The traffic queued far beyond the sight of the driver, the carriageway awash with brake lights and the air filled with the beeps from car horns as driver’s operated under the misapprehension that the louder the traffic was, the quicker the lights would change. Little Johnny looked out the window of the bus at the various diggers and machines digging up the road, why were grown ups so angry? They could watch diggers, he loved diggers and was happy he’d caught this bus. He was on an errand but surely Mr Large couldn’t be too upset if his parcel was delivered a bit late, if it had been so important Mr Matheson would have driven into town himself and dropped it off, but Mr Matheson was always one for strict instructions, Daddy was always saying things like “Matheson was the only person in the world who could under or over boil an egg, as somehow he’d manage to keep an eye on the timer”. It made sense to Jimmy, Matheson was a watch and clock repairman so of course he’d keep good time. It must be a very special clock he’d been ask to take to Mr Large, Matheson said it was very fragile and must be kept level all journey, occasionally he would press his head to the box and listen to the clock ticking. He wondered what sort of clock it was, must be one of those fancy ones Matheson kept at the front of the shop.
The bus juddered into life and started to towards the traffic lights, it was nearly there when they changed and several grown-ups started yelling naughty words at the bus driver who said some even naughtier words back, Jimmy didn’t know what they meant but he knew they were very naughty according to Mommy. He watched the diggers for a bit and soon the bus started moving again, he was a bit worried about how late he was going to be, he asked the man in front of him what time it was and he said it was nearly two o’clock. That wasn’t too bad, he wouldn’t be that late and wouldn’t be too badly told off by Mr Matheson. The bus turned the corner into the main street and Jimmy smiled as he saw the huge clock in the centre square march into life to ring in the hour, the toy soldiers were being their march and the big hand on the clock face hit the hour and Jimmy noticed that the clock in the box was making a funny noise and smell, and it was getting hotter….
…several shop windows were blown in by the blast and street was filled with the sound of alarm bells and panic. Thick black smoke curled its way into the air and a couple of helpful people were running with fire extinguishers towards the flaming and molten remains of the bus.
Matheson closed his pocket watch and smiled, he looked out the window and saw the thick black smoke in the distance. He picked up his phone and dialled a number, “Matheson here,” he said confidently. “I believe the tailor has fastened his last button.”