Sunday, January 11, 2015

Storycubes Week 2

Four out of five again, Week 2's post, which I will keep on my Kinja blog so as not to clutter up thursday tales.  Surprisingly, the characters from last week told me they wanted another chance at this, so I gave it to them.  We'll see if they continue to be StoryCube regulars or what happens with them. The idea after all is to be a writing prompt, so maybe, just maybe they will be explored in more depth later (or as soon as next week)!

First diamonds, and now what, a fish? Not even a live fish, some fossilized something or other. And they weren’t even worried about the whole thing. They wanted a number of fragments, whatever I could get, and the pay would be based on what I brought them.

Whatever, at least Donovan was out of the picture. Boy had the buyer been surprised when I showed up instead of him. But, they’d gotten what they wanted, and I, despite being weary from the fatigue of walking nearly fifty miles back into town, had gotten quite a payout, and a further opportunity.

I checked my flashlight, still bright, and I had an extra set of batteries too. I double checked my gun, chambered a round, and tucked it into the front of my black jeans. This would be easy, I told myself as I slid silently out of my car, making sure not to make any noise as it shut. I snuck into the dig site and easily found the guard, smoking a cigarette beneath the lone light, right next to the fossils.

I looked around for something to use as a distraction and found a large rock, about the size of my fist. I hefted it, testing its weight, and kissing it for luck, threw it to the other side of the camp, hoping that it would make it the distance to the trailer that rested on cinder blocks. With an echoing clunk, the rock found its mark and I heard the guard mutter something about punk kids under his breath before he switched on his flashlight and, him, along with his conical beam of light, left the fossils side.

As quietly as possible, I rushed to the dig and peeled back the blue tarp that protected it from the elements, smiling  at the dozen small pieces that had already been layered in plaster, each no bigger than my middle finger in length, and nearly three times as wide. As I began to shove the fossils into my bag I heard a scream coming from near the trailer, followed by scuffling footsteps.

Shit, I said to myself, shoving one more piece into my bag before slinging it over my shoulder, grunting beneath the weight of the plaster covered bones, and turning tail. I didn’t make it far before I realized I could see my breath. I didn’t stop running, but I pulled my phone from my pocket and quickly checked the weather. A stifling ninety degrees of New Mexico desert night. I risked a glance over my shoulder and stopped dead in my tracks, my feet skidding in the sand and small rocks.

“That’s right Chris, take a good look.” Donovan said, the blood still darkening his forehead where I shot him.

I did not take any chances, instead turning as I pulled the gun from my jeans and dropping my phone. I emptied the gun and watched as his body jerked from the impact of at least half a dozen bullets, but he just kept laughing.

“You should have taken my deal Chris.”

“What the hell are you?” I said but did not wait for a response, instead I used what little wits I still had about me to grab my phone before running toward my car, and that is when I saw Jordan.

“Remember me?”

“Fuck!” I screamed, and almost threw the empty gun at him “Leave me alone!” I changed directions, making for a stack of barrels, hoping to at least put them between me and the two, who, or better yet, what were they?

I swear I felt his hand try to grab me, but I made it to the barrels, managing to keep the double stacked blue drums between myself and both of my old associates.

“Your car’s over here,” Donovan laughed and I did my best to ignore him trying to think up a plan.

“What do you want Donovan?” I finally ventured, not sure what I’d gain.

“It’s a bit late to negotiate now, isn’t it old buddy?” He said, reaching through a gap between the barrels and grabbing ahold of my shirt.

I jumped back, the fabric tearing in the process, a piece of my top remaining in Donovan’s outstretched hand.

With my new distance, I saw my opportunity and rushed forward, throwing my shoulder into the top row of barrels, pushing them over on top of Donovan and Jordan.

I did not wait to see how well I had faired, instead rushing around the remaining barrels and sprinting all out for my car. I managed to slam the door and hit the locks, fumbling the keys into the ignition before I even glanced up to see Donovan shambling toward me, water dripping from his soaked clothes. I floored it, knocking him over, not slowing down. I checked my rear view mirror but did not see him. Afraid I was dragging him, I almost stopped, but instead I gunned it, laughing nervously as I finally saw the lump of flesh and rags that was my former companion roll out to the left.

“What have I gotten myself into?” I asked as I sped down the dark road, heading back into the city, a bag full of stolen fossils sitting in the passenger seat.

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