Friday, April 29, 2011

Malcolm Reynolds Vs. Caleb (Parts 6-10)

Last time: The crew of Serenity are hijacked and brought into Reaver space, where they find a man with a striking resemblance to Mal.
Zoe and Mal stared stupidly out of the view port.
“Captain, what are you doing outside the ship?”
“I ain’t outside the ship. I’m here.”
“That fella out there looks a hell of a lot like you.”
“Not really. The hairs all wrong.”
“Yeah, but not by much.”
“Why would we be hijacked, only to find somebody floating out in the black?”
“I can’t say I know, Captain.”
“This has just been a weird day.”
“Well, besides this. I saw Kaylee and Simon naked.”
“We need to institute some sort of early awareness system for those two. Like a necktie on the doorknob.”
“Except Serenity don’t have doorknobs. Just a weird day.”
“I can scan him, make sure he’s just a dead body in space.
“Do that. Then bring him aboard. Fella that good looking should have a proper burial.”
“The body could be full of bombs.”
“Yeah. The scans should pick that up. If he is, leave him be.”
“Yes, sir.”
Jayne wasn’t aware that he was getting on Zoe’s nerves. Jayne had heard that they’d found a man in space, one that was still alive. He wanted to see. He wanted Zoe to see. He was as excited as a child on Christmas morning. Confusion plastered across his face when he saw who they’d brought in.
“That ain’t Wash.” Jayne said aloud.
“What?” Zoe asked. She looked like she’d been slapped in the face. “What do you mean ‘That ain’t Wash?”’ Jayne went pale.
“Why the hell would it be?” Zoe asked. Moisture was welling in her big brown eyes, but rage was festering as well. Jayne tried to summon words, but none would come.
“Get the hell away from me, Jayne.”
Jayne hurried away, moving back to his bunk.
“You are dumb.” The first said with a biting sort of glee.
“What the hell was that?” Jayne said angrily. “Who the hell is that and why does he look like Mal?”
“How do you managed to breathe, you stupid ape?” The first was laughing openly now. Jayne swung at him and his hand went, harmlessly, through the incorporeal Wash. Jayne’s fist slammed into a metal wall and a loud crack issued into the silence. He’d just broken his own hand.
“Every single, last person on this boat is going to die, Jayne. It’s all thanks to you.” The first said, before disappearing into the shadows.
Caleb awoke on Simon’s table. His arms were bound down and he was feeling swimmy in the head.
“Morning, or Evening. It gets difficult to tell when you’re not orbiting a star.” Simon said, while washing his hands. “I gave you a sedative for any pain you might be feeling. Deep space isn’t good for your health.”
“And the restraints?” Caleb asked.
“Strangers tend not to be good for our health. Somebody ends up getting shot, or stabbed. One time, a stranger stranded the Captain in the middle of the desert, naked.”
“Good policy, then.” Caleb said, ripping the restraints out from the bed in one smooth motion. “You know, in theory.” Caleb stood and then stumbled to one side, holding his head.
“You gave me the good stuff, didn’t you.” Caleb fell to one knee. Simon picked up a scalpel.
“That’s brave of you, but I’d recommend running. Once the room stops spinning I’m gong to snap your neck like a chicken bone.” Simon took the advice and skirted around the preacher. Caleb vomited on the Medical bay floor.
Simon raced down the halls, his footfalls echoing through the narrow spaces and straight into Jayne. He cradled Kaylee in his arms. He was favoring his left hand. His right was clumsily bandaged.
“Kaylee.” Simon said in a near whisper. “What happened to her?”
“She bumped her head. I think she’ll be okay.” Simon brushed back her hair and pried apart her eyelids.
