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End of Diplomacy

by Jiggity


On a busy commercial street there was a shop. It was tucked away between larger buildings, secluded and dark. Out of the flow of commuters, stepped a tall man in a dark suit, directly in front of the shop called TRINKETS AND TREASURES. Unlike the other businesses, none entered this place. He stepped forward, heralded by a small tinkle above the door.

Immediately he was overcome by stale, dusty air. All about him there were all manner of oddities: model aircraft, figurines of dragons, wizards…truly it was aptly named. His son would have loved it, he thought, smiling sadly. Behind the counter, a lanky, be-speckled teen looked up from the comic he was reading. His smile of welcome was replaced with a look of horror as he saw the man before him. He shot upwards, upending his chair with a crash and scattering objects everywhere.

“You couldn’t…couldn’t possibly” he stuttered “Couldn’t be, you couldn’t know…”

“I’m sorry Comrade”, the tall man said softly, in a husky Russian accent. He pulled out a sleek pistol, with suppressor already attached. Seeing his intent, the boy tried to run out a back exit, but made it only to the doorway. A soft sound, then the boy crashed onto the floor, a small red stain already spreading down the side of his face.

The man closed his eyes softly, “Target acquired”, he whispered. Tucking the gun away, he walked over to the exit. Taking out some tissues with his gloved hands, he gently wiped the blood spatter and brain matter away. When done he placed the bloodied tissues in a plastic bag, then turned to set about returning the desk to its natural state. Switching on the computer, he quickly accessed and activated the meltdown process. Every hacker had one; it would destroy all files, encoded or otherwise. He took one last look around, noting the dusty stairway in the corner, but seeing nothing untoward. Satisfied that his Mission was completed, he turned to leave and that’s when he heard it. A soft sound, a scuffle or sob that came from above. The assassin froze then swore softly in his native Russian; someone else was here, a possible witness. Stalking forward softly, he glided towards the stairs, walking up them on silent feet. He stopped at the top and looked around carefully. There were three rooms branching off from where he stood, one on either side of him and another directly ahead. In between them all were uncarpeted floorboards.

The man walked slowly towards the room ahead, making the floorboards creak only slightly. He reached the door in mere moments, turned the handle and withdrew his gun in one smooth motion. Facing him, however, was nothing more threatening then a toilet. He was in the bathroom. Frowning slightly, he turned around and tried the door to the left of the stairs. It was locked.

“Open the door Comrade,” he called out. Hearing nothing in reply, he tried again “Please, do not make me hurt you, just open the door.”

“Y-y-you won’t hurt me?” A teenage voice stammered, after a moment’s silence. “I-I-I don’t want to die, man. Oh god I don’t want to die.”

“No one does Comrade, that I promise you, now please. Open the door” The man closed his eyes, hating to lie but knowing that it was necessary. A moment later, he heard scrambling noises, followed by footsteps, then the sound of a lock turning. The door creaked open, revealing a geek’s equivalent of wealth; signed and framed posters of superheroes plastered the walls like a second layer of paint. Stacks of comics lay every which way, covering the small bed, and figurines/bobble heads stood tall, silent sentinels amid this geek’s abode. But what caught his attention was the computer screen in the corner- its glow filled the small room.

Before he could see just what was on the screen, a head popped into sight from behind the door, obscuring his view. The boy was breathing shallowly, sweat beaded his brow and upper lip, and he held an asthma puffer in his hand. Tears leaked from red-rimmed eyes, he sniffled. “Come in dude.”

The man silently crossed the threshold.

“Look man, I-I- didn’t see anything I swear, so you don’t—’’

He cut off with a gulp as the Russian raised his gun and gently placed the tip to his head. “I’m going to ask you something, once and once only” he said softly “I know you saw what happened, but only one thing matters: did you tell anyone?” here he nodded in the direction of the computer. The boy’s eyes flicked to it in alarm, answering the question, then returned slowly to the man’s face.

He looked away then squeezed the trigger. A soft sound, the brother to the one emitted only moments ago, was followed by the body crumpling to the ground.

