have the /silliness/ I wanted, and, if you think about the situation, it is incredibly ridiculous...thus, 'farce'
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