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The cramped office was filled with poorly organized files. Two men in white buttoned up shirts and black ties sat inside looking at computers. Both were smoking, and a small window with shades mostly drawn was cracked open, but it barely helped make the air, in the room, breathable.

“Are you still working on the Jacksonville case?”, the man at the desk closer to the door asked.

“Yeah, but it’s slow going,” the other man replied.

The first man, who was broad shouldered, but smaller than the other man, stopped working and turned toward the second man.

“What? Come on, how hard could it be? It’s a suicide bombing at a federal building; it’s the easiest profile in the world.” He asked.

The taller man stopped working too, casually tossing his cigarette out of the crack in the window.

“That’s why it’s tough; the profile is a white male loner who has expressed violent anti-government sentiments on social media. That’s like at least half of Florida,” he laughed.

One of the two phones on the taller man’s desk rang. The shorter man turned back to his computer while the taller man answered.

“Hey, honey,” he said, continuing to scroll on his computer.

“Yeah, I got it! Atlas on Friday. They don’t have a ’95 Cab though, so I was thinking we could bring one of the bottles of champagne we saved since it's our twenty-fifth anniversary?”

“Oo la la,” the shorter man said.

The taller made a face at him.

“8:30 PM. Yeah, I have a huge day that day, so that’s the earliest it can be,” the taller man continued.

“Alright, okay. Love you too. Bye,” he concluded.

“Love you too,” the younger man mimicked.

He hung up the phone, made a face at the shorter man, and went back to his computer where he resumed his scrolling in silence for a few minutes.

“Oh shit, I think I got him,” the taller man said.


“Robert Tuttle: age forty-six, twice arrested, once for domestic assault, once for felony menacing, and spent the last several months threatening the honorable Gilda Bostwick, who presided over the latter case.”

“That sounds like your guy alright,” the shorter man said.

The taller man nodded but didn’t look up. He had switched from mindlessly scrolling to feverishly typing.

“Okay, can I run this by you?”

“Yeah, go for it,” the shorter man replied, turning to face the taller man.

“In Jacksonville Florida Robert ‘Bob’ Tuttle used an improvised explosive device planted in a recreational vehicle to blow up the Charles E. Bennett Federal Building,” the taller man read in a news anchor type voice.

“Blow up?” The shorter man interrupted.


“What are you in sixth grade?”

“What would you call it?”

“How about bombing? He used an IED to commit a large scale bombing?”

“Fuck, yeah, that’s way better,” the taller man concluded.

The shorter man took a brief bow.

“Okay, let me get this finished so I can get home.”

“So it’s this Friday? Are you gonna recruit?”

“No, that’s why the RV is there. Just gonna knock him out, toss him in, and blow it up,” the taller man explained.

“A romantic act of domestic terrorism for your anniversary,” the shorter man chuckled.

“My wife can complain but new funding,, this’ll bring in is what’s gonna get her that lake house so she can deal with a later anniversary dinner.”

The short man stood up.

“Here, head on home and see your wife, I’ll finish this for you.”

The taller man stood up, smiled, thanked the shorter man, gathered his belongings, and headed out the door.


Dylan James Harper is a writer and teacher in Sonoma County, California. When he's not grading papers or evacuating from fires, he's hanging out with his wife and their pets. His favorite flowers are sun flowers. 


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