Blank Mastermind, Part 8: Short Circuit

I probably couldn’t have gotten away with posting this long of a part up until now.

But now I know the ravenous readers that are waiting for this, so hopefully this will satisfy you for a bit longer.

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For new/forgetful people…

This is a song about a little boy and his cebus story about a villain who wakes up after an epic battle at an opera with all of his memories gone. He proceeds to team up with his enemy’s sidekick, find out he has a horrible name and try very hard to hide his memory loss from his own evil gang.

We join them now as they plan on blowing up a baseball stadium. Which is a bit much for our villain.

Will they succeed?

Previous parts, to catch anyone up:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

Part 7

And, presenting part 8!

kermit-freaking-out-muppet-show

Part 8

Short Circuit

 

I was really glad ticket sellers couldn’t read minds as we came in. My thoughts were pretty much just a loop of “we’re carrying a bomb . . . we’re carrying a bomb . . . we’re carrying a bomb . . .” I kept my hands deep in my pockets, where they shook like I’d stuck them in a freezer. My head pounded even worse than when I’d first woken up and I felt sick to my stomach.

 

Liza paid for the tickets, casually flirting with the kid at the counter as she did. He didn’t even ask about everyone’s backpacks. And I guess he didn’t see Bad News. That guy is practically a caricature of what all security guys are supposed to keep out.

 

I felt like I could breathe again once we got through the gate, but the nauseous feeling in my stomach still sat there as we walked through the crowd. Great, so we hadn’t gotten arrested. But I knew we should have been . . . so was it a victory or not?

 

I looked over at Dallas involuntarily. It was almost like he’d become my compass of sorts. My tiny candle in the dark cave that was my life.

 

My candle/compass had his eyes closed. News kept hauling him along without looking.

 

“Wait, stop.” I kept looking at Dallas and held up my hand. The gang came to a halt and looked at me. Dallas opened his eyes. I let out my breath.

 

“What?” he and Bad News said at the same time.

 

I made a motion that everyone could keep walking and rubbed my hand over my hair, trying to bring my heart rate back down to normal.

 

News came up next to me as we kept walking, “Seriously, what?”

 

“I just . . .” I shook my head and gestured to Dallas, “He had his eyes closed so I was . . . concerned.”

 

“Oh.” News nodded.

 

Dallas poked his disheveled head around Bad News so he could see me, “Sorry. I was praying.” He bit his lip right after saying it.

 

Oh.

 

My stomach twisted strangely at the word. I bit my tongue to keep from asking whether it was for me.

 

Liza stepped ahead of the group and pointed to a corner near the bathrooms with no one nearby. We all followed and grouped together there, trying desperately not to look suspicious. Most of the crowd had already filed into the bleachers, thankfully.

 

Liza pulled her hair over her shoulder and unshouldered her backpack. “Wolfy. News. Unzip your packs. Roy, give yours to Knight.”

 

I unzipped my backpack and watched Dallas nearly fall over trying to take Roy’s bag. Liza pulled her blanket-covered bomb piece out of her backpack and stuffed it quickly in mine, then opened Chris’s pack and stuffed his piece into News’s pack.

 

Great. Higher death risks for only her favorite people.

 

She stood upright, pulling her backpack back on. “Right. The seat numbers are . . .” she looked down at something written on her wrist, “ . . . 25b through 28b. Roy and I will find them. Cardy can drop her pack through the bleachers and you guys can go underneath and find it to plant the crackers.”

 

Bad News chuckled. Probably at the “crackers”.

 

Dallas looked sick.

 

I frowned. Seats. Why was there more than one person?

 

A small group of people was walking towards us, chattering and we broke our meeting up. Everyone shot off in different directions and I scrambled after my giant with sunglasses, trying to keep up with his long strides.

 

“So . . . where exactly are we heading?” I said out of the side of my mouth.

 

“Somewhere dark and smelly,” he stated bluntly, giving a tug on Dallas’s shirt to bring him back up in stride with us.

 

I suppressed my excitement for our destination. “How are we planning to get there?”

 

Bad News stopped at a door that we were quite obviously not supposed to go in and tipped his head towards it as he let go of Dallas’s arm. “Through that door.”

 

He dug around in his pockets for a couple seconds and fished out a screwdriver that looked microscopic in his huge hands. A few quick spins on the screws around the doorknob and it was off. After whacking out any working lock mechanism, few hard kicks against the door and it was practically off its hinges.

 

News pulled a flashlight out of his jacket and pushed his sunglasses up onto the brim of his hat. He shot me a grin and nodded to the door. “C’mon.” Quickly ducking his head, he disappeared inside the dark, pulling the unwilling Dallas along.

