Ten Seconds Left This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

March 3, 2012
Custom User Avatar
More by this author
I almost slapped him and ran when he slammed me against the concrete wall with his arm jammed on my neck, but I knew that even if I got away, I would never be able to escape. Sadly, I knew all the terrible consequences if I upset him. It’s sad because, if I didn’t know any better, I could easily have been selfish enough to run away and never look back. But I couldn’t because then that feeling would always be there, that feeling of guilt, shame, remorse.
He has my family, my loved ones, and everyone I have ever talked to, walked with, or cared for under surveillance, and if I opposed him in any way, all he would have to do is simply push a small black button on his phone. Just this one button called “send”, the words already typed, spelling out one word, four small letters, “KILL”. This one button would kill everyone; my wife, my two kids, my parents, my sister, relatives, co-workers, friends, acquaintances, everyone. That is why I must obey his every instruction to the very letter. Then I started thinking, “Who is he?” I had no idea who he was. All I knew was that I hated him for doing this to me.

I snapped back into reality when he yelled, “Okay, remember, no talking to anyone when you’re in there and don’t do anything that would suggest something is wrong, or you know what will happen.” He gave me a look of contempt.

I shivered, wanting to back out and be selfish, but I shook off that thought because my mind was made up and I knew exactly what needed to happen today. Before I walked into Rosie’s Market, I pulled out just enough courage to say to him, “Now, if I do this right, you better not even think about making any kind of contact with my family.” I didn’t get any response except for a small, irritated nod of his head. My hands trembled as I zipped up my puffy blue and black hoodie, taking one last glance at what was strapped to my stomach underneath it.

The wires, red and blue buttons, and small timer were all very confusing to me. All I knew was that it was a bomb, set to explode in exactly 4 minutes and 47 seconds. Misery filled me, soaking every bone, hair, and vein in my body, every nook and every cranny; because I know that my life will end today, along with many more innocent people inside the market. I don’t know why that wicked man wants me to be here at Rosie’s with the bomb, but I suppose it was for some twisted revenge.

My mind was everywhere and nowhere at the same time. As I stood there in the middle of the market I was staring at all the people I was about to kill. Then I started drifting off and letting the good memories flood in. When I met my lovely wife and then got married to her and had two wonderful kids with her. My mind went to a dark place. I would never see them again. Tears started to well up in my eyes but instead of holding them back I let them run down my face.

Letting the tears run down my face, however, made my existence in the market much more noticeable. A cop that was patrolling the market marched up to me and asked me what was wrong. Stunned, I let out a few “ers” and “ums”.

“Sir, is there anything I can assist you with?” the officer questioned.

“Um, er, no officer, nothing is wrong at all.” I forced out, knowing that this was probably my only chance to save myself, but I was scared the man who strapped the bomb to me, was watching.

Officer Gorman, as it said on his badge, gave me a comforting smile and patted me on the back. But immediately after feeling the back of my jacket it seemed as though he knew exactly what I was hiding. “He must have felt the large strap underneath my jacket!” I thought to myself as my whole body got hot and sweaty.

“Sir, are you sure everything is okay? You seem rather nervous.” Officer Gorman said.

“Everything’s fine!” I yelled a little too loud and a bit too fast.

“Alright sir, I’m going to ask you to take off your jacket so if you would please cooperate.” Officer Gorman said sternly.

“I’m sorry officer but—” before I could finish the officer zipped down my jacket and gasped.

The timer read 1 minute and 39 seconds when Officer Gorman dispatched all police stations to have the area evacuated and to send in the bomb squad. As the whole market turned upside down the officer asked me why I was doing this and how I was involved. Deciding that there was no way out of this, I told him that “he” had threatened my family, but I didn’t know who “he” was, and that I had no idea why I was chosen to commit this horrendous act.

When the timer showed 46 seconds left on the clock, people were still running and screaming, trying to get out of the market. The bomb squad still wasn’t there and Officer Gorman was somewhere frantically informing more people of the danger they were in. I noticed that even though the people were on the verge of death, they still gave me dirty looks. A look that would be defined as “I know you’re the one who’s doing this to us and I hate you.” It made the pit in my stomach feel even deeper.

I looked down and scanned the time. Only 24 seconds left. Out of the corner of my eye I saw “him,” the man staring at me with his phone in his hand. My eyes were squinting, but I was too far away to see if he had pushed the send button. An almost murderous smile inched its way across his face as he waved to say goodbye, forever. Just like that he had camouflaged himself into the rest of the crowd, like a chameleon. Suddenly, it hit me. This is the end.

The bomb squad arrived with ten seconds left on the timer, they sprinted up to me and started cutting wires, pressing buttons, and ordering each other around. There was only one question on my mind, “Will they make it?” I shut my eyes tight. 10…9…8…7…6…5…4…3…2…1…

Join the Discussion

This article has 1 comment. Post your own now!

futurenovelist1577 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Mar. 12, 2012 at 5:35 pm
Omg...This was seriously intense. It got me wondering what I'd be thinking if I knew I only had a few minutes left to live. Incredible. Keep writing! :)
Site Feedback