Lightning Struck

The Call

“Billie, wake up,” Adrienne said, shaking him. When he finally opened his eyes, she told him, “Boy, can you sleep. It’s already 12:30.”

Billie rubbed his eyes. “Really?”

“Yep,” Adrienne replied. “And it’ll be tomorrow if you don’t get up soon.”

“Okay, okay,” Billie mumbled. He pulled the sheets off him and got up, yawning.

“I already made lunch,” she told him, turning to leave out the door. “I’m going to go do some errands so I won’t be home for a while.”

“Okay,” Billie replied. He watched as she left before he started getting changed.
When he grabbed his shirt, he saw something underneath that was shiny. It was the mysterious black gem. He picked up and stared at it for a moment before putting it in his pocket. He then pulled his shirt on over his head.
He headed downstairs to have the lunch that Adrienne had mentioned and didn’t give another thought about it.


After eating lunch, Billie Joe decided to practice using his powers for a bit in the basement. He transformed into a few animals before levitating a foot off the ground. He became invisible and practiced with water and air. After almost an hour, he was exhausted and sweaty.
He collapsed onto a chair and felt something hard in his pocket. He stood up and took the gem out, having completely forgotten about it. The gem had the fascinating quality it always had and Billie couldn’t break his gaze from it. Then it started to glow and Billie had a bad feeling. After a few seconds, the gem stopped glowing. His heart thudding, Billie stood up. He went upstairs feeling anxious for no apparent reason.
Wanting to take his mind off his worrying, he sat down and watched TV in the living room. It didn’t help much since he couldn’t seem to pay attention to whatever it was he was watching. He didn’t know how long he sat there, staring blankly at the TV before the phone rang. The bad feeling worsened as Billie slowly got up to answer it.

A lump had formed in his throat when he picked the phone up and he had to swallow in order to be able to speak. “Hello?” he said.

“Is this Billie Joe Armstrong?” a voice asked.

“Yes, this is he,” Billie replied, wondering who it was.

“I have something you want,” the voice said.

Billie’s heart hammered in his chest. “Wh-what?” he stammered.

“I have your wife, Adrienne,” the voice answered. “If you ever want to see her alive again, you’ll give me five million dollars tomorrow.”

The gem dropped out of Billie’s mouth as his eyes grew wide. His heart was going crazy. “Wh-what?”

“You heard me.”

“But, but how am I supposed to get five million dollars by tomorrow?”

“You’ll find away, otherwise the next time you’ll be seeing your wife, she’ll be dead.”

Billie thought over his options. He could at least try, and he could always try something rash if it came to it. “When and where?” he asked resignedly.

“Tomorrow, 11:30 at night. The abandoned warehouse on Powell Street. Nobody comes with you or else I shoot your wife. Same goes if the police get involved.”

“Fine,” Billie said, trying to keep his voice under control.

“Remember, nobody gets involved in this other than you or else I kill her.”

“I know,” Billie reassured him. When he heard the other person hang up, he stood there, frozen in place. He looked like a deer caught in the headlights. Then, slowly, he pressed the end call button before calling Mike. He waited impatiently for him to pick up.

“Hello?” Mike asked.

“Hey, M-Mike,” Billie started.

“Billie, is that you?”


“What’s wrong?”

“A-Adie’s been k-kidnapped,” Billie confessed.


Billie took a deep breath. “She’s been kidnapped. And if I don’t get five million dollars by tomorrow night, she’s going to be killed.”

“Five million dollars?!” Mike asked in disbelief.


“How are you going to get that?”

“I...I don’t know...” Billie tried to keep from breaking down. It seemed practically hopeless.

“Commit suicide,” a voice in his head said.

Billie nearly dropped the phone. It was Death’s voice.

“What?” he asked aloud.

“Commit suicide. Kill yourself and I’ll let her escape unharmed.”

“Billie?” Mike asked, wondering what was going on.

“Yeah, Mike, hang on a sec,” Billie told him distractedly.

‘Why do you think I would do that?’ he thought.

“Because if you don’t, she’ll be killed. She’ll also have to take your punishment of an eternity of immense pain. If you commit suicide, you’ll have your punishment and she’ll go free. She’ll escape and return home safely.”

Billie silently considered his options. He didn’t consider it long before replying, ‘Okay. You win.’

“Good. Your deadline is by the end of tonight.”

Billie bowed his head in defeat. Death had finally won. There was no way out of this. He would not let Adie die. He would not let her suffer because of him.

“Mike, I got to go. Can you call Tré for me?” he asked, checking to see what time it was. “I’ve got to go pick Joey and Jakob up from school.”

“Okay...” Mike said uncertainly.


“Bye.” Billie ended the call and sighed. He felt defeated and he realized that that was probably the last time he would ever say goodbye to Mike.