Wednesday, July 26, 2017

RustCity Flash Fiction: Marie Piper

Please welcome veteran of both the Rust City Book Con and our Five Words game, Marie Piper! I loved what she did with the steampunk story last year, and I have to say, our readers are in for quite a treat today.

If you're just joining us, our authors are building on the previous story, using five challenge words from the previous player. Then they pay it forward by giving five words to the next player.  Marie is building on our "anything goes" story, where Our Hero, Rick Who is Somehow Immortal, having defeated a pair of Mongolian Deathworms and a random demon, is now battling the recently possessed Tommy.

Marie's challenge words: sulfur, concrete, split, char, owl... and GO!

The Hunters

Part 1, by Stacy McKitrick
Part 2, by Suzanne Sabol
Part 3, by AJ Norris
Part 4, by Jillian David
Part 5, by Stephen Osborne
Part 6, by Azriel Johnson
Part 7, by Nancy Northcott

Part 8:

Suzie punched Rick hard, right in his healing bicep. “My brother is not a demon!”

“Ow! Don’t be mad at me, look!” Despite the discomfort of his healing body, Rick managed to wave in Tommy’s direction, and there was no mistaking—the boy, who had before looked as gangly and awkward as any 14 year old, shook. He vibrated, and he changed.

“Tommy!” Suzie called from where she knelt, but her words got cut off. Tommy shook apart. He split in half, and from the dissolving skin he’d worn emerged a creature like something Rick had only ever seen in nightmares and legends, a being so ugly and horrible no Hollywood crew could have made it up. Demon Tommy was massive, four armed with skin black and ashy as char and dark eyes that dripped with what looked like oil. The air stunk with sulfur.


“That’s not Tommy anymore,” Rick said, struggling to his feet. “Get out of here, Suzie.”

“I’m not going—he’s my brother…”

“And if you stay here, you won’t live to see him again, do you understand me?” Rick pointed to the car. “Get out of here now. I can’t be worried about keeping you safe.”

Was it with love, the way she looked back at him? Those gorgeous eyes of hers lit up like stars, then turned hard as concrete, and she nodded. “Save him, Rick. Save him and I’ll forgive you that god awful pink shirt.” She tried to keep her words lively, but he saw her fear.

“It’s fuschia,” Rick replied, just as scared himself.

Suzie rose on her tiptoes and kissed him, fast and soft. Then, like the smart lady she was, she ran off in the direction of the car. When he heard the car start, he turned back to his foe. This was no matter for mortals. “Give me back the boy.”

Demon Tommy raised all four of his hands in the air and screamed a blistering cry. The ground shook. Even though Rick knew what was coming, felt it in every part of his entire being, the actual sight of the Mongolian Death Worms—so many of them he couldn’t count as they all burst from the ground at once, stunned him.

“Shit,” he muttered. He had no weapons left, and he was covered in mustard. He was, for lack of a better word, screwed. And then he heard a hoot. Something brown blew past him, and his eyes followed it into the fog.

It was an owl. But it couldn’t be--

Peering, trying to see anything in the dense fog, he made out a shape. The shape got closer and grew clearer, and at the exact moment every worm locked their attention on Rick, he saw someone he’d never expected to see again. His throat closed, his eyes watered, and he beheld the magnificent sight.

The woman who came from the fog carried two swords as long as she was tall, and she was tall. Tall and lean and ethereal, with dark chocolate skin and hair so blue it seemed to glow. With one nod in the direction of the worms, their movements slowed to no more than a crawl. She had those abilities, those time-bending tricks. She also had very little patience for Rick. “Do I want to know why you’re covered in mustard?”

The first words she’d spoken to him in a hundred years, and of course they were meant to sting.

Rick groaned. “Do you mind if we talk about condiments later?” He pointed to the Demon at the center of the chaos before them. “That ugly bitch has the brother of…a friend of mine. He snatched his soul or something, and I need to get him back.”

“Certainly,” she replied, swinging her swords in a circle. “Have you learned anything of use in the past century?” “A couple things.”

With one nod of her head, swords appeared in Rick’s hands. “Then make yourself useful.”

He gave them a swing, pleased to see they felt familiar in his grip. “Yes, Mother.”
Oof. ALLLL the heart-eyes for that twist!!! Come back in a few days to see how it all wraps up! 

For more information about Marie Piper, please check out her website.

Con Information:

Don’t miss your chance to meet some amazing authors at Rust City Book Con next August! Come join us as we celebrate the authors who write the stories we love to read in the Motor City!
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