1. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Past Contest Submissions closed for contest #179, theme: "run the jewels"

    Discussion in 'Bi-Weekly Short Story Contest Archives' started by GingerCoffee, Sep 1, 2015.

    Short Story Contest # 179
    Submissions & Details Thread
    Theme: "Run the Jewels" courtesy of @Hubardo

    I had to ask. ;) http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=run+the+jewels

    Submissions will be open for 3 weeks.

    IMPORTANT: PLEASE READ, Thanks

    To enter the contest, post the story here in this thread. It will show up as an anonymous author.

    The contest is open to all writingforums.org members, newbies and the established alike. At the deadline I will link to this thread from the voting thread. The winning entry will be stickied until the next competition winner. As always, the winner may PM me to request the theme of the subsequent contest if he/she wishes.

    Entries do not have to follow the themes explicitly, but off-topic entries may not be entered into the voting.

    Word limit: 500-3000 words
    Deadline for entries: Sunday the 20th of Sept, 2015 1600 (4:00 pm) US Pacific time.

    There is a 10% word-limit leniency at both ends of the scale. Please try to stick within the limit. Any piece outside of the suggested limit may not be entered into the voting.

    If we reach 20 entries, the maximum number of stories for any one contest, I will consider splitting the contest into two. Only one entry per contest per contestant is permitted.

    Try to make all your entries complete and have an ending rather than be an extract from a larger one and please try to stick to the topic. Any piece seemingly outside of the topic will be dealt with in a piece by piece basis to decide its legitimacy for the contest.

    A story entered into the contest may not be one that has been posted anywhere** on the internet, not just anywhere on this site. A story may not be posted for review until the contest ends, but authors may seek critiques after voting closes for the contest. Members may also not repost a story anywhere, or bring attention to the contest in any way, until the voting has closed.
    (**We tried one that had been posted for critique before entering but it defeated the anonymity so I've gone back to no stories perviously posted here in the forum.)

    PLEASE use this title format for all stories: Title bolded [word count]

    If there are any questions, please send me a PM (Conversation).

    After the voting ends, posting in the thread will re-open for comments.

    ***And thanks to even more long hours put in by our very special mod/member @Wreybies, winners are now awarded with olympic style medals displayed under their avatars.

    Be sure to preview your entry before you hit 'reply'.
    Check italics and bolding as sometimes the end code for bold or italics doesn't copy/paste affecting large stretches of text.
    If you need to fix the formatting, hit 'control a' to 'select all' and clear all bold and italics code. Then re-add it back in using the board's font controls before you hit 'post reply'. Watch those extra line spaces. Delete them directly from the post before hitting 'post reply'.

    The point of consistent titles and line spacing is to avoid having those things influence votes, sometimes for worse.

    Thanks, and good luck!
     
  2. dbesim
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    dbesim Contributing Member

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    Job Opportunity (524 words)

    "Hi, can I give you my CV?"

    Tiffany broods through every store in the high street handing out CVs. She has given out to numerous clothes stores and more or less gets the same reaction:

    "Sorry, we've already recruited."

    She's never known that searching for work would be so difficult. High street stores are always looking for new assistants, she tells herself. It shouldn't be this hard. She's given out at least a dozen CVs and all without much luck. It is far more challenging than she thought it would be.

    As Tiffany comes out of a large department store, she passes an intimate jewellery shop. She hesitates for she doesn't reckon a jewellery store will want to recruit someone like her. She hasn't had much experience with jewellery and she is only looking for a part-time role. Oh well, it's worth a try, she thinks.

    As she enters the store there is a jingling of bells that monitors her presence. The jewellery store is very attractive and there is an array of items including rings, bracelets, necklaces and pearls. They are all securely protected behind a glass counter. Tiffany notices a man behind the counter and he looks up at her from behind his spectacles:

    "May I help you?" he says.

    "Yes, I'm looking for some part-time work experience," she says. She hands him her CV but isn't expecting much. To her surprise the man in glasses pauses to read it.

    "Tiffany?" he says.

    "Yes,' she replies.

    "Oh... Tiffany.." he considers. Suddenly a fat man appears from behind the store:

    "Finished lunch, boss," he says to the spectacled man. The boss says nothing as he continues pausing to look at the CV. Then to Tiffany's surprise:

    "Would you like an interview?"

    "Oh, yes, certainly," says Tiffany. "When?"

    "How about now?" says the boss. "Just front the store, Sam, while I go interview this young lady."

    "Sure, boss," says Sam. He looks at Tiffany and he grins. Tiffany smiles back at him, noticing Sam's teeth are crowned in braces of gold. He winks at her and says:

    "Good luck with that."

    Tiffany follows the boss to the back of the store and into a kitchen.

    "We're currently understaffed at the moment and looking for more assistants. It's fortunate you came for I was going to put an ad in the papers. All I'm looking for is someone responsible who will guard the jewels . Our jewellery store has high security and cameras at every angle. All I need is a hand."

    "I don't have much jewellery experience," confesses Tiffany.

    "That's perfectly fine," says the boss. "I only want someone who is willing to front the store and protect it from anyone who might try to run the jewels."

    "Run the jewels?" asks Tiffany.

    "As in mob our store," laughs the boss. "I mean only in the most dire scenarios but every jewellery store needs some security and so does this one. I'm Clark by the way."

    "I wish you'd have opened with that," smiles Tiffany as she shakes his hand. "Don't worry, Sir, the store will be perfectly safe under my watch."
     
  3. Tenderiser
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    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    The Most Precious Jewels are Made of Flesh [1464]

    Jeffrey Hayes had killed three women. I knew that. Everyone else at the police station knew it. Hell, the whole town knew it. We just couldn’t prove it.

    So I shoulda wanted to bring him down, whatever it took. It was my job as an officer of the law to see justice done. But when the Director slipped those jewels into Hayes’ dresser and asked if I wanted to search it again, I hesitated.

    “I already searched there, Sir,” I said.

    “That’s why I said again, Sergeant.”

    I stood there, frozen. There had been nothing but socks in there. The Director hadn’t even tried to hide it, taking the blue and red stones outta his pocket and dropping them in the dresser as he looked me straight in the eyes.

    “Can’t nobody else search it, Sir?”

    “Do your job, Sergeant.” He narrowed his eyes at me. “You remember the last time you saw Katie Howell?”

    It felt like a punch in the gut. Katie had been my sweetheart in school and he knew that.

    The Director was sweet on Mrs. Newham, and her baby girl, twenty two old Jennifer, went missing a week after Katie. Two different barmen saw Hayes whispering in the girls’ ears on the nights they went missing. A third had seen Rochelle Rivers smiling at him as she got in his truck.

    I searched the dresser again, shouting out loud to draw the Chief’s attention when I’d pushed a pair of socks off the pile of jewels.

    ***

    Hayes was sitting at his kitchen table, looking calm as you like, just as he had been from the minute we busted through his front door. He knew the protocol. We’d searched his house the week before, finding a scarf that caused Mrs. Newham to break down in tears when she saw it.

    We had the barmen’s testimonies and the scarf but none of it would stick without a weapon or the bodies. Preferably both.

    “We found the jewels,” said the Chief Inspector, snapping cuffs round Hayes’ wrists.

    Hayes wasn’t surprised. He looked at the Chief in that calm old way and said nothing.

    “You ain’t gonna see sunlight for years,” the Chief whispered in his ear. “Why don’t you tell us about Katie, Jennifer and Rochelle.”

    Hayes looked the Chief dead in the eyes. “Your Director killed ‘em.”

    The Chief stepped back in surprise, then narrowed his eyes. “What did you say?”

    “Your Director killed ‘em,” repeated Hayes.

    He didn’t say another word, not even when the Chief was screaming in his face. He just asked me politely for a tissue to wipe the spittle from his cheek. My fingers trembled as I did it, avoiding the Chief’s eyes.

    ***

    I was there during the interview, listening as Lieutenant Davies set out the evidence against Hayes. Mrs. Bingham swore the man who had tied her up while he robbed her jewel case fit Hayes’ description. Two hairs of his were found at the scene. I’d found the jewels in his dresser. He had previous for theft - a liquor store two towns over in his teens.

    The Director played golf with Mrs. Bingham’s husband. His sister’s boy was a barber in town.

    "There ain’t no hope for you,” said Lieutenant Davies. “Why don’tcha tell us where the bodies are?”

    “Bodies?” said Hayes, his hands clasped on the table in front of him, a polite smile on his lined face.

    “Katherine Howell. Jennifer Newman. Rochelle Rivers.”

    “Your Director killed ‘em.” The polite smile didn’t change.

    When he was pressed, when the Lieutenant and then the Inspector and then the Director himself demanded evidence, he smiled at them politely and stayed silent. Even when the Director gave him a backhand across the face that rang in my ears, so Lord knows what it did to Hayes.

    He turned his head back, very slowly, like an owl. “You killed ‘em,” he said, nodding.

    ***

    He said it again in the bail hearing, when asked what he knew about the murders.

    “The Director killed ‘em.”

    The Director growled in the row behind me, the wood of the bench creaking as he clenched it in his fist.

    Hayes didn’t make bail.

    ***

    I wished with all my goddamn heart I hadn’t re-searched that dresser. Maybe I was only a Sergeant but I’d seen enough murderers and liars in my time. I woulda bet my soul that Hayes was telling the truth.

    It took a couple months for the case to go to court. We went back to the Hayes house three times, the Chief bellowing at us to search every nook and cranny ‘til we found a clue about where the bodies were. We dug the garden down to eight feet, bringing in specialist diggers to save our backs. Nothing.

