Posted: July 22, 2011 by writingsprint in postaday2011, postaweek2011, Science fiction, Shatter, Writing
Tags: ,

“Now we run more detailed tests on you.”
“Where? At some lab in the middle of the desert?”
“No. Here. Now.”
Bob looked from Waltrip to the doctor and back. “You’re kidding.”

“I’m going to hook you up to some monitoring equipment and see how you respond…”

The world telescoped while Dr. Sekare stayed still, like the scene in Vertigo when Jimmy Stewart looks down the stairwell. Something was happening. Sekare was lying, feeding him small truths.

“…These will be very detailed, intense tests compared to a therapy session. If we have positive results, you’ll be moved…”

They were going to kill him. Bob already knew that, but now it was only minutes away. They were going to run the tests and put a bullet in his brain. No… not a bullet. Bob sensed a bomb under the floor of the building.

It had no mind, nothing that a psychic could detect. Bob sensed the screams and fear of everyone in the house, including himself, reaching back from thirty minutes from now. Bob remembered something about a book called The Wreck of the Titan, written over a decade before the Titanic sank. The book was about a luxury line striking an iceberg and sinking. The connection thrummed like a guitar string inside his head. He shaped the sound, and perceived some of the voices, the weeping. His face felt wet. Bob wasn’t crying, but he could feel the tears of people crying after the explosion.

Bob played guitar, and knew how to strike a chord and make it reach the back of the room.

“…You’ll live comfortably, and tests will continue…”

Bob held up his hand. “Doc, I’m really sorry to have to do this. I am.” Waltrip’s hand drifted to his pistol. “Dude, don’t even try.” He looked at Sekare. “This is for your own good.”

Bob struck the chord. The line between present and past snapped taut. The shockwave of fire, steel and hot gas became real in Bob’s mind. His head threw back in the chair, and everything happened at once.


Bob consciousness sucked to a single point the size of a pinhead and exploded. It felt like Bob himself exploded. Everything that Bob could perceive in that instant — the bomb, the room, Sekare, Waltrip, and the entire house — exploded. The bomb blew apart. The house blew apart. Sekare and Waltrip were blown through the walls. Pieces of the house went soaring into night and landed who knew where.

It felt like hours later when Bob opened his eyes. The dust hadn’t settled yet; it was only moments. Bob was the center of the blast, so nothing had landed on him.

He stood up on shaky legs. Past, present and future were flowing randomly inside his head, but were settling back to ‘now.’ It was because his life was no longer threatened.

For now.

The street was dark; power was out. Bob climbed over the debris and walked, a nameless stranger fleeing the explosion. Sirens were coming. He couldn’t be here.


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