Monday, April 1, 2013

Resistance (Incomplete)

Haven't done a Chuck Wendig challenge piece in a while, so here's something.

This one's incomplete, more of a scene than a story - I'm not sure where to take it in 1000 words or less in the time I have available, so I'll leave it sitting here at 500 words or so and pretend it's a whole story.


The pickup bounced by, not on the road but in the high brown grass alongside. Its driver, a Melp with a bunched hairy face and a fat pair of lower lips--typical Melp ugly--clutched the steering wheel in its hair-knuckled fist and squinted into the afternoon sun. The pickup left behind a trail of molten stone. The prairie burned.

Fucking Melp bastard.

Jurgen Jonson watched the truck disappear into a cloud of its own smoke, and with an effort that almost hurt, he relaxed his grip on the battered Bushmaster.

The Felesin wouldn't let the prairie burn, that was sure. Which meant that soon enough there would be the saucers hovering in the sky, the heavy poisonous foam, the unbreathable air.

And everyone would  see the digging.

Miks pulled herself from the hole in the ground. "Monkeyshit," she said. She was wearing a half-shirt and a sunburn and about thirty pounds of dirt and sweat.

"Cover it over," Jurgen told her. "We'll come back tomorrow."

"Bollocks to that," she said. "I need half an hour. Less, maybe. You think the Felesin will get here by then?"

"It's not the Fellies I'm worried about. It's the drones from down Durban way."

Her hand fell to the pistol at her waist and for a moment he thought she was going to draw on him. He might be able to get the Bushmaster turned on her in time, but she was snake-quick.

"You've got a rifle," she said.

He spit. "And they've got the army."

"I do like their hats. You could get me one, if you loved me."

"But I don't love you." He came closer. She smelled rank, dirt and sweat and the too-sweet reek that told them both that she was digging in the right place--the cache her old cellmate had planted there. Before he'd killed himself in a Joburg alley with three shots to the back of his head.

Filthy as she was, his cock still throbbed with the heat between them.

"You're a terrible liar."

Something roared behind him, saving him from a reply. He turned. A lion had burst from the high grass, bolting away from the flame. An old, toothless thing, half-dead, still refusing to die.

Like us.

The old verzetsman had told her what he'd buried would be useful to the Resistance. A burr under their saddles at least. And if it went better--if they could get a sample to the lab buried outside of Pretoria, and if the brainsmen down there could tear it apart and build themselves vast quantities of enhanced synthetic--then maybe they'd end up with a Melp invasion force drugged to the gills, or even better, detoxing all at the same time.

It wasn't much of a weapon. But it was all they had.

"Can you do it in fifteen?" he asked. Already scanning the sky. Nothing, but that meant nothing. Already, satellites could be focusing in.

By the time he dragged his gaze from the southwestern skyline, she was back down the hole.


Prompt was to write something based on a picture from the  Secret Door website, which is awesomeness. Having no clue what to write about a pickup truck seemingly spreading fire behind it, I used a random character goal - "to grind something". Jurgen apparently wants to grind down the invaders. Sure, why not. If I was going to pursue this piece, I'd probably start at a different point and put the motivation in conflict with Miks.

If anyone still reads this blog, feel free to finish the story in the comments.