Minnesota Undercover – Part One
Tim D. McConnaughy Jr.
“You can’t go that way,” he said.
The man was tall with black bushy hair and a five o’clock shadow that appeared to cover the bottom portion of his face. He was wearing a midnight blue sweater, light gray pants and dark colored loafers. He was yelling to a man just ahead of him. Their attention seemed to have been focused on running. The second man was much shorter and faster. His bronze colored hair was partially concealed but he was wearing a little brown fedora with a pink feather. He had on long lightly colored khaki pants and a rainbow vertically striped shirt that appeared to be similar to a woman’s silk blouse.
The bushy-haired man repeated his call, “We can’t go that way, the doors are locked!”
Just then muted voices could be heard in the distance. Suddenly I watched the colorfully dressed man, who appeared to be of Middle Eastern decent, spin around 180 degrees and then proceed to do a back-flip in the middle of the room.
Clearly, something about this story wasn’t making sense and then it hit me, I must be having a dream. For me, dreams rarely seem to make sense especially after I try to put them together again after waking up. I concluded this definitely had to be a dream and one I was in. But was it happening now or had it already happened? Right now it was difficult to know what was real and what wasn’t. I wanted to yell to see if I was awake or not. I tried to yell something aloud but nothing—no sound. As if this situation couldn’t get any stranger it did.
Suddenly I began feeling cold……and wet, really wet. Rain? Yep, that must be it—it was raining and I was outside in the cold wet rain. But why couldn’t I make any sound? I didn’t know but what was apparent was that I was getting drenched. Were the other men getting wet? Where were we anyways? I couldn’t see or hear them anymore but I noticed the black pants I was wearing were now beginning to stick to my legs and the blue pullover I had on appeared to be glued to my back. Then I felt something wrapped around my neck. It must have been the strap from the bag I was intending to carry on the plane. Then I remembered! I was at the airport! Maybe things were starting to make sense again. My flight! I’m going to miss my flight!
I tried to run but I couldn’t. I seemed to be stuck. I desperately wanted out of whatever was going on. It felt like my pants were so soggy I was beginning to wonder if I was even wearing any. I tried to wake up but I must’ve been super tired because whatever was really happening wasn’t going away. Then I heard what sounded like someone yelling again.
“They keep going this way….” the voice trailed off……”they’re gonna end up in hell!”
I noticed the dark haired man approaching.
Then I heard him yell. “C’mon, we gotta hurry!”
Was he yelling at me or someone else? I wasn’t sure but wished someone would notice my predicament. I tried to scream hoping to get the men’s attention. I opened my mouth to utter the word, help! This time I was certain my lips were moving but I still didn’t hear any sound. Was I deaf? Couldn’t be, since I had just thought I had heard the men yelling about something. And there were other voices. Again I heard what sounded like men’s voices.
“There’s no way we’re going to hell if hell doesn’t exist!”
I wanted to respond and so I tried. “But what if it does?” I said but I heard nothing. Just great, I thought, feeling more frustrated than ever. Still, no sound!
I heard another man’s voice, “We got a fire here! There’s a fire!”
At that moment thoughts about what Jesus says about hell began to flood my mind. What if these people were not part of a dream at all? What if there was a fire and people were going to die?! I felt the need to warn them and tell them what God says.
Suddenly a surge of pain ran up my arm. It felt like my left arm was being pulled from its socket. Then I felt the surge of pain again—this time it was even stronger. The pain began to ricochet around my shoulder and back through my arm again. Just then my whole body felt like it had hit a concrete wall—and hard. I opened my eyes to see the leg of a chair next to my head. I seemed to be lying on the floor in a pool of water.
I moved my head left and saw water raining down from the ceiling. My face, and clothes were soaked and I saw a man standing over me.
“Get up man! You gotta get out of here!” I heard the man say. He appeared to be a rather large man. Almost giant sized.
My first thought was to ask if he was Goliath but instead I heard only a faint “huh?” exit my mouth.