Blood and brain matter was everywhere; too much to clean quickly. He went swiftly to the computer and was just in time to see a message pop up:

Message sent to freaky_geek@hotmail.com

He swore viciously, then accessed the ‘freaky geek’s’ information: 17, 22 Wellard Pl, Moore Heights. This was a distraction he couldn‘t afford, time was running out…

He activated the Meltdown process, turned, and stepping over the dead boy left the room. As he was walking down the stairs he noticed a small plastic statue of an embattled dragon; rearing above some human invaders. It was $5.99. He took out the correct money, placed it on the desk and left as quietly as he had entered, dragon in tow.

He could have gone to his luxury BMW, but instead he walked the distance to a bus stop where a vehicle awaited. He paid his fare and sat down as the bus clunked and rattled to life. Some moments later, he reached into his breast pocket, and took out his most prized possession: a fragile photo. Gently, he thumbed it straight and gazed down at his smiling family. His little boy, still fascinated by wizards, his baby girl with burnished golden curls held in the beaming arms of his wife. He swallowed painfully around the lump in his throat. And there he stood, a dark menacing shadow, grinning feebly—spoiling an otherwise golden picture.

“Soon, soon I will have you free” He pledged “I swear it by God, I will have you free!”


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Sat May 06, 2006 1:46 am
Jiggity says...



Okay then, your the first to mention that. Thanks though for the comment, tis always appreciated.




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Wed May 03, 2006 11:33 am
Bazoo wrote a review...



Suspenseful...



Decent, could make a good story. Yes, a bit cliche'd at the very beginning. But some stories like to start that way, if you know what I mean.


I mostly liked the intro, but I just didn't like the first sentence.

On a busy commercial street there was a shop.


That just...seemed odd to me. I know what you were saying, that the shop was small and unnoticeable among the many other businesses on that street/in that city, but it's just a bit of a random way to say it to me.

Possibly, you could begin by describing the way people moved along that street, etc.




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Tue May 02, 2006 5:05 am
Jiggity says...



Yes, thanks people. I fixed up that little "too quickly" thing earlier.

But again, Cheers.




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Tue May 02, 2006 2:40 am
Torpid says...



yea, hes a russian! yeeeyeee!!

cool, not as good as the first but rock on!!!




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Tue May 02, 2006 12:37 am
IceCreamMan wrote a review...



Blood and brain matter was everywhere; too much too clean quickly. He went quickly to the computer and was just in time to see a message pop up:


The part I'd like to point out here is that you say "[...]too clean quickly. He went quickly [...]."

First off, "too" should be "to" as someone already pointed out. Then, having "quickly" in the first sentance and in the second is too redundant. Especially because in the first sentance it is towards the end, whereas in the second it is towards the beginning. Change one of them. Use a thesaurus if you can't think of a good substitute.

Thats about it.

Its kinda creepy, but extremely addictive. I like it.




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Tue May 02, 2006 12:01 am
timjim77 wrote a review...



Some technical things:

1. Do not change tense. The story begins in the present tense, then switches to the past. Present could possibly work since it would make th story more intense. past is probably a safer bet.
2. Do not become wordy. When you use words that are too big or cumbersome it becomes particularly present. In action fiction especially you want your structure and sentence to reflect your mood. Your moood is tense and face-paced. Simple sentences and short words work better here, pushing the reader to the edge of every thought. You do want to break it up occassionally to give us a breath.

Other than those things, this was well done. You used imagery effectively and you showed the action rather than telling us it. For that particularly I commend you. There was once or twice you could have told us a little less, such as "in a voice laden with sarcasm", but that's up to your discretion. Nice work. I wanna see more!




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Sun Apr 30, 2006 7:50 am
Jiggity says...



This is the next part, enjoy.

*******

As the bus took him to some unknown destination, he waited. He would be contacted soon; he merely had to wait patiently. The bus screeched to a halt, jerking him forward. The doors slammed open, and an old European looking dame stepped forward, burdened by shopping bags. “Apologies bus driver, I is being not as young as once was, yes” She said in a heavy accent, chuckling and breathing heavily at the same time.

He watched her with contempt.

She paid her fare then waddled forward slowly, wincing as the doors slammed behind her, loud as a gunshot. As the bus lurched back into motion, she staggered, coming to her knees right in front of him. A letter was slid across the seat then pocketed

“Is the mission completed?” She asked in Russian.

