The Bomb in the Building

There are two 14-year-old boys, identical twins named Joe and James, who are complete polar opposites. They hate each other. They fight all day long, nonstop. They gab about each other’s faults to their friends. They both can’t stop making up stupid flaws about each other. These boys are both black-haired and six feet tall. They have black, square glasses. Being so tall, they are extremely clumsy. They trip over things 100 times a day. Being as skinny as sticks, their heads look huge.

They are locked inside a metal room, no place to go, no windows, no light. There is nothing in the room except matches and a piece of paper with a random riddle. They need to work together to find the matches and the paper, and to solve the riddle before ten minutes is up.

Groping through the dark, the two boys don’t find anything on the floor.

“Nothing!” they chorus.

“Hey, don’t bump into me!” cries Joe.

“You bumped into me! That’s your problem,” yells James.

“I don’t have any problems! You’re the one with the problems,” snaps Joe.

“Oh yeah, you bumped into me! Can’t you look where you’re going?!”

“Even if I did bump into you, it’s extremely dark in here. How do you expect me to see where you are? Now, shut up and continue our search for the match and the stupid piece of paper!” shouts Joe.

James is getting red in the face and is feeling around for Joe. He finds him.

“What on earth are you doing?”

Then, it hits him. Joe slaps James back. Soon, it becomes a terrible fight. Punches flying back and forth. They wrestle each other on the ground. The minutes tick by, one minute… two minutes… three minutes. Only four minutes left, and they’re still punching and slapping each other’s face.

They soon are up on their feet. Searching in the dark for the objects, James bumps his head on what he thinks is a wooden cabinet that they hadn’t noticed before. He looks inside. Nothing. He rams into it to see if anything falls off. Instead, it breaks, and he finds a concrete wall instead of metal. Oh, and he also finds the box of matches, which just fell onto his head. He lights one. The riddle is taped on the concrete wall. The wall has a keyboard near it. Joe comes over to the wall where James is standing.

“I guess this door needs a code, the answer to the riddle. Nice work, brother,” applauds Joe as he smiles.

“Thanks, Joe. Now, let’s get to work.”

The riddle says:

My first is often at the front door.

My second is found in the cereal family.

My third is what most people want.

My whole is one of the united states.

What am I?

“I can’t make heads or tails of it, but you’re the dumb one. You wouldn’t get it either,” says Joe.

“Oh really, I’m the dumb one? You were the first one to get an F on a test. In first grade!” erupts James.

They fight once more, now to determine who’s smarter. Only three minutes on the clock. They get up and stop fighting like babies.

“What is often at the front door? Mail? No, that can’t be it. Steps can’t be it either,” ponders James.

Two minutes left.

“A mat, there’s usually a welcome mat at the front door. We have one ourselves,” erupts Joe. “I just don’t get how that matters?”

“We’ll find out soon.”

“When it says ‘the cereal family,’ does it mean the company cereal brand, like Kellogg’s or General Mills, or does it mean the brand from those big companies, like Cheerios, Lucky Charms, Fruit Loops. You get what I mean, right?”

“I get what you mean, but you’re wrong. I think they mean the type of grain that makes the cereal. So it can be rye, barley, or oats. We’ll get back to that,” explains James.

“What most people want is a good education, but you can’t get that without money. Money, that’s what –”

“You’re right, Joe!” interrupts James.

One minute left.

“United States isn’t capitalized, so it can mean uniting together. Could it mean matrimony? Quick, type that in and see if it’s correct.”

James types it in. The door doesn’t open. Instead, written on the screen connected to the keyboard is:

How can you do this?

“What, we need to get married?!”

Second are ticking by. 20 seconds left.

“How on earth are we going to do this? This is the dumbest thing in the world!” erupts James.

Less and less time, ten… nine… eight… seven.

“We’re brothers though, why do we ne — ”

The building goes up in flames.

The flames lick the building to the ground. The fire department gets the warning and rushes to the sight. They warned the fire department that there are two boys stuck inside. The twins’ parents are told about the incident, and they jump in their car and race to the site. They are told that the reason why Joe and James went missing was because a mysterious man grabbed the boys from their rooms to this building. He set a bomb to ten minutes and started it as the boys were dropped in. They needed to find a way out of the building.

The fire department recovers the unconscious bodies from the building and puts them in the ambulance. The ambulance rushes to the hospital with the parents’ 2017 Mercedes E-350 tailing behind.

The boys’ hospital room has white walls with fluorescent lighting, which makes you blind when you first walk in. The boys wake up. They are blinded and can’t see each other. Joe is in agony. The doctor tells him he was fatally injured and might not live for long. They lie in their beds, thinking, thinking.

The last day for Joe has come, and he’s ready for it.

“James, I’ll miss you.”

“No, Joe! Why, Why, Why, Why?!”

James is in tears as Joe leaves the world forever.

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