BONUS SHORT - "Flowers on the Wall"

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BONUS SHORT - "Flowers on the Wall"

Postby Sterling on Thu Feb 16, 2012 12:37 pm

- Flowers on the Wall -

1982, Ciudad Juárez, Mexico

Sterling lay on top of a shabby comforter that covered an uneven and lumpy mattress in a run-down, cheap, room in a dive of a motel just across the border from El Paso, Texas. The room was barely passable with cracked plaster, threadbare curtains, a single bare light bulb in a socket in the center of the ceiling. The carpet was stained with who-knew-what in several places and the only ‘luxury’ there was to be found was an old radio on a warped night-stand next to the uncomfortable bed.

He was dressed not to impress, simple blue jeans and a black T-shirt with a denim jacket. His well-worn hat was down just over his eyes as he lounged, feet crossed, smoking a cigarette and listening to an ‘oldies’ station on the tinny radio. Down by his feet was curled a pure black cat, ears folded down and tail twitching as she dozed.

Next to the bed by the nightstand sat two mid-sized duffle bags, one full of cash and the other stuffed with packets of Methamphetamine. Beside these, leaning up against the wall in easy reach, was a sheathed Japanese style sword.

The money and drugs were from his latest venture; a revenge slaying for the Sinalona Federation cartel. He’d taken apart a den of smugglers and, as he was told, killed everyone in it. What he wasn’t supposed to do was keep the money and merchandise. His employer was bound to notice that. He expected they would be along shortly to try to collect. He hoped so. Doing bad things to bad people always brought a smile to his face.

He’d been waiting in this room for two days.

He took a long drag from his cigarette and casually tapped the ash into the cracked ash tray on the night stand, letting out his breath in a long sigh.

That’s when he heard what he’d been expecting to. There were men outside his room, five of them, with guns. His supernaturally acute hearing had picked them up as they gathered outside his door and window. He smelled the oil on their weapons, and the sweat on their skin, and sensed the fear and anger radiating off of them.

The cat at his feet raised her head and looked first at the door, then at Sterling, mewing once.

“Our guests are here, Kasha,” he said softly, tipping his hat back to reveal his deep red eyes.

“That was the Beach Boys, Sloop John B, from 1966,” the DJ on the radio quipped as the song it was playing came to an end. “And now here’s The Statler Brothers with ‘Flowers on the Wall’”

Cheerful guitar music began to play and the song began.

“I keep hearin' you're concerned about my happiness. But all that thought you're givin' me is conscience I guess. If I was walkin' in your shoes, I wouldn't worry none. While you 'n' your friends are worried about me I'm havin' lots of fun.”

Sterling didn’t even bother to shift as he heard the men outside ready their guns and gather their courage.

“Countin' flowers on the wall, That don't bother me at all. Playin' solitaire till dawn with a deck of fifty-one. Smokin' cigarettes and watchin' Captain Kangaroo. Now don't tell me I've nothin' to do.”

He took a long drag on his cigarette and looked at the door just as it was kicked open. Four men came rushing in with guns blazing, one of them yelling.

“DIE GRINGO!”

Bullets flew in all directions, shattering plaster, stitching the floor, and splintering the headboard of the bed but all of them missing their intended targets as they were spraying wildly and not aiming.

One of the men had an AK-47, another a shotgun, the third two pistols, and the last an Uzi.

Kasha vanished in a puff of sticky-looking smoke just as the bed where she’d been laying exploded in a flurry of cotton and fiber from a shotgun blast.

Sterling rolled off the bed as bullets shredded the pillow, drawing the sword as he did, coming up on the far side with both the naked glowing blade and a .45 caliber 1911 pistol. His cigarette was clenched between sharp teeth revealed by his wide grin. He exhaled through his nose and smoke wreathed around him to lend him a slightly demonic appearance.

“Last night I dressed in tails, pretended I was on the town. As long as I can dream it's hard to slow this swinger down.”

Two rapid shots from the .45 into the shotgun-wielding man’s face sent him toppling back out the door since he was the last through it, his head a red ruin before he even hit the ground.

The man with the AK moved farther into the room and brought the still blazing barrel up toward where Sterling stood, but automatic fire is hard to control and the line of bullets ripped the wall behind his target instead of hitting.