He hesitated.

“Well?”

“Yes.” He said curtly in their tongue “The inventors are dead and their secrets with them. One managed to send a message before I got to him. I go now to the recipient’s house.”

She absorbed this information for a moment, “We had not planned on you killing both of them, Piotr, for we had hoped to ply the other for information.” She sighed tiredly, looking every inch an old woman, rather then the highly skilled assassin-turned spymaster that she was. “Ah, perhaps you have done us a favour Piotr, and saved us from making a terrible mistake. Also, they were not inventors; they merely found what was once lost. They did not create it.”

Piotr shrugged, it didn’t matter either way to him. He appraised the woman for a moment, “Would you like some help, Old Mother?” he said, referring to her position.

She grimaced, “No, you buffoon. I would much rather kneel in pain, at your feet!” she said, voice laden with sarcasm. “Of course I would like your help”

He raised her forward, letting her sit beside him. As she rested, she noticed the photo he still clutched in his hand. Immediately the craggy, stern face softened, “Are those your—’’ she began, then sucked in a sudden breath as she felt a blade come to rest at her armpit. He leaned in, “If you say another word, if you ever speak of my family in my presence, I will kill you, old dame. It is not for the evil to speak of the good.”

She stiffened. “Apologies, Piotr. I meant no offence.” She breathed deeply, controlling her racing heart as the blade tip was removed. Then heaving her bulk up, she exclaimed in poor English, “Sank you young man, is much appreciated.” No one payed notice to her farce. Piotr hissed fiercely, “You can give the act a rest,” he was increasingly irked by her pretence.

She leaned forward, then planted a grandmotherly kiss on his forehead and whispered, in perfectly fluent English, “No, peter. I can’t.” And she smiled sadly, “It is all I have now.” With that, she turned and went to sit in another seat, an old European woman once more.




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Sun Apr 23, 2006 8:23 am
Ego says...



Anytime, pal--always a pleasure to read your stuff! I really should finish Shadow...I'll get to it eventually, I promise!

If you want me to crit anything else, hit me up with a PM and I'll get on it!




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Sun Apr 23, 2006 7:11 am
Jiggity says...



Cool. Thanks for the comments...god I sound like a broken record. From now on it mus be assumed that I appreciate comments, which I do.

Phoenix, some good tips given and I'll take a look at those parts mentioned. As for the blood splatter: it was on the wall but I must not have mentioned that and I understand about the spreading stain thing.

Cheers,
Jiggy.




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Sat Apr 22, 2006 11:40 am
Myth says...



It's much better now that is has been edited and Phoenix has already gone through most of it so there are no errors that I can see. Write more!




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Sat Apr 22, 2006 5:01 am
Ego wrote a review...



On a busy commercial street there was a shop. It was tucked away between larger buildings, secluded and dark. Out of the flow of commuters, stepped a tall man in a dark suit, directly in front of the shop called TRINKETS AND TREASURES. Unlike the other businesses, none entered this place. He stepped forward, heralded by a small tinkle above the door.


Very nice intro, Jiggy. Nice use of both compound and simple sentences, good word choice, and an interesting way to bring us into it.

Immediately he was overcome by stale, dusty air. All about him there were all manner of oddities: model aircraft, figurines of dragons, wizards…truly it was aptly named. His son would have loved it, he thought, smiling sadly. Behind the counter, a lanky, be-speckled teen looked up from the comic he was reading. His smile of welcome was replaced with a look of horror as he saw the man before him. He shot upwards, upending his chair with a crash and scattering objects everywhere.


In the “all about him…” sentence, you use “All” twice, and I think that’s one too many, lol. You might want to find a different word there?

“You couldn’t…couldn’t possibly” he stuttered “Couldn’t be, you couldn’t know…”

“I’m sorry Comrade”, the tall man said softly, in a husky Russian accent. He pulled out a sleek pistol, with suppressor already attached. Seeing his intent, the boy tried to run out a back exit, but made it only to the doorway. A soft sound, then the boy crashed onto the floor, a small red stain already spreading down the side of his face.