    I knew there’d be nothing. When I searched I only had half my mind on the job, knowing we’d find no clues. A body always has evidence pointing to the killer. Always. The Director knew that as well as I did.

    We did find a couple more items belonging to the girls. Funny that they weren’t there the first time we’d searched, considering Hayes hadn’t been back to the house since I’d found the jewels.

    I figured Hayes was holding out on giving us the proof until he was sentenced. Maybe he was thinking he could bargain with the Director to let him go. He was looking at twenty years for the robbery, the judge a hard-assed, cynical veteran of the justice system. When hope was lost he’d have no reason to keep back what he knew.

    Or maybe he knew the evidence wouldn’t be enough, just like it hadn’t been enough to put him in jail before the jewels were found. Maybe he just wanted to rattle the Director into confessing.

    ***

    The Chief asked for five minutes with the prisoner after the sentence had been handed down. Eighteen years, but Hayes weren’t a young man by then. That day in his kitchen, he’d had his last breath outside of a cell or courtroom.

    I stood in the corner, trying to melt into the shadows. The Director was a powerful man and I’d come to be afraid of him these last few months. I didn’t want to be one of only two witnesses to his secret.

    “Where are the girls?” the Chief hissed in his face. In the six months since Hayes had been arrested, the Chief had become more and more obsessed with finding the bodies. I wondered if he had doubts, too.

    “There’s a secret basement next to the one you been searching,” said Hayes. It was the first time he’d varied his reply to a question about the girls. “You gotta push aside the old dryer. Space down there you can crawl in. Well, probably not you. That one there could squeeze in.” Hayes, skinny and small, pointed his chin at me.

    The Chief grabbed my arm as he passed and we floored it to the Hayes house. Behind the dryer there was a crawlspace, just as he’d said. Also just as he’d said, the Chief had no chance of getting through.

    “In you go, Sergeant,” he said.

    I wanted to remember Katie as a fresh-faced young thing, laughing up at me in the diner as we sipped the same shake through two different straws.

    I went in feet-first. The floor was a few feet under the level of the first basement. I slipped in awkwardly, landing in a crouch and blinking around.

    Taking my flashlight out of my pants, I took a deep breath and flicked the switch.

    The yellow circle illuminated a hand. Waxy, sunken. Not looking real at all. I flicked the flashlight up with trembling fingers and Katie was staring back at me. Her blue eyes looked alive in the light, dancing and bright, but her face was as shrunken and ghastly as the hand, clumps of her blonde hair lying on the floor beside her like lint balls.

    Next to her, all of ‘em chained to the wall in that hidden cellar, were Jennifer and Rochelle.

    “Sergeant?” the Chief called, impatient.

    I cleared my throat. “Found ‘em, Sir.”

    “You found them?” He sounded surprised. “He killed ‘em?”

    “No, Sir. The Director killed ‘em.”

    Me and the Director, together.

    I dropped the flashlight back to Katie’s chained hand, resting palm-up on her lap. Next to it, balanced on a bare, waxy thigh, there was a plate so clean it might have just come out of the dishwasher. On the floor between her and Jennifer there was a two gallon bottle of water.

    It musta been heavy for the small women to lift when it’d had been full, but now it was bone dry and light as a feather.
     
  4. Mumble Bee
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    Mumble Bee The writer formerly known as Chained. Contributor

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    "Do anything stupid and I'll shoot." The line was; tired, overused, cliché, and just terrifying enough for none of that to matter. Robert could tell at first glance that the only thing shorter than his four foot tall assailants height was her patience.

    "Now that's a lot of pressure," for Robert, or Rob as the people he mooched off of called him, that was less a joke and more a statement of fact, stupidity, namely walking down a dark alleyway with his head down and Ipod buds in, not only got him into his current situation, but for all intents and purposes was the driving force behind his decision making process.

    Regardless he was intent to give it a try.

    "So... what's up?" Robert finally thought to raise his hands in the air well after instinct had put them there, resulting in him awkwardly trying to reach slightly higher. The only sound in the ally way was his earbuds blaring some Rihanna song louder than anyone should ever want to hear it and his blunt slipping from his lips.

    Jessie, or 'Jewel' as she went by in this part of town, pulled back the hammer on her 9mm berretta, "Is that supposed to be some sort of short joke?"

    "Oh God, I wish i was that clever." He wasn't, "Most jokes like that go right over my head." They did.

    "You see, that right there, that was another one wasn't it? "Jewel's eyes refracted rage, "Now i don't care about the thief right now, I'm about to-"

    "Jewels, calm down." another figure, one who had been slightly out of Roberts tunnel vision, meaning he might has well not existed to him at the moment, stepped from a shrouded doorway.

    "We have no time for this. Lets go." Mr. Cole, or scary shadow doorway man as Robert thought of him, was in more than a hurry. Lately he'd been having a hard time defending his turf; pressure from three different gangs and increased presence of the heat had him between a rock and a hard place. He knew though if the family, jewels and the rest of the 'slayers', desperately needed this last heist. The only problem was the drop bag had been empty, someone had to have run the jewels. He didn't know who, why or how, but what he knew at this point was one thing.

    "It cant be him, lets keep moving" Whoever had the stones to take his would be missing a few more before the night was over.

    ______________________________________________________________________________

    Robert peaked into the brown paper bag he'd had hidden in his front coat pocket and was rewarded with a hesitant glimmer from both gems. With how highly medicated he was, it might be days until he wasn't too stoned to know he'd Robbed two stones from two stone cold slayers worth two million cold hard cash.
     
  5. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    The above story is 480 words and I'll give it the title, "Do anything stupid."
     
  6. Mumble Bee
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    Mumble Bee The writer formerly known as Chained. Contributor

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    In my defense, i was very drunk... also, I'm sorry.
     
    GingerCoffee likes this.
  7. BookLover
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    BookLover Contributing Member

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    Reflected Light [1741 words]

    “No, he threw a beer bottle into a campfire twenty-five years ago. That's how he lost his eye. The bottle exploded and a shard of glass got jammed into his eyeball.” Chuck made exaggerated, drunken movements with his arms which cast large shadows onto the trees behind him.

    “But how? Like, glass melts, man. It doesn't explode.” Jimmy drained the last of his beer.

    “I don't know. It just exploded. Maybe it had beer still in it. I wasn't there. I wasn't even born yet, but that's how he lost his eye. My mom told me.”

    “But that doesn't make any sense -”

    “Why don't you guys just go ask him?” said Lucy. Her red hair sparkled in the light coming from the flames, making her look as bright as the fire. “His camp site is only about a football field away. You can see his campfire from here. Just go over there, and say, 'Hey, Dubs, how'd you lose your eye?'”

    “We're not going to ask him. He's fucking creepy.” Jimmy threw his beer bottle into the blaze.

    Chuck jumped. “Fuck! Jim!”

    “See? It didn't explode. We've all still got our eyes. I'm telling you, that creeper lost his eye when he was stabbed peeking through a hole in the women's dressing room at that old ladies dress store downtown.”

    “No, that's all wrong.” Chuck clumsily sat back down onto the oak tree stump he'd claimed when they first set up camp. “Some woman stabbed him in the eye because he was looking at her change? Come on.”

    “Serves him right,” mumbled Lucy.

    “Women scream when they catch you peeping. They don't stab you.”

    “Sounds like you have some first hand creeper experience there, Chuckie-boy.” Jimmy popped the top off another longneck.

    “I don't need experience. I just know from common sense that no woman has ever been stripping naked and then said to herself, 'Oh, I see an eyeball looking at me through that hole. I'm gonna stab it. Let me just take my hunting knife out of my secret bra pocket, or better yet, I'll use the shiv I keep in my thong.'”

    Lucy fell off her log, laughing.

    A snapping and rustling sound came from a dark corner of their campsite. Everyone hushed and stared out at the inky blackness.

    “The hell was that?” asked Jimmy, glancing to his right where the glow of Dub's fire could still be faintly seen in the distance.

    “That, my friend, was the shining monster.” Chuck grinned.

    “You're just full of stories tonight, aren't you? Please tell us about this monster.” Lucy righted herself on her log and winked at Jim.

    Jimmy shook his head at her, his blue eyes glittering with the reflection of the fire. “Don't encourage him.”

    “You never heard of the shining monster?” Chuck started his exaggerated hand gestures again. “It's like the Chupacabra.”

    Jim continued to shake his head. “Not a real thing.”

    “I know. I said like the Chupacabra, except instead of eating animals, it eats shiny things. It lives right here, in these woods, and it is responsible for eating -”

    “Shiny things?” Lucy gave into the giggles once more.

    “Yeah, like fish. It eats a lot of fish because their scales are shiny and shit, but it also will eat other shiny things like women's jewelry. Pots and pans. Aluminum. Me and my dad camped out here just last month. Brought and drank two six packs. We had all these aluminum cans piled up at the edge of our camp. The next morning, gone. The shining monster ate them all.”

    Jimmy rolled his eyes up at the stars. “This is your stupidest story yet.”

    “It's true! It's true man! But I haven't even got to the worst part. One time, a few years back, this young girl, she put lotion all over her skin and it had glitter and shit in it. So she was just this shimmering mess when she went to sleep that night.”

    “She put glitter lotion, all over her, while camping?” Lucy tried to keep a straight face. “So was she like a stripper? A stripper for campers?”

    “That could be a profitable endeavor for you, Luce. Fishermen, hunters, they all need entertainment while they're sitting out here on their asses. You should look into that.” Jimmy promptly shielded his face with his arms as Lucy's beer bottle came flying over the fire.

    “Stop throwing beer bottles, damn it! Someone's going to lose an eye.” As he spoke, Chuck's own beer bottle slipped from his fingers and crashed into the flaming logs. Both his hands flew up and pressed into his eye. “Oh my god! Oh my god!”

