Thursday, November 29, 2012

"Two Minutes to Doom" by Anonymous

Two Minutes to Doom
Anonymous/Unknown

Detective Walt Wilson closed the bedroom closet door, locked it and threw the key out the window, fourteen stories above the courtyard. Holding his automatic in his hand, he turned out the light and waited in the darkness. Pretty soon he heard the latch rattle in the foyer off the living room.

When the living room light snapped on, Wilson was standing with his gun leveled at Moon Jacobs and Tony Orson, Jacobs's bodyguard.

"Get 'em up!" rasped Wilson.

Orson already had a gun in his hand and Jacobs was reaching for the pocket of his coat. Wilson's calm voice stopped Jacobs's hand half way and a quick shift of Wilson's aim sent Orson's gun clattering to the floor.

"What the—?" Jacobs gasped finally.

As Jacobs and Orson walked across the floor, Wilson snapped off the night latch to the foyer. Inside the bedroom, Wilson locked the door and threw that key also out the window.

"Face the wall with your hands up!"

Wilson's trained, sensitive fingers frisked Jacobs and Orson. He found the gun for which Jacobs had been reaching in the living room and heaved the weapon through the window pane.

"Now turn around," Wilson snapped. "You're talking!"

"About what?" A defiant sneer had set in on Jacobs's face.

"About the murder of my brother, Sergeant Dan Wilson. Dan gasped out your name before he died. He had the goods on you for operating a numbers racket and you killed him when he went to take you in."

"You can't scare me," Jacobs snarled.

Orson's hand, above his head, carefully fingered the edge of a picture frame hanging on the wall. Wilson saw it coming at him and ducked. As the picture crashed, Wilson fired, but his aim was off and before he could gain his balance Jacobs and Orson were on him. Wilson twisted free for a few seconds, and as the two came at him again, he found his gun clicking on empty shells. He let that weapon go, too, through the broken window pane.

Jacobs was powerful and heavy. Orson was bigger than Jacobs. All of Jacobs's beef was behind the smash to Wilson's jaw. With a groan the detective sank to the floor. Both Jacobs and Orson sprang on him.

Jacobs said: "We'll throw him out the window, too, the dirty sneaking cop!"

Wilson said: "And through the window's the only way you two will get out! You'll never break down that metal sheathed door!"

"So we'll sit here," snorted Jacobs.

"That's what you think," said Wilson. "Listen! And listen hard!"

As silence enveloped them, a steady fast tick, tick, tick came to them through the closet door.

"What's that?" Jacobs said.

"For the sake of courtesy, let's call it an alarm clock," said Wilson. "And I might add, set for midnight."

"A time bomb!" Orson gasped. "Moon, the dick's gonna blow us up!"

Jacobs whitened. "You'll go with us, copper!"

"What time is it, Jacobs?" countered Wilson.

Moon Jacobs looked involuntarily to his wrist watch. He blurted, "Holy—! Ten of!" He raised his eyes. "How will you get out?"

"With a passkey," Wilson answered. "But you won't find it, pal!"

The two thugs searched the room frantically. They upset the bureau, turned over the bed, rolled the rug. Then Jacobs came to Wilson. "You're gonna tell, Wilson!" He grabbed Wilson's arm, wrenched it.

Wilson writhed in pain, but he said only, "What—time—Jacobs?"

"Two minutes!" Jacob shrieked. "Come on, Wilson, I'll sign anything!" Orson yanked feverishly at the door knob.

In the living room was the sound of scuffling feet.

"That you, Wilson?" It was the chief from headquarters. "This the passkey on the floor in front of the door?"

"Yeah, Chief. Open up. These birds are ready to talk."

In the bedroom Jacobs scrawled his shaking hand over the already prepared confession. He tugged as Wilson snapped the cuffs. "You gonna leave us blow up anyway?"

A blaring bell shattered the stillness.

Wilson grinned. "I said it was an alarm clock and it is. A darn noisy one that will wake the whole apartment house before it runs down."

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