The In-between – Part 22 of 31

Armitage sat motionless as Thrumhall’s men got to their feet, hands on their pistols. McCann stirred and Plumduff put a hand on her shoulder. “Let’s see how this works out” she cautioned.

Okay so I’m doing M’s prompts and going to try and do a full month as one long story with no planning. Today it is ‘Night of nin’. I forgot to work that in though. Oops…

The instructions are to simply write for ten minutes or so each day and that’s about it. It’s certainly taking me longer than ten minutes but I will keep going with this for as long as I can and see where each days takes this. Either that or Ill stop if no one is reading it because its either too long or too ridiculous.

Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5 Part 6 Part 7 Part 8 Part 9 Part 10 Part 11 Part 12 Part 13 Part 14 Part15 Part16 Part 17 Part18 Part 19 Part 20 Part 21

Selfish, drunken, irrational, dangerous and Inconsiderate. Some of O’Rourke’s finer qualities, and those that knew him knew he was something else too. He was lucky. With the exception of the unfortunate matter with the Prussians things always seemed to end well for him and over time he had come to realise that should he take action then it would more than likely work out rather favourably.

He hoped this would be one of those occasions.

What O’Rourke did not know was that his luck was a matter of inheritance. His great great grandmother Dorinda Flaherty, a woman with a thing for men of short stature, had spent a night of passion on midsummers eve with a taller than average leprechaun. Nine months later this resulted in the birth of his grandfather Concobhar O’Rourke and a change in the families fortunes from that point forwards.

“What the hell is he doing?” Plumduff said peering out from the booth as O’Rourke propped himself up against the bar. It was a long, dark room with the bar running along one side and booths and tables opposite. An old man stood behind the bar stacking glasses on a shelf and save for Armitage and his companions the place was empty.

McCann unsheathed her sword.

“They have pistols” said Crompton.

McCann shrugged and grinned.

O’Rourke called out again and raised his drink. “Armitage my old mate” he said. “It’s me, O’Rourke. How long has it been?”

Armitage and everyone else around the table turned towards O’Rourke, a look of horror on Armitage’s face. He shook his head as if trying to warn O’Rourke off.

“Oh come on lad” he continued. “I know it’s been a while. Join me for a drink” and he walked over purposefully. The old man behind the bar looked at O’Rourke, shook his head and ducked down behind the bar.

Armitage sat motionless as Thrumhall’s men got to their feet, hands on their pistols. McCann stirred and Plumduff put a hand on her shoulder. “Let’s see how this works out” she cautioned.

“He doesn’t know you stranger” a squat fellow insisted stepping forward and placing himself between O’Rourke and Armitage. “And he doesn’t need a drink.”

“Oh come on now, you’re in a pub and in a pub everyone should have a drink. Barkeep, drinks all round.” He shouted, but the old man remained hidden. McCann grinned as Armitage slammed his tankard down on the bar top.

“Barkeep, drinks all round” he pressed.

“No drinks” barked Thrumhall’s man drawing his pistol. Armitage flinched and O’Rourke, refusing to be deterred took another step forward.

“Now come on friend, no need to be like that” O’Rourke continued. “I simply wanted to catch up with an old friend and have a beer.”

The creature took a step forward and raised his pistol, holding it just inches from O’Rourke’s face who grinned and stretched out a hand picking up his tankard. The other creatures bristled and reached for their weapons, Crompton and McCann with hands on their sword hilts.

“Fair enough ” said O’Rourke and in one swift movement swung the hand holding the tankard bringing it crashing down against the side of the creature’s head. As it slumped forward he dropped the tankard, spun him around and snatched the weapon from its hand before the others could even raise their weapons.

“Now” he said loudly, his eyes wide and a maniacal grin on his face. “I said I wanted to have a drink with my friend here and must insist.” He raised the pistol to it’s head. “Why is that such a problem?”

“You’re going to regret this” said one of Thrumhall’s henchmen.

“Oh come on, always with the threats and the aggression” O’Rourke replied. “How about I just take my friend here and I’ll be on my way?”

Before his question was answered a door that O’Rourke hadn’t previously noticed to the side of where the Armitage and Thrumhall’s men had been swung suddenly open and Thrumhall strode through.

