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Posted: Sun Aug 17, 2008 12:53 pm
by Chaeronia
The vicar's voice is drowned out by a low-flying plane. I'm the only one who looks up.

Whenever I see a passenger jet I hope it will explode. I look at it and concentrate hard, narrowing my eyes and sending out brainwaves to try and blow it up. But it's not worked yet. Probably for the best, of course. I mean, lots of people would die and that would be sad for them.

Just once though! I wouldn't want to see it two or three times and then get them confused later on in life. That would be pretty unfair on those who died. No, just a once in a lifetime thing, a JFK moment. A single rose says it best, and all that.

I did see a car crash though, a week or so back. A head-on collision at high speed. Sounds impressive but it was all very sudden, a jolt of action then someone hitting the pause button. A crunch of metal, the sound of splintered glass as the driver's head hit the windscreen, and that was it. There was a certain deadpan drama to it I suppose, like one of those TV adverts made to shock people. No great fiery plumage, though; no slow-motion shower of debris like you'd get with a plane. Not exactly Hollywood.

Ka-boom! Just imagine it... and as much as I do imagine it, this plane, this time, stays in tact and is swallowed by the distance. I stop looking up.

This is taking a long time, and I want to get to the shops.

There's a new computer game out, see, where you play the head of a terrorist network. Terror Est, or something. You live in some made up country that ends in -stan as a pissed off dissident, planning attacks against an occupying force. It's very in-depth. You have to micro-manage finances and supplies, organise recruitment and promote your cause. Essentially, though, the more people you kill the better you do, and the further up the Most Wanted charts you rise. It's a fair bet you can blow up aeroplanes as well.

I'm going to buy it straight after we're done here, which shouldn't be long now: people are throwing dirt onto the coffin.

I shouldn't even be here anyway but work gave me a week’s leave and it’s only Tuesday morning. I'd only been seeing her for a couple of weeks before the accident. And I was about to give her the flick. She was nice and everything, just a bit boring: didn't drink or smoke or sleep around or do drugs. You've got to be doing a couple of those, right? She was weird in a way. I mean, you go through life being straight like that but you don't wear a seatbelt? Not my kind of sense. Sure, I have a big bruise where mine kept me in my seat, and it still hurts like sin, but better that then dead. Smoking and drinking doesn't kill you nearly as quick as a windscreen.

I should have told her that, I suppose, but there's nothing to be done about it now. Time's not for travelling, and all that, and I've never liked telling people what to do. She probably wouldn't have listened anyway. People who don't wear seatbelts never listen.

The vicar calls out a final amen and the congregation start to shuffle their way back to their cars. Her dad invites me back to the house for the buffet. I’d not met him before today. I really don't want to go so I say thanks but no, and that I'd rather be by myself for now. That seems to work because he nods and puts a meaty hand on my shoulder. It's not a lie, after all.

I split apart from the group without being noticed further, and start the walk into town. I hook my blazer over my shoulder as it’s a sunny day, and plug in my headphones. Somebody to Love by Jefferson Airplane fires up.

And some people think God doesn’t have a sense of humour.

Posted: Sun Aug 17, 2008 2:05 pm
by The Master
Quirky and humorous with a macabre overlay. OK I admit it, I totally want to read more!

Re: Kaboom!

Posted: Sat Sep 06, 2008 12:48 am
by waytanblee
Nice, Chaeronia. I always enjoy your stories. The dark humour of this one is very poignant. I like the touch of the computer game. I don't play many but this is a game that I'd like to play. Is it based on a real game?

Re: Kaboom!

Posted: Sun Sep 07, 2008 3:05 pm
by nightlock
Chaeronia wrote:Smoking and drinking doesn't kill you nearly as quick as a windscreen.

Good story.

Re: Kaboom!

Posted: Sun Sep 07, 2008 5:16 pm
by Bmat
It is very well written. The speaker is believable, and we see the events taking place around him in the distracted sort of way that he does.

I am going to remember the story for certain.

Re: Kaboom!

Posted: Mon Sep 08, 2008 6:38 am
by Chaeronia
Thank you all for taking the time to read and comment. I appreciate the feedback very much, and am glad it seems to have gone down well.

(Waytanblee, it isn't based on a real game that I know of, but games developers haven't been prudish in exploiting this 'war on terror' to their own ends, so it wouldn't surprise me if one was produced soon.)

Re: Kaboom!

Posted: Mon Sep 08, 2008 6:43 am
by waytanblee
I really would have an edge over the usual army games. Raising funs would make a really interesting sub-task for the game.