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Countdown to Crisis

Mark's Moment

By J. Cornelius JepingtonPublished about a month ago 2 min read
The lobby fell silent as everyone held their breath, waiting for the outcome.

The digital clock on the bank's wall ticked towards noon, the second hand sweeping mercilessly towards fate. Amid the bustling lobby, Mark stood frozen, his heart pounding. He had exactly one minute to prevent a disaster.

The bank manager, Mr. Thompson, rushed towards Mark, his face etched with concern. "What's wrong? Why did you sound the alarm?"

Mark tried to steady his voice. "There's a bomb in one of the safety deposit boxes. We need to evacuate immediately!"

Chaos erupted as panic spread through the lobby like wildfire. People screamed, scrambling for the exits. Mr. Thompson's voice boomed over the commotion, issuing orders to evacuate and call the authorities.

Mark's mind raced as he scanned the room, searching for any sign of the threat. His eyes landed on a man in a dark coat, moving swiftly towards the safety deposit area. Without hesitation, Mark lunged forward, racing against the ticking clock.

Seconds passed as Mark closed the distance. He reached the man just as he inserted a key into one of the boxes. "Stop!" Mark shouted, grabbing the man's arm.

The man spun around, his eyes wide with shock. "What are you doing?"

"There's a bomb," Mark said urgently, his grip tightening. "You need to step away from the box."

The man's expression shifted from confusion to anger. "You're crazy! There's nothing here."

Mark's heart sank. Had he made a mistake? Doubt crept in as the clock ticked closer to zero. But he couldn't afford to second-guess himself now.

"Please, trust me," Mark pleaded, his voice strained. "We don't have much time."

The man hesitated, uncertainty flickering in his eyes. Then, as if sensing the urgency, he nodded reluctantly and stepped back.

Mark frantically searched the box, his fingers trembling as he felt around for anything unusual. And then, there it was—a small, ticking device hidden among the papers.

Mark disconnected the wires with trembling hands and carefully lifted the device out of the box. Beads of sweat dotted his forehead as he realized he had stopped the countdown with seconds to spare.

The lobby fell silent as everyone held their breath, waiting for the outcome. Mark emerged from the safety deposit area, the bomb held gingerly in his hands. He handed it over to Mr. Thompson, who took it with disbelief and gratitude.

"It's over," Mark said, his voice barely above a whisper.

The tension in the air dissipated, replaced by a wave of relief and applause. People gathered around Mark, thanking him for his quick thinking and bravery.

As the authorities arrived to secure the scene, Mark took a moment to catch his breath. He had faced a life-or-death situation in the blink of an eye, and somehow, he had emerged victorious.

Mark couldn't help but wonder about the man in the dark coat in the aftermath of the chaos. Was he a misguided soul caught up in something beyond his control? Or was there more to the story?

But amidst the questions, one thing remained clear—sometimes, a minute could change everything.


About the Creator

J. Cornelius Jepington

J. Cornelius Jepington: fascinated by human history draws inspiration from Asimov, King, Butler, Baldwin, and Delany. Explores themes of identity, technology, and fantasy to create thought-provoking stories that bridge cultural differences.

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  • Antoinette L Breyabout a month ago

    that was really good

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