    “Chuckie!” Jimmy rushed to his side and grabbed Chuck's arm.

    Chuck let go of his eye. “Ha ha ha. Gotchya.”

    “Oh, you're an asshole.”

    “That's what you get. Stop throwing bottles. Both of you. Now where was I? So I don't know why this chick wanted to be all glittery while in the woods. You think I understand girls? But she did. She went to bed a shining goddess and woke up-” He paused and lowered his voice. “A bloody carcass. They found her dead with all her skin peeled off. Police never found the guy who did it, or her skin, but legend has it, it was the shining monster.”

    “This story makes no sense. None of your stories make sense. They're full of plot holes. Why would an animal only eat shiny things, especially inedible shiny things like aluminum? This is beyond stupid.”

    “Fine, don't believe me. All I'm saying is that Lucy better cover that shiny hair of hers before she goes to bed or it will be stolen from her in the night.” Chuck made a scalping motion with his hand.

    Lucy grabbed her hair and stroked the length of it, her brown eyes wide.

    “Don't believe him Luce. He's just trying to scare you. He's an idiot.”

    “Yeah, but maybe I'll just put a hat on.” She dug into her hiking pack and pulled out a knit cap.

    Jimmy wrinkled his brow at her.

    “It's cold! Don't you be giving me nasty looks with those pretty eyes of yours.”

    Chuck laughed. “You two need to get a room or your own tent or something.”

    “I wasn't hitting on him!”

    Chuck stood up, wavering a bit, and said in a mocking tone, “Your pretty eyes. Oh, you're so pretty Jimmy. I'm not hitting on you, but I just want you to know I think you're a pretty man. I'm drunk. I'm going to bed. You two try not to shine brighter than the stars tonight, okay?”

    Lucy and Jim exchanged quizzical looks as Chuck stumbled his way to the tent.

    Lucy started laughing when another abrupt rustling sound came from the trees behind Jimmy. She jerked forward and pulled the cap tight over her ears, stuffing bits of hair into the flaps on both sides of her head.

    “Luce! Come on. It's just an animal.” Jimmy walked around the fire and plopped down beside her on her log.

    “Yeah, the shining animal.”

    “You must be drunk for that story to be getting to you. That was the worst scary camp story I have ever heard.”

    She laughed softly and nestled her face into Jimmy's shirt.

    “Besides, I'll protect you. I'll keep an eye out for any monsters and make sure no one touches that fiery hair of yours. I'll stay up all night if I have to.” He nuzzled his nose into her ear. A lock of red tumbled down from under her cap, and Jim slid it between his fingers, watching it shine like a ruby in the light from the flames.

    #

    “Where's Jimmy?” asked Chuck as he poked a stick at the dead fire. He turned his ashen face toward the light of the morning sun and squinted.

    “You look like hell.” Lucy sat up and rubbed away the dirt sticking to her arms. “I don't know. He was here last night. Did he go to the tent?”

    “No.” Chuck slowly spun in a circle before letting out a hoarse yell. “Jim!”

    No answer.

    “Jimmy!” yelled Lucy.

    The forest was still and quiet.

    “Well let's go look for the idiot.”

    They dismantled the campsite, and began walking in opposite directions.

    “This way,” urged Lucy.

    “No, I want to ask Dubs if he's seen him.”

    “He wouldn't have gone that way. He thinks Dubs is creepy, remember? He wouldn't go near that guy's campsite.”

    “But he's the only other person out here. He might have seen something. Come on.”

    Lucy sighed and fell in step behind Chuck. His massive shoulders blocked out the sunlight and left her following in his shadow.

    As they moved closer toward the torn, dirt smeared tent they could see the stooped figure of a man as he knelt over a flopping fish with a knife in one hand.

    “Hey, Dubs. Remember me?” asked Chuck.

    The man didn't look up. He chopped the head off the fish.

    “You knew my mother way back when. I'm Chuckie. Little Chuckie. Remember?”

    Silence.

    “Well, anyway, have you seen our friend pass by here? Tall, skinny, dark hair, doesn't believe in anything. Kind of stupid. Throws beer bottles into- I mean... dark hair.”

    The man looked up with two different colored eyes and said gruffly, “I ain't seen shit.”

    “Okay. Thanks. Just thought we'd ask. Hey, nice new eye, by the way. Is it glass?”

    Dubs stared back down at the fish, sliced it open, and pulled out a handful of wet guts.

    “Well, nice talking to you.” Chuck screwed up his face at Lucy as they backed away.

    #

    They trudged through the woods all morning and into the afternoon, occasionally yelling Jimmy's name, until they had circled back toward their original campsite.

    A dark haired figure could be seen sitting on Chuck's oak stump.

    “Oh, man! He's been playing with us. I'm going to kill him.” Chuck's steps quickened.

    “Thank God!” exhaled Lucy, rushing past Chuck toward the slumped outline of Jim. “We've been looking all over for you, you dumbass.”

    She placed her hand on Jimmy's shoulder, and he fell to one side, his head rolling back into the grass. One gaping black hole stared up at them with cherry red blood oozing out of the socket and down his red stained cheek. His other eye was still in place, clean, crystal clear, a blue jewel sparkling in the sunlight.
     
  8. SH1988
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    SH1988 New Member

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    Runaway Jewel (2237)

    The Buckinghamshire Suite was full tonight and why shouldn’t it be? Mr & Mrs Charleston’s baby boy Chester was celebrating his engagement to the beautiful Jessica Ashberry. Jake Jessop surveyed the room, he had been to many engagements before but not quite so over the top as this, to him it looked as if the whole affair was sponsored by every high end designer he knew as well as some he didn’t. He had come her tonight with one intention and as he stood with his back to the bar nursing a glass of whiskey he watched as the woman he loved greeted her guests.

    He had planned this for so long and he was sweating with anticipation. He had loved Jessica since the day they had met all that time ago but they were older now. It had been on a night similar to this one 3 years ago when he had first realised his true feelings for her but he had been foolish, he was scared of ruining their 20 year friendship on the off chance that they could be something more. He regretted that decision.

    She had met Chester 18 months ago at a charity event she was organising for Museum of Natural History, they had hit it off and he had to admit she seemed genuinely happy. When Jessica had told Jake about her getting engaged he felt as if he had been plunged into an ice bath and punched in the gut, but like the true friend he was he told her how happy he was for her.

    “You with the groom or the bride?” he heard from the behind the bar

    “Bride….Why?” he replied never taking his eyes off of Jessica

    He felt a tap on his shoulder and turned, he was ready to chastise the bar man for interrupting his solitude but when he sore who was standing behind in front of him he could not help but smile. “Hello Uncle Tommy” said Jake

    “Jakey, why are you doing this to yourself?” Uncle tommy asked.

    Uncle Tommy was not Jake’s uncle, he was actually Jessica’s grandfather but he had known Jake ever since he was a boy and had treated him as one of his own. Uncle Tommy was a man of 85 years who had still managed to retain his dark coloured hair rather than allowing grey to take over. He wore a black 3 button suite which he had ever since Jessica’s mother had been born – how he still fit into it Jake had always wondered.

    “What do you mean Uncle T? I’m here to support Jessie, you know that” Jake knew Uncle Tommy had always pushed for Jake & Jessica to get together sometimes even in front of Chester which always amused Jake as Chester Charleston was not someone who would be outdone by a Mechanics son working for the local paper as a photographer.

    Uncle Tommy gave Jake a look that told him he was too old to be fooled and that he knew exactly why he was here and that he approved of it.

    Jake finished his drink in one swig, shuddered as the warm feeling you get from whiskey made its way through his body, gave Uncle Tommy a wink and a pat on the shoulder then made his way through the crowd towards Jessica. He knew what he had to do, he had to get her alone, confess his feelings and beg her to come away with him so they could be together. As he neared her he became more and more aware that his heart was pounding in his chest, he could even hear it in his ears. He could see her, she was moving away from the crowd with Chester, they were heading for the back room that was being used as s storage room by the hotel for their major restoration of the old president’s room – it had been in all the papers, he had even arranged to take the pictures.

    He decided to follow them in to the room as by this point the whiskey had provided him with the courage to confess all even in front of Chester. As he rounded the corner he could hear Jessica’s voice, she sounded angry ,she was shouting.

    “He is my best friend Chester! Of course he is invited and I cannot believe you are being like this” Jessica yelled.

    “Jessica, my love please can you not see why he is here, the way he looks at you it’s like a love sick puppy and I think it’s time you put him out of his misery” replied Chester who was managing to remain calm but Jake could tell he wasn’t happy at all.

    “What do you want me to say to him? Sorry Jake you can’t be at the wedding because my husband to be is an insecure little baby!” Jessica retorted, she had had it with Chester’s jealousy and accusations at every turn about her relationship with Jake it was as if she was relieving the same conversation over and over again and she was done with it.

    “Chester, I love you but I can’t be in a relationship were you accuse my oldest fried in the world of being in love with me and me with him every day it’s exhausting to keep having these fights with you!” Jessica’s voice was calmer now Jake noticed and the silence that was growing was deafening, he wanted nothing more than to burst into the room and tell her that Chester was right that he was in love with her and he didn’t care who knew anymore.

    “Jessica, I’m sorry it’s just that I hate the idea of anything coming between us , please look at it from my point of view how can we start married life together when I feel as if there are 3 of us in this relationship?” Chester explained he had loved this woman from the moment he met her and would do all he could not to lose her

    “OK Chester, I’ll tell Jake tomorrow that he can’t come to the wedding – it’s going to break his heart” Jessica said yielding to Chester’s reasoning.

