So, the big old disused Mall in Noyo, you know the one, the one on the land Salazar Jack wants to revert to Kahruvel forest. Sigh, you *do* know it, you do! Anyway there we were, Doug and I, chewing the fat and wondering when Sal was going to get around to flattening the big old eyesore, “Dunno, he tried I think,” said Doug, “but it wouldn’t go.”
“Wouldn’t go?” I repeated, somewhat confused. “Whadyamean?”
The raven shrugged his wings and tilted his beak at the monstrosity, “Dunno, just wouldn’t go. Seems anchored to the grid.”
“What did he try?”
“Stuff, I guess, y’know, deleting and stuff. It just wouldn’t budge.”
“He try explosives?” I asked thoughtfully.
Doug’s beady eyes fixed on me and seemed suddenly even beadier, “Explosives? Not that I remember? Why? What you thinking Burroboy?”
“Heh, just this…” I replied and pulled a small bundle of dynamite from my backpack.
“Bloody hell!” squawked Doug, “You carry that around with you? What the hell for?”
I looked perplexed, “Well, in case I need to blow something up of course, why else would I carry it around you silly bird? Now help me put some of this stuff out, eh?”
“Put it out? Why? Where? You can’t mean…”
“Oh but I do my wee feathery friend,” I grinned, “Sal’s a busy chap. A lot on his plate. Not much time. Not enough TNT. I’m just thinking we should give the lad a wee helping hand.”
Doug looked at me then at the mall and back at me “Well,” he said eventually, “when you put it like that… give me that bomb you daft bugger!”
Within minutes we had laid out nearly a dozen bundles of high explosive and wired them together. I’d put up some barriers and donned a hard-hat (“Think health & safety at all times!” chipped Doug) and set out the plunger all ready.
“Phew!” said Doug “I’m knackered! Who’d have thought dynamite would be so heavy. I need a sit down before we start,” and he plopped himself down on the first perch he saw. Unfortunately the first perch he saw was the handle of the plunger so recently wired to the boom sticks.
“Nooooooooooo!” I wanted to shout, “We’re too close!” but I was too slow. With a roar like an angry bull bellowing down God’s loudhailer, fire and wind enveloped the building in front of us. Clouds of super-heated gas and fire billowed out and rushed towards us, filling out noses with the stench of charred fur and feathers as we were flash-cooked like burgers on a BBQ…
As the ringing in our ears subsided and the dust & soot slowly drifted down around us we blinked in surprise as we found ourselves staring at the old mall, still standing and, despite the small fires that played across its surface, unscathed.
Minutes passed in slack-jawed shock before Doug turned to me, “Tough building…”
“Yeah…” I muttered, “Tough building. Probably best not to mention this to Sal, huh?”
“No, best not” agreed Doug, shaking the soot from his feathers, “we’ll just tidy up, eh?”