‘DUEL UNDER THE SUN’
Ney’s Damascus blade easily parried El Aguila’s own as it darted for Crockett’s heart. Davey glanced at the Frenchman, who inclined his head.
“My pardon. Would you rather-”
“No, no. By all means-” Crockett raised his hands and stepped back.
“Are you sure-”
“Have at him.” Davey turned and lifted his rifle in time to block a looping blow from a man armed with a club. “Ain’t a swordsman, me.” Continue reading
She sat in the empty playground, her knees carelessly mashed together, and rocked back and forth in the middle swing. One hand pursed her short, plaid uniform skirt between her thighs while the other expertly balanced a cigarette between two fingers. Thin geysers of filtered carbon monoxide, rat poison and whatever else could kill her poured from her nostrils.
Darren, her boyfriend sat several yards away from her, on his beat-up Vespa, bored out of his mind; he stared blankly at the crowded grey sky, full of clouds, steel mill blow-off and other industrial machinations. He exhaled sharply.
She didn’t give a shit about Darren, he could wait. Her brother couldn’t. There was no way he would understand. He might not still. So, she waited, sucking calmly on her vice, blowing out smoke and rocked slowly while her boyfriend stared impatiently up at the soulless fog and chomped on his bottom lip.
‘ALLIANCES OF INTEREST’
The Fool Jim slewed to the side as thunder rumbled and a distant cannon barked. The snarl of the rifle was a puny thing in the echo of the bigger gun, but it had more impact all the same. Crockett crowed like a rooster as a distant figure pitched backwards away from the rail of the other ship.
He sank down behind the rail and began to reload his rifle with quick, precise movements. Half a minute later he hammered the butt of the rifle against the deck to settle the powder and prepared to stand.
The sound of a pistol being cocked stopped him dead in his tracks. Continue reading
The other air-ship was a blotch on the horizon. Small now, but growing bigger.
“I take it that’s the fellow you swindled out of this-here boat-” Crockett began.
“Ship.” Fink corrected absently. Crockett waved a hand irritably.
“Whatever. Damn it, Mike.”
“What?” Fink looked aggrieved. “How was I to know he’d hold a grudge?” Continue reading