Hi there. Welcome to Wednesday and another story short.
This week we’re continuing the story that started last week. Detective Cassie is undercover at Barnacle Bob’s Bordello and Steakhouse trying to find out who is stirring up trouble in town. Just as she was about to get some information from Nicolai Papadopoulos, this happened:
Nicolai fell forward, crashing into her. She smacked her head into something as she landed on the ground, his dead-weight on top of her. Her last thought, as the darkness closed in was that this wasn’t quite the scenario she had in mind when she fantasized about getting closer to Nicolai.
And now for our next installment, which used the prompts from a Friday Writing Sprint that included the words from the following list: harpoon, confetti,, bubblegum, dalliance, anvil, witness, contradiction, ticking, riddle, incinerate, decode, and bluff.
I hope you enjoy it.
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The Saga Continues
“Get off me you big lug.” Cassie pushed at the beguiling testosterone based life-form currently pinning her to the ground. After a few tries she managed to shift him just enough to squirm free.
Once upright she tore off her dolphin mask, quickly regretting the sudden movement. Apparently Satan’s own blacksmith had been using her head for an anvil. “Ouch.” She gingerly felt her scalp. There was a sizable lump but, fortunately, no blood.
Cassie surveyed the scene. The earlier strange glow and big bang didn’t appear to have raised any alarm. Not surprising. The folks at Barnacle Bob’s were used to all kinds of unusual sounds. They probably considered it business as usual.
With dalliance off the agenda for the evening, she reached for the zipper of her costume. It went partway down then stuck fast. After a few unsuccessful tugs, she gave up and ripped the costume straight down the middle. She didn’t have time to deal with a recalcitrant zipper.
“Undressing for me? I guess this evening won’t be a total waste after all,” said a deep, far from innocent voice from the floor.
Cassie glared at the finally conscious Nicolai as she stripped off her costume and kicked it free. Sadly for him, she was fully dressed underneath
“If you’re done trying to incinerate me with your gaze, do you think you could give me a hand here?” Still flat on the floor, he was attempting to reach something on his back.
Cassie let go of her annoyance and focused on the scene in front of her. That’s when she noticed something sticking out of Nicolai’s back, just below his left shoulder blade. “Is that a . . . harpoon?”
“Or a spear. Hard to tell from this angle.” Nicolai glanced up at her. “I’m going to need your help to pull it out.”
“Pull it out?” Cassie crouched down next to him and took a closer look. “Well, I guess it doesn’t look like it is in too deep. Are you sure you don’t want to wait for me to call the paramedics though?”
“We don’t have time. Just do it.”
“Okay. If you insist. On the count of three. 1, 2, . .” She grasped the metal shaft in one hand, braced the other against his back, and pulled.
“Hmm, that might have been in a little deeper than I thought,” she said as the barbed end came free.
“I’m going to bleed to death here,” he said faintly.
“Oh, don’t be a baby,” Cassie pressed the folded up fin from her costume against the bleeding. “It’s just a flesh wound. Look, it’s slowing down already.”
Her words of comfort fell on deaf ears. Nicolai was out cold.
Cassie shook her head. He looked fearless but swooned like an innocent at the sight of blood – she didn’t have time to ponder the Nicolai Contradiction. After quickly checking to make sure his pulse was strong and steady, she followed the line on the spear out through the door and down the hall.
Naturally there were no witnesses in sight. There was nothing but a treat bag full of bubblegum amidst a pile of glittering confetti at the top of the stairs. The attached note read “use this to keep your mouth busy so it doesn’t get into trouble.”
No riddle to decode there. It screamed out Goody-Two-Shoes Gang. I should have known.They believed in the virtue of “good clean fun” and they weren’t opposed to getting their hands dirty to get rid of anything that didn’t follow their rules.
Maybe Nicolai and his brother were in the clear after all. The thought cheered her up immeasurably and had her envisioning sunrise perambulations on the beach, preferably after hot sweaty nights.
She was walking back to check on Nicolai when she belatedly noticed the ticking sound. Well, that can’t be good. Ticking generally meant an explosion wasn’t far behind. A sure way to put an end to playtime.
The bomb could be a bluff of course. The last time the squad had been called out the “bomb” turned out to be a vibrator wired to an old alarm clock. Cassie pushed her personal alarm button, alerting her police backup of the potential problem, while she located the source of the ticking – an elaborate flower arrangement on the console table by the elevator. Definitely not a trademark of the Goody Two Shoes Gang.
As she quickly walked back to her room she pulled the fire-alarm to get the others out of the building. Grabbing the again-conscious Nicolai by the hand she yanked him to his feet. “Honeymoon’s over Cupcake. We need to get out of here. Now.”
Nicolai didn’t need to be told twice. In seconds they were out the window and down the fire-escape. As soon as they hit the ground they sprinted away from the building, making it only a few yards before the explosion hit.
The giant head of the Barnacle Bob statue that stood at the entrance landed a few feet away, followed by various and sundry parts of what used to be the Bordello. And once again, Cassie found herself flat on her back with Nicolai on top of her. Her last conscious thought was still not quite the scenario I had in mind when fantasizing about getting closer to Nicolai.
Flashing lights and sirens filled the night air. So much for a simple undercover assignment.
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If you enjoyed that short and are hankering to see what others did with these same random words, head on over to the original post and check out the entries in the comments section.
Enjoy and Happy Writing!
What great characters and what a great situation, Elizabeth! I love this. More, please!
Thanks, Kay. I’m glad you enjoyed it. I had forgotten how much fun I had with these characters.