The 7:59

Subway service in NYC has sucked the last few days. I was waiting for the train today and thought to myself that I should just steal a train. My next thought was the closing line of the story.
I’ve wanted to try an action/comedy piece for a while. I have no idea if I got the timing of the action piece right. Let me know, along with any other comments/criticisms. .

The 7:59
_____Bullets ricocheted off the hard concrete platform as the team took cover behind the girders. The chewed, congealed gum that had been on the cement for years split like angry welts with each zing from a missed shot.
_____Jimmy’s voice spat out of the radio, high-pitched like it always was when he was stressed. “He’s late!”
_____“I know” answered Rick, the leader of this mission. “Hold it together Jimmy! Everyone, we just need to protect the crate. Tom will be here soon.”
_____The rate of fire from the other side decreased dramatically. “You guys running out of bullets?” shouted Jack, his voice echoing against the ceramic tile that lined the tunnel. A burst of automatic fire answered him.
_____Jimmy darted behind the crate and came up behind the same girder Rick was using as cover.
_____“What the hell, man?” he whispered, his voice a little deeper now that they had a moment to breathe. “Is he gonna make it? Because I really don’t wanna die here.”
_____“Me either” answered Rick, tilting his head to stare back down the tunnel. It was pitch black, dark, like their chances if Tom didn’t cover his end. “I don’t like the silence…they’re probably regrouping to charge us.” He reached for his radio. “Sound off, quietly. I need an ammo count.”
_____“Three clips” whispered Jack. “No, wait. Two and a half.”
_____Elliot was next. “I’ve got half in my revolver, maybe eight rounds in the Glock.”
_____Jimmy’s gun clicked as he checked his load. Rick heard the slide of the clip going back home. “Nine rounds, man.”
_____Rick checked his own reserves. “I’ve got three Desert Eagles, one clip each, one grenade.”
_____“We’re screwed” someone whispered over the radio.
_____“Max?” asked Rick. “What about you?”
_____Silence. Then Max’s gravelly voice echoed from the radio. “Four caddies for the revolver. Three clips for the Eagle. I’ve got two flash grenades, three fragmentation, a pair of smoke bombs and nineteen shotgun rounds. And if that doesn’t do it, we can always throw Jimmy’s socks at em.”
_____“Jesus, what the hell are you carrying all that for? This was supposed to be an in-and-out” came a response from Elliot.
_____“Bet you’re not sorry I brought it. What’s the plan, Cap?” asked Max.
_____Rick thought for a moment. “Ok, remember Newark?”
_____The tunnel echoed for a moment with groans. “Yeah” answered Jimmy. “We remember Newark. How could you forget a shitstorm like that?” There was a pause, then Elliot spoke. “On the other hand, there are no Nuns here, so maybe this time it will work.”
_____More groans, this time broken by a voice from the stairs at the far side of the platform.
_____“We want our property returned” boomed a voice through a megaphone. “We know you are low on resources, and we are prepared to let you go – as long as you leave the crate behind. We have the only exit covered.” When the echo faded, the voice, continued. “Be smart. There’s no reason this has to end with your deaths. We just want what is ours.”
_____Jimmy looked at Rick. “Not the worst offer I’ve ever had.”
_____Rick looked back and sighed. “How can we trust you?” he yelled.
_____“I give you my word” replied the voice.
_____Rick sighed again. He whispered into the radio. “Everyone stay put.” Then, loudly he called out “I’m coming into the open!” Taking off his Disney World baseball cap, he hung it on the barrel of his gun and slowly moved it out from the girder.
_____A triple burst of automatic fire left two holes in his hat. “Dammit”. He clicked transmit on the radio. “Newark. In ten. And so help me, don’t shoot any of our guys in the ass this time, Max.”
_____“Where’s the fun in that?” came the retort.
_____Ten seconds passed. Jimmy popped out behind the girder. Bang. Bang. Bang. Nine shots, evenly spaced into the center of the space behind them. Just enough time for the first of Max’s smoke bombs to land and detonate. All the men had their goggles and earpieces in as the flashbang exploded amid the smoke.
_____Rick rolled off the platform and dropped to the tracks, sprinting to the other end of the platform. He turned sideways as he ran, firing over the edge of the platform as he made it to their side. He was rewarded with the wet smacking sound of bullets finding flesh, and the thuds of bodies falling. He kept running, past the platform to the small maintenance staircase leading back up. The stale air was thick with the smell of cordite as he launched himself into the center of his opponents.
_____His first Desert Eagle was empty. He dropped it, reaching for the next. Bam. Bam. He fired rapidly at the shadows in the smoke, aiming low so his misses wouldn’t hit his men. There was a scream, and one more thud. He spun and jumped to keep moving and be a harder target. He smacked into something and his vision blurred. Another smack – a punch to the head that drove him to his knees. One more knocked him sideways and he rolled off the platform. His ears rung and his eyes teared from the pain.
_____Distantly, he heard the bellow of Max’s shotgun, almost drowning out Elliot’s battle cry. A body flew over hi, smacked against the tunnel wall and slid down. Black uniform. The bad guys. Rick got to his feet and pulled himself back on the platform.
_____Max was there, calmly lighting a cigar, his foot on the neck of a writhing body, it’s eyes wide with fear.
_____“Settle down, you” , muttered Max. “You lost. Be happy you aren’t dead.” Rick looked around. Jimmy had his gun on a man who’s face was clenched with pain, hands behind his back.
_____“Ha!” laughed Jimmy. “Who got shot in the ass this time!”
_____The platform started to shake. A low rumble in the distance grew, the sound of steel grinding against steel. The team turned as one to look down the tunnel. A subway car rushed in, the push of air clearing the swirling smoke up the stairs. The sides of the car were pocked with bullet holes. Most of the glass windows were shattered, and it looked like the car’s frame had been twisted.
_____The engineer window dropped down. A scarred head with vivid orange hair stuck out. “Hey fellas!” called Tom. “Need a lift?” He looked around the platform. “Damn. Looks like I missed the real party.”
_____Rick turned to him. “You’re late.”
_____“Dude, do you have any idea how hard it is to steal a train?”

