The prompt over at Sunday Scribblings is “extreme.”
Paulie bought the beer and everyone else brought something to snack on.
We’d convened on the fifth floor of a derelict factory on the outskirts of town. You know the kind, black sooty, greasy, lots of glass-bring windows that were chipped and broken from natural decay and the errant thrill-seekers with pistols and rifles.
The fifth floor, where some calamity has torn a sinister sneer into the concrete box, a gaping hole floor to ceiling. And in that hole, an unobstructed view of the skyline.
Brown bottles bobbed in water and ice in a new galvanized wash basins. Paulie had set up a couple of long industrial metal-legged tables, where the beginnings of prepackaged snack items started to appear.
Most of us, well, we stood hugging a beer to out hips, watching dusk fall on the city. Neon and sodium vapor street lights just started to awaken when Paulie checked his watch and mentioned casually that it was time.
He opened the scarred metal door to a utility closet and there was a red velvet covered lump. Like a matador brandishing a cape in front of a bull, he lifted the material with flourish.
On an old wooden footstool stood one of those old time detonators; a tall wooden box with two connection points and a wooden T-handle plunger. Two thickly-coated wires were held in place to the contact point with wingnuts.
Paulie raised his arms overhead and someone started in on a snare drum.
And without any further theatrics, Paulie dropped his arms - and dropped the plunger.
It took a few moments – there were some mumbled grumblings coming from the crowd – but the explosions started bringing wave after wave of heat toward the building. We shielded our eyes from the flairs of fire and mayhem and a few people clapped.
“Civilization is so overrated,” Paulie said, just as he fingered a button on an electronic detonator he’d taken from the pocket of his blazer, the one that awakened the drums of nitromethane and bags of ammonium nitrate fertilizer stockpiled in this building’s basement.