Tag Archives: round robin

200 Words at a Time, The End

Thanks to helped my story make it the final round.  I’m super happy to finish it off.  The whole challenge has been insanely fun.  My favorite challenge ever, for now anyway.   Go to here, to read more.

I picked up my own story this time.  It felt right, and dammit I wanted to know to know what was up the ring.

Galactic Mercs

First part by Me

Another shot glass slammed down as Toops flashed her big, black eyes at me. “Are you going to black out.” Her tone as dry as the desert planet we had left.

“I never black out. “ I grinned motioning for another shot. “I’m only resting my eyes.”

Toops rolled her eyes and crossed her arms. “Yeah, I believe you, Lancer. I really do.” Her scarred fingers pushed her still full glass back and forth across the metal bar top. “Didn’t you say we have a man coming in to offer us a job?

“You handle all the contracts. I’m your simple minded muscle.” I winked at her. “Me big man. Me hit things hard.” The burning fire scalded my throat as I took another shot.

Her hand snapped out faster than my eye could follow. Those strong fingers crushed mine into my palm. “Do not call for another shot. I swear I will break your fingers right now.”

A hearty chuckle rumbled up my throat. “Alright, alright boss lady.”

My fingers were released. “We are partners.”

“You say that now, but once the client gets here you’ll change your tune.” She couldn’t deny it. It was true.

Second Part by Athena

The mark joined us not too long after that. I know they’re supposed to be clients, but I can’t help thinking of them as marks. Lancer likes to think of us as noble ruffians, taking on jobs to help the weak and disenfranchised. Truth is, we take on the jobs that pay the most. Sometimes that means we take the client for a bit of a ride.

Lancer was right about one thing: when the client arrives, I play boss. Pretty much have to; no one would buy me as the hired muscle – at least no one with all their bits in tact. Marks are always weary of a girl without a purpose. They’ll buy me as the brains, but not the brawn.

Lancer brought this one in. I let him do that once in a while because it makes him feel like we’re equal partners. More importantly, it makes the marks think that I’m hot stuff. They’re so lucky to get me, I send one of my peons first to see if they’re worthwhile instead of going myself. Doesn’t always work, but when it does, it’s a much bigger payday.

Part Three by Ely

The man they called Helix walked into the bar, the sunlight rushing past his entourage, harshly drowning out the dank ambiance so welcoming to the regular patrons. I had met him through an old corps buddy whom I usually only call upon in the most dire of business droughts.

As predicted Toops straightened out immediately, her strength radiating from her core, demanding an elevated level of respect. She had a knack for nonverbal communication, in more ways than one.

“Not exactly discreet is he,” She said in a disapproving whisper.

“It’s a paying job. Rodge made it sound like it would be of particular interest to us.” I finished under my breath as the group neared, my lips spreading into an awkward greeting. I am just the muscleor I’ve had one too manyor both.

“Ms. Toops I presume,” Helix smiled, suave and somewhat greasily as he took her hand. He was dressed in a slick suit, all grey, matching tie, extravagantly out of place in this corner of the ‘verse. His three companions were obviously hired security.

“All presumptions aside, where they belong, I’ve heard you have work suitable for our expertise.”

Helix’s slimy smile grew, looking to me with positive regards to my choice of partners.

Part four by Paul Baughman

As soon as I saw Helix’s smile I mentally doubled the price we’d ask. I’ve seen smiles like that before. They never bode well. I also made a mental note to have a chat with Lancer. This buddy of his needs a talking to.

“Let’s move to a table where we can talk in private,” I said. I didn’t wait for an answer, I just turned away and headed for a corner table I had reserved earlier.

When I slid into one of the back chairs, I could tell Helix didn’t appreciate me turning my back on him. Lancer eased himself into the other back chair leaving the mark to have his back to the door.

“Well,” the slimeball said heartily, “what are we drinking?”

“We’re here for business,” I said, “what’s the job?”

“Nothing wrong with a little social interaction, is there?”

The way he said it, I knew exactly what kind of interaction he thought he was getting here. I tripled the price.

I tapped my ring on the table until it drew his eyes. It was just to derail his thoughts. Not many knew what it represented, so I was surprised when his eyes widened.

Part Five by Me (again)

“You’re the Hatchet.”  Helix eyes got wider and wider as he stared at Toops.