    “I know this is hard but we have to think about our future now” Chester soothed.

    Jake stood outside the storage room for what felt like an eternity, he couldn’t believe it she was choosing Chester over him. “how can she do this” he thought to himself “after all we’ve been through, how could she just cast me aside like an unwanted toy” he felt the tears welling in his eyes, his throat had formed a lump in as if trying to swallow a peach whole, he turned his back on the storage room and began walking back to the party.

    As Jake reached the door leading back into the Buckinghamshire suite he decided he wasn’t really in the party mood anymore, he moved to his left and took the lift to the top floor, he knew there wouldn’t be anyone around at 11pm, he stepped inside the lift and pushed the last button that read “PRESIDENT’S ROOM & SUITE

    The lift doors opened up into a wide space that looked more like a building yard than suite suitable for the leaders of the free world. It was cold up here as the portion of the room facing the east side was missing its windows. Jake made his way over towards the glassless openings to gaze out at the city; the lights seemed supressed somehow as if the city was caged about sharing all her beauty to him.

    For a long time Jake did nothing but watch the world go by, when he heard the lift ding he looked at his watch and was amazed to find that its 11:45pm – he had been up here for 45 minutes.

    “Jake, Jake are you up here” he heard Jessica ask

    “Jessie? I’m over here by the window” Jake replied

    He watched as she made her way towards him, her red dress hugged her slender body as it was buffeted by the wind coming from the open windows, it looked as if it had been painted on her flesh, he nearly lost his breathe at the site of her it only hurt him more.

    “What are you doing up here its freezing” she asked hugging her arms closer to her body, he could see the goosebumps forming on her arms

    “Needed some air, had to think about things, why are you up here should you be with Chester and your guests?” he replied harsher than he’d intended to do

    “Well I spoke with grandpa and he said you were looking for me and that you’d gone off to find me, so when I couldn’t see you in the party I figured maybe you’d come up here to snoop around trying to figure out what shots you were going to take for the paper” she smiled at him but he could tell she would rather be downstairs than up here with him.

    He laughed to himself “The old man still trying to get us together, well at least he won’t have to worry about it anymore now”

    “What do you mean? Jake are you ok?” she said confused.

    “I heard you and Chester in the storage room earlier and don’t worry I won’t cause you any drama now I’m not invited to the grand occasion” he sneered at her.

    “Oh my god Jakey I’m so sorry you had to hear that, I don’t know what to say” she began to sob now

    “Say? Why is there anything to say? You and Chester have it all figured out. 20 years of friendship versus 18 months with a mommas boy who doesn’t like get dirt on his chinos – sounds like a fair fight to me Jess” Jake couldn’t contain it anymore he was angry and hurt and thought “If I’m going to lose her why not do it with a bang”.

    “Jess I have loved ever since we met, you don’t belong with someone like Chester you belong with me. I’m the one who was there for you when your parents died; I was the one who cared for you when you had to have your appendix out not him it was ME!” He said through gritted teeth.

    “Jake I’m sorry but I’ve always seen you as a brother”.

    “A brother? A BROTHER! Are you kidding me right now!” he was furious, how dare she dismiss his feelings like they were nothing of consequence, how dare she act like he didn’t matter. He did matter and he would make her see, he didn’t realise it but he was moving towards her as he was talking and she was edging back away from him – she really was frightened.

    “Jake please calm down, look if I have ever lead you on then I am sorry but I love Chester and I’m going to marry him” Jessica was aware now she was running out of room. The massive renovation project underway included completely gutting the “downstairs” portion of the suite and it was currently missing a ceiling – she could she down into the kitchen some 12ft below her.

    “Jake please stop shouting you’re scaring me” she was sobbing now and began to shake terrified.

    “You’re scared Of me?” he couldn’t believe it , here he was confessing his love and all she could do was talk about Chester and how he was scaring her, he could feel a red mist descending, he was beyond angry - now he was livid.

    Without thinking he grabbed her brought her close and kissed her as he’d dreamt of doing all those years ago. He felt her struggle at first and try to push him off but then she gave in and he could feel her relax and melt into his arms. She was kissing him back, he knew she loved him, knew it hadn’t been all in his mind that she had feelings beyond that of a brother for him.

    When they pulled away from each other there was a moment of silence that he wanted to last forever, bottle it if he could, they stared into each other’s eyes. Then it was Jessica who broke the silence.

    “Jakey, I’m marrying Chester, I love him” she whispered softly

    “I know” he sighed and as he flung her forward through the open gap in the floor to the kitchen below he felt as if time had slowed, she seemed to be falling for longer than was possible as if she was moving through honey. When she hit the floor there was no sound – he had expected a sound.

    ***

    When asked later how it had all happened he could not recall the moment he killed Jessica Ashberry. He could only recall the moments after when he realised she was lying on the ground, eyes closed with a pool of blood forming around her. He years afterwards he would often recall how it had made her dress was much larger and grander than it actually was. HE could only think of how she had robbed him of 20 years of his life, robbed him of all the possible relationships he sabotaged because he could not stop wanting her or how she had robbed him of his sense of self-worth that night in the president’s suite.
     
  9. Deloctyte
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    Deloctyte Member

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    Run the Jewels [1390 words]

    Archibald Rangaleer carefully clung to the ivy-ridden wall as guards below slowly patrolled by. A few more feet and the wall would curve, leaving them out of sight and out of mind. Sweat ran down his scraggly blonde beard and his arms began to shake. He wasn't the youngest daredevil in the land, and all his muscles were crying out in pain by the time the last iron-helmed figure turned the corner. With a sigh of relief, he let himself drop.


    Oversized boots flopped onto the floor and Archibald snorted. Guards these days, no patience. He cracked his back, cracked his wrists and, with a hand resting on one of the many knives strapped upon his personage, entered the grounds that was so carefully guarded.


    Before him, in the darkness, loomed the mansion of Lord Applesbee. His Excellency was from the debaucherous branch of nobility, yet his wealth seemed inexhaustible. It was the nearly endless parties, merrymaking and soirees that caught Archibald's attention.


    What followed was a week of research to ascertain the whereabouts of Lord Applesbee's source of income. The result confounded and intrigued all the still-remaining adventuring senses of Archibald: It did not appear to come from anywhere. Repairs and supplies were shipped to the household every third day or so, yet Lord Applesbee never left his domicile, or sent anyone out for financing purposes.


    This left one possible option: The wealth of Lord Applesbee came to his lands in some unseen way. In the end, after many a bribe and an overabundance of snooping on neighbouring rooftops, Archibald was able to pinpoint a large wooden structure by the stables. It had no real purpose, most servants knew nothing of what was inside, but a drunk stable boy has told him of eerie noises from the structure every other night.


    A firmly out-of-bounds building, noises in the night, it all made sense to Archibald. It had to be the entrance of a tunnel! The concept was genius: Lord Applesbee must be delivering his inexhaustible wealth via underground passages. Subtle, untraceable and tax free! It might not even be from legal means, which would mean, and Archibald grinned at the concept as he snuck closer to the stableside structure, His Excellency couldn't send the local Watch after him after tonight.


    It didn't seem like such a bad deed anyways. Robbery didn't seem like much of a crime when it was from someone who seemingly couldn't run out of money. Archibald found a door by the side of the building, barred, locked and chained shut. Taking out his lock picking tools, a small hand-axe and a file, he got to work.


    It was the simplest of plans: Get in, lay an ambush inside the tunnel, take what could be carried and leave the town before anyone even realized what had happened. It was a secure tunnel, no one would be expecting it, so there wouldn’t be any guards. Even if they were, he had an assortment of stabbing appliances, ready to be used.


    The chain slid to the ground, the lock clicked open quietly, and the door eventually gave to the gentle touch of Archibald's axe.


    It was pitch black inside, and reeked of farm life. For a moment, Archibald wondered if he mistook the structures and accidentally broke into the stables instead. Then again, they might simply use horses to carry the riches to and hither. However, Archibald's sense of unease only grew as he inched ahead and ran into a wooden fence, roughly of chest height. He heard something move in front of him, and the sound of heavy breaths slowly penetrated the air. Something definitely wasn't as he planned it. Archibald knelt down and found his flint, tinder and miniscule torch. He came prepared. The sparks and the fire might frighten the horses, if he was indeed in the stables, but it beat stumbling in the dark.


    The torch blazed to life, high-pitched hisses filled the air, and Archibald stared in disbelief. He brought his torch higher and the room exploded in an mesmerising array of colour.


    Beyond the corral, skittering away from the light, were five enormous insects. Emotionless fractured eyes stared at Archibald and tiny rows of feet held bulking carapaces that shimmered in iridescent beauty against the light of the torch, one crimson, the other one jade, and so on. As the bugs attempted to crawl even further from him, one of them gave a small shudder and spat a small shower of bright projectiles towards his direction. They didn't fly far, and as they slowly rolled to a halt, Archibald gasped. Carefully reaching over, he held one of the tiny fragments in between his fingers and brought it up to his eyes.


    He beheld something that looked, felt, and was, for all purposes, a brilliant ruby.


    Archibald couldn't believe it. Creatures that spat gems! He threw one of the rubies from the ground towards the cowering insects and he was rewarded by two more shuddering and attempting to spit at him, leaving a small pile of emeralds and opals near the fence. Impossible! No wonder Lord Applesbee was wealthy, all he had to do was keep these creatures fed and he was rolling in perfect gemstone replicas!


