Chapter 67 of The Empty City

By Andrew Looney

It took another 14 minutes for the Bomb Squad to arrive. When they did, they handled the Atomic Bomb very carefully, believing that it was still highly dangerous even though it hadn't exploded. It may have been a dud, but it still had to be handled with care and respect. They also felt there was a slim chance that it might still explode.

With great delicacy, they removed the bomb from the bank and took it back to the Crime Lab.

There, with extreme care, they removed the numerous bolts from the bomb casing.

When they saw what was inside, or more accurately what wasn't inside, their apprehension turned to anger.

"This ain't no bomb!" shouted a demolitions expert. "This box is no more harmful than a toaster!"

"A phony bomb," said another. "We were all stressed out over a phony bomb."

A third was laughing. "But you gotta admit, it sure fooled a lot of people!"

One of the arresting officers looked concerned. "If it wasn't a real bomb, then we can't charge him with assault with a deadly weapon, or possession of nuclear armaments, or terrorism, or-"

"It doesn't matter," interrupted one of the other police officers. "It doesn't have to be a real weapon if the victims think it's a real weapon. It's still assault. Plus, he did succeed in stealing money from the bank, which means he still committed a robbery, even though he didn't get very far with the loot. So, no problem. We got the witnesses, we got the bank monitor tapes, we got the alleged 'weapon'-it's an open and shut case. Hardly any point in having a trial."

"Yeah, I guess you're right," admitted the officer who had been concerned. "You wanna go get some coffee and donuts?"

"Yeah, sounds good to me." And they left the Crime Lab.


Copyright © 1991 by Andrew Looney.

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