Benoit didn't know the world would end when he died until he was 14 years old. He was hit by a van while cycling and his bike went right under the wheels. Benoit was knocked to the asphalt and the van shuddred to a sudden stop. Right on top of Benoit.
It was exactly 8:05 a.m. in the morning, May 25, 1989.
The panicked driver jumped out expecting all his worst fears to greet him. He'd run over a kid, it was his fault, the kid was dead, he was going to prison.
Except he wasn't. Benoit crawled out without a scratch, his bike a useless and bent collection of parts.
"Omigod omigod omigod, alright?, y-you're alright?"
"Can I give you some cash for the bike?"
Benoit shook his head.
"Are, are you sure?" the driver couldn't believe his luck.
Benoit started walking away.
"Can I give you a lift or something?"
Benoit kept walking, his head ached, in his mind's eye, he was watching a gas pipe explosion fatally burn two people alive, and destroy eleven houses and 21 cars.
That night, watching the news from San Bernadino was like watching a badly taped rerun.
"Come on man, it's just a short flight."
"I don't fly."
"Benny, could you not be Benny just this once?"
"Nope, the plane might crash."
"So you're afraid you'll die in a plane crash?"
"I'll be fine, it's the rest of the world that I'm afraid for."
"Whatever Benny, I've had enough of your 'if I die, the world dies' crap, I'm going without you, I hope we can still be friends."
The door to his cabin opened slowly and smoothly. The men who entered were unarmed but their movement said weapons might grow out of their hands at any moment.
It was not a question. He lay in bed, chest heavy with mucous.
The men took vantage points at the small windows. Windows he'd cut himself half a century ago. A cluster of them at the door parted like two halves of an almond and white coated men rushed in.
Medical devices the size of a matchbox injected him with other medical devices the size of a match head which quickly dissolved into individual molecular robots.
The machines drilled deep into his lungs, his lymphatic system, his pancreas, his spleen. They cut and spliced and pushed and pulled.
"Please, can't you just let me go?"
"Mr. Ryder, we're here to save your life."
"No you're not, you're here to save your own."
"Everything is going to be fine Mr. Ryder."
His eyes looked at Benoit the way boys looked at flies they wanted to swat.
"Yes, it is," said Benoit.
They lifted him off his bed.
Pressure plates do not click. They can also be set to close a circuit when pressure is released. Like a landmine.
Benoit knew the world would end with the explosion he'd rigged over 40 years ago, in case they found him.
"Sorry, what was that Mr. Ryder? Chet, get over here, he's whispering something."
"Negatory, sniffers twitching, E.M.P. NOW!!"
"Please, I want the en--."