Flash Friday 27/12/2013: Career Bomb
“You know what?” Jones said. “I’ve decided. I want to become an artist.”
“That’s nice,” Andrews said, with her trademark sigh. “Now help me defuse this bomb.”
“I mean it,” Jones said, removing his SWAT helmet so Andrews could hear him better. “I have been giving it some thought, and I believe I have come to an answer. This job is so unrewarding. Sure, we get to save lives and kick some serious backside, but nobody ever thanks us for it. In fact, we’re downright expected to save the day. The decisions are all made for us, as well. In the art world, you make the calls. You stare at the blank canvas, brush in hand, and think; what shall I embody today? Good, or evil? Life, or death? Creation, or destruction? I mean, what kind of choices do we get in this job?”
“Right now?” Andrews said, putting a finger underneath two wires inside of the bomb. “I’d say blue, or red.”
“We’re here to solve turmoil, like a man who’s trying to get rid of a weed problem in his garden with just a lawnmower. We take care of the obvious parts, but the very core of the turmoil of this country still hides deep within. What if we stopped beating at the leaves of the weeds, and instead went straight for the very roots? Create art that would shake mere mortals down to their very core?”
“This is all very nice,” Andrews said, “but you’re also being quite strange. I’d give you five minutes to calm down, but…” she stared at the timer. “Let’s say two minutes.”
“I will trade my baton for a paintbrush, depicting the world in as many colours as I please. I will trade my riot shield for a palette, from which I draw my vast resource from. I’m not really sure where the pepper spray would come in, though. I guess I won’t trade in the pepper spray. Makes some good last-minute seasoning on Sunday roasts.”
“Now I think you’re driving the bomb up the wall as well,” Andrews said, eyeing the timer. “The countdown just sped up.”
Jones clasped his hands together, staring out of a window at the outside scenery. “I can imagine myself now, beret on head, the flashes of the cameras catching myself and the painting I have created, along with the Louvre behind us both. ‘What made you change to an artistic career?’, they’ll ask me. ‘What spurred you on?’. I’ll tell them of the time that I had an epiphany during a bomb disposal mission, the incessant beeping of the timer telling me that it was time to move on, to find my real calling. We defuse the bomb and I being my career of soul-searching.”
“Uh,” Andrews said, staring at the still-active bomb. “I think you’re calling it a little early, Picasso.”
“Why does this job hamper my abilities, so?” Jones said, clutching his head. “Why must I be a grand oak trying to grow within a pot fit for a sunflower? Why won’t anyone give me something creative to do?”
“I have a great project for you,” Andrews said, holding out the wire clippers. “I name this piece, ‘Cut the correct wire and get the hell out of here before you have a mid-life crisis in the middle of a terrorist attack’. You have to hurry, though, it’s a one-in-a-lifetime chance to see it. Especially if you mess it up.”
“Ah, but what am I, a mere amateur artist, to do about this situation?” Jones said, snatching up the clippers. “Every great masterpiece, every struggling beginner’s attempt, should be analysed with great intent to discover the workings of their inner mind. Yet, when I see this craft of passion before me, I am struck with melancholy. Which wire would the bomb-maker wire directly to the explosives? Would it be the red wire, the embodiment of wrath, blood, and war? Or would it be the blue one, the very soul of depression, sadness, and tears? Revenge and strife! Misery and pain! I cannot choose one to cut under such circumstances!”
“How about these circumstances,” Andrews said. “One wire is the soul, embodiment, and personification of us leaving with our limbs still stuck on our bodies. The other one isn’t.”
“Quite,” Jones said, biting his bottom lip. “A tragedy that binds these two souls together.”
“And the building. And the street outside. And any old ladies walking their dogs.”
“Yes yes, all very important on the grand theatre of tragedy. The question remains, however; which one shall I cut?”
“I thought you knew this already,” Andrews said, drawing a small book. “Hold on, let me look it up.”
“Fate has bestowed upon me this challenge, and whatever Gods lie in Heaven refuse to tell me their secrets.”
“Hold on,” Andrews said, flipping through the book. “I’ll tell you them myself.”
“Is it the wire of red, the colour of Hell, here to cast a lake of fire on this world? Or is it the wire of blue, the colour of Heaven, the embodiment of God’s wrath on this sinful world?”
“Oh, here we go,” Andrews said, pointing in the book. “It’s the red one.”
“I am cursed,” Jones said. “Cursed with the choice that my entire life has lead up to.”
“Well, that’s alright, because it’s the red one.”
“One will lead to peace and prosperity; the other, shame and suffering. O, what a choice before me!”
“Jones, we have ten seconds.”
“So be it,” Jones said, with a tone that would put a Shakespearian re-enactment to shame. “I shall cut one, and let the cruel fate of destiny bind me to my choice.”
Jones cut the red wire.
The beeping stopped, the countd0wn stuck on the number one in a never-ending cliffhanger.
“Well then,” Jones said, dusting himself down with a smile on his face. “It’s good to see that art has triumphed once more.”
Then, he took a book to the face.
Book Spotlight: ‘Til Death Does His Part — a story where Death is imprisoned under murder charges, and calls in supernatural help to get his job done.