They were right in front of him, huddled on the stage. Fred checked his cell phone and saw the show started in ten minutes. If he didn't have those marionettes in his possession before then, the world would end. Or at least this theater. But since his wife and daughter were in the audience, it might as well be the whole world.
"Nice try, Fred," a voice sounded behind him. Judy. She, the hater of all things puppets and puppet lovers, had planted the bomb in one of the heads. "But if you move, I'll put a bullet through your spine. Then you won't be able to move, and you'll still get the thrill of blowing up. And knowing your family and friends will get the brunt of the blast, too."
"Why, Judy? Hate puppets all you want, but why kill because of it."
"You know why."
"No. I mean, I've heard stories, but they're just stories. I want to know the truth from you." If he could get her talking, he still had a chance. As much as she hated everything puppet related, she loved hearing the sound of her own voice.
"It all started when I was twelve. My father brought home ..."
That was all the opening he needed. He planted his foot in her gut. The gun in her hand slid across the floor. He'd worry about that in a minute. He ran to the stage, grabbed the marionettes, and sprinted to the back door. As soon as they we