My Encounter with a Bomb

My Encounter with a Bomb

As I read a news story about how a parcel bomb failed to explode in the nearby city, I started recollecting my own encounter with a bomb.  

Those were the lockdown days. I collected a parcel from the main gate of our residential campus, a bit puzzled as I was not expecting any post. Moreover, the sender’s address was unfamiliar. The size of the packet was not that of a typical magazine or book, but substantially smaller. It had some thickness, but uneven. I rechecked the sender’s address. 

No, not from anyone I know

The packet was from a district which was infamous for its notorious activities. I examined the packet to see if I can decipher its contents. It felt rough and metallic with plastic and wire would around it.

What can this be?

I flipped the packet in curiosity. On the back cover was a cryptic message ‘for THE SECRET’.

My life is as transparent as distilled water. What could be a secret in my life? 

Is this a bomb? 

I held it gingerly and walked home with a lot of confusion and a pinch of panic.

At home incidentally, my family members were in the living room. I read the address aloud for everyone, hoping one of them would recognize the sender.  However, everyone looked at me blankly.

As my wife collected the packet from me to sanitize, I casually said, “Be careful, it can be a bomb.” 

“What! Who will send you a bomb?” My wife asked rhetorically.

My son, playing a game on his phone, smirked without raising his head, “What do you consider yourself, an investigating officer or a Governor?”

“Who wastes a bomb on a college teacher?” My wife joked at which my son had a hearty laugh. 

Only my mother, from whom I had inherited my share of fears, looked serious. “Son, is it from somebody who called you an anti-national on Facebook, when you critiqued the government?”

“No Ma. They’re all my good friends from college-days.” I assured my mother.

“Ma, I have cautioned your son to not watch crime serials. He is thinking too weird.” My wife tried to relax her.

My mother snatched the packet from my wife, “Whatever, I am the one who is going to open it.

“Ma…” I gasped.

“I am not going to listen to a word you say. All of you get out of here.” My mother ordered while going to the balcony with a pair of scissors.

“You and your mother! Over-reactions unlimited!” My wife muttered. 

After some struggle, my mother opened the parcel to find a medal with ribbon packed carefully with thick polythene scraps as filling.

My wife took the medal and read, “Excellence in Short Fiction”.

“Oh! Is this from the Lit Society? I had sent a story few months ago. I have forgotten about it completely.”

“Which story?” My son paused his game and asked.

“The Secret… Oops! That’s why ‘for THE SECRET’ is on the envelope”, I sighed. 

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2 thoughts on “My Encounter with a Bomb

  1. Superb, suspense till the end, the secret .. kudos to the author… wish I could have given 5 out of 5, but pressed 4 by mistake…
    Indeed I a enjoyed a lot,a realistic event but write so beautifully… hope the author will get many such secret parcels!

  2. A wow story narrated with ease. suspense well maintained. Mother’s reaction shows her concern for the son.
    Wife and Son’s response makes us feel maybe such incidents had occurred earlier as well.
    Enjoyed the suspense.

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