Short Story: The Peculiar Blade

I was in Scarborough for the weekend just gone, and took the opportunity to do a little writing – okay, it’s been a while since I actually wrote a story. Mostly I keep plotting them – but this one had no plot, I just wrote. It is very strictly a short story to enjoy, there isn’t much depth to it. I did enjoy writing it though.

The Peculiar Blade

by J L Lawrence

Thomas McVey looked at the peculiar blade in his hands and felt a strange premonition.

He walked over to the window and reflected on his quiet surroundings. He had always loved rainy Scarborough with its quiet, yet wild seaside. It was the place he always came to when in hiding, it was easier to move between the north and south halves of the city, and the headland made for interesting defensive positions.

From his room on the top floor of the hotel, looking out over the North bay, the sea wild with high winds, the sun deep down, he saw something in the distance, or rather someone. It was the figure of Mark Kowalski. Mark was an tenacious police agent who Thomas had known for some time was on his trail. Two years previous Thomas had got on Mark’s radar with an operation in Bristol, then again, another operation in Devon, that he had tracked him down in Scarborough over 300 miles away did not bode well.

Thomas gulped. He glanced at his own reflection. He looked older than his forty-five years, somehow the past decade on the path of revenge had taken its toll, but it had also made him lean, he had the hungry look of a predator, his skin was taught over lean muscles, belying a hard and fast man. What few acquaintances he had still contact with, saw him as a hard, focused and dark monster. His enemies saw a man to whom death would be inevitable, but until then he was a dark and dangerous killer best to be avoided.

But not even an incredible person who had dozens of kills under his belt, and had fended off more than his fair share of assassins, was prepared for what Mark had in store today.

The rain hammered like jumping rats, the wind made the sea roar, making it hard for Thomas to see and hear the danger around him, the only thing he was sure of was that Mark Kowalski was out there waiting for him.

As Thomas stepped outside and Mark came closer, he could almost see the hungry glint in his eye, and Thomas knew this man had violent intentions.

“I am here because I want justice,” Mark bellowed from the street, in a deranged tone. He slammed his foot down. “I frigging hate you, Thomas McVey, come down here and face me.” Despite the roaring from the ocean Thomas heard him nearly perfectly.

Thomas looked back, even more surprised and still fingering the peculiar blade, then he made up his mind and left the room and riding the antiquated lift down to the first floor where there was a communal balcony empty with the weather. “Mark, you must think I was born yesterday,” he called out.

They looked at each other with angry feelings, Detective Kowalski pulled a handgun from beneath his jacket, a simple Browning and took aim.

Thomas ducked back inside, and head for the stairs down, keeping an eye out for an attack, but he made it to the ground floor doorway.

Suddenly, Mark lunged forward and tried to punch Thomas in the face. Quickly, Thomas grabbed the peculiar blade and brought it down on Mark’s skull.

Mark’s dirty legs trembled and his ugly arms wobbled. He looked anxious, and scampered back, fumbling with the gun. Several over men rushed into the corridor; their guns ready.

Thomas smashed the fire alarm, and retreated back into the stair way, he ducked down heading towards the basement.

The unknown men followed him, but Thomas had moved into a narrow corridor with a blind right hand bend, which allowed him to meet the shadowy men one by one in close quarters, and he rapidly despatched them, rendering them unconscious or unable to stand as opportunity dictated. He wasn’t interested in a body count, he had no way of knowing who these men were, despite being sure they weren’t police.

Mark staggered through the narrow corridor, he started shooting blindly before he could see Thomas, sending ricochets and brick shards flying around the corner. Thomas had no choice but to retreat, coming to the large boiler for the hotel.

“It’s no use,” the detective called out, you’re trapped, and I have a gun and you only a knife.

Thomas refrained from replying, he focused on understanding his setting, the pipes and tanks that filled the boiler room.

Mark charged in, firing that anything that looked like a man. He fired three times before his gun was empty, and he had to stop release the clip to replace it.

Thomas charged out from behind one of the boiler tanks, hot and sweaty but still ready and able to fight, he let forth a roar as he drove the knife in between the ribs of the vengeful detective.

Mark let out an agonising groan and collapsed onto the ground. Moments later Mark Kowalski was dead.

Thomas McVey went back upstairs, and filtered into the crowd making their way out due to the fire alarm, disappearing from the crowd he walked the one mile back to the South Bay and took up occupancy in his back up hotel, and made himself a nice cup of tea.

THE END

Daily Flash Fiction Challenge 27: Saviour’s End: Part One

This is the 27th in a series of 365 Flash Fiction stories I’m writing. You can find out more about the challenge here.

Saviour’s End: Part One, by Jonathan L. Lawrence, 26th December 2012

Word count: 997

Theme: action, kids, protector, deceit, assassins, protection

The story:

Jackson wished he could leave him, just leave and never look back, but he couldn’t. He had made a promise, “Look after this man, with your life if you have to,” his father as he lay dying in a pool of his own blood.

Now he was shepherding the guy with no usable skills through London’s seedy underside. They couldn’t go to the authorities, they couldn’t rely on friends, only on each other – which amounted to only on Jackson.

Jackson spent the days searching for food, and drink, trying to survive, while he just sat there too out of it to be useful. Occasionally he would come round enough to cook what Jackson brought home, but it was rare.

