500 Words 1

Note: So this comes right after Thompson (my fav. cyborg) and his family have been cordially taken captive by the Wilder Nation. Thompson feels the precarious nature of their situation but soon he’ll have to come to terms with the fact that those he once considered subordinates are ready to make a life of their own, and that the burden of keeping the Thompson family safe isn’t his alone. It’s only 500 words, and it’s raw, but I thought you might enjoy it.

The faint song of ringing metal against metal greeted Thompson’s ears. He remembered the night before and Emily, and he rolled over to feel his partner’s warmth once again. Just as his hand descended on her absence the flap of his tent was pulled back and a barrage of white hot light flooded the tent. The hunter shielded his eyes.

He squinted through a creak in his fingers and saw the backlit shadow of Em’s elfin face starring back at him. “You missed the morning meal sleepy head.” She entered the tent at a crouch and let the flap close behind her. Falling down on her knees beside him and concealing something behind her back she said, “You sleep well?” She produced a small plate, meat of some sort and eggs of a variety Thompson had never seen… their yokes had a green tint to them and to his chagrin there were six altogether, sunny-greens up, staring at him with menace.

“Green eggs… and.” Thompson could almost remember something about such eggs come from across the ages, a long forgotten life but the words wouldn’t come. He took a bite and potent flavor struck his nerves, a chord unfamiliar, but not altogether unpleasant.

Mistaking his unfinished thought for a question Emily answered. “I think it’s scrudge.” She offered him a sympathizing smile. “Not like back home is it?”

Thompson washed the morsel down with a mouthful of bitter wine. “No worsen field rations, and hot ‘nough to forgive its wrongs. Thank you Em.” His gaze met hers before he shoveled another bite down and tried to suppress his natural gag. “Where are the girls?”

Emily stood abruptly and tuned away. She wore her new leathers and Thompson liked what he saw. “The girls are… Well you know Ezerra she’s gone to rope a damn horse for herself.”

Thompson put his plate down and stood. “Where is she?”

Em caught his gaze and returned a firmness equal to his own. “Your old captain said it wouldn’t be a problem, and Ezerra is up for the challenge… she longs prove her mettle before the eyes of these Wilders. And regardless of whether or not she succeeds today, they will accept us more because she respects their customs. It’s dangerous, but we’re not in Las Lomas anymore, and it’s her call.

“Never has my shadow-hunt mounted a horse Em, she could hurt em bad.” Thompson made for the flap. “Where’s my over-suit!” Emily handed him something strange. He held it aloft and saw it was a kilt and vest like the warriors of the valley had worn. “Spect me to wear these?”

Emily place one palm on either of Thompson’s cheeks and gave him a sharp peck on his lips before regarding him. “If you interfere she’ll only pull further away.” Without another word she brushed the flap aside and disappearing into the light of day. She called back, “Whatever you decided to do, be quick about it, the Helm would meet with you today.”

Thompson glared first at the flap where that damned woman had just vanished, and then down at the kilt dangling in his hands. Got nothin to say, huh? demanded Thompson, but his stranger side kept the quiet. The hunter spit and inspected the kilt once again. “Dammit all!”

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