z
  • Home

Young Writers Society



Where the Black Sheep Wrest - (Ch. 16) Part 1: Two-bit Bridle

by Wriskypump


“Hey, is that a real live flamethrower?” Vinny noted looking around my leg, bursting into a loud whisper.

I patted it. “Not live ‘till I pull the trigger.” Oops. Eye contact. “On second thought,” I snapped my head down so hard I was lucky I didn’t get whiplash, and held out the tool to him. “Why don’t you use it? I’ve manned it enough today.”

“Carrying it won’t be anything like shooting it. But if you insist...” he cradled it up next to his bosom and checked it out.

He thought I’d only been lugging that tub of gelatinous fire around all day? Ha. That was laughable.

“From the looks of the scatter plot,” Malibu rested a finger on his trim beard, taking in the assortment of artillery. “It now occurs to me that we may have lost some luggage. Unless the bag got a little clingy with a few items.”

“I told you it was lighter,” I nagged. “The sack opened when you tripped. I hope we didn’t lose anything that proves pivotal in our deeceecement,” I only half-joked as I crawled over to the empty sack. Except I only said that in my head. It wasn’t his fault that he'd tripped. Moreover, if I had said deceasement out loud, instead of a real word I was searching for but couldn’t place a finger on, demise, they’d send me back to Kindergarten.

I lifted the flap of the edge, which took me two tries to get my finger betwixt the two slivers of fabric. It looked like a vacated eggshell in there. I stuck my upper body all the way in just for funsies. My voice must’ve come out muffled and distorted as I said, “If it’s not out there, it isn’t with us period.” Like a polar bear, I began to withdraw from the white cave. Then, like a seagull, something shiny captured my eye. It twinkled from behind a crease where the bag folded over on itself. Again, I surged forward, back into the recesses of a vast white cavern to rummage behind the stalagmite. The ridges of my fingertips ran over the dip of a dented surface.

Ouch. The locket was dented. Severely.

How did that happen? I wondered. If it’s in the bag, then perhaps it glanced off a gun? But to tell the truth, I was just overjoyed to have it back. A cloud of relief rained down. Into my eyes, into my nose, falling out my ears, down my throat where it washed past my heart. For a few long moments, I just hunkered there with it cradled up against my chest. Now I truly shuddered to think just breaths ago I would’ve had to brave Vinny empty-handed, an unbelievable tale as my pathetic defense.

Hey, maybe the chain’s around here somewhere, too… but apparently it had not been so lucky. Still, by some miracle, what I had left was the most important part; a chain could always be replaced at wherever jewelry paraphernalia was sold.

Except, goodness, it was more battered and bruised than I had first realized. The thin gold etchings were maimed, and the color was even tarnished a sickly yellow-green. I couldn’t just walk up to Vin and tell him his love emblem was showing symptoms of polio. Oh, and by the way, it's my fault that it got infected. This wasn’t a good time to get him all huffy and puffy.

So under cover of the bag, I slipped it into my pocket until further notice.

“That about settles it then,” Gutterson was saying. “We’re going in short-handed. But it’s far from a total loss.”

He opened his mouth to break down the case report. Out of the corner of his eye, Vinny had been restlessly watching the “peace talks” pan out below, and when he heard Gut’s voice lingering at the doorstep of a whip-out-the-tissues-for-the-guns-missing-in-action remembrance ceremony, he stated, “We don’t have the time. I have to get Matt his glass of “water” before it looks suspicious.”

Before the Gutter completely broke down over his valiant warriors, I tried to console him. “I’ll mourn the tragedy with you in a sec, just send Vinny packin’ with a choice selection of what’s left, and get Operation Aiich-Two-Oh underway. What we have is enough to cover what’s lost. True?”

“I-I-I,” he stammered in frustration. Still trying to keep it down, the next thing he said blasted out in a hiss with spittle cannonballs resounding off the deck. “DAGnabbit! That really crisps muh critters! But ahrigh ahrigh.”

I started to bring the sack over to provide as the transport mechanism, but Malibu was quick to shoot down the idea. “The last thing we want is to create a stir. Sack’s too crinkley; it doesn’t fit this purpose.”

“But umm,” I suggested, “Vin won’t be able to sure-handedly carry much more than the flamethrower. And the last thing we want," I reminded, "is to create a stir.”

“The baggy is critical in all phases postliminary to phase one, remember?” reminded Gut.

This operation was off to an awry start and it hadn’t left base yet.

We’d have to run the risk of an all thumbs approach. Well, at this point everything was a risk. Maybe everything would work out smooth-ish like it had down in basement wonderland. Not likely. But I promised whatever divine beings might be out there that if they’d pull me through this mess I’d never deny something existed out there.

But if you don’t deliver us, then kiss my arse.

“I won’t drop anything guys,” Vinny pledged. “I’ve got more than just hands. Shirt collar, craters for pant pockets, teeth, aaaand armpits.” He gave a weak smile.

There was nothing to deliberate.