“Minor concussion. You’re right. Give her to me.” Jayne deposited Kaylee in Simon’s arms. “Go tell Mal that the man we brought in is awake and hostile.” Jayne did as he was bid.
Jayne arrived breathless in the cockpit, his favorite gun under his arm. Mal and Zoe were fiddling with the navigation control and Mal yelled out as sparks issued from the terminal.
“Simon says the Shepherd’s up and acting crazy.”
“So you’re going to shoot him?” Zoe asked.
“Seems like a good idea.”
“How crazy is crazy?” Mal asked.
“Crazy enough that Simon left running.”
“The three of us will go down, see if we can’t cool him down some.” Mal said, getting up from under the terminal.
The three of them arrived in the medical bay with blasters in hand. Caleb was hunched over on the examination table with his arm holding his stomach.
“Hello, My name is Malcolm Reynolds. I’m Captain of this here boat. I’d like to have a word with you.”
“What word would that be?” Caleb said, puling himself erect.
“Probably words about how one might treat his rescuers…”
“Words about why you have The Captain’s face and why we were led straight to you.” Zoe added.
“He does not have my face.”
“I don’t know about that. There is a resemblance. If it bothers you, though. I don’t mind smashing it in for you.”
“Comments like that make us not what to play nice.” Mal said.
“I don’t play at all.” Caleb’s threat lost credibility when he attempted to walk. He was all stumbling feet and flailing arms. Mal, Zoe and Jayne resisted the urge to laugh. Caleb got close enough to strike and he did. He sent the three of them flying into the opposite wall.
“Somebody start shooting, please.” Mal yelled. He found himself at the bottom of a pile of writhing limbs. Jayne was near sitting on his chest. Zoe was the first to fire and Caleb roared with pain as he fell back into the depths of the medical bay. Jayne was the second to fire, but that was more reactionary. His shots punched into the wall. Mal got up and drew his pistol. He moved forth before the other two and got a foot to the chest for his bravery. He flew past the other two and Zoe and Jayne opened fire.
“I’m tired of being hit!” Mal screamed out, getting back up on his feet. Caleb was getting up for the second time.
“Captain, He’s getting up more times than a shot man should.” Jayne called. Mal popped a few shots into Caleb.
“Just keep shooting him, he’ll get the point.”
“I don’t think so. I’m a slow learner.” Caleb said and then he threw the examination table at them.
Mal, Zoe and Jayne groaned under a pile of twisted metal and broken glass. Mal freed himself from under Jayne for the second time and limped down the hall. Mal had a gash across his forehead and his ribs were feeling tender, but he was on his feet. That was good enough for him. Caleb had left the three for the rest of the ship. There was a fair concern, in Mal’s mind, that Caleb was up to some sort of mischief. At least, the bullets had done some good. A dotted trail of blackish crimson snaked the hallway leading away from the medical bay. At least they hurt him.
Mal found Caleb panting by Inara’s shuttle. Caleb had beads of sweat creeping down his brow and blood dripped from his fingertips. Hate bristled on his face and Mal saw what he’d look like if he were an animal. This man he’d pulled from space wasn’t a man at all. Mal plugged him twice and a third time as he snaked his way into Inara’s shuttle. She wasn’t there, fortunately. Mal rose his gun as footsteps thudded toward him. It was Jayne. He was puffing and grimacing, favoring his right leg. It’d have to be set in a cast.
“He in there?” He asked, hefting his favorite gun.

