As he reached the first step, he used his flashlight again, looking for trip wires, but didn't see any. He started slowly and deliberately climbing the stairs. One step closer, and he saw a pile of sticks of dynamite. He did the math and realized that if they went off, there wouldn't be anything left of the house, and certainly not of him.
He began to sweat as he took another step, slowly, because just then he saw that the massive amount of dynamite was sitting on top of a larger drum. He was at an odd angle climbing the stairs, so he couldn't see the entire drum from where he was. When he took the next step, he could see the entire drum, and the writing on it: ammonia fertilizer.
It wasn't the drum, but what he saw at the base of the drum on the landing that made fear and panic take hold of him: a timer, ticking off with a few seconds left. He clicked on his headset and yelled, "Everybody down!" and just as he finished his sentence, a fireball came out of the basement window and every other window in the house almost at the same time. Within seconds, the entire house came apart. From the last tick on the timer to the initial explosion, Kelly thought about his wife and kids, and less than a second later, he was vaporized.
©2012 Dan Perkins (P)2014 Dan Perkins
"Somewhere out there lurking... this story makes those terrifying possibilities all too real. Once you start reading it, just try to put it down." (Mark Walters, Professor of Journalism,University of South Florida, St. Petersburg)
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