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Friday short story time: "Bombs Away - Part 3"

Time for the final part of my slightly childish action trilogy. Next week, I promise I’ll write something thought-provoking about the relationship between a father and son, or whatever the cool writers do. Part one is here, part two here and the original appearance of these characters from last summer is here.

And while you’re here: I might use one or two of these Friday stories for a thing I have to submit writing for. If you have read a few of them in the past, do you have any favourites? Any that particularly stand out? If opinions exist, leave them in the comments below, or email me if you’re shy.

To remind yourself of all the previous stories, you can look at my exciting archives. Anyway, let’s get on with this dramatic ending.

Bombs Away – Part 3

By Nick Bryan

‘Any ideas yet, Ellie?’

‘Why do I have to have the bloody ideas?’

‘Well,’ Edward shrugged, ‘I had one and it isn’t working?’

To emphasise the failure of his only strategy, he banged his iPhone into his fist, failing to spark even a single bar of reception from it.

Eleanor just sighed. She could hear the men with guns advancing from either side. If only she had learned kung-fu, rather than relying on the combat tactic of distracting people with conversation until Edward could punch them in the face.

Alas, she didn’t think that would work here. These people were not confused elderly security guards, they were prepared for all kinds of enemies. Perhaps if she’d worn a more revealing top or had a knife.

Meanwhile, Edward had gotten as far as pulling the battery out of his phone, in order to replace it and restart. So she really was on her own then. Pressed against the back of a large, circular bin, about to get arrested by anonymous men in black.

And Edward and Eleanor didn’t have magical powers, nor were they aliens, so she doubted they would be taken to a secret base and anally probed. More likely, they’d just be executed on the spot for being inconvenient.

In a slight panic, she glanced at the floor. Not only could she see the shadows of their pursuers about to move into her eyeline, she also spotted the cable that had been clipped to Edward during his rubbish-diving adventure. It wasn’t much, she thought, but she could probably do something with it.

One end was still attached to the wall of the warehouse. So, dragging Edward with her by the arm, she managed to clip the other onto the huge towering bin that they cowered behind. For ease of emptying and transportation, all the bins were on wheels. The brakes were on, but as luck would have it, the pedal was right next to her.

Having set the wheels free, the rope in one hand and her husband suspended from the other, Eleanor pulled the bin backwards, getting it rolling between her and the men with guns.

It was a bold move, but one that worked perfectly for a few seconds, at least, until the huge weight became too much for her to pull along by herself, especially with the rope pulling in one direction and the weight of Edward tugging in another.

Finally, Eleanor stumbled over her feet, the rumbling sound grew louder and she fell downwards. The bin rattled away, picking up speed with no brakes, and for a few seconds there was a clear line of sight between the cats and the mice. She really thought that might be it.

But even the slowing of time whilst Eleanor waited to be shot couldn’t stop the moving bin smashing hard into another. Namely the one containing the bomb. Even Edward, his phone finally back on, looked up in horror.

All he could muster in time was ‘shit Ellie it’s going to’, before both of them began to fall over. The two men from the security services dived for cover, but Edward and Eleanor only had time to leap into each other’s arms on the ground, as the rubbish spilled out with an almighty clang.

Everyone was ready for an explosion that would kill the lot of them, but it never came. And, helpfully, the archaeologists were still upright, whilst the government men quivered on the floor.

Finally taking control of the situation, Edward grabbed Eleanor’s arm, taking her with him as he leapt over the spilled waste. He glanced at his phone, and murmured briefly to his wife that ‘worryingly, that bomb might be better made than I thought,’ before punching at the touchscreen.

The armed interlopers had almost gotten themselves up and in pursuit, but Edward and Eleanor were well clear by now. And, finally, there was a short silence, followed by an almighty bang as the garbage exploded. Metal and plastic shrapnel flew in any direction, but Edward had already pointed them both at the floor.

All that remained was a ringing in their ears. Slowly, they sat upright, shaking their heads, until Eleanor broke the silence by looking at her phone.

‘Edward, you sent me a text just now saying “Good evening, dear”? Was that really the best time?’

‘No, no,’ Edward nodded cheerfully, ‘that’s what set off the bomb. I thought it might have some kind of mobile phone detonator. One so terribly made that I could set it off just by texting nearby.’

‘Oh.’ She paused. ‘Bloody well done, Edward. You get a raise.’

She leapt up and dusted herself off. ‘Now, best get out of here before anyone comes looking for those two.’

Quickly, they squeezed through the gates. Eleanor considered whether they needed to cover their exit, but with the charred plastic, loud explosion and scattered body parts of government agents, it was a little redundant.

Edward, meanwhile, was checking the pulse of the security guard they’d knocked out. ‘Good, he seems fine,’ he observed, seeming genuinely relieved, ‘it’d have been sad if he’d been blown up.’

‘I suppose so, honey,’ Eleanor shook her head, before sweeping to the car. ‘We must try and make ourselves scarce now, I don’t think I’d do well in prison.’

‘Oh, okay.’ Edward sighed. ‘This was quite exciting, at least.’

She glared at him. ‘For that, you pay for dinner.’

‘Oh, Ellie. You know I’ll just charge it to the joint account again.’

And so they drove on their merry way, another adventure complete.

This disclaimer feels more redundant every time I type it, but don’t steal, copyright me, email me and mention it if you want to use these anywhere for whatever reason. And don’t forget to comment with your favourites! (If you have favourites.)


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