Flash Friday 18/10/2013: Weapon of Choice (Part 8)
After acquiring his two new party members, Dennis was keen to get to know them both. Samuel was Samuel, as usual, except he now insisted he was called Samantha and spoke like his feet were in ice. The lady was called Livia, and she was getting very tired of being called ‘livid Livia’ by Samuel. Dennis would say she was livid about it, but that defeated the point. Besides, he had more important matters on his mind.
“Nothing is happening,” he said.
The entire party fell silent.
“Well,” Edmond said. “Good for you.”
“I mean that in a bad way. Nothing is happening, and nothing has happened.”
“That’s generally what travelling is like,” Livia said. “It’s a whole lot of nothing.”
“When you’re a hero, though, you get bombarded by all kinds of things as you travel. You can’t get bread from the baker without finding a piece of a mythical sword or walking through a door to another dimension.”
“If that’s the case,” Livia said, “then why is nothing happening now?”
“That’s what I mean. It’s usually a sign that something is about to happen. Maybe something is lying in ambush for us right now.”
“Ambush?” Edmond said. “Who’d ambush us?”
A bush next to the path rustled.
“Ahaha!” said a crooked man, jumping out of it, holding a knife. “T’is I, back again!”
“You,” Dennis said, squinting. “You’re the stalker from the pub that I didn’t pay. I thought you were only going to lurk at the pub. Did you seriously follow me all the way here? That takes dedication.”
“Wouldn’t be the best at what I do without it. So, how ’bouts some coins, eh? Eh?” He tried to keep his dagger pointed at all four of the members equality, which ended up making his knife-holding arm look like a viper trying to choose which prey to eat.
“I don’t have any coins on me,” Dennis said. “Do you, Samuel?”
“Me? Uh, yes, I do actually, from that dragon’s horde. But…” Samuel looked to the side. “I’d rather want to keep that. You know, for shoe shopping.”
“If we don’t give him what he wants, Samuel, he’s going to get us killed.”
“Well, it’s not my problem. I’m in distress, remember?”
“But I saved you.”
“But not from this distress,” Samuel said. He slowly walked up to the stalker, who backed away slightly. Samuel took hold of the stalker’s outstretched arm and wrapped it around himself, so that the stalker had him in a chokehold, pointing the dagger at his neck. “See?” he said, with triumph. “Distress.”
“You’re an idiot, Samuel. What about you, Edmond? Any help?”
“Me?” Edmond said with surprise. “Yeah, sure, let me just reach into my fur and magic out some coins from in there. No, kid, I haven’t got anything. You’re a hero, remember? Try to use your weapon.”
“I don’t think it’ll do much good,” Dennis said, showing his feather.
“And if he comes anywhere close,” the stalker said, “then I’ll slit the throat of your woman here.”
“What?” Samuel said, his voice shaking. “You said nothing about that.”
“You did say you were in distress, right?” the stalker said.
“Well, yes, but not this much distress,” Samuel said. “I’ve only been a damsel for about an hour or two. Go easy.”
“You should be happy,” Dennis said. “It suits you. Plus, he actually called you a woman.”
“Oh, he did, didn’t he?” Samuel said, batting his eyelids.
“Alright, I changed my mind,” the stalker said. “If anyone steps close to me, or says anything that weirds me out again, Little Miss Damsel here gets it. Understood?”
“I don’t mean to intrude on your conversation,” Samuel said, “but do you like my perfume?”
The knife got closer.
“Point taken,” Samuel said.
Dennis rubbed his chin. He had to find a way to get his friend out of this horrific bind. Yes, he put himself into that position, but that’s hardly any reason to let someone’s throat get slit. Edmond didn’t seem to have an answer, and Samuel was being Samuel.
It was all down to Dennis.
He took tight hold of his feather, identifying the weak spots. Feet had shoes on them. Underarms had clothes covering them. Even the man’s neck was covered by a collar. He could possibly go for the eyes, somehow. Either way, the lollipop trick probably wasn’t going to work a second time. Fate would probably call him a dirty rotten cheater.
He was totally at a loss as to what he should do.
Then, Livia punched the stalker in the face.
“Livia?” Dennis stammered. “But where were you all this time?”
“Where was I?” Livia said, dusting her knuckles off on her clothes, one foot on top of the comatose rogue. “Standing right next to you, watching you totally ignore me as you asked Samuel and Edmond as to what to do. So I did it myself.”
“But you couldn’t do it by yourself,” Dennis said. “You’re the damsel. You’re not supposed to save the day.”
“Yeah? Well, I just did,” Livia said, with a shrug. “You ought to be the hero you’re meant to be. And you,” she said, grabbing Samuel by the collar of his dress and throwing him back at Dennis, “ought to at least try.”
“Those days are behind me now,” Samuel said, trying to regain dignity by looking down his nose. “I am a full-time damsel.”
“You’re a full-time idiot, that’s what you are. And you, you ought to have, uh…”
“Oh, no, do go on,” Edmond said. “What was I going to do? Hope he had allergies?”
“Nevermind. Point is, you lot better buck your act up before I end up being the hero in this tale. You got it?”
All three nodded in unison.
“Good,” Livia said, with a kick to the stalker’s ribs. “Let’s move again.”
The three exchanged glances as Livia lead the way. Perhaps the dragon would have been a better party member.
997 words (from 1055)
Book Spotlight: The Invention of Crime — a silly novel with thieves in it.