The way you word the gun-wound, it sounds like he’s wearing a mask or something, because blood doesn’t really “spread” down skin…it more runs or drips, because it follows the contours of muscle…did that make sense? You might want to reconsider your word usage there. Very nice otherwise.

The man closed his eyes softly, “Target acquired”, he whispered. Tucking the gun away, he walked over to the exit. Taking out some tissues with his gloved hands, he gently wiped the blood spatter and brain matter away. When done he placed the bloodied tissues in a plastic bag, then turned to set about returning the desk to its natural state. Switching on the computer, he quickly accessed and activated the meltdown process. Every hacker had one; it would destroy all files, encoded or otherwise. He took one last look around, noting the dusty stairway in the corner, but seeing nothing untoward.


“Acquired”…that’s kind of an odd word to use here…maybe “exterminated?” “Terminated?” “Eliminated?” Acquired has a different meaning…it’s more like receiving or finding than killing…

Where is he wiping the blood from? His hands, his clothes, the boy? I wasn’t quite sure about that. If it’s on him…would the blood spatter reach him if the boy ran for the door?

“Open the door Comrade,” he called out. Hearing nothing in reply, he tried again “Please, do not make me hurt you, just open the door.”

“Y-y-you won’t hurt me?” A teenage voice stammered, after a moment’s silence. “I-I-I don’t want to die, man. Oh god I don’t want to die.”


Good dialogue--nice use of stammering, haha.

“No one does Comrade, that I promise you, now please. Open the door” The man closed his eyes, hating to lie but knowing that it was necessary. A moment later, he heard scrambling noises, followed by footsteps, then the sound of a lock turning. The door creaked open, revealing a geek’s equivalent of wealth; signed and framed posters of superheroes plastered the walls like a second layer of paint. Stacks of comics lay every which way, covering the small bed, and figurines/bobble heads stood tall, silent sentinels amid this geek’s abode. But what caught his attention was the computer screen in the corner- its glow filled the small room.


So far he has used the word “comrade every time he’s spoken. We’ve already established he has an accent…but they don’t use the word every time they speak, lol. You might want to eliminate a few of the “comrades” in his speech.


He looked away then squeezed the trigger. A soft sound, the brother to the one emitted only moments ago, was followed by the body crumpling to the ground.

Blood and brain matter was everywhere; too much too clean quickly. He went quickly to the computer and was just in time to see a message pop up:

Message sent to freaky_geek@hotmail.com


“too much too clean quickly,” should just be “too much to clean quickly.”

Interesting story, overall--eagerly awating more. We don’t have a name or a face to go with the protagonist, but it’s still early, and you can give that to us later, I suppose. Nice touch with the dragons, by the way. Added lots of life to the story, for some reason.

Well done so far Jiggy, keep it up.

--Dono




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Sat Apr 22, 2006 4:02 am
Jiggity says...



I'll take it then, that you like this newer version, eh Torpy. Im not sure when I will post/write the next part, but it shouldnt be too long from now.




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Fri Apr 21, 2006 2:25 am
Torpid says...



ADD MORE. PART 2! WHEN'S IT DUE?




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Thu Apr 20, 2006 11:43 pm
Jiggity says...



Yeah, the 'M' was meant to be capitalized. Thanks for your comments Doe and others. I personally think there isnt enough to it. As if he should have done more, what with being a professional and all. So, Ive added to it. Tell me if it's better or worse.

Thanks,
~Jiggy.




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Thu Apr 20, 2006 9:53 am
Myth wrote a review...



On a busy commercial street there was a shop. It was tucked away between larger buildings, secluded and dark. Out of the flow of commuters, stepped a tall man in a dark suit, directly in front of the shop called TRINKETS AND TREASURES. Unlike the other businesses, none entered this place. He stepped forward, heralded by a small tinkle above the door.


I like the beginning but it was a little clichéd.

The man closed his eyes softly, “Target acquired”, he whispered.


I was confused here, can you close your eyes 'softly' or is it meant to be 'slowly'?

His Mission completed, he turned to leave.


Does the 'm' in Mission supposed to be capitalised?

