Miranda sat at her desk, staring at the computer screen until the neatly plotted data became an ugly mess of Excel misery. Remnants of the morning's toasted ham and cheese croissant found their way to the slump in her skirt. It was tempting to scoop them up for a final taste of buttery goodness but she resisted, time to get classy. The phone rings.
Good morning, Auburn University Library, Miranda speaking.
A bomb will go off at 12pm today in the library.
Are you there?
Yes, sorry. What did you say? A bomb? Like the kind that explodes?
Yes of course, is there another kind?
Well maybe...I don't know, it's too early. How do you know about this?
Ah I put it there, how else?!
Why did you do that?
You're not supposed to ask me that question.
What? Why not? What's the point of going to all the trouble of planting a bomb without getting a message across?
Maybe I don't have a message.
Ahhhh I see. You have an exam today?
No! I don't even study here!
Oh O.K unpaid library fines?
What? No! Jesus what’s wrong with you?
Me?! Haha what’s wrong with you?!!
Miranda lowered her brows in confusion, adopting what she deemed to be her "Sherlock squint". Not the movie Sherlock, the TV version - with the hobbit.
Nope, I just can't think of another reason for it.
Well see that's the beauty isn't it? Everyone's always trying to find some deep and meaningful reason behind a person's actions. He shot all those girls because he felt rejected by women and wanted revenge. They torched the school because they listened to Marilyn Manson and were bullied and felt small and angry. I mean please. How do we ever really know what drives a person. Maybe they are just crazy or maybe they just like causing chaos.
Like the Joker.
You know, in The Dark Night - what does that Alfred guy say? 'Some men just want to watch the world burn.'
Yeah. Maybe. I guess like the Joker.
Are yooou the Joker??
Ha ha sadly no. That would have made for a pretty neat headline.
Miranda giggled and then sat up suddenly in her seat.
Jesus Miranda, what are you doing? Yes Tinder is shit but are times that desperate that you’ll hit on the bomb threat guy?!! He does sound pretty nice though and we shouldn't always be so quick to judge...
Are you still there? Are you calling security?
Oh no sorry, I'm still here. I just get lost in my own thoughts, probably why I'm still stuck in this dead-end job.
Why don’t you quit?
Well I mean it’s pretty good pay and its easy work.
Sounds like you lead a thrilling life.
Not as thrilling as making bomb threats but I guess its O.K. I don’t know. I always wanted to be an anthropologist but I don’t think there are many jobs these days and I’d need to study and work part-time and…
Oh my god those reasons are so boring. Just do it!
Haha. Maybe, you’re probably right. Shit what time is it? I have a meeting at 11.15.
What about the bomb?!
Oh yeah ha sorry, I forgot. Um so are you serious?
I'm afraid so...It's been a pleasure.
O.K well I have to call security then. At least I get to skip my meeting. Um see you round, all the best...well not really all the best I guess...but um I'm not really sure what to say.
How about ciao.
O.K great. Ciao.
Miranda hung up the phone and began melting into her Excel spreadsheet.
She dialled 333 and spoke to a man whose burly voice and steadfast composure made her imagine him to be secretly happy to lead the evacuation and demonstrate his skill-set to the yuppies.
The alarm bells started and standardized messages of 'calmly proceed' and 'leave your belongings' echoed over the intercom. Miranda grabbed her bag and watched as her colleagues rolled their eyes and begrudgingly made their way to the exits. They gathered in the courtyard opposite the library and Miranda found herself edging further towards the back despite not really believing there was an actual bomb.
As everyone muttered to one another about their important deadlines and meetings and questions about getting coffee, Miranda felt herself drifting to a daydream about her caller. What does he look like? How old is he? I wonder what kind of music he likes?
Smoke streamed out the sides of the library, people screamed and squealed as bricks smashed to the ground.
Holy shit! I can't believe he did it!
The security guards seemed stunned and confused. Staff and students became frenzied and frantic, running in all kinds of directions.
Miranda just stood there, feet fixed to the ground. She tilted her head and an unavoidable smile started to grow across her face. Realising that she probably looked like a mad woman she quickly covered her mouth and made tracks for the train station. As the sirens roared and news cameras started to appear she glanced back and whispered at Auburn University.