Malcom Reynolds Vs. Caleb (Parts 3-5)

When we last left off, The First Evil (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) brought its figurative "right-hand man," Caleb back to life and plotted to recruit the widely sought after River (Firefly/Serenity). Then, the First tricked Jayne (Firefly/Serenity) to aid it in its scheme. And now Parts 3-5 of Malcolm Reynolds Vs. Caleb.
“That ain’t good.” Mal said, staring at Serenity’s navigation coordinates. “That is very not good.” The coordinates had been locked and he hadn’t the foggiest idea of how to undo what was done. He had no idea of where to start. He was split between two thoughts, racing down the hallways in search of River and staying put and figuring the problem out. He was getting nowhere with the latter, but River had found thousands of little nooks and crannies to hide in on Serenity. He’d spend his time better looking for a needle in a haystack. The thought came to him all at once and he was racing down the hallways screaming Kaylee’s name.
She was normally where he could find her and she’d be at least a little useful in this situation. He spilled into the engine room and then screamed out in horror. Kaylee and Simon scrambled to untangle themselves from one another and gather their clothing. Mal kept his gaze toward the doorway.
“Captain…I…I.. was just helping Kaylee…”
“Simon, I will shoot you if you talk to me without pants on.” Simon silenced himself at once, hurrying into his black slacks.
“What seems to be the problem, Captain?” Kaylee asked, laughing slightly at Simon’s discomfort.
“Somebody, probably your moon-brained sister…” Mal said, pointing a finger at Simon. “…locked coordinates to god knows where. I don’t like it when my boat does things I didn’t tell it to do.”
“I’ll go up and see what I can do, Captain.” Kaylee said, skirting pass Mal.
“Simon, see if you can’t find out where your sister is. Maybe she can undo what she’s done.”
“If she did it.” Simon added.
“Go find her, please.” Mal said. Simon moved past him and down the hallway. Mal took a moment to process what he’d just seen and then he was off to the cockpit to see what could be done.
The cockpit was the way he had left it, completely empty. Kaylee had a head start, should have been in by now, working the problem, but she wasn’t. Little did Mal know, she was near, just unconscious.
“I wish I didn’t have to do that.” Jayne said, tucking Kaylee into a crate like a parent might tuck in a child.
“I know it.” The first said, grimacing down at Kaylee. “But she was the only one that could undo what we’ve done. She’ll wake up with a headache, I swear. You didn’t hit her that hard.”
“Still don’t feel right.” Jayne said, closing the crate.
“You’ll feel better about it in time.” The first said.
“What did you have me do to those lifeboats?” Jayne asked.
“Just me being nit-picky. I’d been after Mal to make minor repairs on them. The things that bother you when you’re dead.”
Serenity drifted like a leaf on the wind as Wash once said, moving ever closer to Reaver space. Mal and Zoe fumbled with the navigational controls, trying their hardest to stop what would happen anyway. Kaylee slept securely in her hiding place and Simon called looked for River in all the places he knew she liked to hide. River couldn’t hear his calls, because she had her hands clasped over her ears. Dead people were whispering horrible things to her.
Serenity arrived at her destination after Mal had ordered the crew into the lifeboats and came to realize that both had been disabled. Mal had the sense that he’d led his crew to the gallows. Though, he had no idea what it was, he was sure he’d failed them. They were coming on Death. That notion might have been close enough to the truth, but it didn’t look like Death when they came upon it. It looked like Mal, only dressed up like a Shepherd.

Malcolm Reynolds Vs. Caleb (Parts 1&2)

As promised, here I offer a Buffy/Firefly crossover.

