Sunday, August 29, 2010

Flash Fiction Interlude: Leap of Faith

AUTHOR'S NOTE: This story was written for Sunday Scribblings. Coyote and Macy are characters in the Will and Diana series, which you can find out more about in the sidebar or by following the tags.
Coyote ran a hand along the curve of Macy's hip and she stiffened. "Come on. Why do you never let me hold you afterward?"

"Just pay me so I can leave."

The money was in the pocket of his pants, flung somewhere in the tent, but Coyote wasn't ready to search. "Why don't you believe me when I say I like you for you and not just for this?"

Macy rolled over and looked at him. "Maybe because I've heard it before?"

"I'm not like the others."

"No, but everyone knows you're the biggest prankster in the entire Unitas movement. You're unreliable. If you weren't so good at derailing enemy trains, you'd have been kicked out a long time ago."

Coyote watched her roll over again so her back was facing him. "What does that have to do with this? Just because I like a good joke now and then doesn't mean I'd play one on you. Have I ever made you look like a fool?"

Macy didn't answer.

"You know, sometimes you have trust a little."

Macy sat up and pulled the blanket to cover her nakedness, as if Coyote, and most of the boys in camp hadn't been to bed with her. "I did that once, and look what it got me. Or didn't anyone tell you?"

"I heard what Boeing did." Coyote sat up, too. "It was a crappy thing for him to do, leading you on like that. And the whole business with the knitting needle..." he shuddered. "I don't think it was right, but I understand why you did it. You were scared."

Macy nodded.

"I would never abandon you, or say it wasn't my kid."

"I can't have kids any more, anyway."

"That's okay, too. More fun for us, right?"

Macy looked away. "Fun. That's all you guys think about. Just pay me, okay?"

With a sigh, Coyote got out from under the blanket and rummaged among the clutter for his pants. He found the silver coins and placed them on the bedroll where she could see them. "Go on, then."

She took the coins and began putting her clothes on.

"I thought we were friends, you know. You were one of the first ones to really believe me about the voices, and you're the only one in this entire unit who doesn't think I'm crazy."

Macy worked a shrug into her movements as she pulled on a sweater.

"You took up for me when the others were being jerks. That means something to me."

She continued dressing in silence.

Coyote went to her side of the tent and put his hands on her shoulders. "Are you listening to me?"

Macy turned her face away. "Just let me get dressed. I'm supposed to help Paloma cook dinner."

"Fine." He watched her, but made no move to put his own clothes on. Just as she was about to go, he stopped her. "You may not have faith in me, but I have faith in you."

Coyote moved away so she could leave, but instead she sank back onto his bedroll, buried her face in the pillow and cried.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Flash Fiction Interlude: Sense of Direction

AUTHOR'S NOTE: This story was written for Thursday Tales and will be cross-posted later this week at Weekend Writer's Retreat.. It's also part of the Will and Diana series, which you can find out more about in the sidebar or by following the tags.

“This isn’t it.” Will reined in and the two young men behind him did the same.

The lead rider, Aguilero, sneezed and huddled deeper in his jacket.

Boeing glared. “You’ve gotten us lost." He turned to Will. “I told you we shouldn’t leave the tracking to a guy who’s sick.” He waved his arm in a gesture that took in the darkening landscape and the distant hulk of an abandoned barn. “No way will we make it back to camp tonight. We don’t even know where we are.”

Coyote tightened the reins and tried to calm his fidgety horse. “I know where we are.”

“Shut up, weirdo.”

Will shook his head. “No, you shut up, Boeing. This isn’t getting us anywhere.” He moved his horse a little closer to Aguilero’s. “What do you think?”

Aguilero sniffled and shrugged. “I think I’ve got a fever.”

“Isn’t that just fucking great,” Boeing muttered.

Will turned on him. “He’s our best tracker. It’s not his fault he’s sick.” He looked at Aguilero and in a softer voice added, “I wish you’d told us it was this bad.” He pondered the darkening landscape. “We’ll camp in that barn, if it’s stable enough.”

As they walked their horses toward the barn, Will fell in beside Coyote, who was looking around with his usual air of casual curiosity. “I'd hoped we would make it back tonight.”

Coyote nodded in understanding. “Our girls can handle it.”

“Handle what?” Will’s eyes narrowed in suspicion.

“Not sure, but don’t worry. It’s fine, and we’re not far from base. We’ll be there tomorrow.”

“Can we get there tonight?” Will looked ready to ride off in whatever direction Coyote might suggest.

A few paces behind, Boeing had been listening. “Don’t tell me you believe everything Psychic Wonderboy says.”

Coyote flashed him a look. “How often have I been wrong?”

“The problem isn’t that you’re wrong,” Boeing admitted. “It’s that you’re vague, and those voices in your head tend to leave out critical information.”

With a twitch of his shoulders, Coyote acknowledged Boeing’s point. “We can’t get back tonight, anyway.” He glanced at the old barn with a devilish glint in his eye. “This will be fun.”

“Glad it’s all a game to you,” Boeing said, and went to lead his horse inside.

Will stopped and glanced at Coyote. “You’re sure we can’t make it back tonight, and that our girls are safe?”

“Safe? No. But like I said, they can handle it.” He clapped Will on the shoulder. “You worry too much.”

Will watched him go inside, then cast his eyes toward the evening sky once again. His gaze settled on the old weather vane, creaking in the wind. Useless thing. It could tell which way the wind blew, but not which direction one should go. But what could he do? Coyote was right. Their girlfriends were skilled and savvy fighters, just like they were. They could manage any problems that came up. And in the morning, Aguilero would lead them out of this place.

He would have to.

Photo by Leolajax