Sunday, 12 October 2008

Dark in the afternoon

Wow. October. Oops. Well, it's only eleven months I guess. Greater expanses of time have slipped by before.

Anyways, during the last, um, year, I haven't really spent much time thinking about my little mirage/oasis of an idea. Thus I wrote nothing. However, last month a close friend of mine posted this:

And, well, you'd kinda have to know more about it to fully understand why I got quite so excited, but you'll see it's a great image nonetheless. (He's an illustrator.) And excited I was, excited enough to write a very short set piece of a story.

The important thing to remember is that the characters (hell, and the world) aren't mine. I wasn't sure I'd portrayed Deathwatch Bastard and Johnny Omens true to David's vision. I'm still not. But I think it was an interesting exercise.

Oh, and it hasn't been edited. It's all 'first take'...


‘Ah shit.’

Plan A hadn’t gone to plan. Neither had Plan B. Plan C… well, calling it a plan was a slight misnomer. It was more an instinct to run the hell away.

Gritting his teeth, Deathwatch Bastard looked to his right where his partner stood. With remarkable calm, Johnny was casually sizing up the wall blocking their escape route. Of course, Johnny always appeared remarkably calm. He was, after all, Johnny Omens.

Deathwatch span on his heels and turned to look down the alley they’d just run. Dragging a sleeve across his nose, he quickly dropped his backpack and shoved both hands into his pockets, fingers desperately searching.

‘Ah hell.’ No smokes.

‘Drop them?’ Johnny’s voice, somehow simultaneously flat and melodic, was particularly irritating given their imminent predicament.

‘How long you reckon till they sniff us out?’ growled Deathwatch, ignoring the question. ‘Reckon not long.’ He hated it when they had to revert to Plan C. Especially when Plan C led to a dead-end alley.

‘Mmm, I’m sure,’ whispered Johnny. His right hand closed around the sheathed blade of his sword – always Omen’s weapon of choice – a movement that never suggested anything good was about to happen.

Suddenly the dim twilight was breached by the intense flare of a flood light. Deathwatch squinted as he reached around his back and freed a grenade from its strap. Popping the pin, he kept the trigger closed and pushed the explosive into his trouser pocket. ‘Ain’t gonna see this coming.’

Just beyond the shadow there sounded a throaty snarl, followed by several irregular figures shuffling toward them in the darkness. As the zombies closed in, Deathwatch Bastard nervously thumbed the explosive in his hand.

Then he grinned.

Time for Plan D. (Click it!)