“What the hell’s going on here” he boomed raising his pistol and pointing it at O’Rourke. “who the hell are you?” Plumduff placed a hand across McCann’s chest. ”

“Just wait” she whispered.

O’Rourke lowered the pistol ever so slightly. “I was saying to your man here that I just wanted to have a drink with my friend.” He motioned towards Armitage. “I’m not looking for any trouble.”

“Crompton Look” said Plumduff quietly noticing the two shadows prowling around Thrumhall’s legs. Thrumhall walked forwards and O’Rourke strained to take a few step backwards and drag the deadweight of the creature with him.

Thrumhall motioned to one of the men stood with his pistol raised. “In the back, get the crates.”

“Yes Boss” he replied and disappeared through the door.

“Now here’s what’s going to happen next” Thrumhall said one hand on the head of the shadow nearest to him. “You’re going to release my man and I may just let you get out of here alive.”

O’Rourke laughed. “How about you release my friend and we all have a drink, sound like a deal?”

Plumduff looked at McCann, the three still hidden behind the high backed sides of the booth. “This may work after all” she whispered.

“No thanks” said Thrumhall and without warning fired a shot into the chest of the creature shielding O’Rourke who stopped smiling, dropped the dead weight and vaulted over the bar. Thrumhall continued shooting and those with him opened fire.

“Alright pal” he said to the old man as they both lay on the floor together, shards of glass raining down on them. “Nice place you have.”

As Thrumhall and his men advanced towards O’Rourke’s position Crompton, McCann and Plumduff burst from their cover.

“Ill take the big lad” said McCann drawing her sword and bearing down on Thrumhall who pivoted and squeezed a shot off at her. He was too slow though and she was on him in a flash landing a blow with the hilt of the sword across his Jaw and sending him sprawling. She then leaped over the bar joining O’Rourke and the bar keep.

“Elizabeth how grand to see you” he exclaimed.

Taken by surprise the others turned to see Crompton and Plumduff close behind McCann and turned their fire on them at which point O’Rourke reappeared from behind the bar, pistol raised, and began returning fire.

“Great distraction” O’Rourke said smiling as Plumduff and Crompton dived into cover in another booth, shots splintering the table and wooden seating around them.

Two of Thrumhall’s men fell to the ground, shots exploding in their chests, the shadows scattering and melting into the gloom.

“Move it Armitage” McCann barked peering over the bar top and he scrambled to his feet and threw himself into the booth sheltering Crompton and Plumduff. Thrumhall’s lot had taken cover behind tow overturned tables and were returning fire

“Hello lad” she said grinning. “I thought we’d lost you”. A shot split the wood panelling between them and Armitage placed his hands over his head. It never ceased to amaze him that no matter what she never let go of her hand bag.

Thrumhall slowly regained his footing, noticing his downed men and waved them back. “Get the crates now” he ordered and vaulted over the table to where the two men were dragging them from the room. The shadows raced to his side.

“On me” he said reaching inside his black tunic and pulling out the device. The petals opened and a hum filled the room, a feint blue light emanating from it. Leaving the downed men behind the remaining few followed Thrumhall and formed a protective wall in front of him.

“That’s right, run” yelled O’Rourke as he reappeared once more from behind the bar firing off shots wildly. Returned shots ripped into the bar but he didn’t flinch, suddenly feeling indestructible.

He saw Thrumhall look up at him, grin. “I’ll be seeing you lot real soon” he said and then quite suddenly there was a flash of blue light, a feint pop and every one of them disappeared – crates and shadows included.

For a while no one said anything. Slowly they all emerged from their places of hiding.

“They’ve gone” Armitage said stepping over the body of one of the dead men.

“Bright lad you got there” O’Rourke said clambering over the bar, glass crunching beneath his feet. “The question now is where oh where have our friends gone.”

