Wednesday, June 3, 2009
Danger is Not My Middle Name #8
He came out of the darkness at us like a moving shadow.
As he moved into the weak light I stifled an unmanly sound. The light glinted briefly on something in his hand. The man was Fitzroy, the guy we had been hired to follow.
His face was tight with tension and surprise. His lips were drawn into a bloodless line, his eyes narrowed and in his hand was an ornate but very business-like blade, halfway between a sword and a dagger. As he saw us the sword moved in a blur of motion toward Jennifer’s neck. She didn’t move.
“Jennifer?” he said.
“Gerald,” she responded. Her tone made me think of the way you’d greet a relative with a chronic sinus infection who was settling his sweaty butt down beside you at the dinner table.
“What are you doing here?” he hissed.
“Everyone has to be somewhere,” she said.
“Figured that all out yourself, huh?” he responded. Ooooo…hostile, thought I.
There was something between these two, the tension crackled in a way that made me, okay, just a little jealous. Jennifer was, after all, my pseudo girlfriend and I wasn’t at all sure I liked her talking to this sword wielding man of mystery.
But at the back of my mind, okay – and rocketing to the front of my mind – was the idea that we were hundreds of feet underground, in the nest of something undead and really dangerous.
“Maybe this isn’t the place for banter,” I said.
Both heads swiveled to regard me like I was a hairy bug that fell into their oatmeal.
“Sam D. Diamond,” I whispered by way of introduction, since Jennifer was obviously no going to do the honors.
Gerald laughed mirthlessly. “I know who you are.”
He snorted. Not a good sound. “You’re the worst tail on the planet.”
“No he’s not,” Jennifer said.
“Thank you, Jennifer,” I said, drawing injured pride around me like a cloak.
“Shut up,” she said.
I was about to pierce her with my rapier sharp wit when what little light we had flickered and dimmed. As it faded, I saw a whisper of movement. Gerald’s sword was a blur in that fraction of a second and as the lights went out entirely, I heard a meaty thud on metal sound and a soft cry…then the papery sound of something falling.
Jennifer’s hand was on my back, pushing so hard I nearly fell over.
“We need to get out of here,” she hissed. “And we need to go right NOW.”
There were many sounds. Imagine furious paper, whipping itself into a storm. That’s what was boiling up the stairs. There were snapping, snarling growling sounds too.
I turned and ran, slipping and falling upward, knowing those things, whatever they were, were coming faster than we could escape.