Stevens Plays the Hero

“Tend to the wounded!” Sgt. Stevens commanded what remained of the division’s medical troops.  Stretchers entered the room a heartbeat later, injured soldiers moaned and the troops carrying them could not hide their fatigue.  As soon as all three stretchers were safely inside, they were dropped to the floor and the doorway barricade was reassembled.

“Stevens, you crazy maniac, what is going on out there?” Finletter asked.  Through attrition alone, Finletter had come to be the formal leader of this unit that had made a home out of a 12th story suite in a Holiday Inn somewhere outside Chicago.  Their mission began in Provo, Utah but the enemy pushed them east day after day.

“They were waiting for us, Fin.” Sgt. Stevens said, his usually gruff voice had given way to something like sadness.  “Have you heard anything from, sheesh, I don’t know, anywhere? Anyone?”

Finletter shook his head, “communications are down.  Yonkers to the Yukon, I haven’t picked up anything.”

Stevens stood at a boarded up window and tried to look at the street below, watching for enemy movement.  They were everywhere.  He realized in that moment the final days of this war were upon them all and they were on the losing side.

“Then there’s only one thing left to do,” Stevens grabbed for his sidearm.

“Sargent, the only we can do is wait for reinforcements.  The Tomatoes are too much.  We can fall back.  They’ll freeze in a good Canadian winter,” Finletter pleaded with the informal leader of the unit to make a good decision.

“No, boss. You folks get out of here. My path goes elsewhere. I’m off to make ketchup,” Stevens loaded his weapon, removed the barricades from the door and went outside to play hero.

 

That’s how I’d gritty reboot the crud out of Return of the Killer Tomatoes.

 

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Wilbur Robs a Jewelry Store

Long, deep, loud breaths.  Wilbur could feel his heart race, pulse pounding in his ears.  All he could hear was rapidly pumping blood.

“That heist went south, Man.  How did they get there so fast?” Wilbur’s partner in crime asked.

“I don’t know. I just don’t know.  We got the jewels. We got the money. We’re going to be alright,” Wilbur explained.  He was hardly convinced his own words were true.  His spine pressed into a cold wall of red brick.  He didn’t know what street he and his partner had found refuge on, but he knew the buildings here were not going to hide them for long.

Sirens grew loud and soft again as squad cars moved down a nearby street.

“We have to move,” Wilbur told his partner. Continue reading

Behind the Menu

“What can I get ya’ this fine morning, ma’am?” Shirley had asked the question a thousand times before and leading into the moment, there was nothing special about the woman sitting in the booth.

She was not even meant to be covering section H that afternoon.  Barb called in sick at the last minute, again, and left the manager scrambling to find coverage.  Shirley wished she had actually stopped by the library before work to pick up her reserved book on putting ones self first, but she had not.  Before her manager had even asked, she volunteered to cover the section that night.  She wondered, long after this night, if she had picked up the book and read even a few chapters, if she would have avoided what was in store. Continue reading