Flash Fiction: “Show of Force”

This is for the “Must Love Guns” (aka “Gun Porn”) FF Challenge this week over at the always awesome Terribleminds.com.

Show of Force

            Drake stumbled through the storm sewer, one arm shielding his face from the stench and the other clamped tight against his ribs.

The fight-or-flight burst of adrenaline was wearing off now.

You are one lucky bastard. He would’ve laughed, but he knew it would hurt like hell.

The bullets had gone clean through his left side without hitting anything vital. Probably Teflon-coated rounds–great for piercing body armor, but at close range they had a tendency to perforate without causing a lot of damage.

Unfortunately, his two guards hadn’t been so lucky. The very first shot took off the top half of Thorpe’s head. Chew had at least gotten off a short burst of return fire from his 9mm MAC-10 before being hit in the neck and chest.

Drake should’ve known the deal was a setup. Six crates of AR15’s–complete with M203 under-barrel grenade launchers–was a pretty heavy order for a small-time middleman like Jazz. But he’d learned a long time ago that in order to succeed in this business, there was one rule: never ask questions. Especially about why the customer needs the merchandise.

Of course there was that other rule too, the one that dumb fuck Jazz had broken: if you’re gonna rip off a hardware man, you’d better make damned sure you kill him.

And don’t just assume he’s dead because his body floats away down the river.

Finally he came to a rusty ladder. With some effort, he managed to climb it one-handed, then shouldered open the manhole cover at the top.

He emerged into the sodium-orange night on the outskirts of downtown. It only took him a second to get his bearings. He was just a couple blocks from one of his apartments.

Sirens wailed from the direction of the docks. He shuffled along as fast as possible and tried to stay in the shadows, keeping an eye out for Jazz’s black Escalade.

The first thing he did at the apartment was clean and dress his wounds. He’d have a trustworthy doctor check them out later.

Right now, he had unfinished business with Jazz.

After a double shot of Johnny Walker Black, he went into the hall closet and triggered the hidden switch at the back. With a nudge, the entire wall swiveled around to reveal a collection of “display model” hardware: everything from pistols to assault rifles, submachine guns to shotguns. From Sigs and Glocks to M4’s and Steyr-AUG’s, HK’s and Uzis to Strikers and Streetsweepers.

He grabbed a Sig Sauer P220 and shoved it into his waistband. A Colt Cobra snubnose .38 went into his jacket pocket. Over his shoulders he slung an Uzi SMG on one side and a Bushmaster ACR on the other, then picked up an Ares Shrike 5.56 light machine gun with a flash suppressor and night vision scope.

When he shouldered the Ares he winced in pain, but it was manageable.

Still, despite all the firepower at his fingertips, he wanted something more. He needed to make a real example out of Jazz. And for that, he would need something…bigger.

He picked up the phone and speed-dialed his house. “It’s me. No, I’m fine. But I need you to pick me up, and bring something from my private collection.”

***

            When Drake opened the Lincoln’s trunk and saw the olive-drab case with the words “PROTOTYPE – TOP SECRET” stenciled on it, a rush of anticipation welled up in his chest.

Carefully, almost ceremoniously, he unlatched the lid and opened it.

The huge weapon had no markings other than “BFG-9000” on the box-like business end. Grasping both handles, he hefted it out of the case and hooked it to the shoulder harness he was wearing, allowing it to hang low at his hip.

From the back of the abandoned furniture store, he had a clear view of Jazz’s shitty little bar on the corner, about half-a-block away. The neon Colt 45 sign in the window glinted off his black Escalade, parked right in front.

Drake widened his stance and bent his knees, then swung the BFG towards the bar and squeezed the charging lever.

The weapon powered up with a whine like a jet engine. Within a few seconds, an unearthly green glow at the muzzle told him it was fully charged. He put his thumb over the bright red fire button.

Just then, the door to the bar swung open, and out stumbled Jazz with a couple trashy-looking women hooked on his arms, laughing loudly.

“Hey, Jazz!” Drake yelled.

When Jazz looked over, his jaw dropped in an “oh shit” expression. He shoved the whores away and dove behind the Escalade.

Drake pressed the button. The ball of plasma left the BFG with a whoosh, the recoil pushing him back a step.

Everything seemed to happen in slow motion. As the crackling ball rocketed towards its target, two laser-like beams shot out from it, connecting with the women and killing them instantly. Then it struck the Escalade, with a blinding flash and a ground-shaking thunderclap that forced Drake to duck-and-cover.

When the bits of rubble finally stopped raining down around him, he stood and surveyed his handiwork.

In place of the Escalade–and most of the bar–was a giant smoking crater. Only one burning corner of the building remained.

Ahh, satisfaction.

Now that was how you make an example of someone.

“A Bad Omen”

"A Bad Omen" (ball point pen on notebook paper)

Doom-inspired pentagram sketch

inspired by DOOM

2B pencil on sketchbook paper

Tissue Imp

This one was asleep in a bit of tissue found on the floor (on right):

ball point pen on notebook paper

TERIBBLEMINDS Flash Fiction Challenge: “The Flea Market”

This week’s challenge was to write about something you might find at a flea market. I’ve been a little lazy and missed the last couple challenges, but for some reason this one struck a chord and kicked the muse into high gear. Hope you enjoy!

[EDIT: This piece has been accepted for publication in Static Movement’s upcoming Monster Gallery anthology, edited by George Wilhite. At some point after publication I will probably put it back here.]

Fabric Glue Demon

This guy was staring at me from a bottle of Aleene’s Original Tacky Glue:

fabric glue demon (ball point pen on notebook paper)

can you see him?

TERIBBLEMINDS 4th of July Challenge

This week, the challenge over at Terribleminds was to write a story under 1k words about something that happens on the 4th of July. Something dark and nasty, preferably thriller/horror…my favorite.

Below is my humble offering. Technically, the deadline isn’t until Friday at midnight, and I would’ve liked to have another day to tweak it–but we’re leaving to go on vacation later tonight. So yeah, that ain’t happening.

[EDIT: 9/23/11 This piece has been given the necessary tweaking, and is now being shopped around for publication.]