It was $5.99. He took out the correct money, placed it on the desk and left as quietly as he had entered, dragon in tow.


The great thing about this is I didn't expect a man like him (mercenary?) to actually do that, I'd have thought he'd take it without paying for it. Also I like the idea of him being a killer yet boy a toy for his kid, it shows although he may be a 'bad man' he still has love for his own son. (Or am I wrong there?)

This is really interesting, you've got me wandering why he went around killing people and do you plan to write more because this is really good.




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Wed Apr 05, 2006 3:01 am
Jiggity says...



Awesome, thanks for your comments. I'll get to fixing those errors. As for the BMW/Bus thing, yes there are reasons for its existence, the primary one being that he is wealthy and yet opts instead to take a bus ride. There's another reason why he takes the bus but that'll be explained later.

Thanks again!




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Tue Apr 04, 2006 10:42 pm
Doctor Kitty wrote a review...



Ooh. Mysterious! :O

I liked it. Pretty original. Pretty decent "reader catcher" past the first few sentences. I'm curious as to why what happened happened. Write more. :P





=========================================================================

It was tucked away between larger buildings, secluded and dark. Out of the flow of commuters, stepped a tall man in a dark suit,

Comma splice.

Tucking the gun away, he walked over the exit. Taking out some tissues with his gloved hands, he gently wiped the blood spatter and brain matter away.

It may just be a pet peave of mine but two participial phrases in a row bothers me. :P

His Mission completed, he turned to leave. Noticing as he did so, a small plastic statue of an embattled dragon, rearing above some human invaders.

Personally, I found this a little strenuous. I personally think combining those sentences would work a little better.
Something like:
"His Mission was complete. As he turned to leave..." yada yada yada. You get the point. It makes the whole sentence a little less passive. Of course, there are many other ways to combine them, too...

He could have gone to his luxury BMW, but instead he walked the distance to a bus stop where a vehicle awaited. He paid his fare and sat down as the bus clunked and rattled to life.

I don't quite understand the point of the luxury BMW. Will its significance be explained later on?

Some moments later, he reached into his breast pocket, and took out his most prized possession: a fragile photo.

Comma splice.

Gently, he thumbed it straight and gazed down at his smiling family.

I know what you're trying to say, but it's a bit of a strange phrase. Although, I can't think of a better way to say it either. :P

And a few sentences needed commas at the end of quotes. Other than that, good job.

:idea: :idea: :idea:
Three smilies for you.




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Sat Apr 01, 2006 1:51 am
Jiggity says...



Cool. Cheers ppl. I'll add on as soon as I can, Im all too busy lately. I wish I could just focus on my stories, but I cant at the moment. We'll see what happens.

Thanks for the comments, and please if you feel there is something that needs to be improved upon...dont hesitate to mention it.

Cheers,
~Jiggy




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Fri Mar 31, 2006 7:42 pm
Lizzybethrae wrote a review...



That was good. Okay, so that was very good. It was original like everyone else has said.

You started off kind of weak, but it got better the farther you read. Your grammar, punctuation, and spelling is good, but could do with a small bit of improvement. Just piddly stuff. It didn't take away from the story though. Hopefully we'll get a bit more of a description of the main character later on. There wasn't much physical description which left a lot up to the reader. I hope we get some more background too.

Really good so far. Not great, but really good. :)

:D :D :D :)

3.5/5 smilies.




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Fri Mar 31, 2006 7:03 pm
Poetriez says...



Thanks For orginality ive noiticed its been mentioned before I have started an oringinal story or i belive to be orriginal but i didnt know what to put it under but yah keep it up dont fall in the groove




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Fri Mar 31, 2006 3:40 am
Jiggity says...



Lol, thanks. Its always good to hear such things.

Comments are appreciated, so thanks again.




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Fri Mar 31, 2006 2:42 am
Torpid says...



I left but came back, lol. I got one more comment.

this story seemes original and too many stories arent anymore so keep up the good work.




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Fri Mar 31, 2006 2:39 am
Torpid says...



DUHUDE! nifty, im intwigued...found wanting...KEEP TRUCKING





We know what a person thinks not when he tells us what he thinks, but by his actions.
— Isaac Bashevis Singer