Friday, July 20, 2012
The Test (Blogophilia 21.5)
Rain dripped into the bucket next to the door. Carefully, he slipped the fuse through the hole. Capped pipes, fuses and wiring were stacked haphazardly on the table next to him. It won’t be long now. The memory of the house flashed in front of his eyes, which followed by the image of it burned down. He was just fighting the monster under the bed. Sandra, he called her, after his piano teacher. She used beat his hands when he missed a note. He could remember swinging the bat and hitting her and she was gone. Then the muffled voices of the police. Why they came with SWAT squad, he had no idea. Everything else was a blur. The leather restraints and drugs to calm him. The electrodes as they hooked them on his head and the pain of the shock. They would never give him anything for the pain.
They eventually let him loose. But there was nowhere to go, just a revolving door between the street and jail. It was all a big bullying game. The officious judges when they would sign bond. Other judges when he would show up for sentencing. Why give him fines? He didn’t have any money. And he just got angrier. When he was finished, the police would know that they had bullied the wrong person. He stepped back and admired the pipes. A lot of work had gone into planning them. Packing them carefully into a box, he took them to the test site.
He found the farmhouse trying to escape. Rumor it had been used as a toxic waste site. Given the dead zones in the files, he didn’t doubt it. He thought about blowing it up for one of the tests. Not ready for that yet and it was isolated. The roof had visible holes in it. Nothing would be kept dry, but it could be used pipe and hardware storage. A room in the center was dry enough for a staging area.
Walking over to one of the dead zones, he noticed it was out of sight line of the road and not within earshot of any of the neighbors. Fifteen feet from the tree line was a fairly large hickory stump. It would be a good first test. The wood was fresh and would splinter well. He paced off a series of lines in each direction, looking for the best place to observe the blast. As he is walking, he looks at the stop watch on his phone. At the 90 second mark on each line, he turns around and crouches low. He has covered about 500 feet. This is the distance he intends to be at the main event.
The metronome began to click in his head. Step…Step...Step... Every Good Boy Does Fine. Click. Click. Click. Every Good Boy Does Fine. Every Good… E.G B. D. F. He would play the mismatched chord just to set the bitch off. His head begins to hurt. The belt beating in time interspersed with the timer. Whack… Whack… Whack… The scars on his back began to sting with the memory. It was like a pile of quicksand he was trying to escape. And the fucking Cops with their tear gas and tasers, making him leave the house. Who cared if the taxes hadn’t been paid? That was the dead bitch’s job, not his. He began to see her face in the stump. It was the right target.
He placed the pipe in a gap the base of the stump where the soil had washed away. He didn’t bother to cover it, since he really just wanted to see how far the debris would go. The 120 second fuse was lit and he began to walk up the path back to the farmhouse. The remaining seconds tick off in slow motion.
The blast sounds like a twelve gauge next to his ear. The smoke drifts in the slight breeze. The rain of debris lasts a few seconds. Then it is quiet. Not even the crickets sounded.
Walking back to the stump, it has been replaced with a hole about four feet across and eight feet deep. He smiled and makes measurements. He carefully walked in a spiral around the hole making notes of where the wood fragments were. They had spread in an oblong pattern, with the narrow side corresponding to the ends of the device.
All of this was noted in a cryptic code. Can't take any chances, you know. He packs his gear and hikes back down to his truck.