Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Tank Time (Blogophilia 8.8)

“Oh, Holy Father.  Grant me peace as I go to my hour of triumph. Amen.”

He repeated the prayer as the huge gray truck trundled down the hill, moaning and gasping like a bull in full throws with a heifer. My, how the fiesta has grown.  Aircraft droned overhead like Nicodemus in his tree. Even Pilate was on the pavement waiting for him. Only thing missing was the cross itself. Only there won’t be any impalement except by flying shrapnel. Isn’t that lovely? The media machine won’t be denied. He could sense the clamoring for the public death. But the death won’t be televised, because this cave will be where it will go down. 

“Oh, Holy Father.  Grant me peace as I go to my hour of triumph. Amen.”

A poker game, this has turned into a winner take all poker game. He sat on one side of the table and the pigs on the other, waiting for the deal from the unseen dealer. The luck of the draw was the true meaning of life. It was all a game. The Pigs dealt from a stacked deck. From Jacks to Kings, all the cards were theirs. But don’t they realize Joker trumps all?  And he was the Joker incarnate. 

“Oh, Holy Father. Grant me peace as I go in to my hour of triumph. Amen.”

How many would be coming? Since it looks like they brought the heavy artillery, the intended targets would be brave enough to be first. That would be jack booted troopers bent on conquering. Oh, well, as many of those as we can dispatch will just have to do.  Shuffling around the kitchen, he found another pack of nails and a half drunk bottle of whiskey. That made four bags so far.Only issue he had was the door itself. He paused and took a drink. Did he wait for it to break, or detonate as they pounded? Time would only tell.

A thundercloud cast in metal, Doraville PD's Terminator pulled in. A gift from a prior congressman, it stood like a giant among the tinker toys. The lightning army, with their many spears and magic helmets flowed from the orifices dotting the sides and rear of the massive tank. Crowbars, rams, and military rifles silently scattered to the sides of the building. Soon, the perimeter was complete, everyone standing by for the orders to kill the rabbit.

The madding crowd was pushed another 400 feet down Graves Road and told not to move under the threat of arrest. Road blocks were erected to keep out the curious. They even attempted to limit the News Helicopters from coming over, but the restriction couldn’t be granted on such a short notice. They said it would mess up air traffic for 200 miles. 

Chief Herrington arrived from Headquarters to orchestrate all the pieces and take over as point of contact. The Detectives were kind of relieved.  He might be an attention whore, but he did have a lot more patience with the News Weasels. After being briefed by Hudgins and Murray, he quickly went to satisfy the twenty four hour news machine. Some local politicians came to grandstand, but they were treated like the rest and kept behind the safety line. Hudgins and Murray knew they would take all the credit when it was over, but it didn’t matter. All they wanted at this point is nobody hurt, even though that was unlikely to happen.

Murray looked again through the binoculars at the target apartment, then passed them to the SWAT leader. Even with the filter, the windows were empty. They knew Jeremy was there, though. Waiting. Grabbing the radio, he called out:

“O143. You still standing by?”

The reply was immediate.

“O141 Yes, Sir.”

“SWAT is in position. Send one of the K9 teams up and see if he alerts. And do it quietly. SWAT team: hold positions until we confirm.”

“O 141, Roger that.” Jackson turned to the handlers. 

“Which dog stays quiet on alert?”

The shorter man spoke


“Good. Let’s confirm our boy is up there. Be careful. He’s probably armed.”

“Yes, sir.” With a soft command, the dog and handler ascended the stairwell. 

Jackson watched as they went from door to door, checking for scents. Since the structure was mostly abandoned, the process went quickly. Door after door was passed as they climbed to the third floor. When they reached the top of the second flight, the dog sat and looked up at the handler with a short whine. He nodded, quietly said another command and they came back to the ground floor and the handler praised the pooch for the job well done. 

“Someone is in there, for sure, Sergeant.” 

“O.K., thanks.” Turning to the radio. “O 141, apartment is occupied.”

“O 143, Roger that. Stand by.” 

He smelled the dog as it made the top of the stairs. It didn’t matter. It wasn’t time. His focus had never been better. Breathing shallow because of fear, Jeremy wondered if this just reconnaissance or the real thing. Guessing the former, he pulled his thumb away from the button. What did they call it in the movies? Foreplay?  The blood began to drain from his face and the black flip phone was indistinct in his hands. He grabbed the pail to steady himself as the room broke into fractals, colors flashing in his peripheral vision. 

Blonde curls damp from the sea spray framing a porcelain face. Sarah was in the rainbow spirals waiting to show him something. Buttons seem to open themselves, the training bra Mother had bought was a broad white line peeking from the creamy gap. Her hands grasped his, guiding them toward the fabric. Sarah would do this with him at bath time, but now it was accompanied by a steely fear. Fear of a line he was required to cross. 

Gardenia perfume sampled on the sly was in the air. Mother wouldn’t have approved of that. Hearts quickened as he savored the cool feel of her skin. Her back was to the house; even if Mother had looked out she wouldn’t have seen what was coming. One of his fingers found its way to the base of the strap…

The dog’s whine and clicking paws brought him back. They were playing with him, wanting him to give his position away.

No. Not this time.

Try again, Pigs. You aren’t cleared for landing.


For those of you new to this series, this story has been written using the prompts from the Blogophilia writing group. We are a loose group located across the globe who do this for fun. 

Topic-Diana Jay

Pic-Rutger Siskens

Pic guesses" Fractal (in blog), Rainbow spiral (in blog), shattered, trippy, It made me small.  


  1. Trapped... No way out this time.

  2. Waiting with great anticipation for the kaboom! Did I say that I like big kabooms? The tension Jeremy is feeling is so tangible! Yikes this is such a great story!

    8 points Earthling!


  3. Eloquent and powerful storytelling. I love it!

  4. Feels like carnage ahead, at the same time it almost feels like Jeremy is too narrow in his focus


  5. Trouble ahead

    Trouble behind.

  6. Uh oh....what next? You left us on stand by for sure!


    1. Well, you see..(hey, who are you? Ugh Ack!)

  7. Another well written episode Christopher! ~Christine W

  8. Oh you have a mighty battle ensuing here..I think most of it is in Jeremy's mind though. Those pigs are playing their cards better than Jeremy has figured.

  9. Oh man! Heart pounding suspense in this edition! They have cornered him and now he is having flashbacks... at first I thought it was the big kaboom, but instead another twist from his past. Diary of a Psychopath. Excellent!!!!! :)

    1. Yeah, I kind of thought I was going to get there, too. But the characters wouldn't let me.

  10. You keep the suspense and tension flowing all through this story! Now there is a tank! Infrared technology next? Keep this going I don't want to see it end!

    Blue guy

    1. The sad part is that tank is quite real and has been used in a somewhat similar situation. Only thing missing is the big gun on top.