Tom calls me an “instrument of God’s justice”, but he’s super religious. I don’t need all that church hokum to do what I do. I just like watching things explode…buildings, people…doesn’t really matter much to me. For me, it’s always been about the art.
And today, the Irene Stabler Women’s Clinic is my canvas.
I turned the cart down the south corridor and rolled past the “White Rooms”. Through the walls the faint murmurs of nurses talking to patients as the heinous procedures unfolded within.
At the end of the corridor, shaded figures holding signs paraded slowly in front of the clinic. The graphics on the signs were indiscernible through the security windows, but I was confident that they were filled with the same grotesque images of carnage taking place live just a few yards away in the “White Rooms”.
Glancing around to verify that the hall was deserted, I set the “Out of Service” sign in front of the entry to the women’s restroom, and then verified that the alarm light on the emergency exit a few yards down the corridor was still off. I hefted the sixteen pound “palette” of C4 from its hiding place beneath the cart, stowed it under my smock and stepped into the bathroom. Splashing through the standing water from the intentionally clogged toilet, I nearly slipped as I rushed into the last stall.
Tom’s words careened through my mind as I unrolled the package of individually wrapped explosive charges and draped it around the commode. “Get in there and get out. The timer will be preset at ten minutes. If anything goes wrong, just clip the yellow wire…and make sure the building is clear this time. We just want those murderers out of business, not dead. Remember, ten minutes.”
My excuse and apology for the timing was already fabricated. Timing was everything in art, and my new masterpiece would not be constrained Tom’s altar boy sensibilities.
I pushed the button and the digital timer blinked to life.
Every square inch of my skin tingled and, as though in response, my Blackberry began to vibrate. I rubbed my eyes violently, hoping to clear away the nightmare scenario.
Tripping as I scrambled from the stall, I slid hard across the wet tile; my Blackberry, slipping from my pocket, revealed a text message.
I braved the loonies to bring you some lunch : ) I’m up front.
“No!” Not here, not now! My stomach knotted as I envisioned my sister Esme becoming part of my art. I crawled wildly back to the stall and looked at the blinking timer.
I pried open plastic timer face and a braid of colored wires popped up. Black. Red. Green. White. Where’s yellow?!
I looked at the wires again, separating them slightly with my wet fingers as I drove my opposite hand into my pockets looking for wire cutters. Nothing.
White must be yellow. Right? I flinched as my anger at Tom and his “Just God” washed over me. God! Don’t you get it? I’m doing this for you! Help me out here!
The Blackberry vibrated.
Hollaback. Gotta pick up the kids from kindy soon.
Then GO! I swallowed hard, struggling to maintain my grasp on the wires while resisting the rising bile in my throat.
I pinched the white wire and steeled myself with a deep breath. Don’t pull too hard, one wrong wire and it could all go.
I tugged on the white wire, all of the others stretched in unison.
As I exhaled, preparing for another attempt, I was reminded of something Tom said shortly after we began “purifying the death factories” as he named them.
“Jesus has called us to save these children, Sean, whatever the cost. He loves them so much.” I had laughed, but he quickly cut me off with a look that demanded attention. “Sean, he loves you, too. In fact Jesus loves you so much that he died for you. You can trust him.”
I had no other recourse.
“Jesus?” I couldn’t wait for a response. “Jesus, if your listening I’m not very good at this.”
“Forgive me for all of the terrible things I’ve done.”
“Please help me make this right.”
For Esme’s sake, please help me. I felt the tears trickling down my cheek.
“Jesus?” I held my breath.
I pulled the white wire with all my strength.
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