 

I swallowed, practiced mouth breathing for a second or two, then stepped in after them.

 

Shafts of dusty light filtered in through the gloom, illuminating various candy wrappers and bits of abandoned food. Dust drifted in front of News’s flashlight beam as he shone it around and up. News dropped the bags he was carrying at his feet.

 

“Now, we wait,” he declared.

 

Waiting the stinky dark until you can assemble a bomb isn’t the nicest way to spend your time. But I didn’t have much choice.

 

Dallas’s eyes were closed again, his brow was furrowed and in the dim light I could barely see that his mouth was moving.

 

I opened my mouth to tell him to knock it off, but then closed it again. He was probably praying for whoever was the recipient of our bombing. And they needed as much help as they could get.

 

There was a fabric scotching noise from a little ways away and a loud thump. News shined his flashlight in that direction and the beam rested on a little, pink and orange backpack.

 

We walked over to it, pulling the other bags along. Bad News set his flashlight on to dim and handed it to me while he unzipped Cardboard’s pack.

 

“There’s our magnet,” he pulled it out with both hands and squinted up at the underside of the bleacher seats above us. “Shine the light up there, will ya?”

 

I flashed the light upwards and News gave a nod. With a loud clank, the magnet was set in place underneath the bench. The sound echoed and went deeper down into my ears than any sound should. I winced.

 

“Now, the fun part.” News grinned. He rolled up his sleeve and squinted at some marker writing on his arm. “Okay, it’s my bag’s piece that goes on first . . .”

 

It felt like we spent the next year working on assembling the bomb based on the smudged instructions on Mr. News’s arm. Lots of plugs and wires inserting into weird places. Thank heaven Liza color coded them.

 

Finally, we’d reached the last step at the top of News’s arm. I stood on my tiptoes and craned my neck around to read.

 

“Wolfy’s part goes on last,” the writing instructed. After a few wire-plugging specifications and switches we needed to flip, there was another note.

 

“DON’T TOUCH THE YELLOW”

 

That’s when I got a great idea. What if I touched the yellow?

 

Augh, I’m brilliant.

 

Only there was a gorilla with a flashlight to club me down if I did, so I was a little concerned. Well, I could be discreet . . .

 

“Okay, got it.” I dropped down onto my flat feet and nodded. “My piece is the last one.”

 

Dallas, who had been deemed the custodian of the bags since he couldn’t reach the magnet, pulled out my piece and dropped the blanket onto the ground. He held it out to me.

 

“I suppose you’d like to do the honors?” He said it in the tone of someone asking if I wanted sugar with my tea, but I saw the disgust in his eyes.

 

I tipped my chin up a little, “I would, in fact.” I held his eyes as I took it. You little goody gumdrop . . . I’m sabotaging my own project right in front of you, isn’t that enough?

 

I don’t think he got all that from my look. I’m a horrible telepathic communicator.

 

I stood on a couple of empty bags to give me a few inches more height up to the magnet. My hand trembled slightly as I brushed over the wires, fastening the piece in place.

 

The very tip of my pinky finger hooked ever-so-lightly on the yellow wire and I felt a tiny pop as one end came loose.

 

“Hey, Liza said to not touch the yellow wire.”

 

Bad News’s sudden voice just about made me jump into the next state. I shifted my movements to make it look like I was getting a different angle, not having a heart-attack. “Y-yep, I know. Just getting the other wires in place.”

 

I methodically stuck the other wires in place (even though now they’d do absolutely nothing) and flipped two switches. A tiny red lightbulb blinked on at half power over on the corner of the bomb.

 

“Is that supposed to be brighter?” my hit man and anti-conscience mused.

 

I hoped down, wiping my sweaty palms on my jeans. “Nope.” I kept a nervous waver out of my voice. “I think we’re good. Let’s head up to the other guys.”

 

#

 

We found the gang in seats directly across the stadium from where we’d planted our gift.

 

Total accident, I’m sure.

 

Dallas and I slipped into the seats left for us across the aisle. Bad News practically steamrolled everyone to get to his seat.

 

And there we all sat, waiting for a totally different show than everyone else was.

 

I ran one hand over my hair as we stood for the national anthem. The hand over my heart trembled, despite my strongest willing of it to stay still.

 

As the last notes were fading away and everyone was starting to sit down, a hand brushed my arm. I jumped at the touch. It was Liza, reaching across the aisle. She grabbed a phone out of her jeans pocket and handed it to me.

 

“Here. There’s an app on it labeled “Project Eloisa” that should work. I connected it into the wireless network thing I had set up.” She kept her voice and face purely casual.

 

Eloisa.

