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Ambition's Facade

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It was a quiet evening for Trip and his wife Grace, though by their standards, quiet related to a simple bicker.

“Grace, I told you a hundred times, I don’t have any problems with the decorating!” Trip said. Grace crossed her arms.

“I know. But I do!” said Grace.

“Arg! Grace! I think we need a vacation. We need to relax!” Trip said.

“No! We just went on a vacation to Italy a week ago!” Grace said.

“Grace…” Trip said. There was a knock. “Huh? Who could that be?” Trip muttered. He went over and opened the door. There he saw a man with a goatee and moustache. He wore a sea-green shirt and black pants. His eyes, however, were trained on the dynamite the man had duct-taped to his chest. Wires connected to a switch he held in his hands. Trip looked, his eyes agape with fear.

“There’s nobody home. She’s trying to frame me, Bridget!” The man said. His voice was raspy, perhaps from a throat that had taken one too many cigarettes. He was breathing heavily as well.

“Wh-who’s Bridget?” Trip sweated beads and backed away slowly.

“You damn well know who Bridget is! You help me find Bridget or I’ll blow us all to hell!” The man growled. He got closer to Trip. Grace went to the door and saw the bomber.

“Trip! Oh God! I’m gonna call the cops!” Grace said as she ran to the phone.

“I don’t think so!” The man shouted. He had his thumb hover over the big red button of the switch. “You call the cops, and I’ll blow us all to hell!” He said. He forced himself inside the room and closed the door behind him. “You gotta help me.” He said to Trip.

“Why would I help someone like you?” Trip asked. The man showed the switch.

“Because I’m the man who’s in control of this situation, not you. I know you have some connection with Bridget, so you must have known where she went!” He said.

“I don’t know who this Bridget is! You got the wrong man!” Trip said.

“Really? From what I’ve heard, you’re her confidant! You must have known where she took my kids!” The man said.

“Kids? Woah, woah, slow down! She… took your kids?” Grace asked.

“Yes! She strapped a bomb to my chest and she’s trying to frame me for a crime I didn’t commit!” He said.

“Well, considering how you’re reacting, I don’t think she needs to frame you for anything. Threatening to blow us up is just enough evidence to put you in jail.” Trip said. The bomber stepped closer to Trip. He could hear his shoes stomping onto the floor. “STOMP STOMP STOMP!

“You think I’m crazy, do you?” He said.

“No, no. I don’t think you’re crazy… You must have been through a lot.” Grace said.

“Grace! He may be lying! This guy has a bomb strapped to his chest and is threatening to blow us up!” Trip said.

“You’re trying to defend her, aren’t you!? You’re in on this whole thing!” said the Bomber.

“No, I’m not! I don’t know who this Bridget is, honest!” Trip said.

“You’re the one lying. I heard her mention you being a vital step in the plan! Get me to her, or I’ll blow you two to hell!” He said.

“Hold it! We can work this out… I think the first step is to introduce ourselves. My name is Grace and this is my husband Trip.” Grace gave him her hand. The man kissed it. He spoke in a calm voice afterwards.

“My name is Ted. At least you’re willing to help me find my crazy ex-wife.” Ted said.

“Well… Considering the situation we’re in…” Grace muttered.

“I…” Ted sighed. “Sorry about the bomb… I have been through a lot. Woke up with blood spilled all over the room and my kids stolen… I’m worried about them, Grace. And… With this bomb strapped to my chest…” Ted said.

“It’s okay, I understand.” Grace placed her hand on Ted’s cheek. “But how do you know if Trip knows her?” She asked.

“I heard her talking about a tape she stole from him… It wasn’t hard finding your address just from your name.” Ted said.

“Wait… tape?” Trip muttered. He glared into Ted’s eyes. Ted, from the glare, realized that something had sparked in his eyes. Belief. “Yeah. I remember someone took my tape… Short reddish blonde hair, brown dress, seductive voice… does that match her?” Trip asked him. Grace gave him an odd look when he said “seductive voice”.

“Yes! Exactly! You do know her! You must know where she is, then!” Ted placed his hands on Trip’s shoulders.

“… No. I don’t. But I have encountered her, and I can show you where. Would that be enough?” Trip asked.

“… For now. If I am to think this is just a trap… well…” Ted shook his switch in front of Trip’s face. Trip gulped.

“Grace, get the keys… We’re going out.” Trip said to Grace. She got up and got the keys. How could someone like Grace react so calmly in this situation? Trip thought about that question as he continued to sweat beads. Ted looked intensely at Trip. Grace arrived with the keys. Trip then ran for the door. “Alright, Ted, let’s go.” Trip said to Ted. Ted followed him out of the room, followed closely by Grace. The door closed behind them.

The phone rang when they were out. It continuously rang until the answering machine picked it up.

“You've reached the fabulous new home of Grace and Trip. Leave us a message!” The machine said. There was a tone, followed by a female’s voice.

{cue song}

“Hello? Can you hear me? It’s urgent that you must answer this! My crazy ex-husband believes you and I are involved in this scheme and is on his way to your house now with a bomb strapped to himself!  Please pick this up! Hello? Anyone there? Oh… Oh my God… He’s… Don’t worry, help’s on the way!” The voice sounded desperate, but echoed in the now empty room. The noiseless room was then filled by a long continuous dial tone as the woman hung up the phone.

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To Be Continued.