Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Excerpt: "The Last Comet"

       This is about 10 percent of a story I'm playing with. The total, about 3,000 words, is a SF story about a 130-year-old man who was abducted by aliens. 

Screams. Emmett jerked awake, eyes rolling beneath gummy lids. He'd heard screams like that before, but --. His fingertips brushed against the thin cardboard he was using as a mattress, the corrugated paper doing next to nothing against the chill oozing from the asphalt.
Emmett pulled his foul blanket over his head, blocking the light and filling his nose with the smell of his own sweat, piss, and vomit. Elsbeth had been dead a long time. She couldn't still be screaming after all these years, no matter how badly she'd been hurt.
But someone was, and she was close by. Emmett lifted his head blearily, trying to focus past the cheap wine that played a sour solo in his belly. 

A woman. Four men.
The next sound the woman made was angry, forceful. One of the men doubled over clutching at his balls. She yelled again and stomped at his instep. It was the man's turn to yell, and he fell to the slimy alley floor. The biggest man caught the woman in a bear hug and pinned her arms to her side. Another man's hand flashed out, Emmett heard the hot smack of hard palm on soft cheek.
The fallen man got to his knees and spat. "Kuja!" One of his comrades offered him a hand up, but he slapped it away. He hauled himself to his feet and flipped a short knife open. "I was going to give this to you for free, but you've earned it."
The woman's eyes went wild and she drummed her heels against the big man's shins. "No! You don't have to --!"
Emmett lurched to his feet, reaching for strength he knew he was far too drunk to find. "Get away! Let her be!"
The tableau froze in surprise, then the man with the knife gestured Emmett forward. "You want some of this, rasipnik?" He jerked his thumb at the struggling woman and laughed. "Maybe you want some of that?"
"Big hero," one of the other man said. "Like Batman or some shit."
"Like Shitman," the big man said. "You smell him?"
The man with the knife laughed and hardened his face. "Get the fuck out of here, Shitman." He pointed with the knife at the other end of the alley. "Go, or you'll find some shit you don't want."

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