Saturday, 16 October 2010

My Third #FridayFlash - Steamed

WARNING: Story has only been proofread a couple of times. Wrote it yesterday.

Brian woke to a crashing sound. It sounded like his cabin was being squeezed inside a giant vice. He rolled off his bunk to the floor, and fell off his feet as the ship swayed violently. It was a lucky coincidence because at that same moment the whole ship began to tilt even more wildly out of control.

Instincts kicking in, he grabbed a hold of the nearest object: a medium sized wooden chest full of his personal belongings. Holding on for his life the cabin suddenly rocked in the opposite direction and did a full somersault. The cabin fell apart under the pressure and to his amazement he splashed into the water; cutting and banging himself badly on the wooden chest and debris.

He collected himself and tried to recover from the shock. Brian was surprised to discover the sea was relatively calm around him. Still dark, he couldn't see what had happened to his ship. Debris and parts of the ship floated all around him. Clinging tightly to the chest he paddled around. Taking a three sixty degree view of area. The sun was just rising on the horizon. 

His jaw dropped as he took in what was looming up over him a few hundred yards away. It was a galleon style ship, but so different to any he had seen before. Stretching out from its sides were massive steel arms with deadly looking claw like pincers on the ends. Pincers large enough to grab his humble fishing boat and toss it to the heavens.

Hoping not to be spotted he dropped behind his chest and held onto the handle. Now that things had settled he could hear the steam powered engines of the ship whirring off in the distance. Minutes of nerve wracking tension eked on by, just as he thought he might be in the clear the chest began to rise up into the air. Within seconds he was above the ship's deck, he dropped down. Moments later the chest was unceremoniously dropped from the pincer. Crashing to the floor and splitting open.

Soaking wet, Brian breathed in deeply and out, trying to gauge what he should do next. He contemplated diving overboard, but facing the crew of the ship seemed like a better prospect than being deserted and left to be eaten by sharks. Out of nowhere something whizzed at his head. Not seeing it in time Brian got another scrape along the side of his head to add to his other injuries.

“Stowaway! Stowaway!” squawked what looked like a parrot, but it was like no parrot he had ever seen. It seemed to be half bird and half machine.

Brian quickly snatched up the lid of the chest in case it came in for another attack. He watched as it flew up and landed on what only could be described as a pirate. But like the parrot there was something very peculiar about the individual. Not only exceedingly tall he was also part machine. Cogs, gears and cams could be seen whizzing around in the man's artificial right arm and left leg. All the enhancements as you might call them were bronze in colour. It matched the plate that covered the top left hand side of his face. A big gleaming red eye stood out in centre of the plate. The pirate's gaze bored into the back of Brian's head.

He had only been the cook on the ship, and he was normally the one who took things lightly or shrugged things off, but this time he wasn't going to stand aside and let life do with him as it pleased. This time he was going to make his will and desires count. Besides he had baked a delicious rhubarb pie the night before and he was looking forward to serving it to the rest of the crew in the morning. That had all been changed by this hideous pirate and his flying bag of bolts.

“I thought we killed them all,” sighed the pirate as if Brian was little more than an insect that had to be stomped on. “See to it will you Nicodemus.”

“I will see to you, you rotten dirt bag!” shouted Brian charging forward with his lid in hand.

Brian swung savagely with all his strength at the pirate. Undeterred the heavily scarred man raised his mechanical arm. The already damaged lid smashed to pieces harmlessly off the man's mechanical arm.

Defending its master the parrot went for Brian's face. It dug its claws into Brian's skin as he backed away trying to swat it off. Wiping away the blood now pouring down his face with one hand Brian used his other hand to grab the parrot firmly by the neck. It squawked and protested loudly as he ripped it away from his face. Intense pain shot through his left eye as the parrot pecked wildly at his eye as Brian pulled it away. Enraged Brian grabbed the evil parrot with both hands and rung its neck. Its red eye slowly faded away to darkness.

“No!” boomed the pirate. “Not Niccy!”

He wasn't sure if it was the pain or the adrenaline that was driving him one, but Brian felt positively invigorated. The insidious pirate lunged forward shouting like a mad man. Seeing the dagger he kept in his chest shining in the morning sun Brian snatched it up, and shoved it into the pirate's chest. Choking on his own blood the pirate collapsed to the floor.

Free to roam Brian discovered that the pirate had run the ship on his own. Piles of junk and loot crowded most of the monstrosity of a ship. Under it all he found a usable kitchen.

Surveying the seas before him Brian took another mouthful of meat. It wasn't rhubarb pie, but he had to admit Nicodemus tasted rather good.

With the ship and all the equipment at hand he contemplated becoming a pirate himself. A less ruthless pirate, but a pirate none the less. He wondered if “One-eye Bri” would be a fitting name?

The End

Friday, 1 October 2010

My Second #Friday Flash - Celebrity Sniper

The motorcade blurred through my sniperscope. They had beefed up security, but it wouldn't do them any good. Ever since I sniped Britney a couple of weeks ago the world had descended into a frenzy. Flood a half country and kill a few hundred thousand people you capture the world's attention for a few days. Kill an often despised celebrity and you're the talk of the whole world for eternity. Look at Lee Harvey, sixty years after the fact and still everyone knows his name

That's why I'm in this. I'm no genius, I can't invent something and be remembered forever. I wasn't born with a silver spoon up my arse. I can't buy myself fame. But fame isn't what I want. I want to be infamous. I wanna leave my mark on this world that no one can clean off.

Britney was a nerve wracking experience. Sure I had killed deer and the like before, but this was different. This was a real live human being with a family and fans who think they know her so well that they would consider her family, but if the tabloids were to be believed she was a pisspoor mother and conniving as the next drugged up starlet. It was tempting to do it at night during one of her drinking binges, but it would have had less impact that way. Besides I like a challenge. I took her out during one of her press releases. It was a marketing event to promote her latest perfume BS, which I thought was rather fitting.

She had just announced to the crowd that the rumours about her becoming a nun was untrue when my bullet went through back of her head. It had the desired effect not only was she dead, slumped on the lap of a shocked photographer, but the crowd went absolutely mental.

It was the most exhilarating moment of my life, and the best part is they have no leads on who did it. I was very paranoid for the next few days, but nothing materialized. It was tempting to go for my next target as soon as possible, but I had to wait. Give people the false sense of security that it was a once off thing.

Back to the matter at hand. This person I had no qualms about killing. Not that I had anything against him, just that I once liked his movies and his recent behavior has left a lot to be desired. There he was now surrounded by bodyguards; black shades and black suits in one hundred degree weather. Getting them out of the sun would do them a favor.

The radio strapped to my belt announced that he was ready to speak. “Mel will now take your questions.”

My finger tightened on the trigger. Just a few more seconds.

“Do you think you can ever rebuild your reputation and career?”

“Of cou....” Mel was cut short. A bullet had just blasted open his windpipe. Gurgling sounds faded away as the crowd of reporters started to scream.

The radio suddenly went dead.

I smiled and casually began to dismantle my gun. My mind already forming a plan for my next target.

The End?

2010 (c) Copyright - Craig Smith