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Daily Flash Fiction Challenge 14: To The Ends of the Earth and Back

This is the 14th in a series of 365 Flash Fiction stories I’m writing from 2nd December 2012 until the 1st December 2013. It’s intent is to keep me writing throughout the year, and not just in November. you can find out more about the challenge here.

For Her, Anything, by Jonathan L. Lawrence, 15th December 2012

Word count: 728

Theme: action, adventure, treasure hunt, clues, mystery

The story:

“Fucking Wales,” Leron Ruiz swore in Spanish.

“It cud be wuss, it cud be france,” his guide on this leg of his quest pointed out. Nathan Smith was, what he affectionately described, a Brummie, he’d been helping Leron get around this country to some pretty unusual spots. As far as Leron was concerned all of it was unusual. A week earlier he’d been in his offices in Texas, he was a private investigator there, a pretty low rent one at that. Then a huge fish walks in the door, and offers him a boat load of money to track down some secret map.

Of course he’d refused, the guy wanted him to go to Egypt. There were professionals for that kind of thing, and if they weren’t taking the job then clearly it was for a good reason. Then the old man had been shot outside the doors of his office. Sniper shot the police said, at least five hundred feet. The guy had left the folder with the job details, and Leron may have forgotten to mention it to the police.

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Daily Flash Fiction Challenge 10: Jack Lead – 2HB

This is the eighth in a series of 365 Flash Fiction stories I’m writing from 2nd December 2012 until the 1st December 2013. It’s intent is to keep me writing throughout the year, and not just in November. you can find out more about the challenge here.

Jack Lead – 2HB, by Jonathan L. Lawrence, 11th December 2012

Word count: 999

Theme: action, adventure, world domination, evil mastermind

The story:

“I own the future,” industrialist Peter Crowfield said emphatically. “You are just part of the master plan my friend.”

Jack felt used, for the past month he thought he had been working, non-stop it felt, to save the planet. Only to find his boss who had been helping him was actually some insane criminal mastermind.

“I’m sure you’re wondering what next,” the megalomaniac said to the tied up employee. “Well first we’ll make a demonstration, then we’ll make our demands.”

Jack wanted to say something clichéd like Peter would never get away with it, but Jack was bound and gagged.

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Daily Flash Fiction Challenge 9: Light Speed

This is the eighth in a series of 365 Flash Fiction stories I’m writing from 2nd December 2012 until the 1st December 2013. It’s intent is to keep me writing throughout the year, and not just in November. you can find out more about the challenge here.

Light Speed, by Jonathan L. Lawrence, 10th December 2012

Word count: 1,000

Theme: random acts of violence, crazy, anthropomorphic animals, revenge

The story:

Captain Twigg stood up from his chair, faced the camera’s squarely and held out his hand.

“Next stop…” he held a pause for longer than was comfortable, “Alpha Centauri.”

It was all horribly contrived to Second Lieutenant Carlisle, who was sat two meters away, facing away from the cameras, gladly. He considered it an honour to be on board human kind’s first manned faster than light ship, but he also knew far too much about the cluster fuck this mission had already become. For now he must focus on the mission, those were his orders.

Without skipping a beat he reported on time, “Vector eighteen, three hundred kilometres per second.”

“Hmm…” the captain sat back in his chair thoughtfully, “We need to go faster.”

“Increase velocity, thrusters to maximum, helm,” first lieutenant Jordan Sinclair ordered.

“We’re on schedule,” the Second Lieutenant pointed out, wary not only of the mission parameters that called for no heroics in testing the new engines, but also the thought of being stranded where no one could come rescue them.

“We’re going beyond human knowledge, Second Lieutenant,” the Captain stressed the Lieutenant’s rank, “The people of Earth aren’t looking for safety, they want to see us fly high. The collective breaths of an entire world are holding on to see what we can do, let’s not let them suffocate,” all the time looking at the camera. Second Lieutenant Carlisle realised this would go in his blog tonight, an tale of the Captain’s bravery in the face of the cowardice of his underling.

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Daily Flash Fiction Challenge 8: The Rambo Trout

This is the eighth in a series of 365 Flash Fiction stories I’m writing from 2nd December 2012 until the 1st December 2013. It’s intent is to keep me writing throughout the year, and not just in November. you can find out more about the challenge here.

The Rambo Trout, by Jonathan L. Lawrence, 7th December 2012

Word count: 759

Theme: random acts of violence, crazy, anthropomorphic animals, revenge

The story:

How a trout came to be carrying a blunderbuss, no one knew. Everyone knew, or thought they knew, trout were good for two things. Eating, and swimming. This one, however, was different.

He came walking down the street, carrying his blunderbuss with a very intent face.

Many conspiracy theorists have postulated that it was a set up, that the trout knew what would happen. That he even planned for it, making it cold blooded murder. I can’t speak to the trout’s intent, but I can testify to what i saw at least.

The trout was walking along the Queen’s Promenade in Blackpool, carrying the antique gun as I already stated. Now being that he was a fish very much out of water he did attract a lot of attention from cats. These cats weren’t like this strange trout though, they were just normal cats, and they didn’t realise what the trout carried.

As the army of cats approached, he turned, aimed the blunderbuss which was about as odd a thing as I had ever seen, and he fired.

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