Daily Flash Fiction Challenge 88: Day at the Shops

This is the 88th in a series of 365 Flash Fiction stories I’m writing. You can find out more about the challenge here.

Day at the Shops, by Jonathan L. Lawrence, 27th February 2013

Word count: 771

The story:

“This isn’t what I had planned,” John Johnston said as he popped out of cover to fire his colt at whichever targets were presenting themselves. It was a big powerful and noisy gun, but also accurate, two of the five remaining attackers went down wounded or dead. John returned to cover.

“Yeah like I expected the same thing,” Luke Riley said, “What the hell missions have you been on to warrant this response?” he popped up from cover and sprayed the enemy position with an uzi before returning to cover. “I fucking hate uzis, on my last clip.”

“I’ve been off rotation for five months,” John said, as he waited for the gun fire to stop ringing against the marble planter in the mall, then he popped up and fire two more shots, taking another gunman down. “There’s one of theirs down over there,” he pointed at a dead body, “I’ll cover you.”

“No, you go, I’ll pin them with the uzi,” Luke said.

“Fine,” John agreed, and he inched his way to the edge of their cover.

“On three,” John said, double checking the clip in the SMG. “Three!”

He popped up and squeezed the trigger briefly four times. John dashed out, grabbed the body and struggled to bring it back into cover. The enemy realised quickly and opened fire. With his last bullets Luke took one of them out, which caused the others to duck back again.

With the body back in cover, John rooted through the pockets, handing over a pistol and some clips.

“That it?” Luke asked.

“His machine gun was too far out,” but he put a machine gun clip in his coat pocket anyway, then he grabbed the mostly empty wallet, and an insignia from the man’s lapel. “Mean anything to you?” Wolf he showed it his partner in survival.
“No one I know, I don’t think,” Luke said.

“Me neither. Anyway, there’s only two of them left, I think we should flank them,” John Johnston suggested.

“Sounds good to me, I’ll go left low.”

“Swap guns then, you’ve got more ammo,” the guns were traded, the colt with only four bullets left, and the Browning 9mm with its four extra clips.

“On the count of three,” John said as Luke got into position. “One two three,” the he called out then popped up again and fired towards the enemy’s position. Luke vanished into the shadows. John admired that ability, John was a former soldier turned spook, he was generally a blunt weapon. Luke on the over hand was from one of the special forces, he loved stealth.

John counted to three again, then popped up from further down the cover and fired a few more shots. Several were returned, but he was already back behind protection.

That’s when the load repeat of the colt boomed out, followed by the shots from a smaller calibre gun. John popped up again, saw the muzzle flashes and squeezed his trigger.

John would admit it was an unlikely shot at that range, but he hit the gun sending it sprawling from the man’s hand.

Luke raced over and kicked the man in the gut, then pinned him against the wall.

John joined him, “Who the hell are you?” he asked.

“Fuck off,” the man said, his voice tainted by an Eastern European accent.

Luke punched him again in the stomach, “Talk. Why you coming after us?”

“Just a job,” the guy said wincing.

“Who’s paying? And why do they want us,” John asked pointing his gun at the man’s face.

“We were just told to say Cyprus, before we finished you off,” the guy said panicking.

John whipped his gun against the man’s temple, the man crumpled.

“Why’d you do that?” Luke asked confused.

“The guy’s a numpty. It’s Jerry Woods and George Davis that were in Cyprus, they’ve got the wrong people,” John said breaking into a laugh.

“They’ve shot up a shopping centre, for the wrong people?” Luke said letting the unconscious form slide to the floor.

Just then the doors all around the shopping centre bust open, and armed police entered.

“Drop the weapons, and drop to your knees,” they demanded.

The two men complied.

“We’re 6,” John said, “Let me get my ID.”

“Clear,” one of the men reported. John pulled his ID from his wallet and carefully handed it over.

“Very good sir,” the man on point said. “Anyone left?”

“Just this one, he’s unconscious,” Luke said.

“Need an ambulance?”

“We don’t, but he might,” they gestured to the guy, “Everyone else is pretty much beyond it.”

The two men left to be debriefed.

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