    As Archibald reached down to pocket the gems, he saw the insects scurry even further away. He frowned. He raised his arm, and the insects nearly ran up the opposite wall. Now that he had more of a time to get used to the torchlight, he saw dents and holes in the bug's shell. Some were partially blind. Others were only fleeing with five or four legs, the rest hanging limp. Archibald's face twisted into a scowl. Lord Applesbee wasn’t known for being a patient man. He had big parties and even bigger bills to pay. Archibald swore, threw the gems to the ground and got ahold of his tiny axe again. There are some things you simply had no choice in.


    ---


    "My lord, my lord!" Came the shout that woke Lord Applesbee from his slumber. He was in the process of eliminating a hangover from two days ago, and so his mood was appropriately dismal when he finally clawed his way out of his bed and tore the door open.


    "What is it?" He barked at the panicked servant waiting in the corridor. "This had better be important, or it's the cane for you."


    "It's that A-Archibald, my lord!" Lord Applesbee gave a silent curse. He heard of this vagabond who stayed in town for the past few weeks, and of his plans to rob him. That was the thing about bribery: Lord Applesbee could always outbid anyone. He heard of Archibalds' scheming within a few hours of his arrival. In fact, Lord Applesbee had organized a few assassins to visit his tavern room later tonight to solve the issue permamently.


    "What happened? Did he manage to escape from my men?" He asked, sour at the thought of not having the adventurer's throat slit, even if scaring him away from the town was success enough.


    "No, my lord, it's..."


    "He lives!?"


    "Yes, my lord. You see..." The servant was sweating now, looking down in embarrassment. "...he entered the grounds and, and he opened the secret stabl-"


    "He WHAT!?" Lord Applesbee roared, grasping the servant by the shoulders. "What of my pets!?" The servant remained silent. "Tell me!" The servant's eyes began to water. "Blast it, tell me or I'll tan your hide!"


    Spittle hit the face of the servant who broke down and begin to openly weep.


    "The Jewels!" He cried out. "The Jewels have run!"


    ---


    The night wind howled in the ears of Archibald as he rode on the back of the ruby beast. Once the corral was hacked down, the insects wasted no time in stampeding away from this house of misery. He leapt on the nearest one both as a means to escape and to guide the bugs away from civilization as best he could. He was wearing a silly grin on his face as the town was swept away by the distance, and the wild countryside met them.


    Eventually, once they were far enough from the nearby towns, he would hop off and let the insects be on their way. Until then, however, there was no crime in enjoying the ride.
     
  10. Wordhacker
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    Craigslist (2368 words)



    The Craigslist ad didn’t mention an age restriction—or if a certain type of weapon was required. Johnny had turned nine a week earlier and figured he'd be ready with the gun he found under his father's mattress—just in case. His chances were good as anyone else. No cameras or alarms—or police involvement. If anyone wanted to rob their store, the owners were inviting them to do so. No gimmicks—except agreeing to accept the consequences if they failed to run the jewels successfully. The only other rule was printed on a sign on the establishment’s front lawn. It read: One person or group at a time, please. And below the rule was a big yellow smiley face.

    Johnny had been outside the store watching gang members and upstanding citizens of the local community take part in this bizarre invitation to rob their establishment. People would enter, loaded down with guns and knives. Many of them wore masks, but it was pointless, because they always left the jewelry store without them, weaponless and in a daze. No visible injuries. Just a blank stare, speechless.

    News crews on the sidewalk never got a comment from the unsuccessful participants. And the microphones and cameras shoved in the exiting individuals faces didn’t seem to faze them. Johnny thought they had a zombie stare. He never mentioned this to anyone, except his older brother who responded that he’d better get his zombie survival kit together. Even the ones waiting in line for their shot at the store couldn’t get any advice from the recently departed. That was the name going around town for the failures, “the recently departed.”

    A police car was parked out front. It wasn’t at the request of the owners. The police captain just figured he’d place one there to cover his behind. There must have been some sort of law being broken, but after scouring the local laws on allowing such an event, the district attorney threw his hands up and said there was nothing he could do. No shots had been fired, no riots or fights had broken out. Not even an argument or cross word. The town seemed to be even more peaceful than anyone could remember since the Craigslist ad came out.

    Johnny kept the gun tucked in his back waistband with his shirt covering it. And even though it bulged under the material, so many people were carrying weapons no one noticed or cared. It was a great way to spend his summer. He just sat on his bike in front of the store while the show rolled on for weeks. The establishment was called Mike’s Jewelers. No fancy sign. Plain and simple, like the building itself. It reminded him of his grandmother’s house with a large front lawn and white picket fence. The grass was a dark green with a single walkway leading up stairs to a large wrap around porch. It didn’t fit in with the rest of the buildings there in the business district. The house truthfully belonged in a residential neighborhood, with kids riding their bikes in front of it, and more playing hopscotch on the sidewalk.

    “You aren’t thinking of doing anything with that gun tucked in your waistband, are you, Johnny?” asked a policeman in the black and white.

    It was his best friend’s father, Mr. Huckabee. And he knew Johnny’s father quite well. He and his wife went out to dinner with his parents once a week if not more. So he was certain his father would get wind of his presence at the jewelers.

    “Of course not. You think I’m crazy?”

    “Just checking. I’m sure your father wouldn’t be happy knowing you were down here at all. You really shouldn’t be hanging around here.”

    Johnny’s father told him to stay clear of Mike’s, not to get any bright ideas about answering the ad. He assured his father he had not planned on doing so. And he really wasn’t planning on answering it, at first. The first day he had gone to the corner three businesses down from the jewelry store with his friends. His friends were too scared to get any closer. He couldn’t blame them, though he himself was curious. The youngest one, Scott, took one look and turned his bike around, went straight home and they hadn’t talked to him since. His mother told them he was sick and needed his rest. But when they rode away on their bikes, Johnny noticed him peeking out the window briefly and then disappeared. He wasn’t sick. He was deathly afraid.

    Johnny was the only one of the boys left hanging around Mike’s. The rest had either gotten bored or freaked out by the zombies exiting the jewelers. Johnny hadn’t been scared or bored. His fascination had grown so much he was now in the midst of the action. He still hadn’t planned on running the jewels, though he kept the gun tucked away—just in case.

    “Did you hear me, Johnny?” Mr. Huckabee asked.

    He hadn’t been paying attention. He was listening to a reporter interview the next group to enter the store. “No…sorry, Mr Huckabee.”

    “I said you need to be moving along. Wouldn’t you agree?”

    “I guess so,” Johnny said.

    He got ready to leave when the police radio requested assistance with a treed cat. The driver immediately started the car and left the curb in a hurry. Johnny was free to hang around a while longer.

    “I expect you gone, when I get back,” Mr. Huckabee called as the car roared away.

    He had no intentions of leaving now. The gang bangers being interviewed were loud and obnoxious. The reporter backed away toward the curb when one of thugs pulled out an assault rifle. She let out a squeal when she noticed the missing cop car. Johnny had seen the same gun on the news. The same ones the president was trying to outlaw. While the gang got worked up, he noticed a man in a business suit stumble down the steps. If Johnny remembered correctly, the man had black hair when he went inside. Now he had a full head of white fluff. Did a handful of hair just fall to the lawn? He looked disheveled and the most disoriented of all the people he had seen come out of the jewelers.

    No one had noticed him yet. Their attention was on the commotion with the gang bangers, which allowed the man in the business suit to slip passed the fence and down the sidewalk unnoticed.

    Johnny got off his bike and leaned it on the fence. He was being drawn to the porch of the jewelry store, where a woman with blond hair, a long flowery dress and a nice smile seemed to be waiting for him. Before he reached the top step, the gang had abandoned the reporter and rushed up the walkway and up the steps and shoved the woman out of the way, as they stormed into the Mike’s with their guns ready. There were five of them, full gang attire: head bands, low riding pants, tattoos and the stench of marijuana. He knew the smell because his older brother smoked it once in a while around him.

    “Excuse me, Johnny,” the woman said with a smile and quickly followed the intruding men.

    She knew his name? Suddenly he was expecting gun shots as she entered the building, but oddly everything was silent. No gunfire, smashing cabinets, or boisterous gang lingo. He remained unafraid and more curious. He considered entering the store but remembered the sign on the front lawn. “One person or group at a time, please.” He sat on the top step. Everyone was staring at him. He had gotten the reporter’s attention. Her camera man had the camera on his shoulder, presumably focused on him?

    The sound of something thudding across the porch boards, then an object flying past him. Then another. He didn’t realize it was two of the gang members, until the third one came out. He didn’t even touch the porch boards—or the steps. It seemed he hurled out the door and tumbled bloody and naked on the grass. While the three scrambled to their feet, Johnny was waiting for the other two to come out the same way. Nothing. He waited: “One person or group at a time, please.”

    The other two finally came out, backing away, still fully clothed—on their knees. They were begging for mercy, apologizing. Johnny thought he heard one of them mention Diablo. The devil? He knew it was something horrifying. The nice blond lady? She was the farthest from anything scary. He was expecting a monster to follow them out onto the porch. But it was the blonde. She looked the same, except her eyes were different. He thought for an instant her eyes were like the pupils of a goat. He was imagining it. They were normal. When the two men made it down the steps, they turned and ran. Then it was Johnny and her on the porch once again. He listened to the two men babble at the reporter as they got to the gate. Nothing coherent. A bunch of jibberish. Crazy lingo.

    “Rules are meant to be followed. Wouldn’t you agree?” she asked. “One person or group at a time.”

    “Yes, ma’am,” Johnny replied.

    “We’ll, you’re next. Come on in.” She said, and then went inside.

    He still wasn’t afraid, perhaps in shock at the moment. He headed for the door and noticed the blood on the front porch. A couple crimson foot prints and a hand print on the top step. Why was he following her inside? He had an open opportunity to turn on his heel and go home. She wasn’t forcing him and she had a great smile. He shrugged and headed into the unknown.

