The flickering glow of the view screens is the only source of light in the control room. The constant hum of the dirigibles engines, the only noise. As they slowly circle above the city, watching the mayhem unfold below them, smiles grow wider and wider on their faces.
“They’re just dropping like flies!” The tall one squeaks.
“I would say getting squashed like bugs is a better analogy.” Chuckles the oldest
“I just wish these screens were in colour so we could see the blood.” Sighs the third
Laughter erupts as they settle down to enjoy the show.
Ducks, ash and perfume
The sky is a mass of angry, boiling clouds that turns the day dark and it’s raining so hard that it seems like it’s coming from above and below. The weather was like this , that night 2 years ago. The weather is always like this in Atlas city. That god damn night, ruined my life but if I had my time again, I would do exactly the same thing.
I pull the taxi up as close to the news stand as I can but I am still soaked by the time I get under its awning.
“Good weather for ducks, Frank.” the stall owner shouts over the sound of the rain drumming on the red and white striped awning.
“Not so good for taxi drivers though, Slim.” I grumble back. “Everybody is tucked up in their houses. Who the hell would go out on a day like this?”
“Well, if these whack jobs get their way we won’t have to worry in a couple of weeks.” Slim taps the top most newspaper with this fingers, dropping cigar ash on the headline. I look down and as he brushes away the ash I read
IS THIS THE END?
“The end of what?” I shout as I pick up the paper for a closer look.
“The city, the whole god damn city, everyone!”
“Jeez what’s this crazy shit all about?”
Slim fills me in as only Slim can “Some group of fruit loops have written to the editor of every paper in the city saying that they’re gonna kill every Tom, Dick, Harry and Harriot. These loons reckon that the city is over run with crims and druggies and we are all lower than a rats dick, so they’re going to wipe us all out. Fuckin space cadets! They say that if the police don’t clean up the streets in two weeks then it’s bye bye baby.”
“What the… Two weeks to bring down what, 12 different crime families, all the gangs and shit knows how many individual crooks and nutters. It would take a couple of years to make the list, let alone start bringing them in” I laugh “You said it Slim…fruit loops. The papers are taking this seriously?”
“Don’t know if they give a shit one way or the other. They just know that with this on the front page their sales will explode like a fuckin volcano” Slim shakes his head as I offer him the money. “This news aint worth the paper it’s printed on. Have it on me Frank”
I hunker under my collar and race back to my cab. No sooner have I shut the drivers door, the back door opens and I look in the rear view mirror to see a young woman jump into the back seat.
“Sorry darlin I need to dry off a bit before I can take any fares” It’s true, I’m soaked to the skin.
“Please, please I will pay you double just get me out of here!” She pleads and I see real fear in her eyes. She leans forward, her nose touching the glass “Please”
She is beautiful in a glossy magazine kind of way. She could have just come from a photo shoot. Everything about her is perfect. Her make up must have taken hours to get right and her skin looks as though all the blemishes have been air brushed out. How the hell does she look so good when I look like drowned shit, I think to myself. Then I get a hint of her perfume, my memory sparks and I can almost feel neurons jumping the synoptic gaps, taking me back to that god damn night again. She wore the same perfume, I will never forget it. Nor will I forget the look on her face as the life drained from her eyes.
“Please!” she whimpers, bringing me back to the present as I blink away the memories.
“Ok darlin, calm down, it’s ok. Lets get goin.” I turn the key, put her in gear and pull out into the almost deserted street.
Purple Cactus ©
My firts attempt at a piece of pulp fiction. I am going to try and post it as I write it and would very much like honest opinions.
Here is the prologue and first chapter.
All writing and art work by Purple Cactus
Part 2 can be found here