Written for the 3rd part of Chuck Wendig’s 5 week flash fiction challenge on Terrible Minds.( http://terribleminds.com/ramble/2013/12/06/flash-fiction-challenge-200-words-at-a-time-part-3/) Basically, one picks 200 words written by someone else for the first week’s challenge, this one by Fatma Alici, (http://naharavensari.wordpress.com/) then adds their own 200 words to the mix. Then someone, in this case, Athena, (http://devereauxcourt.blogspot.ca/2013/11/terrible-minds-flash-fiction-challenge_29.html) adds a second 200 words. Below, the story third 200 I added. The story is still untitled.
Next week I’ll give you the current iterations of the story I started and the one I continued last week. I’m finding this writing exercise a lot of fun and am delighted with the way the stories are turning out.
Another shot glass slammed down as Toops flashed her big, black eyes at me. “Are you going to black out.” Her tone as dry as the desert planet we had left.
“I never black out. “ I grinned motioning for another shot. “I’m only resting my eyes.”
Toops rolled her eyes and crossed her arms. “Yeah, I believe you, Lancer. I really do.” Her scarred fingers pushed her still full glass back and forth across the metal bar top. “Didn’t you say we have a man coming in to offer us a job?
“You handle all the contracts. I’m your simple minded muscle.” I winked at her. “Me big man. Me hit things hard.” The burning fire scalded my throat as I took another shot.
Her hand snapped out faster than my eye could follow. Those strong fingers crushed mine into my palm. “Do not call for another shot. I swear I will break your fingers right now.”
A hearty chuckle rumbled up my throat. “Alright, alright boss lady.”
My fingers were released. “We are partners.”
“You say that now, but once the client gets here you’ll change your tune.” She couldn’t deny it. It was true.
The mark joined us not too long after that. I know they’re supposed to be clients, but I can’t help thinking of them as marks. Lancer likes to think of us as noble ruffians, taking on jobs to help the weak and disenfranchised. Truth is, we take on the jobs that pay the most. Sometimes that means we take the client for a bit of a ride.
Lancer was right about one thing: when the client arrives, I play boss. Pretty much have to; no one would buy me as the hired muscle – at least no one with all their bits in tact. Marks are always weary of a girl without a purpose. They’ll buy me as the brains, but not the brawn.
Lancer brought this one in. I let him do that once in a while because it makes him feel like we’re equal partners. More importantly, it makes the marks think that I’m hot stuff. They’re so lucky to get me, I send one of my peons first to see if they’re worthwhile instead of going myself. Doesn’t always work, but when it does, it’s a much bigger payday.
Lancer stood up when the client approached the table. I was surprised he could stand after all those shots.
“Master Valmetti.” Lancer performed a miniscule bow. “May I present my partner, Sword Master Toops.”
I stayed seated, if we were going to play me as the boss, I needed to act like it. Master Valmetti swept his linen robes back in an elaborate bow. I nodded my acknowledgement. The robes looked new but not unusual in this climate or part of town. Smart move, not to come to this bar looking rich.
“Pleasure to meet you Master Valmetti,” I said. “What can we do for you?”
He waved the bar keep over. “Three of whatever they’re having,” Valmetti told him. He waited until the drinks came and the bar keep left.
“I need an errand run,” he said in a low voice. “A package needs to be delivered.”
I arched an eyebrow. There were companies who did that for a living. What was the package that he needed the likes of us? “And this package,” I leaned forward, elbows on the table. “It needs ‘special handling’?”
“You’re man told me you were quick.”
Lancer scowled at the ‘your man’ comment.