Part 23 coming soon…

Author: Michael

Husband, dad,(ex)programmer, comic collector and proud Yorkshireman. I have no idea why im here or why im writing but i rather enjoy it. no great fan of punctuation;

29 thoughts on “The In-between – Part 22 of 31”

  1. Uuuu, good action. 😀 Avoid repetitive words like “shouting”, “strode” etc. Also, “shadows melting in the shadows”… Huh? What? Hmm… Maybe melt in specters, or vapor in thin air, or something else. 😀 Fun plot, dynamic flow and great vocabulary. 😀 I am satisfied with what I read, just minor details to be corrected and that’s all. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Cheers buddy thanks for the feedback I’ll take a look gives me stuff to think about when I do an edit when I’m finished with it I really just want to get to the end now I’ll be honest LOL

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Well, writing something that long can drain some energy away, so end it always on a cliffhanger and you are good to go every time you sit to add more text. 😀 I am here to give ideas, nothing more. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m suddenly struck by the fact that we are only 9 episodes away from the end. This is not good. I want more. I’m invested in the characters. You can’t possibly end this in 9 short episodes!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. It’s crazy isn’t it I’m working on One chapter at the moment and will probably be finished writing by Tuesday night and that will be it one month later I will have done something I never imagined I would be able to do. I think all of the characters will be recycled because whilst I’ve enjoyed writing it doing it in the linear format has been a bit of a nightmare and I think it could have been so much better if I had planned it and if I have allowed myself a bit more time but I’m doing this as a first draught of something that I can turn into a book and I really like some of the characters and I think they could be even better I think I need to add a bit more humour and I need to redo the story arcs because I keep trying to slot things in but it’s been great fun doing it and I know it’s a lot to ask people to read and I don’t really expect anybody to read it all but it has been nice knowing that a few people having reading at home and if I look back at where I was less than a year ago when I first approached you about guest in jest I think it’s been a brilliant journey so far

    People like yourself and lots of others who I hope I have been grateful to have been a huge encouragement while I’ve been doing this and when I thought I was about to give up I felt encouraged and I carried on and it was brilliant to get some feedback today on yesterday’s piece which I managed to scramble together late at night after about 20 attempts during the day and when I looked at it again it was all over the place so I quickly made a few edits and felt much happy with it and it was great knowing that somebody had taken the time to do that for me.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. A book!!! Brilliant idea! Truly, I think a lot of people are enjoying this series. When I’m tired my blog reading has been backing up, I always take time to read yours. I first enjoyed reading your Haikus and Limericks because they were short and I have the attention span of a fruit fly. Now I’m sucked in and don’t want these longer pieces to end. What have you done to me!? Haha! Keep them coming, I implore you. These might a little rough as you crank them out quickly, but there is plenty of time to edit and polish. You are really too hard on yourself.

    And for the record, Guest in Jest has enhanced greatly by your submissions. Keep them coming!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Thanks Linda…i definitely will.. I’m going to take it a little easier next month and concentrate on a few humorous pieces and editing and see where it takes me I guess thank you as ever

    Liked by 1 person

  8. grammar 2nd p: He hoped __________ would be one of those occasions.
    spelling 3rd p: not sure if you’re doing this deliberately but you put a space where no space:
    midsummer, grandfather
    spelling 1/3 of the way down? : O’Rourke replied. “How about I just take my friend her
    “her” should be “here”

    Yay! They got Armitage back. thinks about it. why do they want Armitage back?

    love that song “Where have all the flowers gone?”

    yeah, I bet you thought I forgot. I had to make it past all the temptations. Two 2000 AD posts, my fingers screaming click click! An ode to dieting. My stomach grumbles. But I made it and you gave me a bar fight scene. Happy camper. I feel like I landed in the middle of a movie.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Thanks so much… I did you get behind around this point and sometimes I didn’t even check it Leon looking for the prompt from the spell checker and the grammar checker. I can’t believe you still reading it I’m glad you enjoyed it though. I’ve struggled to write any sort of fiction since I finished it it took quite a lot out of me and I’ve been mulling all sorts of new ideas over but mostly just doing silly bits and pieces at the moment

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I do that too. Writing fiction is a lot like winter/summer flips. Big spurt of growth, followed by quiet seed time, then growth like a seesaw. I think what you did was a good idea — you treated it like a daily haiku with no expectations of what the next piece had to be. So it broke rules. by the end you had expectations so it became more like regular fiction writing. I might copy you in that november write a novel in a month thing

    Liked by 1 person

  11. That’s a brilliant way to put it yeah that’s kind of what happened I started writing and the next thing it started to matter to me . I’m still really new to this so it’s always great to keep learning thank you

    Liked by 1 person

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