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The countdown

An entry to the Just a Minute Challenge

By Anna Published 25 days ago 2 min read

Tick, tick, tick.

The digital clock on the bomb read 00:60, counting down mercilessly. Jack stared at it, his heart pounding like a sledgehammer against his ribs. Sweat trickled down his forehead, mixing with the dust of the dimly lit room.

He had sixty seconds. Sixty seconds to defuse the bomb and save everyone in the crowded subway station above. Sixty seconds to wrestle with his fear and doubt, to channel his training into swift action.

With trembling hands, Jack reached for the wire cutters. His mind raced through the steps, the diagrams he had studied countless times. Red wire or blue wire? Which one would stop the countdown?

He hesitated, his fingers hovering over the tangled mess of wires. His mind was a blur, his thoughts clashing like cymbals in a storm. He closed his eyes, blocking out the panic threatening to consume him.

"Focus, Jack," he whispered to himself. "You can do this."

Taking a deep breath, Jack made his choice. Red wire. He snipped it with precision, his heart pounding in his ears. For a split second, nothing happened. Then, the digital display flickered, the countdown freezing at 00:45.

Relief washed over Jack like a tidal wave. But there was no time to celebrate. He still had to disarm the rest of the bomb before it was too late.

He turned his attention back to the maze of wires, his hands steady now with newfound resolve. Sweat dripped onto the floor as he worked frantically, each second ticking by like a drumbeat in his head.

Thirty seconds left.

He cut another wire, then another, the countdown pausing with each snip. The bomb seemed to taunt him, its metallic casing gleaming in the dim light.

Fifteen seconds.

Jack's heart raced as he approached the final wire. His hands trembled with anticipation, his breath coming in short, ragged gasps.

Ten seconds.

He closed his eyes, blocking out the chaos around him. In that moment, there was only him and the bomb, locked in a deadly dance of life and death.

Five seconds.

With a final, desperate lunge, Jack cut the last wire. The bomb went silent, its digital display blinking out of existence.


For a moment, there was only silence. Then, a roar of triumph erupted from the onlookers, their cheers echoing off the walls of the subway station.

Jack slumped to the ground, his body trembling with exhaustion. He had done it. He had saved them all.

As paramedics rushed to his side, Jack allowed himself a moment of relief. But even as he basked in the warmth of their gratitude, he knew that his work was far from over.

There would always be another bomb, another crisis waiting just around the corner. But as long as there were people in need, Jack would be there to answer the call.

For in that fleeting moment of chaos and fear, he had found his purpose. And nothing would ever take that away.


This story was written by The Writer, a dear friend of mine, and was submitted to the Just a Minute Challenge by me.

Thanks for reading! If you liked this story, please, support the creator and check out more of his wonderful work

AdventureShort StorySci FiCONTENT WARNING

About the Creator


"Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart" - Colossians 3:23

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Comments (5)

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  • The Writer 18 days ago

    Thanks alot #Anna🙏🙏🙏

  • John Cox25 days ago

    Whoa! Great story! I can breathe again.

  • D. J. Reddall25 days ago

    You skillfully sustained the urgency and tension!

  • This comment has been deleted

  • Phewww! That was so intense and fast-paced! Loved your story!

  • Great challenge entry and a perfect subject

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