190 - Wily


You’re going to get that bird if it’s the last thing this god-forsaken desert sees you do.

Through careful observation and multiple failed foot pursuits, you’ve found that the stupid fowl runs through the same gulch every day. You’ve set the charges on either side of the gulch. Using a comically large spool of det-cord with ACME stamped on the side, you connect the charges and begin the short climb to the lookout spot on the south end of the gulch where you’ve placed your plunger-style detonator. You reach the lookout point and crouch behind a small boulder perched precariously on the ledge of the gulch.

Now you wait.

…for hours.

…and hours.

Your eyelids grow heavy. Just as you being to drift off to sleep, you’re roused to a state of heightened alertness by a familiar call.


You scan the west entrance to the gulch. Nothing. You turn to the opposite end and see a small trail of dust worming its way through the hardpan plain east of the gulch with that dumb chicken-legged freak at its head.

You grip the detonator’s plunger tightly and lick your lips. Today is the day. The asshole bird runs into the gulch just as planned. You savor the seconds as it approaches the Semtex lining the gulch’s walls, sure that this will be the last time you witness the trademark dust storm stirred up by the lightning-fast feet of your feathered nemesis.

The bird reaches the explosives and you push down hard on the plunger, coaxing a satisfying click from within the bowels of the detonator box. Then….nothing happens. The explosives don’t detonate. You look up at the bird; the dust trail is nearly clear of the gulch. You frantically pull the plunger up and press it down over and over again but the only sound you hear is the clicking inside the detonator box. No boom, no bang, no death cry from the jerk bird.

You look up once again – the bird is out of the gulch, and out of your trap. You climb down to inspect the explosives. Maybe you wired them wrong. As you’re checking the first charge, you hear a call from your lookout spot.


With widened eyes and terror in your heart, you look up to see exactly that which you fear – that loathsome fleet-footed punk standing by your detonator, a retarded grin plastered on his beak. He cocks his feathered head to the side, inspecting the plunger then jumps on top.

You try to run, but it’s already too late. The Semtex explodes all around you, breaking your bones and liquefying your organs. The doctors will tell your wife and cubs that you died instantly and painlessly.

They are wrong.