Good morning and Happy Hump Day ! If it's Wednesday, then it must be time for more flash fiction from the Wednesday Briefers! We're a group of authors who bring you our finest flash fiction every week, 500 to 1000 words, inspired by one of our prompts.
Leaving Tyrone behind, Char is on his way to talk to a woman who may have answers he's looking for when he comes across some rednecks having fun with guns. Deciding to skirt the situation, Char finds himself outed by a dog! See what's going on in this week's chapter of An Unholy Alliance. Don't forget to visit the other Briefers and see what's up with them. Their links follow my tale! Enjoy!An Unholy Alliance #18 (5.2)
So much for making a stealthy exit.
If there’d only been one of them, I could have ended the matter quickly and efficiently and been on my way. Four, however, was a bit trickier which I realized as his friends came rushing up, no doubt to see what was going on. Not that I couldn’t handle them, but I was loathe to make a fuss. And I had things to do that didn’t include going toe-to-toe with a group of drunken rednecks. I eyed them all suspiciously while calculating my next move.
“Who the hell’s this guy?” This came from Caleb, the one with lady issues. He glared at me, his anger no doubt fueled by the needling he’d just received at the hands of his buddies.
“Yeah, who the hell are you?” Donny the target setter repeated, as if I was hard of hearing or something. Or too stupid to realize they were speaking about me.
“I’m asking the questions here.” This came from Frank the dog owner, asserting his right to be top dog among this group of idiots. Not as though that was any sort of honor, but perhaps it was the highest one he could ever aspire to.
Speaking of the dog, he was still barking his furry butt off at me. Not aggressively, but more of an I’m here, pay attention to me manner. I could have flung him from me easily with one sure motion of my foot and thus ended his yapping. But I had no desire to harm the creature. I am not a cruel man I assure you despite the perhaps less-than-perfect first impression gained of me at the start of my tale. Not to mention this pup seemed so very glad to see me, for reasons I could not fathom. In that regard, he reminded me of Tyrone.
I had to stop thinking about him. That was becoming a bad habit, one I needed to break as soon as possible. There was no way our paths would ever cross again.
The key here was to present myself as non-threatening to these morons so as not to provoke them into doing something stupid and or unwarranted. Like trying to fight with me. That would have been a losing proposition on their part. The only advantage they had over me was that they were armed and I was not. Not in any traditional way, that is. On the other hand, while I could have dealt with being injured, I was not about to allow myself to be shot when I could prevent that from happening. Still, I’d rather not resort to such tactics if I could avoid them.
I just wanted to be on my way, as quickly and as peaceably as possible.
“I’m just passing through,” I replied, although technically that wasn’t an answer to their question. But it was as close to one as they were going to get from me. I held up my hands in what I meant as a placating gesture, at the same time edging away from them. Unfortunately, they weren’t having any of that.
The four of them immediately spread out, encircling me. I spun warily, not sure what their intentions were. Not even sure they knew what those were. They certainly had no idea who they were dealing with.
“That’s a mighty fancy suit you have there.” That was Donny’s contribution. “You a drug dealer or something?”
Lawyers and drug dealers. Figured.
“Why, you looking for a new one?” I shot off. Probably not the best response I could have made under the circumstances, but sometimes I couldn’t seem to help myself. Sarcasm came naturally to me.
“Why, waddya selling?” That from the heretofore silent unnamed member of the group, the one who’d been playing with his weapon. Which he still held cradled in the crook of one arm, no doubt for easy access.
“Shut up, Joey,” Frank snarled. “You stupid or something?”
I snickered. Was that meant to be a rhetorical question?
“Yeah,” Caleb piped up. “For all you know, he’s a narc.”
“Like you’d know?” Frank accompanied his retort with a snort as he turned toward his friend, his dog and I at least momentarily forgotten. “Remember that guy you thought was some kind of undercover DEA or something? But it turned out he was just someone your girlfriend worked with. And he was the one she was cheating on you with.”
This produced a chorus of titters. Damn, I needed to get away from these fools. Just breathing the same air they did might put me in danger of my IQ dropping a few points.
“Come to think of it, wasn’t he black?” Joe added.
I groaned inwardly at the horrendous turn this conversation had just taken as four heads swiveled toward me in predictable unison.
“It wasn’t me,” I added helpfully. “Not my cup of tea.” Probably shouldn’t have said that, in retrospect.
“You mean my girlfriend’s not good enough for you?” Caleb took a threatening step toward me, gun still in hand. He was plainly working himself up over nothing, a clear case of bruised ego. The situation was becoming so ridiculous it was almost funny.
“You mean your ex,” Donny reminded him.
That seemed to be the straw that broke the proverbial dromedary’s back. Caleb let out a strangled cry and raised his weapon into firing position. But rather than venting his anger where it belonged, I found that he was targeting me, at point-blank range, no less.
I was having none of that. Before he had a chance to squeeze the trigger, I knocked the barrel aside and took a swing at him, connecting with his face, a punch that knocked him off his feet, flat on his back.
Three guns cocked simultaneously.
to be continued
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