1.“Caleb?” The sound curled through the air like sweet, sweet cotton candy. It was the most beautiful thing Caleb had heard in a very long time. And it wasn’t that this voice was the only voice he’d heard in centuries. It wasn’t that this was the voice of a little harlot he’d put on the end of a knife back when he was alive. It was that the First and most Purest form of Evil had not abandoned him like he had feared. The First had come for him. It’s power pulled his consciousness together like mercury and soon he was with form. He could see his hands and he could feel the first filling him with its strength. He attempted to fill his lungs with air, but none would come.
“Yeah. You’ll have to wait a spell for that. We’re a little ways away from any air. Don’t you worry yourself, though. No harm will come to you while I got you.” The first said.
“That is a comfort.” Caleb attempted to say, but with no air, there was no way for him to make noise.
“Yeah. That too.” The first made a girlish giggle that was an abomination to all laughter.
“So how is this supposed to work?” Caleb thought to himself.
“I thought that would be obvious, Caleb.”
“Of course.” Caleb thought. “What would you have of me?”
“I want you to see something. Close your eyes for me.” The first said with a seductive drawl.
“Open or close. It might be the same difference out here.” The former preacher peered deep into a vast black nothingness.
“Believe me, it’s better if your eyes are closed.” Caleb did as he was bid. Like he suspected, there was no difference between the black he saw with his eyes open than the black he saw with his eyes closed.
“You can open them now.” Caleb, again, did as he was bid. Now he was standing in a room filled with screaming and fighting. Bloodied men with axes and swords were being chopped down like wheat at harvest time. More over, the one doing the chopping was a little girl. She might have been about eighteen, if that. Her wavy, dark hair fanned out in arcs as she spun around the men’s attempts to end her. One by one, she fell them all and made it look like art. She was horribly still as the last of the men dropped to the ground. Blood spattered up either of her arms and marred her sundress.
“Slayer.” Caleb thought.
“I don’t blame you for thinking that, Caleb. No, she is something else. The slayers died out when the world died, but that’s all old news.”
“Not for me. When did the world die?”
“A long time from now. The humans didn’t need my help for an apocalypse after all.”
“I’m sure you could have done a better job at it than they ever did.”
“I’m sure I could.”
“Another question. You’re sure she ain’t a Slayer. She’s looking a hell of a lot like one.”
“I’m sure, Caleb.” The first said, sounding vaguely annoyed.
“I’m not afraid mind you. It’s just that the last Slayer I came up against sliced me from my balls to my neck. That will give any man pause.”
“Caleb, don’t be crude.”
“Fair enough.”
“Caleb, I want her. I want her in the worst way and I send you forth to gather her for me.”
“I haven’t been doing much lately, anyway.”
Jayne was doing in his bunk, what everyone assumed he did in his bunk when he was alone when the first appeared as an old friend.
“Christ, Jayne!” The first cried, turning his incorporeal head away from the large man. Jayne snatched up his pants and threw his blanket and pillow over his lap for good measure. A long string of Mandarin curses poured from Jayne’s mouth before he recognized the man standing before him.
“Wash?” Jayne said softly. His mouth fell open.
“You think they make bleach for eyes. If not, I’d have to settle for taking them out with a fork.” The first said.
“Wash, you’re dead.” Jayne said.
“Yes. That would be a way of thinking of it.”
“No. There ain’t no two ways about it. You got a big hunk of metal through your chest a while back.”
“Jayne, I’m aware. It hurt like hell, but here I stand, traumatized by your …that.”
“Your wife, Zoe. She don’t realize it, but I can hear her crying at night sometimes, alone in her bunk.”
“She’s hurting. I’ve seen. She has a hole in her that I need you to help me fill.”
“You asking me to sleep with your wife?” The first let out a string of Mandarin curses himself.
“No, Jayne. This hole isn’t literal. I need you to help bring me back to life. Next time the cockpit is empty, I need you to redirect the ship.”
“Why you ain’t talking to Mal about this. Why not your wife? Why me?”
“Because Mal, Zoe, River, Simon, Kaylee, they’re all going to sleep peacefully when they die. As much as we didn’t get along in life, I still wouldn’t wish what’s coming for you when you catch a bullet one of these days.”
“What do you mean?”
“The dead are eager to have you, Jayne. You’ve wronged a lot of men. Bad men, most of them, but men with grudges they all remain.” The first transformed into a dirty looking man with one eye gone.
“You shot me, Jayne. You shot me in the back over ten credits.”
The first transformed again, his face growing an eye where there was none. The face grew cleaner, more handsome.
“You shot me over five.” The first transformed again, a massive beard sprouting from his chin and stretching down his chest.
“You didn’t waste a bullet on me. You just left me drifting in a dead ship with only half an hour of air left. I didn’t die well.”
“It’ just like in those Christmas stories.” The first said, turning back into Wash. “You’re a bad man, Jayne and hell is waiting for you. I want to save you from that. One good deed. One great deed can make up for the sins of the past.”
“You sound like Shepherd Book.”
“The Shepherd was a wise man. You know what I’m saying to be true. Jayne, save yourself. Save me. Help me hold my wife again.”
“Where am I redirecting the ship to?” Jayne asked, his gaze directed at the ground.
“Straight into the edge of space, where the Reavers are.”
“Reavers!” Jayne shouted. He repented and repeated it as a whisper. “Reavers.”
“I don’t like it either. I don’t want my friends, my wife anywhere near there, but we don’t have a choice.”
“If I’m sending us into Revere Territory, I got to let the others know. It ain’t right to lead them into a fight, blind.”
“I have found my way across death. I’m the best pilot this ship has ever seen. Don’t worry about fighting with Reavers. I can get you where you need to be without ever having them notice.”
“You’re sure of that.”
“I am.” The first said, offering Jayne a smile.

