This week is a week of firsts for me. My first spoken word story and now my first entry into this wonderful weekly event #FridayFlash (PS: if you’re looking for some great free flash fiction online, search #FridayFlash on Twitter every Friday).
My story this week is called “Shiny” and it has a cameo from a Steampunk Airship Captain that has been haunting my dreams for the last couple of weeks. I’m not sure if the story itself could be classified as Steampunk but that’s were I’ve put it.
Oh and if you would like to listen to this story instead of reading it, you can listen to it below:
By Tina Hunter
It glittered… no, twinkled really… just sitting there in the lamp light. It’s funny how you forget such simple pleasures when you’re running.
“Alright Dodger, time to pay up.”
“Right,” I said. I pulled a few more coins out of my pocket and put them on the table with the shiny silver one I’d been staring at. “It’s not closing time yet is it?” I asked Celeste.
“Not exactly but it might as well be for you.”
She pocketed the coins before I could ask, “What do you mean by that?”
Celeste gave me a look like the one she used to give me back in the old days when she and I used to pull jobs together. Specifically, the look she gave me when one or both of us had been caught.
“Where?” I asked. She pretended to wipe down my table.
“There’s a couple of blokes out front. Told management they were looking for ya.”
“But that’s all been resolved, Celeste. I paid everyone.”
I didn’t understand how anyone would be coming after me. It had taken me a year but I had gathered enough money to pay everyone involved in that job. Even that stupid smuggler who’d done nothing but hit a guard over the head. They’d all gotten “their cut” of the money, that’d been stolen from me.
“I believe you Dodger, but… they mentioned that you took something shiny from ‘em…”
“Please don’t tell me they’re from an airship?”
“Damn it.” It was The White Lilly. How did they find me? They were supposed to still think I was dead… her Captain was going to kill me.
“These ain’t the blokes that dropped ya…”
“…from the desk of the ship into the ocean a couple years back. Yeah. That’s them.” I stood up slowly and put on my jacket. “Is the back way clear?”
She nodded and took the silver coin out of her pocket.
“Take this and go. Maybe it’ll keep you from stealing something else shiny.”
I wanted to kiss her, but… well… my life was kind of in jeopardy.
I headed towards the washrooms and quickly ducked into the kitchen. The back door was shut but not locked and soon the cool night air surrounded me.
I looked for the ship but they obviously hadn’t parked on the main hill. The White Lilly was distinct. I reached the end of the road and paused trying to decide if I should go back to my rented room or just keep walking out of town. Unfortunately, that’s when they found me.
Two guys with arms the size of my legs grabbed me from behind and held me. Meanwhile, a petite woman with a very shiny sidearm stepped in front of me.
“My dear Dodger Bax. Fancy meeting you here.”
“Captain Lilly. Nice surprise for you I suppose.”
“It is indeed. You sir, have a remarkable talent for survival. Did you know that?”
I didn’t bother replying. I was busy trying not to wet my pants.
“And your talent has been surprisingly profitable for me. That job you pulled in the southern estates? Well the money from that more than covered the replacement costs for my jewellery,” she said, tapping her side arm.
“So, you stole the money from me?”
“Yes. That was us. And before you ask, we’re simply here to let you know… that your debt to The White Lilly has been repaid and we no longer have a bounty on your head. Boys.”
The two gorillas let go of my arms and stood beside their Captain.
“Have a nice life, Mr. Bax.” And just as quickly as they had appeared, they were gone.
I took stock of my situation. I wasn’t dead or badly beaten, I had a shiny coin in my pocket, and… I checked… I didn’t need a new pair of pants. All in all, not a bad evening.