Thursday 21 May 2020

Mid-Week Flash Challenge - Week 158

This week's photo prompt was taken by Mariana MA on 500px. She calls it 'Freedom'. Very powerful picture. 

I went for a different kind of story this time. I don't often write gangster things, but this is what came out.

The General Guidelines can be found here.

How to create a clickable link in Blogger comments can be found on lasts week's post here.

There is also a Facebook group for Mid-Week Flash, if you fancy getting the prompt there.

Broken Links

It had taken a while but Mikey had found the broken link. He’d made sure he’d been thorough; he didn’t want to make a mistake – that would be bad – and now he was taking care of it.

He drove up to the cabin where Paulie had told him to get some R&R after disposing of it. He smiled to himself. They were pleased with him. He’d finally garnered some respect and might move up a few links in the chain.

The cabin came into view. It was a luxury one Paulie had had built. It had all the trappings of a resort, but was more secluded and only used by their organisation.

When he pulled up outside there were two other cars. He frowned, he wasn’t alone, even though he'd expected to be.

A large, stocky man in his late forties came out. “Mikey, how the hell are you? Paulie told us to expect you.”

“Hey Jimmy, I’m good thanks. Paulie sent you?”

“Yeah, he said you may need some help, you know. You got it with you?”

Jimmy nodded.

“Okay, let me get Ahmed.”

Jimmy disappeared inside to return with Paulie’s number two, Ahmed. He was as wide as he was tall, and solid muscle. He wasn’t someone you messed with – but then neither was Mikey.

“Hey Mikey, how you doing?”

“Hey Ahmed, I’m good now I’ve resolved the problem. Looking forward to taking a break.”

“Sure thing. Everything’s been laid on. Me and Jimmy’ll be leaving you in peace after.” Ahmed winked at Jimmy.

“What do you want to do, Mikey? Take five minutes or sort it now?” Jimmy said, ignoring whatever Ahmed had meant by the wink.

Mikey paused. These guys were further up the chain and he didn’t know them well enough to read their body language, but his gut told him something was wrong.

“I could use a drink and a leg stretch; it’s been a long drive.”

“Sure, come in and have a drink.” Jimmy beckoned him in, Ahmed following behind.

The place was spotless and no expense had been spared on this enormous ranch-like house. It was open plan and the extensive hallway led into a huge lounging area with wall to ceiling glass windows overlooking a huge swimming pool with the sweeping view of the forest covered mountains as backdrop.

“Wow, impressive.”

“It is,” Ahmed said. “Paulie knew what he was doing when he built this place.”

A bar ran along the back of the room and they all headed that way, Jimmy slipping behind to prepare drinks. A bourbon was put in front of Mikey and he swallowed it down in one, hoping it would quell the bad feeling. It didn’t. Jimmy immediately topped it up and Mikey swigged the next one down.

“Got a thirst, Mikey?” Ahmed perched on a stool next to him.

“I need it to take the edge off, you know?”

“Sure do.” Ahmed glanced at Jimmy and that was when Mikey knew. The broken link he’d discovered and disposed of hadn’t been the only one, there were two more right here. Paulie didn’t know they were up here. They were here to stop Mikey.

A third bourbon was placed in front of Mikey, and this time he stood up and took it with him, walking to the windows and taking in the view again. They didn’t follow him. His mind raced trying to work out a plan. He could run to his car or stand his ground? Which would it be?

The choice was taken from him as Ahmed barrelled into him. They weren’t wasting any time. Jimmy ran over as Ahmed tried to pin Mikey down and hooked a piece of wire over his head, aiming for his throat. Mikey managed to get a hand under it to stop it tightening. He thrashed about, making it difficult for them to hold him as he bent his right leg up under him and reach for the knife attached to his calf.

He plunged it in under Ahmed’s ribs and twisted, but didn’t wait, pulling it out and swinging his arm up over his head, hitting Jimmy full in the face with it, causing him to topple over. Mikey wriggled out from under them and took a breath as they lay there dying.

Now he had three bodies to dispose of, and a phone call to make to Paulie, before he could take his R&R.  


  1. Here's mine:

    1. Intriguing. Thanks for joining.

      Here's a readable link: The Beast

  2. The Chain, by J.P. Garland, @jpgarlandauthor 347 words

    I am doing what I swore to myself a thousand, perhaps a million times I would not do. The day was much as it was ten years ago. The western sky is lowering, as it was then, and again the sky above is a blue pebbled with wisps of clouds, quickly marching to the east.

    Then, too, gulls hung on the wind and soared without seeming effort above the fishermen’s boats, empty and long back with their morning hauls. The harbor, though, is almost half-empty as a portion of the village’s fleet cannot resist tilling the blue seas still churning from yesterday’s rain to for a more lucrative catch. On the horizon I just about make out four or five hastening to return lest their wings melt for sailing too close to the storm now intent on coming through late in the afternoon, early evening at the latest.

    But four or five. Are they the rest? I look back at the harbor, and there are more than that number of buoys bouncing in the light waves.

    No. I see the laggards hurrying behind, just now into view, and it is clear that they will beat the storm in, though perhaps chastened with the battering of its front edge.

    He made it in, those ten years ago. He laughed as the clean rain mingled on the deck of his pride with the sea’s brine. He wasn’t using a buoy. Attached his pride to a chain out by the promenade but before he got far from her, the chain snapped, and his pride was quickly vanishing in the dark and he jumped into a small, rubber boat with a small outboard, thinking he could catch her but he was wrong though we’ll never know because neither he nor his pride were seen again.

    As I reach the promenade, I see that the chain, ten years on, has not be mended, though it has been clumsily reattached, a reminder, as if one were needed, of what happened here, a place I swore I would never return to, ten years ago.

    1. Great take on the prompt. Thanks for joining.