Doesn't Seem Real

We once sat in an old row boat on Lake Placid, waiting for fish to bite. It was five of us at the time.

“This doesn’t seem real.” Jeff said as his beer bottle rolled from the kitchen table. Jeff had been shot in a spot just above his hip and we couldn’t take him to the hospital. The streets weren’t safe for us, weren’t safe for anyone. Jeff’s head rolled on his shoulders and flop-sweat made his dark hair cling to the side of his head. Jeff was pale. His skin was very near paper white and looked waxy. None of us had medical training, but we knew that the red stuff was supposed to stay on the inside. We wrapped his wound as best we could with a flower print sheet I found in an upstairs closet. I wanted Jeff to lie down in a bed or on the worn leather sofa, but he’d insisted on sitting at the table. He sat close to steady in the small, unclean kitchen, peering around stacks of dirty dishes. The beer came from the refrigerator, though the electricity was out. The beer bottles were warm to the touch and flat on the tongue. The four of us drank it anyway.

Jeff rocked the boat when he decided to piss off the side. The five of us roared with mock-anger.

Bert had been racing around the house, looking through the window and making himself sick with concern. His eyes were puffy with the understanding he was trying to refuse. Ralph and I got frustrated with him wrenching the window shades open and threw him into one of the kitchen chairs. He attempted to stand up again, insisting that Rebecca, his wife, could still be coming. He hadn’t accepted that she was dead. Her blood was speckled on all of our clothing. She’d been shot in front of us and we all scattered, Ralph holding Jeff in his arms. Bert fought hard to keep by her side and I dragged him away.
“She could be okay?” Bert made the statement sound like a question. The uncertainty in his voice suggested that he was expecting her death. I looked at him with miserable eyes and shook my head. Bert began to cry. He dropped his head onto the table with a soft thud and then his shoulders convulsed in time with his sobbing.

Rebecca dropped her head on Bert’s shoulder. She had never been much for sitting in a boat for hours on end, but the look on her face suggested that there was nowhere else in the world she’d rather be.

Ralph had found the house, had broke the door open. We were terrified that we wouldn’t be able to barricade the doors, but Ralph reminded us that it was just the streets that were unsafe. Ralph wrenched the refrigerator open and dropped a beer in front of Jeff and me. Later, he did the same for Bert. He cracked a beer for himself lastly and guzzled it. We all stayed silent, sick with the thought of Rebecca’s death and Bert’s sorrow. Ralph broke the silent with a loud grunt. He pounded his fist on the tabletop,
“This is terrible.” Ralph said, putting his bottle down on the floor.
“This doesn’t seem real.” Jeff said. His beer bottle fell off the table and smashed on the ground. In the distance, gunfire crackled. The air filled with the smell of sour beer.
“It seems like a dream. Like I should be hearing my alarm clock any minute now.” Jeff said. Jeff was horribly pale now and he shivered like the world was 20 degrees cooler for him. There was an explosion that rattled the windows. There was a sudden flash of orange that was quickly consumed by the black of the night. Women were screaming and there was another round of gunfire.
“Is this hell?” Bert asked, tears rolling down his cheeks.
“Probably.” Jeff answered.
“Don’t say that.” I told him.
“Jeff, are you okay?” Ralph asked. It was a stupid question, but it was a better line of conversation than the one that we were on.
“I feel sick.” Jeff said. “Forgive me, if I throw up.”
“It won’t be a problem. Throw up, if you have to.” I told him. Ralph started to laugh at that.
“Spew as much as you need to.” Ralph said. I wasn’t as funny when Jeff actually vomited. The kitchen filled with the acrid smell of bile.
“Sorry.” Jeff said. None of us tried to move.
“It’s fine.”
“Will it ever be daylight again?” Bert asked. Bert was pale as well. He rested his hands on the table with his beer bottle in the middle. He hadn’t attempted to drink.
“Just give it time, Bert. Day comes right after this part.” I assured him.

Ralph had chucked another beer can into the water. He’d been scolded about doing that. They slowly gravitated back toward the boat.