    The inside wasn’t a jewelry store, except for a few display cases situated around traditional home furnishings. A couch and television, dining room table and chairs, pictures and even a bird cage with a colorful parrot. Was he in Wonderland? Losing his mind? The finishing touch was the aroma of chocolate chip cookies wafting through the air.

    The woman was nowhere in sight. She had left him alone with the display cases. Was this a test? As he peeked into a nearby case, someone grab him by the shoulder and spun him around. An old man was scowling down at him and he had taken the gun from the waistband of his pants. He wasn’t pointing it at Johnny but was dangling it from his finger, from the trigger guard, in distaste.

    “Mary, you better get in here. I told you he was no good,” said the man.

    Now he was afraid, with this man towering over him. His unruly silver hair and yellow stained teeth reminded him of a horror show he saw a week earlier that had a Twilight Zone character who pulled children under the bed at night. Johnny was about to run for it when the woman came into the room. She was holding a tray of cookies and the moment she saw the gun dangling from the man’s finger, a look of disappointment crossed her face. She sat the cookies down on a table next to her, removed her apron and took a deep breath.

    “Well this changes everything, Johnny. What do you have to say for yourself?”she asked

    He was speechless. He had forgotten about the gun. Running the jewels was the farthest thing from his mind. He had kept it in his waistband, just in case. The just-in-case was a lie. He had no intentions of ever trying something so dumb. But he had to be the big shot among his friends. He had brought it to impress his buddies, who always said he was a chicken. They were right, though he never admitted it to himself and now trying to be something he wasn’t had gotten him into trouble.

    “I’m sorry.” Johnny whispered under his breath, avoiding eye contact.

    “He’s a liar,” the man blurted out. “He’s come to take our jewels, like the rest of the thieves out there. Just look at him. He’s a criminal, plain and simple. I say he deserves what he's got coming to him.”

    “Johnny? Look at me,” said the lady. “Is this your gun? Did you bring it here to rob our store? Now don’t lie to me. I can tell when someone is lying.”

    He couldn’t look at her. The disappointment in her eyes was too much to see again. It was the look his mother gave him when he was bad. He’d rather look at the old man, with his crazy hair and teeth. Anger he could deal with, but hurt was another thing. And he didn’t like to hurt anyone.

    “I didn’t hear you, Johnny. Look at me,” said the lady once again.

    When he looked up, he suddenly realized this wasn't Mike's Jewelers, he was in his own house and the blond lady was actually his mother. She had tears in her eyes…and the pain. It hurt so much to see the anguish. And then he felt the tears well up in his own eyes. It burned. Not the tears, but the truth of what had happened in this house. He ran into his mother’s arms and squeezed as hard as he could.

    “Please make it go away, mommy. PLEASE. I’m sorry. You have to believe me, mommy. We were just playing. PLEASE. I didn’t know. Honestly.”

    “It’s okay, dear. It’s okay.” And his mother squeezed back, crying, stroking his hair. “You didn’t know. I believe you.”

    Johnny wanted the medicine. The medicine made the nightmare go away. He didn’t want to talk to the man with the wild gray hair and yellow teeth, the man from family counseling who made the nightmare come back. Johnny was still squeezing his mother, tight as he could. He could feel himself dosing off, the world darkening with his mother’s arms wrapped around him, safe. Now in a world where his little brother Mike was still alive and smiling. A world where there were no guns he could get from under his father’s mattress. No games of run the jewels. No Craigslist ads.
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2015
  11. Viridian
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    Viridian Contributing Member Supporter

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    When Fate Steps In [900 words]


    “Oi, you thieving little bastard.”

    The kid was fast, but Mike was faster. He grabbed him by the arm before the kid could run away. He put up a good fight but Mike held on tight, mindful of bruising the skinny little arm in his grasp.

    “Let go,” said the kid, struggling to escape. “I’ll call the cops, you old perv.”

    Mike laughed out loud, flicked away his cigarette and grabbed hold of the kid’s other arm to stop him squirming.

    “What’s your name?” said Mike.

    “Fuck off,” said the kid.

    Mike frowned and looked him over. He was a scrawny little thing, dirty faced with ill fitting clothes.

    “Listen kid,” said Mike. “You can tell me your name now, or you can tell it to the police later, your choice.”

    The kid looked desperately around, but there was no-one else about except for an old piss-pot sleeping on the bench outside the pub. Turning his attention back to Mike, he looked up with eyes astonishingly blue against his grimy skin.

    “Michael,” he said.

    Mike raised his eyebrows. “Really. Then we have something in common. My name is Mike.”

    “Who cares,” said Michael, looking away. “You gonna let me go or what. I told you my name.”

    “Where are you parents.”

    “Don’t have any.”

    “Then who takes care of you? You can’t be older than what.... 7, 8?”

    “I’m 10,” said Michael with conviction.

    Mike smiled. The kid was trying desperately to be tough. “If you’re 10 then i’m Justin Bieber!”

    Michael smirked, but tried to hide it.

    “Look,” said Mike. “Give me back my wallet and I promise not to call the police, and if you do something for me i’ll even throw in a tenner.”

    Michael’s face changed from defiance to fear in an instant.

    “Whoa, hang on,” said Mike. “No funny business. I just want you to give someone a message for me, that’s all. There’s a lady that works in the shoe shop over there, see.” He pointed across the road to the row of shops sitting in darkness.

    Michael nodded.

    “I just want you to give her a message in the morning, as soon as the shop opens. That’s it. Real easy. What d’you say?”

    Michael didn’t look convinced, but conceded with a nod of his head. Mike let go of one of his arms, but kept a firm grip on the other as Michael reached into his pocket and handed over the stolen wallet. Mike flipped it open with his spare hand and made a quick scan of its contents. All there, as far as he could tell.

    “OK then,” he said, letting go of the other arm. He fully expected the kid to make a run for it, but he didn’t.

    Mike slipped a business card out of his wallet and quickly wrote a short message on the back, then handed it over to Michael.

    “Ask for Rachel,” he said. “Give her that. Don’t give it to anyone else, OK?”

    Michael flipped it over and read out loud. “I hope you say yes. I’ll be waiting for your call. What’s that supposed to mean?”

    “None of your business. Here’s your money,” said Mike, handing over the ten pounds as promised.

    “How can you be sure i’ll do it?” said Michael, backing away.

    Mike thought for a moment looking over the grubby kid. His own son would’ve been around the same age if he’d lived past birth. His heart ached at the memory of Daniel.

    “Meet me over there by that lamppost at 12.15 tomorrow. If she phones, i’ll give you another fifty.”

    Michael gave him a thoughtful look, seemed to make up his mind then pocketed the business card and ran off.

    The next day Mike was at the lamppost at 11.30. He’d smoked four cigarettes by the time 12.00 arrived. He checked his phone was turned on with plenty of battery life for the umpteenth time and sighed. He was nervous as hell. Rachel was his childhood sweetheart and Daniel’s mother. They were both so young when he was stillborn. Too young for their relationship to survive the loss of a child. They parted ways after three months of arguments and heartache.

    Six months ago they bumped into each other in Starbucks. It was awkward at first, but they soon got to talking and it wasn’t long before it felt just like old days. Talk of Daniel was avoided, on both sides, until last week. Rachel brought it up first, right after Mike’s proposal. She could no longer have children, her doctor had confirmed it. It was a blow to them both, but Mike said he didn’t care. He loved her and wanted to spend the rest of his life with her. There were other ways to have children, if that’s what they both wanted. But Rachel said she needed time to think. She said she’d give him an answer by 12.00 today.

    12.05 came and went, but still his phone didn’t ring. His stomach was in knots and his chest felt constricted. He smoked another cigarette then checked his phone again, 12.15. He checked his messages in case she’d texted him and he somehow missed it. But still nothing.

    “So did she call?”

    Michael’s voice came from behind him. He turned, heavy hearted, to see his namesake stood there with Rachel by his side.

    “Of course i’ll marry you,” she said.
     
  12. Kata_Misashi
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    Kata_Misashi Active Member

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    Scaled Tales (2036 words)

    Run the Jewels

    “…So then I shanked the fucker and took the crystal!” A battered Kyokyu explaining as Gobi and Yasmin glared at him. Chomping down ravishingly on the remains of what resembled a feral chicken, the eccentric lizard peered up as he rested upon his hammock. “What?”

    “Okay…” Yasmin began. “So let me get this straight. You broke into the mayor of Melbourne’s mansion…”

    “Uh-huh.” Kyokyu replied.

    “…to find supplies for our gang.”

    “Yes ’sir.”

    “And you ended finding a bedroom… that had a Horus crystal.”

    “Right on the money!”

    Yasmin looked to her younger brother briefly before looking unamused. “I’m not buying it.”

    Gobi shrugging in agreement.

    Kyokyu quickly sat up. “What the hell guys?! Do I have to go over the story again?” laying back upon the hammock. “It’s simply! After paying off some snot nosed fledglings to keep the guards in the air distracted, I made my way inside.”

    ~~~

    Casually patrolling the hallways of the manor, a falcon and a kite met halfway in the corridor. With a sigh, the falcon glanced towards one of the larger two-section windows which showed a lush garden with various plant sculptors.

    “So, uhh, ever wonder why this guy hires so many mercenaries to patrol this place?” the hawk asked lazily.

    The kite shrugged. “Not really. Honestly, I don’t care. It’s easy money. Just walk the hallways and deal with any intruders whose stupid enough to try and get in here. Short, sweet, and to the point.”

    “Just sayin’. Seems like a stupid way to waste money unless there is something actually important here.” Rubbing his neck. The hawk simply began to continue his patrol as the kite did the same.

