NYCMidnight · Writing

NYCM Flash Fiction Round 2 – Fire in the Hole

For those who missed it, check out my response to receiving yet another round 2 crime caper prompt. If you already read it, or you just want to read the story, then skip it and continue on.

The challenge: 1000 words or less in 48 hours

The prompt: Crime Caper / A golf course driving range / a salmon fillet

The story:

Fire in the Hole

Dwight and Scooter thought they would just have a bit of fun on a lazy evening. Little did they know how far it would go once Dad got involved.


Dwight peered through a length of steel pipe like it was a telescope. He saw Scooter keeping watch around the edge of the open garage door.

“I separated the buckshot from the gunpowder like it says.” Dwight ran a finger over the book he’d swiped from his dad’s closet. “And we have a fuse. Now we just gotta find something to stop up the ends of the pipe. Help me look.”

“I’m watching your dad watch Benny Hill and eat dinner,” Scooter said. “You know, like you told me to.”

“Well, now I’m telling you to help me search.”

“What if your dad comes out here?”

“My dad hasn’t moved from that television since he got fired from the golf course.”

Scooter snorted. “Yeah, for doin’ it with some chick in the clubhouse.”

“Shut up, asshole.” Dwight tossed a crumpled paper in the air and batted it at Scooter with the pipe. “Search those boxes. We need something metal.”

“Fine.” Scooter left his post to pick through old shoes, clothes, and magazines, examining and dismissing each.

“What’s going on in here, boys?”

“Shit!” Dwight tucked the pipe behind his back.

“Language, son. Dammit!” Dad picked up the book. “Do you have any idea what happens to boys who meddle with homemade pipe bombs?”

“They get their asses whooped?” Scooter offered.

“Probably,” Dad said. “Dwight, something bad could happen!”

“Yes, sir.” Dwight kicked at the ground.

“But if I know boys… hell, I was one once… you’ll stay curious if we don’t do this.” Dad snapped the book shut. “But it needs to be done right.”

Dwight grinned at the hint of mischief he saw in his dad’s eyes. “Where are we gonna light it off?”

“I know just the place.”

#

The sun hung low over the far end of the driving range. Sprinklers shot long arcs across the grass. Dwight shifted his backpack from one shoulder to the other as they walked along the sidewalk, separated from the course by a tall, chain-link fence.

“Everyone should be home for the night,” Dad whispered. “But we’ll need to keep an eye out for guard dogs.”

“They have dogs?” Scooter’s voice shook.

“Don’t piss yourself, Scoot.” Dwight clapped him on the back.

They stopped at the far end of the driving range, where a gate hosted a crooked sign reading, “Danger: Projectiles.”

Dad laughed. “They have no idea.”

“O’Leary!” The voice from beyond the fence made the hair stand up on the back of Dwight’s neck. Scooter hid behind Dwight as a ruddy-faced security guard emerged from behind a copse of trees. He held the chain of a massive black dog.

Dad stood up straight. Tall. Intimidating. “Evening, Mike.”

“What you doin’ pokin’ around?” Mike glanced from Dad to the boys. He made a face.

“Just walking my son’s friend home. Is that a crime?”

“Depends.” Mike’s eyes narrowed. “You ain’t allowed within one thousand yards of the course.”

“Of the clubhouse,” Dad corrected. “Last I checked, this sidewalk is public property.”

The dog sniffed at the air and whined, pulling toward Dwight.

“What’s in the bag, son?” Mike asked.

“School stuff.” Dwight mimicked his dad’s defiant posture.

Mike huffed. “No reason for you to be loitering, O’Leary.”

“Wouldn’t dream of it,” Dad said.

#

The boys watched from a deep sand trap as Dad crouched against the gentle slope of the driving range, fitting the length of pipe into the hole of a target green. Long shadows stretched across the grass in the fading sunlight.

“Why do we have to wait here?” Scooter asked.

“It’s our job to watch for the guard, remember?”

“And that dog. What if we get caught? Or bit!”

“Jeezus, Scoot. Lighten up. We’re just gonna light the pipe, make some noise and run home. It’s gonna be cool!”

“Yeah, cool. Uh, Dwight?” Scooter pointed across the range, to where the dog loomed at the top of the rise.

“Dad!” Dwight shouted.

Dad looked up as the dog broke into a lope.

“Shit.” Dwight rummaged through his backpack and pulled out a foil-wrapped package. He took off at a sprint.

Scooter followed. “Why are we running toward it?”

“If we run away, it’ll chew our asses off. Besides, I have a plan.”

Dwight stopped next to his dad and lobbed the contents of the foil packet.

“Is that fish?” Scooter waved his arms over his head. “Really? Your plan was to throw fish at a dog?”

“Was that my dinner?” Dad asked. “I was gonna eat that.”

The dog stopped but ignored the bait. It snarled, matching Dwight step for step as he tried to back away.

“Maybe we should play dead?” Scooter offered.

“Oh for the love of–” Dad stood up and whistled. The dog sat back on its haunches, its head cocked. “This guy’s name is Sam. He always liked me. Not like the rest of these sorry S.O.Bs around here.” He tapped the ground with his foot, and the dog snatched up the salmon fillet. “Now let’s light this thing.”

“Are you sure this is a good idea, Mr. O’Leary?” Scooter glanced back at the gate. “We could just go home.”

“Not a chance.” Dad produced a lighter from his pocket. “They fire me? I fire right back. Besides,” he grumbled as he flicked his thumb over the flint, “how was I supposed to know she was the mayor’s wife?”

The fuse sparked to life. The boys watched it burn, wide-eyed.

“Don’t just stand there, you idiots. Run!” Dad whistled, and the dog raced beside him. The boys followed close behind.

As they hit the sand in the bunker, the blast cracked across the range. Dirt and grass rained down on top of them.

“Holy…” Dwight caught himself from swearing. “I mean, Dad, we blew up the course!”

“I know!” Dad whooped.

“My pop’s gonna beat my ass.” Scooter covered his eyes.

“Isn’t it great?” Dad brushed the sand off his legs. “Now let’s get out of here before something bad happens.”

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