“How do you know that? It feels like this night has lasted for years. One thing after another.”
“It just feels that way.” I said.
“But how do you know that. Jeff’s dying…”
“Hey!” Jeff interrupted. His voice was slow and sleepy.
“ Rebecca’s dead. Some many others are dead. I could see children in the street. They want the children. They’re shackled…” Bert said.
“That’s enough.” Ralph said. Ralph got up and opened the refrigerator. He brought four more beers to the table. Bert had two untouched beers between his hands now. Jeff brought the beer to his lips and grimaced at the taste. He swished the fluid around in his mouth and then spat it out onto the floor.
“I don’t think we should die in here.” Bert said.
“We won’t die at all.” I told him.
“Jeff will.” Bert said.
“Hey!” Jeff said.
“You will.” Bert said, looking directly at his old friend.
“You can go back to looking for Rebecca, Bert.” Ralph said.
“She’s dead. They killed her.” Bert reminded him.
“You can leave the table all the same.” Ralph said firmly. Bert looked to me, but I kept my face stony.
“You need a minute. Just go take it.” Bullets rattled in the distance. They were closer now. Bert didn’t stand up and it was forgotten that he was asked to leave. There was another explosion. The window rattled again and harder than before. The flash of orange rushed in through the window and was followed by a vague heat. Men were screaming out orders. There was a round of machinegun fire.
“There was a woman playing a violin on the street corner…” Jeff started and then paused to suck down some of his beer.
“She was dressed in rags and her eyes were closed. She looked like she was deep into her music.”
“Do you hear that?” Bert said. Indeed, something was happening outside.
“I wasn’t sure what she was playing, but she was playing her heart out.”
“I think that they’re breaking down doors.” Bert said. There was the sound of wood breaking.
“It was the first time I’d seen it. She began to cry. A single tear rolled down her cheek. She’d moved herself with her music.” Bert got up and started looking out the windows.
“ I think that she’s dead now. I don’t think that she would have any place to hide.”
“God, they’re going into houses.”
“Get away from the windows.” I told Bert. Bert stayed by the windows, anyway. The sounds of booted feet came to our ears and Bert was advertising our presence. Ralph and I went to him without a word and we forced him away from the window. I caught a glance out onto the street. They were breaking down doors. Four of them were dragging a large man into the street. The man was fighting hard and he was only subdued when one of them got fed up and brought his rifle stock down on the man’s face. He went limp after that.

Rebecca had fallen asleep, her fishing pole had gone abandoned . None of them had got a single bit, what with the tomfoolery that was going on in the boat.

Ralph threw Bert into his abandoned chair and Bert stood back up. Ralph slammed a fist into his stomach to sit him back down. I put myself between the two of them after that, though I doubted that Bert would seek revenge or that Ralph would seek further violence. Bert puffed in his seat and Ralph took his.
“What does it mean that they’re going into people’s houses?” Bert asked when he caught up with his breath.
“Nothing…I don’t know… Nothing we need to concern ourselves as long as we stay quiet and stay still.” Ralph told him.
“Yeah.” I wasn’t sure about that.
“What do they do with the children?” Bert asked.
“I don’t know.” Ralph said. Ralph had his hands clasped together and his muscles were twitching under his flesh.
Sweat beaded on Bert’s brow. It rolled down to his cheek and his head dropped between his knees. He began to sob softly.
Jeff had his head lolled back and he was terribly still. His beer bottle sat, abandoned on the tabletop.
“Jeff?” I asked. My skin prickled in the silence. Ralph’s eyes moved to Jeff.
“Is he breathing?” Ralph asked.
“Jeff?” I called to him again.
“Shit.” Ralph said aloud, standing and moving to Jeff’s still body. He put his hand on Jeff’s shoulder and shook him. Jeff kicked up his head and gasped deeply. His eyes were wild and laced with little red capillaries.
“I’m sorry, I got tired.” He said, bringing his hand to his face.
“You want another beer?” Ralph asked. I didn’t mention that Jeff hadn’t finished his current beer.
“Sure.” Jeff said. Ralph went to the refrigerator and dropped a bottle in front of Jeff. He took sleepy sip at the new beer once and attempted to put it on the tabletop and missed. The bottle smashed on the floor. He jerked forward from the shock of it.
“Shit.” Jeff said, leaning over to see the mess on the floor.
“We should move down into the basement or something.” I said. Gunfire perforated through my thoughts. There was a long silence and Ralph moved to help Jeff up. Jeff put his arm around his Ralph’s shoulder. I patted Bert on the shoulder, but he didn’t respond.
“Bert, we need to move.” Bert raised his head and looked at me. He was still for a moment and then he was pushing me over. I fell on my back, felling Jeff’s lukewarm sick and lukewarm beer and broken bits of glass. Then Bert burst a bottle on the kitchen table. The table shifted and whined before beer flavored glass showered down near me. I threw my arms over my head to avoid the worst of the shower. Then he was gone. He was out the door and he was screaming curses at them. There was gunfire and I knew he was dead. They must have seen where he came from because lights were bobbing in the windows.