Malibu slapped a hand over his eyes and blindly shoved gun number one at Vinny, while saying, “I’m glad I put in a ramp instead of stairs.”

Reining in a hysterical fit of laughter, I whispered into Vinny’s ear, “You tell him.”

In likewise manner, Vinny stooped to Gut’s ear. “I’m over here.”

He parted his fingers. When he saw that he was bestowing the Ak-47 to me, he gave somewhere between a grumpy and a forlorn harrumph. “Never was good at pin the tail on the donkey.”

Who is.

* * *

Vinny was having an arduous time going down the ramp. We had given him a good foundation with the bigger guns, sort of like a tray, so he could pile smaller things on top of them. He was dismayed that we repossessed the flamethrower, on account of a few bugs had presented themselves when we thought about implementing it into our cloak and dagger strategy. Really, there were two basic parts, and Flameboy didn’t mix too great with Act One. Instead, three wallopers, the Ak, Saiga 12, and Mossberg Shotgun were bundled up in his arms like a bale of hay. We found that three Uzi’s could rest conveniently stretched out side by side across them. Lain upon those was the (next to the semi-automatics) middle-class 460xvr. The rounds for it looked like miniature missiles and it came complete with scope. Sure, it was labeled a handgun, but an octopus might be a little shy about pulling its trigger. The last piece he was toting around had a much more insecure lodging. Not even his baggy pockets could swallow a whole Desert Eagle, nor did he feel too comfortable when we tested his armpit as a clamp, since it threw the hay bale stacked in his arms off-kilter. In the end, we balanced it between his collar bone and his shirt collar. I couldn’t recall ever seeing a tie quite so... dynamite.

“You know, son," commented Gutterson after Vinny hobbled off, "I don’t like this plan too much.”

I made a terrible excuse for a laugh. “It’s pure, eh, dynamite.”

I was becoming a real basket case watching Vin put one foot in front of the other, sweat leaking down his sides.

Malibu took a second to cover his head. “Woe is me.” He was making a big sacrifice, but if we could pull it off, it could materialize into our greatest advantage.

“This is no time to get sentimental,” I warned.

“At least strategize gunfare with me like you said you would, so we’re locked and loaded to rebound off of half number one,” Gut pushed with haste. “I wanna make sure I can have the comfort of a weapon in hand right up ‘till the buzzard sounds. And I hope it sounds an awful lot like a tweet of death.”

Right. Check everything now because halftime wasn’t happening. Mainly because this was no game.

“Okay,” I started, and ripped myself away from Vinny’s departure, “let’s start by each of us picking our choice firearm. Go.”

I was afraid he was going to snatch my M134, but I should’ve remembered how pent up he was to use the Hand Cannon, thus our hands didn’t collide.

Once he had his Magnum pistol, Gut said, “Yeah, I would’ve liked to give the other to the firing squad, but we lost this guy’s twin.”

In short, that meant he had to hog the remaining one for himself.

I set the high-tech gatling gun of sorts next to me, and while swirling its food around my torso, I pointed out, “There was only one of this guy to begin with, and if by some miracle the squad happens to bury our opponent in the first half, we won’t be needing it to run up the score.”

Which, that was a possibility, but in the back of my mind, I was kinda hoping the battle would last long enough for me to pump some shots of my own, and found myself believing that despite all we had, our adversary had a match, or as it had proved a couple times already, a better underhanded secret. It was going to be tooth and nail.

“Vinny took one and we apparently dropped two, but,” he handed me one of the two remaining Desert Eagles and kept one for himself, “hope this comes in handy if you run out of Fine Dining there, son.”

On the inside I laughed. When Desert Eagles weren’t prime rib, there had to be quite the feast on the table. I reached behind me and planted it snugly into the waistband of my dark blue water sloggers.

“I’ve only got two handguns,” continued Gutterson, “which leaves me room and a hankering for a little more kick, and since I am fond of this Colt Peacemaker,” he winked, “there’s no sense in me not taking it.”

Casually, I tossed the 12-gauge into the sack where a moment before, the flamethrower had rested in solitude. “I hope that’s not the last thing standing between me and that bird.” I was referring to the 12-gauge. “Let’s not even put our chances that low.”

There were more Uzi’s next to Gut, and he knew what to do with them.

“Bag those for backup,” I let him know what he was already doing.

“I don’t feel awful secure with as few of those Oozies as we came up with,” he brooded. There was only three to be put in. “I put almost a dozen in, came back with half that, in a battle where rapid fire might well be everything if that monster is anything like the one that took Minca. Son, I hope half can hold us.”

“The key factor may actually lie,” I picked up two light blue and partly plastic other types of rapid fire instruments: assault rifles to be exact, “in what the water can’t spoil.”

Malibu shook his head gravely. “The slip up cost us one of those war-winners, too.”

“Well,” I commented, popping in their clips, “if one of us should take another fall, these two will be helping us up no matter how soggy.” I cast them into the whiteness. “I got no hands for the sack-a-roo.”

