Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Wednesday Re-Wind

When I find a new blog to follow, I don't always get a chance to go back and check out the earlier least in the beginning and, especially, if they've been at it for a few years.

To that end, I thought I'd re-post this little bit of flash fiction I put up about a year ago. It was, obviously, heavily inspired by the old pulps and movie serials. I did just a bit of reformatting and rearranging but, besides that, it's pretty much as is.

If you've already seen this, I apologize. If you haven't already seen this....I still apologize. <rimshot>

O.k, maybe it's not all that bad, so let me know what you think.

The Fortune Society in: 

Gems 'da breaks, kid.

The Cast--

The Baron: Swashbuckling man of mystery, wielder of the Karma Blade, and leader of the Fortune Society.

Professor Proton: A scientist of undetermined age and credentials. His wondrous devices seem to bend the laws of physics until they scream....when they work, that is.

Aristotle Slate: Philosophical strong man and medic. Fluent in over twenty languages thanks to his photographic memory.

Jimmy Dohicky: The son of Dohicky Toys magnate, Chester Dohicky, Jimmy wants to lead the life of adventure, helping the team with his amazing, cobbled together from nothing, devices.

"Now young man, if you would be so kind as to toggle the starting mechanism located just above my left shoulder, I will...."

"Huh?" came the reply from the young blonde kid with the slicked back hair, tweed jacket, and bow tie.

"Flip 'da switch..." grunted the hulking figure that stood behind the both of them, rolling his eyes up as if trying to look under the brim of his battered derby.

"Oh...well, why didn't ya say so?" the kid said, reaching up and flipping the button to the 'on' position...then taking a step back. He was never sure what, exactly, Professor Proton's wondrous inventions did at any given time, he just knew it was always a good idea to stand far away from them when they were set to go.

The device strapped to the smaller, older, looking man's back started to hum. Lights began to shine, in a circular pattern, on the outside of the device which looked a bit like a round backpack, but made of highly polished metal. Two hoses were attached to each side which ran down the length of the wearer's arms and fastened at his wrists. A nozzle stuck up and over each hand, which he brought up and tried to take aim.

"Uhhh.....Prof, I don't think 'dats da best idea ya ever came up wit', ya know? I mean, I think The Baron wants know....take care o' 'dis himself..." the big man standing behind the other two men said.

"Now,now, Slate", the smaller man in the white lab coat said, holding his arms up and clenching his fists, "it should be obvious to any plebeian that our illustrious leader is in dire need of a bit of scientific assistance, wouldn't you say?" He closed his left eye, taking aim behind his thick, darkly tinted, goggles.

"Oooohhhh....this ain't gonna be good...I just know it." the blonde kid said, taking a step back and adjusting his bow tie.

"James, please refrain from vocalizing your inner dialogue as I am in the midst of addressing the fascinating beast which has designs on ingesting our fearless leader?"


"Shaddup so's he can aim..." the hulking figure, Slate, said screwing up his face in frustration.

"Oh....well, why didn't you say so? And besides, you can call me Jimmy...everyone dmmmpffff!"

A large hand clamped over his mouth as Jimmy's eyes widened. He looked up, nodding at Slate, who removed his overly large hand from Jimmy's mouth and returned the nod.

"Almost.....almost......there...." Proton said as his fingers on each hand depressed twin triggers and bright beams of crimson energy shot out from the nozzles on his wrists. The bright flash of light drew the creature's attention and it turned it's many tentacled head towards the twin beams of energy. Just before they impacted it right between it's two sets of eyes. A loud explosion echoed in the small chamber and the Beast from a Thousand Nightmares dropped into a pile of rubbery, foul smelling goo.

"Blast it, Professor!" the dashing man with the wavy blonde hair and matching goatee shouted, his right arm still up and over his eyes, his left arm out and brandishing a glowing rapier. "I had the creature just where I wanted it!"

"Oh Baron, your cavalier attitude towards danger never gets dull." the Professor grinned as he motioned for Jimmy to flip the switch of his Plasma Manipulator off. "Besides, our mission here was to obtain the Sultan's Guardian Gem, correct?"

"Exactly...something we couldn't have done until the gem's thief was dispatched. We had him on the ropes, didn't we Dumas?"

"Of course sir." a disembodied voice echoed from the glowing rapier in the Baron's hand.

"I hate 'dat sword..." grumbled Slate as he continued checking over his shoulder to make sure that the portal behind them was still open. 

The Baron grinned at Slate, then glanced down at the pile of rubbery goo that was the remains of the Beast. Barely visible was the gleam of a multifaceted, aquamarine, gem.

"Well, that looks to be a bit of a sticky wicket, eh?" The Baron said, motioning towards the smelly, bubbly, mass with the glowing rapier.

"Sir, if you stick me in that mess I will cut you in your sleep...", the rapier said in a haunting voice.

"No need for that, I'm certain. Jimmy, might you have something to help us out here?" The Baron winked at the blonde young man.

"Oh, sure thing Baron....gimme one sec. I got what ya need or my name ain't Jimmy Dohicky!" 

The young man approached, pulling a small, telescoping rod from his inner jacket pocket and attaching some silvery string to the end of it. From another pocket, he produced some copper wiring and began bending and twisting it while his tongue stuck out of the corner of his mouth. He then tied the other end of the string to the copper wiring and lowered the fishing pole like device down towards the goop covered gem.

"Ya know, I've been thinkin' about makin' some sorta game outta this one. See, the people would put their money in and try to move this claw like thing down into a buncha toys or such and if they can clamp onto 'em", he said as he snagged the gem with the bent wiring, "then they get ta keep it!" he grinned as he held the now brightly glowing gem as if he'd just caught a prize bass.