“This building is on fire! We gotta go! Now!” The man yelled.
I must have fallen asleep on an airport chair I concluded. I slowly rose to my feet and began to follow after the man. He started running. For a large man, he was running faster than I expected. I did my best to keep up.
“What’s going on!?” I managed to yell. People began crowding around us.
“Not sure yet but the building’s on fire!” He yelled back. “Someone said there might be a bomb!”
Voices were filling the air in a chaotic commotion. People were hollering and yelling all around us now. It seemed I was in the middle of a rush of panicked people and they were scared.
I heard a few people toward the front of the crowd call out, “This way!”
The throng of people began to push me from all sides. I lost track of the man who had pulled me from my slumber. I pushed forward with the crowd and we began to press as a single mass between what appeared to be an open double doorway. Then I began to smell smoke. I figured we must be close to its source but I didn’t care to find out how close. At that moment I just wanted out of the building!
I soon got my wish. The mass of people pushed me out some exit doors into a crisp cold moonless night. Thanksgiving would be here in a few days and I figured most people had probably been planning for the upcoming holiday and hoping to spend time with their families. I noticed patches of snow on the sidewalk in front of me. I was hoping there wasn’t any hidden patches of ice on the sidewalk as the people scrambled from the building. I saw streetlights lining the curb in front of me while people flooded all around like a swarm of scared honey bees around their threatened hive. Most of the people were running frantically while others were trying to run and look down at their phones at the same time. I heard other people screaming and crying.
A lady in her mid-thirties came running past me as she returned to the entrance of the airport terminal. She was crying and yelling. “My baby! My baby!”
It was truly a heartbreaking sight. Law enforcement officers and airport security rushed around her pulling her away from the entrance. More police officers, firefighters and paramedics personnel came running by, each with determination on their faces to help those in need. The whole sight was almost too much to take in, so I paused to say a quick prayer.
You are Almighty God who made the heaven and earth and all life upon it. You alone know all the needs of the people hurting in the midst of this tragic scene. Despite the pain and suffering, I cry out Lord for Your loving mercy to show Your healing comfort for those in need. Father God, I pray that you will provide Your wisdom and direction to the First Responders as they care for the hurting and injured and work to secure this place. Thank you God for who You are and what You are about to do.
In Jesus Name, Amen.
When I had finished the prayer amid the commotion of emergency vehicles and people, I looked up to see a small but solid line of yellow taxicabs beginning to gather directly in front of me. The taxicabs were beginning to look like a row of self-illuminating yellow jelly beans under the line of street lights . People began frantically racing toward the cabs as many people began to hitch rides. I noticed a few charter buses parked on the opposite of the taxis. I ran straight to the closest cab and opened the rear passenger door. I got in and as I was about to sit down I realized a younger looking girl in her early twenties occupying the back section of the car. She saw me and quickly shuffled away to make more room on the bench-like seat.
The taxi was dimly lit but it appeared the girl was wearing denim shorts with a brightly colored T-shirt. Her hair looked to be a dusty blonde color of medium length resting gently on her shoulders. I noticed a logo design with a caption on the front of her shirt. Although it was difficult to see, I caught a glimpse of what looked to be a circle cut into slices. The slices looked like three slices of pizza. I noticed a word caption underneath the pizza. I read the word in my head. Pizza…..Pizza? What a fun and yummy idea. The thought of pizza was now making me hungry!
Suddenly a gruff and stern sounding voice interrupted my thoughts about pizza. “Where to!?” The rough sounding man demanded. He must be the driver and he must be talking to me I concluded. He appeared to be wearing a loose fitting yet colorful Hawaiian shirt. The man’s hair was dark and he looked to be in his mid-fifties.
Without giving the question much thought, I sheepishly answered him. “Uh, I dunno, any hotel nearby?”
“You gotta give me a name dude,” the man responded sounding a little irritated.
