Flash fiction challenge – They Fight Crime
So this is this week’s writing challenge, and when I first got it, I wasn’t sure there was anything here. Now, I know it’s the start of a much longer story.
Coy was disappointed, but not surprised, to wake up with a knife at his throat. Looming over him like a pissed off lover was a skreak, with bad breath and even worse teeth. “Where is it?” the skreak hissed.
Coy looked up into his gray streaked blue eyes, and wondered if his patchy green hair was a fashion choice or a symptom. It was really hard to tell the difference in today’s world. “Where is what? A toothbrush?”
The blade pressed deeper into his throat. Luckily – or unluckily, depending on how things went – it wasn’t very sharp. “You’re magic. They say you’re magic. I want it.”
Outside the tumble down barn they’d spent the night in, Coy heard the sounds of grunting and thudding, suggesting Danay was out there killing the rest of the skreaks. Or, if this group was smarter than the rest, they were the diversion, so this one could get inside. They had to know by now that trying to beat Danay was pointless. She was like them, but much, much better. He heard a murder of crows chattering between themselves, and wondered if the skreaks were smart enough to be afraid of that noise. Probably not. “I’ll have to get it.”
“No you won’t. You think I’m stupid? Tell me where it is.”
“If I do, you’ll cut my throat. So I think we’re at an impasse here.”
The skreak frowned, trying to figure out how to solve this problem. Coy could almost hear the rusty wheels turning in his head. Finally, he got off of him, and asked, “Where is it? Stay where you are.”
Coy sighed, glad to not be holding his breath any longer, and said, “Look under the hay bale.”
The skreak looked around, as if unsure what a hay bale was, but there weren’t a lot of choices, so he eventually figured it out. He turned his back on him to lift it, but Coy wasn’t concerned or surprised. The idiot was doomed the second he got off him. Coy slipped his hand under his pillow, and extracted what he wanted.
The skreak, crouched down on the floor, had retrieved the small black cloth bag, and looked inside it. His scowl deepened. “What the fuck ..? These are beans.”
“You’ve never heard of magic beans?” Coy replied, and threw the bean he had kept under his pillow. “Entwine,” he commanded.
The skreak looked vaguely alarmed, until the little green bean hit the packed dirt at his feet. He had time to giggle before the magic kicked in so suddenly he had no time at all to realize a huge vine had grown from the bean and wrapped him up like a mummy, so tightly and strongly he couldn’t move. He was probably lucky to be able to breathe.
Coy stood, stretching, as the barn doors flew open, and Danay’s wild cat came charging in. It was something of a hybrid between a bobcat and a cougar, a compact, muscular animal with a tawny mottled coat and tufted ears, snarling like the world’s biggest aggrieved housecat. “It’s all right, Luna,” Coy said, even though the cat didn’t understand him. “I got him.”
The cat stalked around the bulbous plant growth, growling, and Coy could hear the skreak whimpering inside. Finally the crows came in, a few at a time, and while Danay could tell the difference between them all, Coy could only distinguish the limping one from the rest. He hated to be a crow racist, but there it was.
Danay finally came in, the rest of the birds following. She was quite a sight, her ragged body armor of leather and scrap metal splashed with blood, her saw blade battle axe still dripping with the stuff. It made her naturally green fingers pop even more than usual. “Are you all right?”
“Do you even need to ask? I guess this proves we’re getting closer to the pirate’s hide out.” Skreaks, as they called themselves, didn’t just happen. They gathered around a leader who called himself the “Pirate King”, when he was simply a murdering asshole who got a lot of hopeless wasteoids to follow him. At least it made him relatively easy to find. All you had to do was follow the corpses.
She grunted, and made a clicking noise that called Luna to her side. Her gift with animals was just another weapon in her arsenal, and she didn’t need it. Without them, she could rip through a gang by herself. With them, she could take out an army, a kingdom, anything she wanted. Coy was kind of attracted to her, but knew better than to ever act on it. Even with his beans, he was no match for her. He was simply a gravedigger who picked the right grave to exhume one night. Thanks the gods for graveyard overcrowding. “We should get moving. I sent Alta after one who ran, but they might have other means of signaling them.”
Coy sighed and nodded, grabbing his bag of beans and shoving them in his pocket. Alta was the hawk, and she could do more damage to a person than you’d think possible. He’d seen it. “Once we clear them out, think we can take a break? It’s been ages since I got laid.”
Danay scowled at him. A crow landed on her shoulder like a mourning parrot. “What about that man at the oasis three days ago?”
“For me, three days is ages.”
She rolled her eyes, as he finished packing up his things. Yeah, it was a pain in the ass, but in his weaker moments, Coy might admit being a superhero was kind of fun. He could only hope a bigger pay off was just over the horizon.
The one I received: He’s a bisexual grave digger with a bag of magic beans.
She’s a green-fingered barbarian who can talk to animals. They fight crime!