On the inside I let out a groan.  That woman’s bad temper was always getting us in trouble.  And, she was too proud of that ring.  “It doesn’t matter.  This is business, right, Helix?”

“You work with a murderer, a killer.”  Helix face flushed red as he stood up knocking the chair back.

To that I shrugged.  “I’m a mercenary not a priest.  You going hire us, or do we need to move on.”

Helix gave a rough shake of his head.  “Screw both of you.”  Without another word he strode out the bar.

Toops phone beeped and she took the message with a smile.  “Well, that’s good news.”

“Oh yeah, does it stack up with you being stupid and losing us a job.  Cause, that was pretty brilliant.”  I tipped my head toward the doorway our client had left through.

Her lips curled in a vicious, pleased smile. “I got a job for my sideline.  And, I now know why Helix didn’t want to work with the Hatchet.”

“Yeah, what’s that?”

“I just got hired to kill him.”  She said on a grin.

 

 

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200 Words at a Time, Part 3

The telephone of writing continues.   This time I picked a story that stuck with me.  It was something I’d normally read being a horror with a religious bent.  But,  it compelled none the less.  Here’s my attempt.  

The beginning is from boydstun215.   The second part is from Adrienne.  And,  of course, the challenge is from good ole’ Chuck Wendig.

200 Words at time, Part 3

By Boydstun215

The soldiers carried the man across the narthex and through the nave. They lumbered along like some giant, wounded insect, three pairs of cold, stiff legs shuffling clumsily beneath a motley carapace of steel and leather. Close upon their heels, the master-of-arms was careful to avoid the hissing droplets of blood that the insect left in its wake. His sword was drawn.

At the end of the nave and standing at the foot of the chancel, the bishop held a gilded crosiers at arm’s length as if to thwart to advance of the shambling mass making its way toward the altar. In his other hand he grasped a large silver crucifix. Despite his advanced age and diminutive stature, the crimson-robed bishop made for an imposing figure. “No further,” he whispered. The soldiers stopped , unsure of themselves. One of the men looked down nervously into the pale face of the man he carried while the other two turned their heads in askance to the master-at-arms. For several moments the only sound was the steady hiss of the blood as fell from the lifeless man and met the cold marble floor.

“It must be done here,” said the master-at-arms. “Take him to the altar.”

By Adrienne

The bishop moved aside, letting the soldiers scramble up the few steps to the altar. His crimson robes did nothing to shield him from the cold radiating from their frozen armor. The slick marble stairs proved difficult for the exhausted soldiers as they stumbled and fell under their heavy load. Grim-faced, the master–at-arms followed their procession, only sheathing his sword to offer aid in heaving the unconscious man atop the bare altar.

The soldiers scurried away, stealing a glance at the stone table before fixing their gaze on their snow-crusted boots. The master-at-arms moved to the side of the altar where the man’s head rested. His shallow breaths produced a faint mist in the cold air. Steady drops of blood from his mouth had already created a small pool that hissed quietly on the stone. The master-at-arms looked down at the man’s face, searching for any hint of the soldier he once knew, but finding only the thing he had become. A sharp intake of air through the pale, bloodied lips tore the master-at-arms away from his thoughts.

The bishop joined the master-at-arms. Two terrified altar boys carrying trays covered with vials, books, crucifixes, and various cutting tools followed closely behind.

“It is time.”

By Me

The bishop took the vial from the boys with a slow deliberation he pulled the cork free.  The once dead soldier began to stir as he shook it, lightly, over him.  The liquid splashed against the body glowing for a moment as an acrid scent wafted upward.

The soldier’s lips pulled back bloodied teeth bared.  A low, animal like growl erupted from his mouth.

The bishop glanced at the master-at-arms.  “Hold him.”   And, he turned even as the man moved to obey.  He lifted up the cross with great reverence.   He muttered quiet words over the struggling thing.

The skin darkened, as more feral growls overwhelmed every other sound.  The soldier fought as the master-at-arms’ muscles strained to keep him still.

The bishop handed the cross back to the altar boys.  He took up a knife, and several empty vials.  He motioned to the book, “Read.”

One of the boys opened the book.  His eyes stretched wide and hands unsteady began to read. The archaic words weaved in between the snaps and snarls.

Bishop made a careful slash across the flesh of the soldier.  The blood was a dark violet against its skin.  He held the vial against the trickle allowing it to fill with blood.  “Soon, we can finish this.”

 

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