Something In Her Eyes

Something In Her Eyes

Something in her eyes. A glistening – a twirling, radiating shadow.
It captures my attention. I lean in. Her breathing quickens, rapid little heaves as my face closes on hers. The closeness is an intimacy; it forges a bond that words can’t describe as I study her twinkling brown irises. They mystify me, consume me. The way the light hits them, the reflections from them. I see myself.
Also, I see that strange iridescence, that shimmering glow in their depths that made me get so close in the first place. This is what I’ve been looking for. This is what I’ve been chasing my whole life.

“You’ve definitely got the condition, Mrs. Newman. Talk to my nurse, and she’ll enroll you in the study.”
As I leave, I stop and turn. “I’m glad you came. What we learn from your eyes will be invaluable in our research.”
She smiles back. “Thanks so much, Doctor.”

I love misdirection. Some of the best writers (especially thrillers and mystery writers) will lead you someplace in their writing, making you think something is absolutely that thing, when it turns out at the end, it was something else entirely. Sitcoms work on the same premise.
Here’s a short piece that occurred to me for no reason at all.
Did the misdirection work? And was the payoff worth the effort of your reading?
Let me know, along with any criticsm, in the comments.

Addicted to Purple (3 October 2014): Origin Story

Check out this weeks challenge at from Rochelle Wissoff-Fields at Addicted to Purple. Read the contributors, maybe add your own!
(The photo for the challenge follows the story.)
I didn’t check out the challenge this week, but read an entry from the very creative SightsNBytes. This exploded almost fully formed in my head.
Fun? For the time it took to spill out of my head and onto the page, definitely. Good? No idea – but I’d like to know what you think.
(Sorry, but you may need to be of a certain age to get this one.)

The plainclothes cop leapt in, even though his mind wasn’t on it. He ducked the first assailant, his mind elsewhere.
Mike Hammer had his guns. Gandalf, a staff. Even Spillane had those eyebrows. He needed something to distinguish himself. He pondered as his body worked on its own, motions his muscles knew by heart. Crouch. Stand as the guy runs past. Snag his collar. Clothesline him down.
One fast punch dropped his partner followed by a foot on the guy’s chest.

He rubbed the sweat off his bald head, lips curling in a grin as the shopkeeper ran up, praising him profusely. He picked a lollipop off the counter, saluting the shop owner before mouthing it.
“Who loves ya, baby?”

Couurtesy of Kent Bonham
Couurtesy of Kent Bonham

Addicted To Purple (19 Sept 2014) – Elevations

Every week, Rochelle Wisoff-Fields does the Friday Fictioneers challenge. This week, the prompt is the picture below, from Dawn Q. Landau. The link will take you to her great story.

Here’s my entry, coming in at 102 words. As always, any suggestions/criticisms/comments are welcome.

Dawn Q. Landau
Dawn Q. LandauT

She walked the site, head down, in silence.
All her work – her site survey, planning, arguments with the client, the design – had come to this. She’d hired builders based on their reputation “Oh, they’re always on time.” “Oh, they’re meticulous.” “Oh, they’ll follow directions to the letter.”
It sounded too good to be true.
It was.
Each space was marked out perfectly. The character of the dividers were exactly as she envisioned them. But due to a monumental cock-up, the plans delivered to them hadn’t included the elevations.

And they’d built exactly to the letter of her drawings.
In only two dimensions.