Sterling shot him three times through the chest, sending him crashing against the wall and sliding down lifeless.

The Uzi jammed, and the man with it dropped to a knee to try to clear his weapon.
Meanwhile the dual-pistol thug pointed both at Sterling and began to shoot.

“So please don't give a thought to me, I'm really doin' fine. You can always find me here, I'm havin' quite a time.”

Sterling swung the sword in fast figure-eight arcs before him, every swipe slicing or deflecting a bullet that might have hit him, until the pistols the man was firing clicked dry.

“Countin' flowers on the wall, That don't bother me at all.”

The thug’s eyes widened and Sterling grinned revealing wicked fangs. Sterling’s eyes flashed bright as raw animal power flowed through them; his beast peeking out, an beast that was very, very displeased. The thug froze, stunned, rooted in place by fear. Sterling raised his gun and shot twice into the paralyzed man’s chest.

“Playin' solitaire till dawn with a deck of fifty-one. Smokin' cigarettes and watchin' Captain Kangaroo.”

Sterling moved in a blur, jumping over the bed just as the man with the Uzi cleared the jam. It was too late for the man and in short order his head was removed from his body by a long swing from the glowing blade.

“Now don't tell me I've nothin' to do.”

Outside the room the fifth man yelled.

“Que?! NO!”

There was a horrible tearing sound, like newspaper being ripped by five people at the same time, followed by a strangled scream of pure pain and a heavy, wet, thud.

Sterling looked around at the ruined, smoke-filled room and smiled. It was a smile that made him look completely inhuman for just a moment before he brought himself back from the rush of the fight.

“It's good to see you, I must go, I know I look a fright. Anyway my eyes are not accustomed to this light. And my shoes are not accustomed to this hard concrete. So I must go back to my room and make my day complete.”

Sterling looked over at the radio that had amazingly survived the mayhem and was still cheerfully playing music.

“Countin' flowers on the wall, That don't bother me at all. Playin' solitaire till dawn with a deck of fifty-one. Smokin' cigarettes and watchin' Captain Kangaroo. Now don't tell me I've nothin' to do. Don't tell me I've nothin' to do.”

He cocked his head and looked around the room.

The walls were stitched in bullet holes, the shattering of the plaster very like the design of flowers. Gray Morning Glories made of plaster and drywall. And where he’d shot the men, the flowers looked like Red Hibiscus with dripping petals, a gray shattered center where the yellow of the stamen would be.

Sterling chuckled as he sheathed the sword, holstered the gun, and picked up the duffle bags to head out the broken door. He dropped the cigarette into the spreading red puddle under the headless body as he stepped over it, the coal going out with a short hiss.

“That was The Statler Brothers with ‘Flowers on the Wall’ from 1965,” the radio piped cheerily. “Now, the Roling Stones with ‘Mother’s Little Helper’.”

Outside the door, beneath the window, Kasha sat on a completely skinless corpse looking very pleased with herself and licking a paw. Clothing and flesh was scattered all over the walkway and wall. Beside the oozing body lay an unfired Tommy Gun. There was nobody else in sight as they had wisely fled at the sound of gunfire to cover.

“Kasha,” Sterling admonished. “You shouldn’t play with your food.”

“Mew,” she replied looking up at him, a wickedly joyful light in her yellow eyes.

“Come on. We have to go now.”

“Mrr.”

They walked into the evening, delicate wings shimmering into being on the cat’s back, as the radio started playing the next song.

“What a drag it is getting old...”

A few days later the duffel bag full of drugs showed up on the steps of a police station in El Paso. There was no note, no indication of where it came from or why, and there were no fingerprints on it.

There was no sign of the cash...
~
Sterling

"Naive wishing for peace is the surest possible way to invite an aggressor."
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Sterling
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Re: BONUS SHORT - "Flowers on the Wall"

Postby Sterling on Thu Feb 16, 2012 1:00 pm

For the curious, the song playing on the radio in this little scene can be found Here.
~
Sterling

"Naive wishing for peace is the surest possible way to invite an aggressor."
User avatar
Sterling
Shifter Darkly
Shifter Darkly
 
Posts: 88
Joined: Tue May 06, 2008 2:41 pm
Location: Always where you least expect me.



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