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Thirty More Seconds
by Robert Lowell Russell

Harry was pretty surprised when he destroyed the world. He'd sworn, if he was ever caught behind that light again, that endless, bloody, red light, he was going to have a wank. No one would care. They wouldn't even notice. They were all texting, or chatting, or primping, or whatever-the-hell, anyway.

And there was just something about Carolinda in her pink bikini that called to him. Her hint of a smile on the glossy page; her soft-brown, Brazilian skin; the way she seemed to say, "This is the best bottle of beer ever!" in her cute, Spanish accent . . . Wait . . . Portuguese?

But as Harry tugged, hands in his pants, the light changed to yellow going the other way.

No! Thirty more seconds!

He willed the light in front of him red with every fiber of his being, demanding that it stay red, insisting that it stay red, until . . . until . . . until he shattered time and space.

"Good one, you stupid prat."

An old man in robes and a white, flowing beard glared at him, the world behind Him a swirling, amorphous mass of red, yellow, and green.

The man gave Harry the finger. "It's free will, not free your willy! You broke it, you bought it, wanker!"


Harry didn't see what the big deal was. Seven days? Try seven seconds.

Cars honked, but he didn't care, he let the light turn red. Carolinda could wait: wait in the cars next to him, wait in the cars behind him, wait in the coffee shop on the corner, wondering, "Oh my God, what is that man doing?"

She looked spectacular anywhere she was: crossing the street, screaming and swearing in his rearview, getting pushed along in that stroller by Carolinda.

The last man on Earth closed his eyes. Thirty more seconds . . .

He ignored the clack of the hammer clicking back on the Dirty Harry pistol pressed to his temple.

The bearded man said, "Sorry, mate, it's smitin' time. I like what you did to the place, but my Mum is really brassed off."

"No! Thirty more seconds!"