Monday, February 4, 2013

A Good Cause

When I opened my Google reader this morning, a bunch of the blogs I follow were highlighting a very special bloghop. It's called "Overcoming Adversity", hosted by Nick Wilford over at Scattergun Scribblings. It's a hop designed to help his son, who has cerebral palsy, get into college. Something not readily available for special needs students in Scotland. Nick plans on compiling an anthology of the posts, with the proceeds going to help fund his son's schooling.

I'm totally down with that.

This seemed like a good idea for a great cause and, lucky for me, I was able to still sign up. How I missed it, initially, I have no clue. So, at about 3:00 pm today, I did just that....having no idea what I'm going to write, but I figure I'll come up with, here goes.....

The Last Minute

" pressure or anything...but, if you don't do this, it's going to be the end of the human race. We have five minutes left!"

"Yeah, no pressure....sure...right..." Simon said into his com-link, trying to keep the utter panic out of his voice. His hands were shaking like a wino suffering from the DTs.

Because that's what he was. Or, at least, had been. He didn't like to think of himself as a "wino" anymore. He hadn't had a drink in months....though, sometimes, those months felt like years. He licked his lips.

He sure could use a drink.

"No!", he thought...he didn't need the booze. Not anymore.

"You sure about this thing?" Simon asked, trying to steady the wire clippers in his left hand. The back of his right hand wiping sweat from his furrowed brow.

"As sure as we can be...." the voice on the other end of the com-link said. "If it blows, that's it. Ta-ta terra firma. Look, I know your training doesn't even begin to cover this, but you were the one in the chamber when it locked, so we're a little behind the eight-ball here."

Karlov was scared and, if he was scared, Simon should be too....he knew that. "We only have five minutes left...." Simon muttered to himself.

"Four minutes left, Simon!" the captain called over the link.

 It had seemed like just yesterday he had heard of the massive, global, conspiracy that had replaced the leaders of the world with slimy, alien impostors. These impostors had really made a mess of things....probably more so than their real counterparts would have done.


Everything had been geared to throw the planet into chaos, making Earth ripe for an invasion force from a dying planet. They had succeeded, for the most part. That is, until the resistance movement found the one thing the really fouled the aliens up.

Pencils. Well, the graphite in the pencils was the real anathema to the P'locus as they slowly revealed themselves to be called.  

Simon's hands trembled more and he began sweating profusely.

"Three minutes, Simon. Do you have the plate off? Can you see the wires?"

"I've had the plate off", Simon said slowly, "which wire?"

"You've..." Karlov stammered, then blurted out, "the green wire. Cut the green wire!"

"Green wire..." Simon exhaled, fingering the five wires before him.

"Quit gabbin' and cut the damn wire! Two minutes left!" the captain screamed into Simon's earpiece.

"Captain...I think there's something I should have told you years ago." Simon said.

"What's that?" Karlov said, almost breathless.

"I'm colorblind." Simon said, his hands suddenly stopped shaking.

For a second there was nothing but static on the other end of Simon's earpiece.

"Simon, just cut one....and pray.", Karlov said low, "Last minute."

And he did...suddenly knowing in the bottom of his heart that he was given the chance to crawl out from the bottom of the bottle for a purpose.

This was that purpose.

Simon took a deep breath and cut a wire.

Years later, when he would retell the story to his children and, then later, grandchildren....he'd leave out the part about where he had pissed his pants.

Thanks for hosting this hop, Nick, and best wishes on your son's academic future.


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

That last line sealed the deal! (And it was hilarious.) Great piece, Mark.

Mark Means said...

Heh, thank you Alex :)

Anonymous said...

Like Alex thought the last line great.
A wonderful write and a pleasure to read.


Mark Means said...

@Yvonne: Thank you very much, I appreciate that! :)

michelle said...

Hi Mark. I'm visiting from the Bloghop.
When he said, I'm colourblind, I thought... well, that's it! Cheers to Simon and Karlov. So glad they made it though...
That last line?? *chuckles*

Nick Wilford said...

An excellent contribution and I'm impressed you came up with it at short notice! You made me laugh out loud! Thanks for taking part - among some of the heavier entries, it's a bit of relief. :)

Elise Fallson said...

This was excellent Mark! Really truly is. I couldn't read fast enough when the count down began. Impressive you got this in on the fly. Love the humor in it (I'm a sucker for that)and the end . . . HA! Great job. (:

M.L. Swift said...

As I read this, all I kept thinking of was "MacGruber."

Great story, Mark! And wonderful cause to support.

Yolanda Renee said...

Awesome contribution! And last minute, love how your mind works!

Humor, always the best!

Mark Means said...

@Michelle: Hey there, thanks for stopping by :) The last line was more of an afterthought than the rest of the just struck me as funny. Glad you liked it :)

@Nick: Again, best wishes on your stepson's education and I really hope this little entry helps. I read a lot of great stories, yesterday and, yeah, some of them were heavy...very inspiring, though.

@Elise: Thank you very much!

@M.L.: LOL! Hadn't thought of that, but it fits!

@Yolanda: Thank you Yolanda!! Sometimes, I just do better at the last minute :)

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Now that was a leap of faith.

Sally said...

I laughed too!! Glad it all worked out in the end.

Morgan said...

LOL! You've got the skills, my friend. Totally enjoyable. (And I'm still laughing) :D

Mark Means said...

@Diane: A big time leap, yes :)

@Sally: Me too, thanks!

@Morgan: Thank you very much and I'm glad you enjoyed :D

Melissa said...

Hahaha. Love it! Great post!

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

Great short for a good cause. I love that last line.

David P. King said...

I never get tired of wire-cutting scenes. Well played! :)

Mark Means said...

Melissa and Susan, thank you both! :)

Mark Means said...

@David: Me neither. I've had that kernel of an idea for a long while, actually.

Every time I see a movie scene like that, I always think "What if he was colorblind?"

Trisha F said...

LMAO. Love the last line. The story overall is great. Loved that he's colourblind. hahaha

Mark Means said...

Heh, thank you Trisha :)

Elsie The Writer said...

Oh, Mark, you had me on pins and needles and then you had me laughing at the end! This was great.

Mark Means said...

Elsie, thank you so much and I appreciate those kind words :)

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