"Jimmy, you're definitely a keeper." The Baron smiled as he took the gem from the wiring and put it into a black, silky, pouch.

Jimmy smiled, dismantling his gizmo and putting the pieces back into different pockets.

"Now lads....we're off. Let's get this gem back to the Sultan before the hourglass runs out of sand."

"Agreed Baron. I think now is good time to retreat to our own plane with alacrity."


"We gotta get home....quick-like....."

"Oh, well why didn't...."

A three voiced chorus replied "Shut up!"


Anonymous said...

A great read and such a pleasure to read it,
Speaking of new followers, I would like to say I HAVE NOT BLOCKED MY FOLLOWERS FROM MY BLOG. It came to my attention yesterday and have been trying to sort out the issue but as usual there is no-one on Google Chrome that replies.

Julie said...

Great story Mark. I enjoyed reading it.

Al Diaz said...

The kid is funny. Does the sword sing too? Good story!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Lots of strong voice!

Mark Means said...

@Yvonne: Thank you! I just went and tried to join your site and it says users are blocked from joining. I use Chrome, but have no idea why it might be doing that :(

@Julie: Thank you very much :)

@Al: Oh, of course the sword sings..but doesn't look like Frank Sinatra :)

@Alex: Hopefully not -too- strong...if there's such a thing :)

Julie Flanders said...

Love this! I'm glad you re-posted it as I didn't get to read it the first time.

Great piece, I enjoyed reading it.

Matthew MacNish said...

New follower here. Nice to meet you, Mark!

Mark Means said...

@Julie: Thank you very much, I appreciate that :)

@Matthew: Hi Matthew, great to meet you, as well and thanks for the follow!

mshatch said...

This was fun! Reminded me a little of Terry Pratchett :)

Michael Di Gesu said...

Hey, Mark,

Glad I dropped by today. Nice piece of FF. I enjoyed it. You have engaging details to your writing.

Kelley Lynn said...

This was amazing! Thanks for sharing!

Mark Means said...

@mshatch: Thank you very much! I've never read Pratchett, but I've heard I should. Something else for my TBR list :)

@Michael: Thank you and I'm glad you dropped by. I appreciate the comment :)

@Kelley: Thank you, I'm glad you enjoyed it =)

Mel Kinnel said...

That was great! Loved Jimmy!

Mark Means said...

Thank you, Mel, and you're probably the only one :)

Scribbles From Jenn said...

Wednesday Re-Wind is a great idea. I could have used that today.

Vanessa Morgan said...


Mark Means said...

@Jenn: Nothing wrong with a little recycling :)

@Vanessa: Thank you!

Carol Kilgore said...

Cool combination of characters :)

The Golden Eagle said...

That was an awesome story! Glad you re-posted it. :)

Stina Lindenblatt said...

You make flash fiction look easy to write. It's not something I can do (write it, that is. Not make it look easy). Great job!

Christine Rains said...

Thanks for re-posting that. It was so much fun to read!

Mark Means said...

@Carol: Thanks very much :)

@Golden Eagle: Thank you and glad you enjoyed it!

@Stina: Oh I wish it were easy, but thank you all the same :)

@Christine: Thank you much, I appreciate that!

walk2write said...

Loved the concept of a talking sword. I wonder if its voice is thin too? Your scene reminded me of one from the Roger Rabbit movie.

Mark Means said...

@walk2write: I had always thought of the sword having a haunting, 'ghostly' type of voice..something along those lines. You know, I was watching that the other night, too...hence my Sinatra comment above :)

The funny thing about that bit in Roger Rabbit was, and I just found this while watching the end credits the other night, that they actually got Sinatra to sing for the singing sword. I wonder how much that cost? :)

M. J. Joachim said...

Oh, that was too fun! I love flash fiction! Thanks for looking through the archives on this one:)

Melissa Bradley said...

I really loved this and wanted it to keep right on going. Awesome piece with such wonderful voice and description it unfolded like a movie in my mind's eye.

Shannon Lawrence said...

Fun piece! I'm glad you re-posted it.

Shannon at The Warrior Muse

celeste holloway said...

That was fun! I really got into the dialog, and I love how you sprinkle in the description, so I had a good picture in my head. :)

Elsie Amata said...

This is a great story and a fun read, Mark. I'm so glad you reposted it so I could enjoy it too. Thank you.

Mark Koopmans said...


Great story and I was at the conference last week when one of the workshop leaders specifically spoke about recycling posts - he called it "repositioning" so you can use stuff for magazines, guest posts, etc :)

Mark Means said...

@M.J: Thank you, it was a lot of fun to write and have it all make sense at the end :)

@Melissa: That's how I kind of envisioned it, as a movie...and thank you :)

@Shannon: Thank you and I might have one more for next Wednesday :)

@Celeste: Thanks! I've been trying to work on my dialogue so it didn't sound so 'wooden' to me. Glad you liked it :)

@Elsie: I'm glad you enjoyed it and thanks much!

@Mark: And here I just thought I was being semi-lazy! Glad to know I'm up with the trends :D Thanks!

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

Shut up! That was great, Mark. Made me want more. Sorta reminds me of the characters of Mickey Rouke and Eric Roberts. Nicely done!

Manzanita said...

Thanks for visiting my blog. My pleasure to meet you.
Enjoyed your story

Mark Means said...

@Joylene: Thank you much, you're too kind :)

@Manzanita: Glad I found it and thank you for visiting here. Also glad you enjoyed the story :)

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