 

Memories tickled at the back of my mind. A brief image of a young girl’s face, dimpled in a smile, flashed in my vision.

 

I blinked and it was gone.

 

My head hurt.

 

“Thanks,” I took the phone from her small, cool hand and clicked it on.

 

Liza tapped my arm one more time before I pulled back. “The seats to watch are right over there.” She pointed to a smaller clump of seats that seemed to be set apart for some special group.

 

“Okay, got it.” How the heck did she manage to sound to nonchalant about this?

 

She nodded, “It’s your call for when to go.”

 

Wonderful.

 

I gave her a tight look that was originally supposed to be a grin and sat back in my seat. The phone had turned off again. I slid the bar to unlock it and found the app. It had a little firework symbol on it.

 

Liza has quite a dark sense of humor.

 

I decided I’d wait a bit and set the phone it my lap.

 

The game was quite good, I’m sure. The home team was winning, so that was a big hit with all the home fans. Lots of cheering, which did nothing for my nerves.

 

Dallas sat ramrod straight in his seat the whole time, clapping mechanically every now and again. But he always kept an eye on the phone in my lap. I didn’t really blame him. I was doing the same.

 

I watched the seats on the other side. For about the first ten minutes, they stayed empty. Wouldn’t that be convenient if they just decided not to come? But then the seat occupants filed in.

 

It was a pretty, young mom and three little kids, giggling in their seats their hot dogs and cotton candy. The two little boys had brought baseball mitts and one had decided to wear his as a hat.

 

I felt sick in more ways than one.

 

I couldn’t have any good justification for this. There’s nothing anyone can do to make killing little kids right.

 

But there I sat, detonation button in hand.

 

I took a deep breath and stuck my hands in my pockets. It was okay. It was just going to short circuit and maybe spew a little smoke. The worst that would happen would be a few bruises.

 

It was okay.

 

Now, at least. But what if I hadn’t pulled that wire? What if the plan had continued? What if . . . I hadn’t lost my memories? Just the thought seemed to push any memory further back into the shadows of my mind.

 

I clenched my jaw and concentrated hard on the game going on below. The teams were just switching positions on the field. A voice crackled over the speaker just then.

 

“We’d like to welcome some special guests to the game tonight,” the voice echoed over the stadium speakers. “Tonight we have joining us the wife and children of our city’s own Amazing Man!”

 

The camera screen above the field flicked over to show a mom and three kids, one wearing a baseball glove as a hat. Smiling a small smile, the mom stood up, motioning for her kids to do the same. They all stood and waved, grinning.

 

Dallas made a noise in the seat next to me.

 

I stared.

 

The kid without the baseball glove on his head. I’d seen his face before. The dimples. The round face. The cowlick.

 

“Let’s give them a hand!” cheering and clapping echoed through the stadium. Even the baseball teams joined in.

 

Call it a bad sense of timing. Call it dramatic flair. But that was when I decided was a good time to “set off” the bomb.

 

The instant after my finger touched the screen, there was a loud “POP” and a good section of the seats around the bomb visibly jumped. The cheering instantly turned to screams as smoke started pouring out from under the bleachers.

 

Pretty much all of my gang’s jaws dropped. Dallas looked pretty surprised too, but in a much better way than Liza.

 

Liza’s shocked and disappointed look was quickly turning angry, however.

 

She knew what went wrong. And she was going to find out who made it go wrong.

 

Time to put some theatrical skills to work.

 

I stood on my seat and spiked the phone on the ground with a roar. “That was supposed to WORK! What the . . .” I tugged at my hair angrily and swore.

 

That got quite a bit of attention. Also absolutely no suspicion from the gang. They were too busy running away. Dallas stayed, petrified, next to me.

 

I let out another yell and pointed dramatically towards where the family was, all the kids huddled around their mom as they moved away from the smoke.

 

“Just you wait!” I yelled, racking my mind for some villain cliché to make use of. “You haven’t seen the last of me! I’ll get you yet!”

 

It was quiet except for a few lingering screams, then there was the start of another cheer.

 

About three things happened at once.

 

I heard an almost bird-like whoosh behind me.

 

Dallas, who was looking that way to begin with, said: “Sir!”

 

And something hit the back of my head, right on the already existing gash.

 

Then everything exploded into pain and whiteness.

 

_

*collective gasp*

Dun-dun-DUN

M’kay now some polls for fun. While I’m in all of your good graces. ❤

Well, hope you enjoyed! Tune in next time! 😛

And, as always, please comment!

