Monday, April 11, 2016

2016 WRITE: The Egress. This is dangerous work, but it is my choice.

The Egress.  
This is dangerous work,  but it is my choice.   
Short fiction by Selby Evans



The count-down clock shows only ten minutes.  But I am an expert.  It won't be a down-to-the-wire bit like you see on television.  I will get this disarmed and safe in three minutes max.  I've done it in less than two and a half minutes, but that was when I was fifty-one.
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And anyway, we are down in the tornado shelter, so if it does blow, it will be only me and my Egress that go.  The people praying next door probably won't even notice.  
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None of this, "Under no circumstances connect the blue wire to ... (this part is missing)."  I built this thing.  I know all the wires.  At least, I know all the wires today.  
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My grandfather would have known all the wires back when he was fifty-five.  When he was sixty-five, he didn't even know his wife.

I need to take the cover off  first.  And lift it straight up.  That is a little bit of booby trapping.  If the cover doesn't go straight up, there are bare wires the cover could touch. That would make it go boom.  The Egress and I would be gone.  
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Oh, damn! Where did I put the Phillips screwdriver.  Over a minute gone and the cover is still on!  I'm not making good time this Sunday.    But the Phillips is not in the tool drawer.  Where could I have put it?  The cover does not come off without the Phillips!  Oh-- there it is on the tool board.  Just where it is suppose to be.  I am a craftsman.  I take care of my tools.
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There!  The top is off.  Quite safely, of course  And the count is down to seven minutes.  I could disarm it by disconnecting the three wires--Red, Yellow, Blue.  In that order.  Any other order and the Egress speaks.  It's not really dangerous if you know what you are doing.  
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But the clock shows only six and a half minutes left.  I am a little slow today.  No worries.  Plenty of time.  Just need to set the clock a week ahead.  
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It runs in the family.  I've got the gene.   My father had it, too.  He still knew everyone when he died.   At fifty-six.  Car accident.  At least we decided it was an accident.  After all, he was sometimes getting lost.
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Setting the clock a week ahead is simple.  Just scroll the day wheel ahead from zero days to seven days.  The day counter is the one on the left.  But wait!   
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First, I have to inactivate the clock so it does not send a signal if I enter the wrong time.  That means disconnect the green wire from the clock.  The wires aren't  soldered.  No point in solder when I have to disconnect them every week.  I used a ring and a wing nut.  

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The wing nut is a bit sticky.  Tight.  But you have to tighten them down to be sure you have good contact.  Disconnect.  There!  Clock is safe.
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Now I can set the day counter ahead a week.  There.  Done.  Safe for another week.  Less than five minutes.  A little slow today.  Quitting time. 
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Wait!  Can't quit yet.  Got to put the egress back together.
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I guess I am getting slower.  And forgetting things/  That is what is going to happen.  But I won't get too slow. I won't forget too much.   The egress will see to that.  Fast.  The egress is so fast I won't even know it.   
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