He raised the sack with us to our feet. I fondled the machine gun.

Suddenly I realized I felt a bit empty. There was a valuable item missing. I delved into my memories to find it.

“Hey,” I protested. “Where’s my ‘Wicked’ 28mm Pfeifer?”

That wasn’t hard to figure out. Left behind. I pulled my mouth to one side and looked to Gutterson for some much-needed restitution about the lacking gunner. Inappropriately, he wasn’t paying attention to me, eyes burning into some cove out on the sea of his mind, distant and deadened.

Fixated on war.

“Lighten up,” I tried to get him to snap out of it, “I don’t care about the Pfeifer that much anyway. Really.”

He just stood there.


Is this a review?


  

Comments



User avatar
2631 Reviews

Points: 6235
Reviews: 2631

Donate
Sun Dec 28, 2014 11:01 pm
Rydia wrote a review...



Hey there!

I've not read the earlier parts so if I mention anything which you feel you've already covered, please feel free to ignore!

Specifics

1.

“Hey, is that a real live flamethrower?” Vinny noted looking around my leg, bursting into a loud whisper.
This is contradicting because 'noted' suggests a quiet and calm kind of tone while 'bursting into a loud whisper' is more excitable. You need to choose just one and make this flow better. Perhaps: 'Vinnie whispered loudly as his eyes widened at the weapon strapped to my leg.'

2.
“I told you it was lighter,” I nagged. “The sack opened when you tripped. I hope we didn’t lose anything that proves pivotal in our deeceecement,” I only half-joked as I crawled over to the empty sack. Except I only said that in my head. It wasn’t his fault that he'd tripped.
It isn't really clear if this is being said aloud or only in his head and which parts are which. Maybe switch to single quotations for anything said only in his head and use doubles for the words said out loud.

3.
Moreover, if I had said deceasement out loud, instead of a real word I was searching for but couldn’t place a finger on, demise, [It might be more interesting to not tell us the word here and instead leave it to our imagination/ brains to work out what he means.] they’d send me back to Kindergarten.


4.
We’d have to run the risk of an all thumbs approach. Well, at this point everything was a risk. Maybe everything would work out smooth-ish like it had down in basement wonderland. Not likely. But I promised whatever divine beings might be out there that if they’d pull me through this mess I’d never deny something existed out there.

But if you don’t deliver us, then kiss my arse.
There's a great sense of voice in this piece and while I feel like some of the dialogue is a little over the top, sections like this really pull it together again. Very nicely done.

Overall

There's a lot of quick, snappy dialogue in this and as I said above, I really like the voice you've got going on. However, it starts to feel like there's nothing but talking. They're loading some guns up and taking stock of inventory but it goes on for too long. I want to see them shooting already or at least getting into a fight with one another. It just starts to feel like a really drawn out pause and while the last line was great and hooked me back in a little, I'm not sure if I could read a whole novel like this. There's a lot of technical jargon around the guns and I can only put up with that if I'm getting to see them fired and have some kind of plot to follow and be entertained by while I skim through the names and descriptions of weapons which I'm only vaguely interested in.

Mostly this flowed well and was a quick read though so keep up the good work!

Heather xx




Wriskypump says...


hello again, and thank you!

Totally, saying demise is kind of a spoiler. That's a pretty unique critique, and most people won't review that in depth to get squeeze out all the juices they can to help a writer become better. That's like, almost looking between the lines, and tells me you are looking hard to be really really helpful. :D Thanks! (It flows better without those commas around demise, too).



Rydia says...


No problem and yes I agree, not having the commas definitely helps with the flow! I think that's part of what bothered me about the word being there. Glad I could help :)



User avatar
25 Reviews

Points: 491
Reviews: 25

Donate
Sun Dec 28, 2014 10:57 pm
Chanta1234 wrote a review...



Hello there , I Love this very much but is the word Pfeifer really a word or did you just make it up. Because I have a MacBook so it did correct and an underlined red line under your word. Next to criticize this I think after Hey it should probably be a ! because it would seem very likely to add that. Now I'm going to praise this , this is a very good book and i enjoyed it very much and I think you should continue to write and don't let anyone else's words or criticism bring you down because you will get a lot of that in life.




Wriskypump says...


heya :D

yeah, Pfeifer is not exactly a word, someone named a gun after themselves. Oh yes, and definitely would sound better as Hey! Thank you for your kind words :)



Chanta1234 says...


your welcome and wow thats very interesting



User avatar
111 Reviews

Points: 1731
Reviews: 111

Donate
Sun Dec 28, 2014 1:12 am
TheSilentBagpipe says...



Its really good, I enjoyed it and I haven't read the earlier chapters lol

One thing: Some of your sentences are a little long....for instance - "Moreover, if I had said deceasement out loud, instead of a real word I was searching for but couldn’t place a finger on, demise, they’d send me back to Kindergarten." Was just a bit of a mouthful...

But other than a few pretty long sentences it was good!!!





Writing is the geometry of the soul.
— Plato