Friday, May 11, 2012

Story A Day - 11

Prompt from Thinking Ten: Include a fermented beverage in your post, or just drink one
and make it a Free-for-all Friday instead.

I'll go you one better ;-) *cracks open a Boont Amber*


"That's some fine sauce, Mr. Brand. Some fine sauce, indeed."

Larson sat back in the chair and sipped on the jug Brand had given him. It wasn't just a jug though. It was an honest to goodness bottle of wine, the kind you get in them restaurants, Larson had said when he accepted it from Brand. 

He took another swallow and looked across the cabin at Chicago's most famous newsman and, he also knew, its most famous fugitive. Emma Farnsworth, sitting up in the pilot's chair, ran a close second, but only because she wasn't rumored to have killed a copper. Even though Brand hadn't done any such thing, the good people of Chicago had been told he had. And in the world of today, just being told somebody'd done something was as good as them doing it. Larson held in a laugh as Brand told him of their escape from the scrap yard and how he'd argued against shooting that copper, instead leaving him unconscious in the dirt.

"I looked at the crabs," Brand was saying. "There's plenty of blood on one of 'em. I must have ripped Wynes but good when I took that swing."

"Yeah, well, I wouldn't be too tore up about that now, Mr. Brand. Way you tell it, he was fixing it up nice for you and the lady there. Probably should have let her plug him a few times."

"You think so? And what good would that have done? I'd be no better off with Chicago and a damn sight worse with myself. I've never killed a man, and the only reason I ever let it happen is because I couldn't stop it."

"And when was that, Mr. Brand? Always thought you were the kind to stay away from gunplay."

"The Great War. But don't think I just sat there while those boys jumped over the trench wall and ran willy-nilly into a hailstorm made of lead. I begged and pleaded with the lieutenants and then the sergeants and then the corporals. Don't blow the whistle. I yelled at 'em. Don't blow it. Don't blow the damn thing. Give it to me and I'll throw it over the wall, out there into the mud and the puddles of red. It didn't make a lick of difference what I said though. They just put the thing between their lips, and then, when the last of those boys had gone, they put the barrel of their pistols where the whistle had been."

"What'd you say to 'em then? More begging and pleading?"

"No. I didn't say anything. I knew just like them that they'd earned that easy ticket. Half of me wished I could have taken the same ride, but they don't issue weapons to the Observation Corps."

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