Wednesday, October 6, 2021

Wednesday Briefs: An Unholy Alliance #19 (5.3)

 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.  

Charlemagne has found himself in a bit of a situation with a group of armed rednecks. Surely this won't be a problem for long? 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 #19 (5.3)

I dropped immediately into a low crouch. Balancing my weight on my hands, I swiftly swung my legs in a solid arc until I connected with the limbs of the nearest idiot and knocked him off his feet. He let out a surprised yelp. The dog seemed to have anticipated my movement somehow. He leapt out of harm’s way, barking excitedly. Not sure if he was barking at them or me or just in general. As long as he didn’t bite, I could live with that.

And don’t even tell me how hypocritical that just sounded.

A shot whistled past my head. Luckily I have amazing reflexes. I quickly rolled out of harm’s way as I grabbed at the legs of the shooter, who turned out to be Joey. He tried to take aim at my new position, but he didn’t stand a chance.  I sprang to my feet before he could even begin to comprehend what was going to happen, grabbed his gun and shattered it against the nearest tree and then tossed the remnants of his weapon out of reach.

That should take care of things rather handily. But I hadn’t accounted for Frank. He caught me by surprise, to my chagrin. He threw his arms around me from behind and squeezed. He had an unexpectedly strong grip for such a small man. Even so, I knew he was no match for me.

“Shoot him now!” he bellowed. I suppose it hadn’t occurred to him that anyone shooting at me ran the risk of hitting him due to our juxtaposition. Or perhaps he relied too much on the marksmanship of his friends. From what little I’d seen of them that was a very foolish risk to take.

Well, I wasn’t about to stand there and let that happen. Not that I thought any of the other morons were in a position to do as he asked anyway. With little effort, I tore myself from his tenuous grip.  Even as I did, I was dismayed to feel the fabric of my jacket rip. Couldn’t be helped now. Without looking, I launched a quick kick backward and was gratified by the sound of his strangled moan which indicated I’d hit my intended target.

They were all down for the count—at least for the moment. So I took advantage of that fact to make my hasty departure. The sooner I was away from this lot the better. I paused for just a moment, though, almost against my better judgment.  Rover was barking at me, almost plaintively, as if he were asking where are you going, don’t you want to play with me?  I felt bad for the animal that he was stuck with such an awful owner. But that was life, wasn’t it? You didn’t get a choice in this world. You were always at the beck and call of someone.  The young and helpless under the control of someone bigger, stronger… and more entitled.  How did the saying go? Oh yes. A dog eat dog world. Pun intended.

I didn’t pause until I’d put a few miles between us. I was almost to my destination now. Time to take stock of myself before I met with Isabella. Well, the jacket was unsalvageable, no question of that. If I’d had time to seek out the services of a tailor, then perhaps I could have done something about it. But I didn’t have time for that. Correction, I didn’t want to make time, too anxious to learn what this woman had to tell me.  I wasn’t sure that course of action would have worked anyway, since it appeared as though some of the material was missing. A fabric such as this would not likely be available at a moment’s notice. No matter. I would just have to do without. Clothing was easily come by and not worth stressing over. I removed the jacket and discreetly disposed of it in a trash bin I found sitting at the side of a two lane road, at the end of someone’s very long driveway.

Without a mirror, I couldn’t assess the total damage I’d sustained, but had to hope it was minimal. My trousers didn’t appear to be any the worse for wear, despite my brief sojourn on the ground. No buttons missing, shirt intact, phone functional. That was my greatest worry, since I depended upon it for so much. Not just for my research, although that was the most important reason to me. Despite my estrangement from my family, rules dictated that I be accessible to them, as well as to the Council—or the Senile Six, as I liked to think of them. All that aside, I did also wish to put forth a presentable appearance, having no desire to embarrass Casey in any way.

I reached into my pocket for the address they had given me but came up empty. That was more of an automatic gesture since I’d already memorized the location. Guess I’d lost that paper in the scuffle. No matter.

Isabella’s home was indeed as isolated as Casey had led me to believe. The house itself was small, nothing remarkable. But the gardens with which it was surrounded were utterly beautiful. This woman must have the proverbial green thumb to coax such amazing flora into existence.  Her home and gardens were nestled in the middle of a wooded area not far off a small highway which would eventually lead to the aforementioned town of Cabool. As I approached the front door, I was filled with a most remarkable feeling of peace and serenity such as I had never encountered before. If John Milton had been able to view such a place he would have pronounced it to be Paradise Discovered.

 to be continued

Don't forget to visit the other Briefers and see what they're up to!

Cia Nordwell

J Ray Lamb







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