    As the hallway began to clear, the nimble lizard quickly dropped in from the ceiling swiftly and scurried towards the nearest wall. Dressed in a black skintight shirt and slim black shorts, Kyokyu quietly chuckled as he looked to his hands.

    I’m such a wall-crawling badass.” Taking a moment to glance about and scamper to one of the doors. Placing a hand upon the door, Kyokyu sighed.

    “Alright, don’t let me down crystal.” Kyokyu sticking his tongue out briefly to expose his crystal piercing. Within seconds, his eyes took on an electrical glow as he scanned the door.

    Two… no, three. Three guards. Faint buts that’s definitely natural bioelectricity.” Glancing over to the adjacent before trying again. Kyokyu quickly jumped as he noticed the fields wandering closer to the door.

    Shit, shit, shit…” looking around before gazing to the windows.

    As the door opened, a small group of three guards wandered in before one of them quickly froze, holding her arm out to stop her team. “Wait. Something isn’t right.”

    Taking a few more steps, she quickly perked her head as she turned to look at the window. Upon her gaze reaching the top, she glared a bit. “Was that window always open?”

    ~~~

    Kyokyu kneeled as he hid behind a large plant sculptor of an owl, trying to catch his breath. “Too… close…” He groaned as he quickly peaked around back to the window. “Awesome. They’re gone.” Turning his gaze forward to examine the garden better. A rainbow of colorful flowers littered the grounds and giant bushes as they basked with the glow of the full moon. Within the center lied a monumental fountain that resembled a giant plate that floated atop a square pool. To the far right, the gardens wall held a lush rose fence that expanded high to the mansions roof. Kyokyu then huffed as his gaze fell upon a porch that over looked the beautiful shrubbery.

    “Cha-ching~” he grinned. Taking a step forward, Kyokyu quickly froze as the sounds of flapping wings caused him to take a step back.

    Dammit. Where is it? Where is…!” taking a deep breath as he slowly looked up as he noticed a hawk perched upon the plant sculptor, overlooking the area. Quickly soaring down to the ground below, the hawk gazed left and right before eyeing the fountain; making his way towards it. Stepping into the shallow square, the hawk traced the water with the tips of his feathery fingers before spritzing his face.

    “Gahh. Coffee. Need a pick me up.” He yawned a bit.

    “Since you asked nicely…” a voice behind the hawk spoke out as he jumped.

    “Wh-What The…!” Beginning to turn before Kyokyu took a step in the square pool. Quickly the hawk’s body shot upward as a strong volt surged through him. By simply removing his foot, the hawk fell limp as Kyokyu stretched out his tail to pull him towards the shadows.

    “Good night, pal. Let’s see whatcha got on ya.” Quickly searching his body. With a blink, Kyokyu removed an odd wand before throwing it out to turn into a metal baton. “Score.” Quickly pocketing the tool.

    Huffing, Kyokyu turned to glance at the rose fence before scampering over towards it. “Alright, just need to climb this and…” reaching hands out to grab the fence, quickly pulling his hand back. “OW! What in Gaia’s name…?” Taking a closer look at the fence. Thorns from the assortment of roses littered the fence up and down.

    “Oh, that’s just peachy…” Kyokyu grumbled before looking back up to the porch. “Okay, Kyokyu. Option A: Go back inside to find a rope or something. Option B: Beat it while you still can. Or option C: Jump it, knowing damn well you’re going to attract some attention.”

    Taking a moment to consider his options, the lizard rolled his eyes and kneeled. “Screw it!”

    Electricity quickly charging around his legs as he gave a huge leap from the garden floor to the porch. Upon landing, Kyokyu grunted the excess electricity shot through the ground.

    ~~~

    Meanwhile, high over the masion a pair of guards soar past before pausing as they noticed the brief trail of electricity expelling from the garden.

    “What was that?” the harrier blinking before turning to his partner.

    The eagle dipped his head. “And here I thought tonight was going to be boring.” Quickly diving towards the garden, his partner close behind.

    ~~~

    Gotta move!” Kyokyu thought as he rushed towards a wide window with dual glass doors. Quickly grabbing the door handle, he desperately tried to turn it. “Shit! Locked!” scoffing before blinking. “The lock is made of metal. Maybe I can…”

    “He’s all mine!” the eagle cried out, causing Kyokyu to look back and grit his teeth.

    “Fuck! Come on, ya stupid…!” putting a hand upon the mechanism. Quickly pumping in a stream of electricity, he quickly began to work his fingers as if lock picking. In mere seconds, an audible click was heard. “Yes!” Kyokyu cheered before turning back at the last second to see the incoming talons of the eagle. Holding his arm up, the tight piercing grip of the eagle caused Kyokyu to grunt and groan.

    Landing upon the porch with one leg, the eagle pulled his clenching leg back, flooring the lizard violently. “A lizard? In Melbourne? Tchh, the old man is going to love this.” He chuckled before reaching to pull out a green crystal.

    Kyokyu simply grinned. “Eagle A’la mode, coming up!” A strong jolt passing through the lizard and eagle alike. Letting out a pained cry, the eagle struggled to let go before Kyokyu spun around to sweep the mercenary off his feet.

    “You’re going to serve him with ice cream?” his partner looking on in confusion. Upon Kyokyu returning to stand, he blinked at the harrier.

    “What?”

    “A’la mode. It means to serve with ice cream.” The harrier explained.

    Kyokyu simply blinked again before noticing the groaning eagle. “Good to KNOW!” quickly kicking across his beak to knock him unconscious. “I should… know that… My sister is a cook and…” trailing off as he noticed the harrier with a green crystal.

    “H-He’s on the master’s porch! Come Qu-“the harrier began to report.

    “You Bastard!” Kyokyu dashing over to punch the bird clean out. “What kind of mercenary are you anyway?” grumbling before looking back to the door. “Bah, wasted enough time.”

    Quickly turning the knob yet again, Kyokyu grinned as the door began to open. Making his way inside, he quickly took in his surroundings. Light from the moon lit the room from the dual skylights as priceless art littered the room. A bed with slightly shifting covers and snoring rested between the beams of light. However, Kyokyu’s attention was quickly brought to a pedestal that resided at the furthest corner of the room. Upon it, l laid a radiant crystal with mixed colors of green and blue.

    “Finally.” Kyokyu dipped his head as he rushed over towards its. Taking in its beauty, Kyokyu quickly reached out for it. “Yoink!”

    “That’s quite far enough, lizard.” A voice behind him emitted. Kyokyu groaned as he turned.
    “Sorry. The whole ‘Swiper. No, Swiping.’ Thing isn’t going to wo-“trailing off as he looked to the bed. Holding a well-crafted flintlock pistol, an owl in a nightgown glared at him.

    “We don’t get that many lizards, let alone, flightless creatures in this town. And after tonight’s wild antics from you, I hope we never will.” She scoffed before pulling back the hammer.

    Quickly holding up his hands, Kyokyu gave a nervous smile. “Hey now. Come on! I didn’t mean any harm.”

    “You break into my home, hurt my guards, and tried to rob me. I should kill you.” Dipping her head.

    Kyokyu’s worried expression slowly turned to a smirk. “’Should’? I’m all ears.”

    Taking a moment, the owl returned his smirk. “I’ve never thought someone would have the stones to steal from me.”

    “Well seeing as my ‘stones’ are internal, I…” Kyokyu began.

    “Silence!” she demanded. “I wish to hire you… As my right-hand man.”

    Kyokyu blinked, trying to comprehend. “Wh-What? You want me… To work for you?”

    “Whoever you are working for now, I will pay double of what they are asking. All you must do is agree to tell me who sent you.” Lowering the pistol slightly.

    Taking a long moment, Kyokyu simply smiled before chuckling. Quickly his chuckle turned into a laugh that picked up in volume. The owl simply stared at him confused. “Wh-Why are you laughing?!” quickly raising her weapon. “Stop laughing this instant!”

    Kyokyu keeled over a bit to hold his gut as he took a deep breath. “I-I’m sorry it’s just…”

    Standing to look at her. “…It fucking hilarious that you think I’m working for someone! News flash, sister…” Holding his arms out. “I’m doing this for ‘shits and giggles’!” Breaking out into a roaring laugh.

    The owl just stared at him in disbelief, as he continued to laugh. Slowly her confusion turned into anger. “YOU DARE MAKE A FOOL OUT OF ME?!”

    Quickly barging into the room, the cavalry of mercenaries entered through the porch entrance, the owl turning in surprise. “Ma’Lady!”

    Right On Time!” Kyokyu grinned widely as he reached behind him and tossed the metal baton at the pistol; the owl crying as she misfired at the glass doorway. Shards of glass quickly rain upon the group of bodyguards as they threw their arms up to shield themselves.

    Wrapping his tail around the crystal, Kyokyu kneeled as electricity built up around his legs. “HAHAHAHAAAA! LET THIS BE THE DAY WHERE YOU ‘ALMOST’ CAUGHT… ‘KYOKYU, THE LIGHTING LIZARD’!” Taking a huge leap through the skylight. “Lates~!”

    ~~~

    “Kyokyu… ‘The Lighting Lizard’?” Yasmin repeated unenthusiastically. “Really?”

    “Yes, ‘Really’.” Kyokyu groaned.

    “Really?” Gobi huffed.

    “YES, REALLY!”

    “Okay…” Yasmin, said simply. “…where’s the crystal?”

    Kyokyu paused before laying back down in his hammock. Making a pouty face, he looked away from them. “I… ‘lost it’.”

    “I’m done. Night.” Yasmin quickly getting up to leave.

    “No, seriously! I did!” Kyokyu explained, trying hard not to laugh.

