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Finally finding his cell, Younger looked around to steady himself before placing the call. Trees uprooted, blood and dirt mixed into a crusty mud, small underbrush fires providing flickering views of the devastation. How he hated this next part of his hereditary “second job”.
Three quick numbers dialed, he held the phone to his ear when the ringing began. A pleasant woman on the other end confirmed he reached the correct number. She continued the automatic pleasantry with “How may I help you?”
“It’s me, again.” he stated grimacing. “Michelle, right?”
“Huh, what? Yes, my name is Michelle.”
The man leaned against a tree waiting for the woman to realign her world. Not everyone identifies 911 operators by their voice. He called way too much.
A nervous voice betrayed her recognition after a moment. “Oh, Mr. Younger. Do I need to send any special equipment?”
“No … no leftover bombs this time. Everything detonated. No need for an ambulance either, so you can recall that.”
“Where are you located at this time sir?”
“Damn, give me a minute to find that GPS gizmo the cops gave me.” He started searching the area. “It can’t be far from where the phone was, they started in the same pocket.”
“Can you describe the location?”
He snorted as he recognized the standard question from her screen. But the prompt worked, “On the Powder Monkey Trail in Cameron Park, about a quarter mile in … maybe.” A metallic glint reflected in the dying fires. Younger kicked a squishy bit off to reveal the machine he was looking for – perfectly crushed. Sighing, “Yeah, well, I am at a switchback. Lots of grooves and ruts from dirt bikes.”
“Officers should be there shortly. Please stay on the line.”
“Not a problem Michelle, I know the routine.” And hated it. Modern bureaucracy at its finest. Red tape to tie him up for the next day. He would need to call his work shortly; fortunately working for a company three states away as a virtual programmer gave him leeway in getting his forty hours in. Flex time a-plenty to deal with the tokens his mother’s bloodline brought his way.
“Sir, the officers have arrived at the parking lot and are heading down the trail. They have asked me to remind you not to move anything.”
“Fuck, that would be Lance and Paul.” Younger looked the way they would be coming in. His eyes drifted to the stringy mass decorating tree limbs. “Could you tell Paul to bring a puke bag? He ain’t going to last long.”
Next time. Next time, he promised himself. Things will not devolve to the point he needed to call the nice girls at 911. Except maybe for a date; Michelle sounded hot, when he wasn’t scaring the shit out of her.
(words 468 – first published 3/13/2013; republished in new blog format on 2/5/2017)