~writefury

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71 responses to “Blank Mastermind, Part 8: Short Circuit

  1. There are literally no words for the emotional turmoil you are putting me through, Rosey Writefury Mucklestone. GIVE ME MORE OR GIVE ME DEATH!!!!!!
    Okay, so I’m not that extreme. But seriously!!!! And I kid you not, I teared up at this moment: ‘Dallas poked his disheveled head around Bad News so he could see me, “Sorry. I was praying.” He bit his lip right after saying it.’
    I. Need. To. Give. Him. A. Hug. Will you tell him for me? I wouldn’t embarrass him by asking you to give him a hug in my place, but just tell him… *sniff* tell him… waaaaaahhhhhh…*buries face in box of kleenex* *sobs uncontrollably*

  2. Yes, Yes, Yes!!! Another section. I love this story. And ouch; hit right where he’s already been hurt. I’ve a feeling the tables will turn a bit now. Maybe Dallas will help him? Right after Wolfgang, he’s my favorite.

  3. Ahhhh this is the best part yet. I love it. =D
    (Also Dallas is a great character, but I feel like I’m missing out on why fans are obsessing over him. .-. I’m not a normal fangirl I guess.)

    • Well Victoria, personally I love him because he’s got a really sweet, careful personality and he got hurt and almost died so there’s pity on top of admiration… I really love the characters who suffer quietly and are a lot stronger than they look.
      But I don’t think it’s weird if somebody else doesn’t get it. That’s just what I most appreciate in a character. Not everyone has to agree with me. 😉

    • Thank you!!! 😀 Yeah, I was really happy with it. ❤
      (I don't really get it that much, either? There's some pity involved because he was kind of pathetic to begin with. Also he was kind of inspired by a character that I really loved, so I guess fangirliness transfers.. *shrug*)

  4. THE SUSPENSE WILL KILL ME! No, really, if you were going for your readers writhing on the floor, crying out for the next part to kill the suspense, you got it in me. Also, when you mentioned the magnet and the sound it made, I actually cringed. Amazing job, as always! 👍

  5. HOW CAN YOU DO THIS TO US?!?! You. Are. Cruel. 😛 😉
    Wait, he’s seen that kid before?! AMAZING MAN ADOPTED WOLFGANG’S LITTLE BROTHER?!?! Or did I totally read that wrong? 😛
    I have to admit I didn’t think that Amazing Man was really his “name” until it was blared over the speakers. WHO ON EARTH WOULD LET PEOPLE CALL HIM THAT?!? I’m not sure I even want to know.
    HOW ON EARTH CAN YOU CLAIM TO BE IN OUR GOOD GRACES AFTER LEAVING US WITH A CLIFFHANGER LIKE THAT!?! 😉
    Poor Wolfy. IF ROSEY KILLS HIM I’M BLAMING YOU KATE. 😛 😉 😀

    • And Rosey, you forgot an option on “which part is your favorite so far?” I couldn’t vote because “all of the above” wasn’t an option. 😉

      • Eh, don’t go into hiding. The internet wouldn’t be nearly as much fun without you. 😉
        And I don’t THINK we have to worry about Rosey killing Wolfy. I think she likes him too much. 😛 😀

    • YES HE DID JUST WAIT THERE’S MORE. >:D
      Yeah… honestly, “Amazing Man” was not my best piece of naming work. XD But there’s an explanation I came up with. I don’t think he has it as bad as Superb Man down in Florida… XD
      *smiles angelically*

      • *claps hand over mouth* *frantically apologizes* *begs to not be banished to the isle of perpetual tickling* *locks mouth and throws away key*

  6. CEBUS!!!!! I LOVE THAT SONG!!!!!!!!!!!!! 😀
    And I had no idea on the part polls. I don’t know which was which. 😛 But I loooove this part. ❤ I can just picture the little kid with a baseball glove as a hat…

    • I WAS WAITING FOR SOMEONE TO GET THAT!!! XD That was just where my mind went when I wrote “This is…”
      I know, right?<3 I have plenty of little people around who do that regularly. 😛

  7. Smashing good installment Rosey. The dialogue was cracking good too. I say, poor fellow that Dallas is.
    *loses control of self and morphs from British accent to rolling on the floor crying*
    DAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLLLlLAAAAAAAAAAAASSSSSSSSSSSSSS! (longest fangirl scream ever) I no longer care. *Pulls Dallas from the corner to give him the biggest huggle he’s ever had* I don’t care if he went into shock because a fourteen year old girl screaming gibberish that included his name and things like, “I want to hug you” “You make me cry” and “Why can’t you be real?” just squeezed him until he could hardly breath. I had to do it. Sorry. Here, have some ice cream. That will help.

  8. Pingback: Blank Mastermind, Part 9: Hospitality | writefury·

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