    “NIGHT, KYOKYU!” she yelled. Gobi simply shook his head as he turned to leave.

    “I have a migraine. Your migraine inducing, you know?” Gobi huffed.

    “Aww, Come Guys! It’ll turn up eventually!” Kyokyu groaned.

    As his room fell quite, Kyokyu huffed as he tossed around. “Dumb Yasmin… It really did happen.” Sighing as he fell asleep, none the wiser to the green and blue glow emitting from his back pocket.
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2015
  13. AspiringNovelist
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    AspiringNovelist Contributing Member

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    Location:
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    Title: Run the Jewels of ISIL (1201 words)

    “Where is the BASTARD?” Agent Rane yelled as she entered the warehouse.

    “He’s in the back.”

    “How much of a beating has he taken?”

    “A days’ worth. We’ve beat and threatened him. Even water boarded him. My opinion, I don’t think the guy knows anything or he’s as tough as nails.”

    “He knows.” Rane seethed. “Have you shown pictures of his family?”

    “No, not yet.”

    “Give me a photo.”

    “Wife or child?” A lower ranked agent asked.

    “Give me what you have.” Rane thumbed through the photographs. She looked at one, tossed it to the table and continued until she found the perfect picture. “The date on this photo is accurate?”

    “Yes.”

    “This will do. Give me a red pen. Something with a fine tip.”

    “Are you sure you can do this?” The lead agent asked.

    “Do what?”

    “Interrogate him.”

    “Why, because I’m a girl?”

    “Well?” The male agent said as he handed Rane a red sharpie. “He looks pretty bad. His nose bled everywhere. We think he might be a hemophiliac, the fucker wouldn’t clot.”

    "Are you recording the room?"

    "Of course?"

    “When I enter will he be facing me?”

    “Yes.”

    “Turn him around. I want his back to me when I enter.”


    Minutes later Agent Rane entered the back room of the old warehouse and shielded her eyes from the light that poured in from the windows two stories above. A makeshift plastic room had been created, with plastic sheets draped over ropes that ran east to-west and south-to-north to create an enclosed box. In the middle of this box, tied to a metal chair, was Mr. Hu.

    “Two days Mr. Hu.” Agent Rane said, as she slid the plastic to the side and entered the plastic box. “Two days in this hellhole and this brutality isn’t necessary.”

    “Who are you?”

    “You undoubtedly know who we are and what we want, Mr. Hu.”

    “I don’t know who you are. Kidnappers? Government? I don’t know anything. You sound like a woman. Are you?”

    “Yes. It’s a beautiful world. A girl can be anything she wants to be.”

    “And you chose to do this? To torture people?”

    “Didn’t choose. The horsetail grass grows not where the horses are, but where the manure is.”

    “What?”

    “Your shit, Mr. Hu is what brought me here. You have access to certain social networks that we need access to.”

    “I have no such thing.”

    Agent Rane moved closer. “You see, we have a dichotomy of Plato’s Self-Interest. One that doesn’t bode well for you.”

    “Plato?”

    “Doesn’t anyone read ANYMORE?” Agent Rane yelled. “When the rules of morality cannot be agreed to by you or me. When that chaos has set in, what follows is certainly self-interest. And since you are tethered, captive, your self-interest is forsaken. Whereas mine are, shall we say, more dominant.”

    “I don’t understand.”

    “Do you think this is vengeance, Mr. Hu?”

    “Yes.”

    “No, vengeance clouds the mind. This is justice.”

    “Justice? What justice? I haven’t done anything?”

    “But you have. You have a greater insight into what’s concealed behind the social, sedated mask of civilization. But you see Mr. Hu, I know what you’ve done and I know why you’ve done it. I need the passwords to all your social accounts. I’ll start with the hardest for you to give up – I want the password for your ISIL social networks. Once we have a meeting of the minds on that one, the others will be easy.”

    “And you think I’m just going to give it to you?”

    “That’s the plan. But thinking gets in the way sometimes.”

    “Are you going to kill me?”

    “I’m sorry.”

    “Are you?” Mr. Hu asked again.

    “Kill you or am I sorry?" Agent Rane questioned. "Doesn’t matter, the answer is yes and yes. But it doesn’t change what we both must do.”

    “Please, don’t. I don’t know anything. I have a family.”

    “Oh, but you do know. You know everything. The question is will you tell me what you know. That’s why I’m here. That’s who I am.”

    “Who?”

    “I’m the raven in the darkness.”

    “What if I don’t know the answer you’re looking for?”

    “Then you had better come up with a damn convincing lie and just know, the lie will be verified before you die. So, this is how this will play out. My boys in the other room are going to bandage you up, get you well enough to take another beating. I need those passwords. If I’m not pleased, I will find your children. Worst, I might let you live so that you will always know your children died.”

    “My children are safe, especially since I’m missing. There’s a protocol in place.”

    “Of course there is. After all, they protected you…But you must know this. I am a force and a presence that goes well beyond the triviality of an ordinary hired gun. They, those protecting your family, may as well be tied up in here with you. That’s how useful they are to you now.”

    Rane leaned over the chair and placed the photo in his lap. A picture of Mr. Hu’s son. The image was idyllic with the young boy petting his dog near a park bench. “See the red dot?” Agent Rane asked.

    “No.”

    “You could have damaged retinas or cones from the beating but trust me the dot is there. Look closer, center chest. Barely visible. A small red dot.”

    Mr. Hu found the red dot and began to cry. Rane moved so that she was in front of him.

    “Do you understand? It’s a laser. Note the date.”

    “Yes, I understand.”

    “On the other end of that laser is a bullet with no name. But if I don’t get what I want, it will have a name. Care to guess whose name? The question is are you crying for yourself or your son?”

    “If I tell you. If I give you what you want, my son will be safe?”

    “Yes.”

    “How do I know?”

    “You know because he’s innocent. You’re the guilty one. This is your judgment day, not your son’s.”

    “But you would kill him to make your point?”

    “I would kill him to prove my resolve, nothing less, nothing more. There’s always a genesis before the culling begins.”

    “Culling?”

    “Yes, I intend to thin the heard of those like you.”

    “Are we ready, Mr. Hu?”

    “Yes.”

    Rane kicked an empty metal chair so that it slid across the floor in front of Mr. Hu. She sat down in the chair and leaned toward him. “Perfect. We’ll start from a fresh beginning. The password?”

    “Fuck you.” Hu responded.

    Rane grabbed Hu at the jaw and looked dead into his eyes. “WHAT?”

    “The password is fuck you.” Hu spurted through bubbles and spit.

    Rane released her grip and wiped her hand on Hu’s shirt. She kicked her chair across the room and pulled the Glock 17 from her hip. She aimed it center chest. “PASSWORD, Hu?” She screamed.

    Hu looked up with tears in his eyes. “Fuck you,” he said, almost pleading.

    Rane pulled the trigger and three bullets found their way to Mr. Hu’s chest.

    Immediately following the gunshots three agents rushed into the plastic room and saw Mr. Hu's body slumped in the chair. One agent began checking the vital signs of a dead man.

    “What did you do?" The lead agent asked in disbelief as he paced the room. "Why did you kill him?”

    Agent Rane holstered her pistol. “You were listening, right? He wouldn’t give the password. Kept saying fuck you.”

    The lead agent shook his head. “No, he was saying Phuck Hu, the name of his son. The password is good. It's verified.”

    “Shit!” Agent Rane yelled as she turned her back and looked out the windows that were two stories above them. “Shit.”
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2015
  14. Song
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    Song Active Member

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    Location:
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    The Great Train Robber. *adult language* (501 words)​


    Folk round here call me Bigsy, on account of how I stole a toy train when I was 6 years old. Although after the beating I got from my dad, maybe I should be named after the train driver. You see, I can still feel the burns from the belt he hit me with that night. Of course he wouldn’t try anything like that now, all grown up with a fist full of knuckles and all that.


    One thing that ain’t changed, I’m still on the take, and let’s be honest who wouldn’t in my position. The only lords we get with silver spoons in my neighbourhood are the drug lords shovelling the snow like it’s the Winter Olympics. Sure, I could get a job stacking boxes so some rich prick can reach the top of his money pile, but I’d rather be running my own game.


    Why should a boy like me be stuck in the gutter? Born there so I should die there, is that it? I see you, rocking your fancy phone and your expensive watch, you get me. You want everyone on the scene to know you got the big score, that the crystal is flowing from the biddy dick of the angel in your garden.


    You know what though, you might have the money, but I got the balls. You see, once I flash a little steel in your face, it’s you pissing yourself like a fountain. People are all cash and no courage. Seems the richer folk get, the weaker they are.


    In my house it’s live or die mate. We all got our hands in each other’s trouser pockets, and if you ain’t got the family jewels in them to fleece a little revenge, you’re gonna be hungry real quick like. So I take what I want, and I get what I need.


    Don’t look at me like you’re mother fucking Teresa. You’re just like me, you get me. Thirteen people flew from the factory roof like little birds into the pavement for your iPhone. I only had to pluck one fat pigeon to get mine. Everyone’s on the take, and I’m taking it from them. It’s the circle of life, and I’m the Lion King around here. So if you’re gonna walk down my street, don’t be flashing your luck. You better be packing or you’ll be dancing on the black top.


    You think I’m worried about doing a little time? They got my Xbox already warmed up for when I go back and shit. I got the screw’s number on speed dial and a crew waiting for me by the fire. Then I’ll be back on the streets in time for the party.


    So that’s me, the great train robber. I'm looking for a million pound score, but for now I’ll settle for a smaller fish like you. So unless you want your dinner given to you by a nurse tonight, give me everything you’ve got in your pockets.
     

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