At that point another man with dark hair combed neatly to one side who had been sitting directly in front of me replied in a sober but calm tone. “I was staying at the Ritz. It’s nearby,” he said.
“We gotta go now if we’re gonna make it.” The driver interjected.
“Okay. The Ritz.” I said quickly.
The girl seated next to me was silent as our taxi pulled away from the airport terminal and began to creep onto a connecting road to the interstate. I couldn’t be sure but she seemed more uncomfortable now that someone else occupied the space next to her. At least I know I felt uncomfortable. My clothes were still wet from the shower I had had back at the airport—thanks to the airport’s sprinkler system. In fact, my pants and underwear both were still sticking to my bottom. And my arm was still feeling the effects of falling off the wet chair. It felt as if I was a sitting in an icy puddle of water in the back of a taxi cab. Indeed I was feeling cold and slightly uncomfortable. I clenched the only bag I had that now lay on my lap. The bag was much like my clothes—soggier than a wet cat after a bath. My bag contained a couple of books, pens, a phone charger, my flight itinerary, a Bible and some writing pads. As wet as the bag was on the outside I could only imagine what the contents must’ve looked like. I reluctantly opened the bag. The inside was completely dry! But how? I wondered. Then I remembered it was made of a fine waterproof material. If only I had packed an extra pair of clothes in there!
I looked over at the girl next to me again and noticed her head was turned facing the window. She appeared to be deep in thought while she sat staring outside. I decided to ask her name but she didn’t respond. I figured she must be in some kind of shock due to what had just happened at the airport. I know I was. Did anyone really know what was happening? Then I became lost in my thoughts—again.
It is interesting how people respond during spontaneous chaotic events. It’s hard to know exactly how one will behave until the event actually takes place. Back at the airport I remembered someone had mentioned something about a bomb. The world had seen six major terrorist caused attacks within the last three months and similar Islamic Jihad related attacks seemed to be increasing. People wanted peace—maybe now more than ever.
I knew the Bible contained predictions about the increase of earthly unrest and wars. This unrest would grow and lead up to God’s final judgment before His ultimate victory over evil. In my mind if there was a bomb at the Twin Cities airport it was another Islamic Jihad attack in a line of many still to come. I figured I’d eventually find out for sure but maybe not until we arrived at the hotel— if we arrived at all. Then I remembered something. I needed to call my wife in California to let her know I was okay and I didn’t know when I’d be coming home. I figured she probably had heard about what was going on already and possibly knew more about the attacks from the latest Facebook “news” feed.
The taxi we were in suddenly lurched forward and I momentarily lost my focus on what I was going to do. Then I remembered. I was intending to call my wife but I needed to find my phone. Thankfully it was in my pants pocket where I had left it. I dug deep into my soggy right front pocket and pulled it out. I noticed the reception bars on the phone’s face were missing. Just grand, I thought. Either there’s no cellular service or my phone’s water damaged. I checked my phone again to be sure it was really on. The display showed 9:22 p.m. on the face so it appeared to be working. The seriousness of the situation was beginning to set in. If I was holding a working phone but there wasn’t any cell phone reception despite being next to Minnesota’s largest airport then one could imagine what was actually happening.
I decided to find out for sure if there was cell phone service or not so I surprised myself and blurted out, “does anyone else have cell phone service?”
To Be Continued…..Find out what happens next in Minnesota Undercover – Part Two
Minnesota Undercover is a work of fiction. With the exception of well-known historical figures and events, all names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents contained in this story are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.
Unless noted otherwise all scripture quotations found in this story are from the New King James Version of the Bible.
A note to my readers: Your input is welcomed and strongly encouraged for this particular writing project. While the substance and core of this story (particularly the Gospel will not change) I acknowledge this story is indeed a work in progress. Should you come across punctuation, continuity, spelling and grammar related errors, etc or can/want to help me get this story officially published (without obligation) I would like to hear from you. Thank you for your support and encouragement.