Thursday, July 30, 2009

Sweet Smelling Terrorism

Creative Writing Championships 2009
Flash Fiction

Challenge #2 assignment
GENRE - Political Satire
LOCATION - A perfume shop
OBJECT - A hamburger

An officer brought in the witness, sat him down at the booth and put a great American hamburger with the works in front of him. All the officers had hamburgers and a sergeant was handing out bibs. Detective Frinkle sat down across the table from the witness and took out a notebook and a pen to write down his statement.
“What’s your name and why did you call 911 this afternoon” asked Detective Frinkle.
“Bobby Monk is my name. I, um, I sit, on this corner, everyday and nobody looks, at me… but, this guy did,” Monk dribbled the words out like an ocean cruiser sinking.
“What did this guy look like, Mr. Monk. Think hard and tell me if he looked like he was of Middle Eastern descent and determined to destroy the United States of America.”
“Well, he looked straight at me, for like three minutes, and he seemed nervous,” Monk said. “He was tappin’ his foot and put his finger in his right ear like he was listening to an earpiece. He was holding a bag with his left hand and I definitely think he was of Middle Eastern descent and I’m almost entirely positive that he looked like he was determined to destroy the United States of America.”
Frinkle scribbled in the notebook, stood up, put the notebook and his pen back in his pocket and left the hamburger shop. Frinkle walked through the automatic sliding glass doors at the front of Harvey’s Great American Hamburgers and stopped on the sidewalk and stared straight ahead. The street in front of him was blocked off by police barricades and police cars and police officers, and SWAT vehicles - all in front of Lucky Lady Perfume Shop.
“What do we got?” asked Detective Elliott.
“It’s definitely a terrorist in there, probably a whole cell. The witness said the man was communicating with an earpiece and delivering a bag, most likely stolen C4 or radioactive carbon neutral…. Lizer, anthrax,” said Frinkle.
“Radio what?”
“It’s a terrorist cell. The building is probably a front. I gave a TV interview about it already. Thousands of people go in and out of here each day. Who, other than a terrorist, stares at a complete stranger for three minutes?” Frinkle said.
“It’s a terrorist for sure. One of them Jihad guys?” Elliot asked.
“Yep,” Frinkle responded, as the men walked toward their detective vehicle, parked at the curb a few feet away, and leaned against it. “The perfume shop is probably so they can buy a gift for their 44 virgins in heaven before they blow up and see Allah.”
“We haven’t talked to anyone inside yet, have we?” Elliott asked.
“I’m not gonna talk to them anyway,” Frinkle said. “Not unless they agree to our preconditions. Whoever it is, whatever they did, they gotta give up and be punished. Have the bomb squad rig up the outside of the building to blow, and collapse on itself so it kills anyone inside,” Frinkle ordered. “The chief and the mayor are on board. People are terrified at the information we are giving them and they want to be safe.
“Will do,” nodded Elliott, and he walked toward the hamburger shop command center.
Elliott walked inside, ordered a hamburger and asked the sergeant to bring the bomb squad captain to him. The captain came over carrying some grainy printouts and handed them to Elliott. They were blowups of surveillance satellite shots taken from two miles above the back of the perfume shop and they painted a grim picture. The pictures showed proof of WMDs (White Magic Diamonds), thought to be used by underground Middle Eastern witchdoctors, painted on the ground in the parking lot behind the perfume shop. Elliott told the captain to rig the building to explode. The ‘go’ order would come in 30 minutes or less, he said. The captain hustled off and the sergeant brought Elliott his hamburger and a stack of reports. Elliott looked over the reports, scarfed down the burger, then stood up with one sheet of paper in his hand and walked out front to Frinkle.
Elliott handed Frinkle the report and said, “The witness gave us a deposit sketch of the terrorist and we identified him in the system. He lives alone on the south side, works in construction, attends night school and has multiple unpaid parking tickets. And we have positively not ruled out WMDs in the back parking lot of the store.”
“How long before the bomb squad is set?”
“15 minutes,” answered Elliott.
“Did you have one of those burgers?” asked Frinkle.
“Yeah. It was definitely tasty,” Elliott said.
“How about the Freedom Fries?” Frinkle asked.
“They were probably the most beautiful thing I ever put in my mouth,” Elliott said.
Frinkle put two fingers up to his mouth and let out a piercing whistle, then stuck his hand in the air and waved his finger in a circle, like a baseball umpire making the sign for a home run.
All the personnel cleared the road and took cover inside the hamburger shop. Frinkle and Elliott strolled to the middle of the road and stood in front of the perfume shop. The captain came over to them, handed them each a grenade and assured them that casualties would be minor and the merchants and citizens on the block would welcome this action.
Frinkle nodded and tapped the captain on the shoulder sending him away.
“On three,” Frinkle said. “One, two, threeeeeeeee.”
As Frinkle yelled threeeeee the two men pulled the pins on their grenades, raised their arms and tossed the grenades through the display window of the perfume shop. As the grenades broke through the window the captain ordered his bomb squad to blow the exterior bombs.
Frinkle and Elliott were blown backward, the devil lovin’ perfume shop went up in a ball of flame. In the smoke above the store Frinkle swore he could read the words “Mission Accomplished.”

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