Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Flash Fiction Interlude: New Year's Resolution

AUTHOR'S NOTE: This Three Word Wednesday story features Vince Mott, a character from Diana's Diary, which is part of my Will and Diana series. You can read more about Vince by following the tag at the bottom of the post.

Fausto fiddled with the radio antenna, but all anyone could hear was a faint voice overlaid with the crackle of static.

"Give it up, man." Peru leaned back against the duffel bag he was using as a cushion and reached for his beer.

"It's supposed to be an important broadcast," Fausto reminded him.

Ozone reached for his own beer - a new brand out of Chicago they had stolen in a recent train robbery. He took a sip and winced at the taste. "Me and Gitana will go to the plaza later and get the transcripts."

"Like hell I will," Gitana shouted from the other side of the room where she was playing with a dirty black kitten and pretending to ignore them.

The men looked at each other and rolled their eyes. Gitana didn't do anything she didn't want to unless their gang leader Vince specifically asked her to.

Ozone picked at the label on his beer bottle. "So since we can't listen to the radio, let's share New Year's Resolutions."

Peru frowned in confusion.

"It's a custom from before the resource wars," Ozone reminded him. "You're supposed to think of what you'll do different in the new year."

With a snicker, Peru glanced at Gitana. "I resolve to get rid of that damn cat next time Beauty Queen isn't looking."

"I heard that!"

"I've got allergies," he reminded her.

She shrugged in unconcern. "Vince said I could keep it, so bitch at him if you've got a problem with it."

Ozone, ever the peacekeeper, tried to defuse the situation. "What's your resolution, Gitana?"

"Her resolution is to finally get Vince in bed," Fausto muttered. He took another sip of his beer.

If Gitana heard his remark, she gave no sign.

"Okay, then. What's yours?" Ozone set his bottle aside, too disgusted with the Chicago beer to drink any more.

Fausto turned back to the radio. "To get this thing to work."

Ozone threw up his hands. "New Year's is supposed to be a time of new beginnings, self-improvement and things like that, not fixing radios." At the sight of Speedball returning from guard duty, he called out to him. "Got a New Year's resolution yet?"

Speedball sneered. "Same as every year: demolish our enemies and stay drunk or high as much as I can."

Ozone shook his head. "We're supposed to be seeking personal transformation, not staying in the same old rut."

"What's your resolution, then?"

Caught off guard, Ozone stammered for an answer, but before he could think of something, Vince came out of his office, saw Ozone sitting near the radio and frowned. "What do you think you're doing?"

"He's thinking up a New Year's resolution," Peru said.

Vince raised an eyebrow. "How about you resolve to do a better job remembering when you're on guard duty?"

With a start, Ozone jumped to his feet and fumbled for his weapons. The others chuckled, but from across the room, Gitana gave Vince a soulful look and asked what his New Year's resolution was.

Seeing all eyes upon him, Vince grinned. "If I had a resolution, you bunch of sorry bastards are the last ones I'd ever tell."

His gang members watched him disappear into his office, then gave each other knowing nods. "He's got one," Fausto said.

"Something big, I bet," Peru added.

"I hope it involves drugs and money," Speedball muttered.

Gitana looked away. Everyone knew what she hoped Vince would do different in the new year.

"I wonder if he's resolved to—" Ozone began, but the others cut him off.

"You heard the man," Fausto reminded him. "You're on guard duty."

With a small sigh of frustration, Ozone headed toward the vestibule at the back of the warehouse. If their leader had any big plans for the new year, they would learn them as they happened. Come to think of it, wasn't that always the way? People could talk all they wanted, but it was what they did day-to-day that really mattered.

Ozone took his spot by the rusted steel door and settled in to wait. "Happy New Year to us all," he muttered.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Flash Fiction Interlude: Bad Trip

AUTHOR'S NOTE: This Three Word Wednesday story features Vince Mott, a character from Diana's Diary, which is part of my Will and Diana series. You can read more about Vince by following the tag at the bottom of the post.

It started with shouting, but Vince was used to the members of his gang getting into arguments. He ignored it and returned to his inventory. Gitana would want the jewelry; that much was a given, but its value so exceeded that of the other goods they had stolen that he couldn't gratify her wish without annoying everyone else. Besides, Peru might like those gold earrings for his girlfriend...

He looked up at the sound of booming and crashing against the warehouse wall. "What the hell?" He went to the door of his office, nearly running into Ozone who was bursting with news.

"It's Speedball. He got into the stash, and that white powder wasn't what we thought it was."

"Damn him." Vince was as annoyed with Speedball for stealing as he was with himself for leaving the cache from their recent heist in range of an addict. "Where is he now?"

The sharp report of a gun offered a clue. They ran into the warehouse and found Speedball in a corner, screaming and shooting the walls.

"He's not hurting anything," Ozone pointed out. "Might want to just let him have at it."

Vince assessed. It was true that whatever Speedball was on would wear off in time, if his energy for destruction didn't flag from sheer exhaustion first. Nevertheless, it wasn't good to appear passive in front of his team. He had to get Speedball under control. He hurried back to his office and got something from a rusty desk drawer. Then he returned to the scene of destruction and waved away his curious gang members. "Go away, for your own safety. I'll let you know when things are under control."

The men looked at each other doubtfully, but obeyed.

"What do you think he's going to do?" Fausto asked.

"Who cares?" Peru said. "They're both crazy."

Ozone cast a worried glance into the depths of the warehouse, where Speedball was still screaming about something. "I'm sure he has a plan."

Twenty minutes later, Vince walked toward them out of the depths of the warehouse. "All clear. Leave him where he is and go about your business."

Fausto shook his head. "But what did you...?"

Vince gave a wicked grin. "I waited until he was out of ammo."


He held up an empty syringe. "Helps to have a sister who's a nurse."

While the men chuckled and headed back into the warehouse, Vince went toward his office. There was more than one reason he was the leader of this gang.