The thin, translucent chord of Rebecca’s fishing pole twitched. Had it happened a moment before, it would have gone unnoticed, but their conversation had gone back to fishing.

I scrambled across the kitchen floor to where the basement door hung open. Ralph and Jeff were already halfway down when I spilled down the stairs. I reached up, through the darkness and gripped the doorknob. I pulled it shut as quietly as possible as footsteps crested the threshold. I could see the lights sway lazily from under the door frame. Jeff and Ralph were stock-still and I followed their example. I didn’t dare breath, being as close to them as I was.
“Four.” A crackling voice announced through static. Even when they were in the same room, they spoke to each other over the radio.
“There’s a track.” Another voice said. I felt cold wash over me as I realized that I had fallen into a puddle of beer, vomit and most likely blood. I had given us all away.
“Run.” I said in a breathless whisper. Ralph and Jeff hadn’t understood what I had said and I heard them approach the basement door, their boots crunching though glass. I decided to forgo caution.
“Run!” I yelled and Ralph hurried down the stairs with Jeff hanging on his shoulder for dear life. I followed down the stairs as the basement door burst open and a metal canister bounced after me.

Bert was the one to grab her pole. He’d done it with enough zeal, that Rebecca woke up. Her jaw dropped in excitement, as she realized that it was her fishing pole.

At the bottom of the stairs was a bulkhead, which Ralph was slamming his shoulder into. I didn’t think it wise to leave out that way, but it was too late. White gas spewed up into the air and I threw my shirt up over my nose and mouth. I moved deeper into the basement, my heart sinking as boots pounded on the wooden stairs. I had to run. Call me a coward, but there was no time. I saw an exit, a window that led into the black of night. I fumbled with the rusted latch and loosed it. I wrenched the window up and left Ralph and Jeff. A hand gripped my foot, but my shoe slipped off and I broke free. I was running down across the lawn when the gunfire sounded. I knew Ralph and Jeff were dead. I kept running, although I had no idea where I was running to. Bullets whizzed passed me and again and again, I thought I had died. The only thing that convinced me that I was still breathing was the fact that I was still running. I cut off of my suburban street into a wooded area. The bundle of trees was thin, but thick enough that I could hide from the lights they held. The lights stabbed the air as I crouched down by the side of an overturned tree. There was too many of them, too little space to hide.

She was screaming in excitement, bouncing in her seat. Bert transferred the fishing pole back to her. Bert cheered her on as she reeled in whatever was on the end of her twine.

There was gunfire in the distance. It wasn’t meant for me, but it was startling all the same. Bombs burst and shook the ground. They were descending down toward me, their guns drawn and their boots crunching the undergrowth. I wanted to run, but the noose was closing around my neck. They were coming. They were going to kill me.

The five of them laughed as a boot spun slowly on the end of Rebecca’s fishing pole. Bert and Rebecca kept the boot as a meager souvenir. Bert jokingly planted it on the mantle of their home. Rebecca didn’t find it as funny.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Late, but not forgotten...

Normally, I have something new up by now, but April has been a very busy month for me. I currently have maybe nine original stories on the burner, a few of which will be up before the month is out. Whedon fans rejoice, I'm putting up a Firefly/Buffy the Vampire Slayer crossover very soon!