His attitude was generally flippant, often making light of serious or stressful situations. For example, there was the job interview in which he was asked, “Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?” His response was, “Sitting where you are now while you bring me coffee with two sugars.”
Five years on, there he sat as the former interviewer asked if he would like some cookies with his coffee. Sometimes humour pays off.
“This part if the journey is never easy,” Trenour said.
“Then why do we come this way? The plateau path is a lot more pleasant than this constant up and down road through the hills,” Wylder challenged.
“The plateau leaves us exposed. I would far rather deal with hills than the nomads.”
“Are you telling me that you have dragged us to the back of beyond because you are afraid of a bunch of goat herders?” Wylder mocked.
“Bunch of ‘goat herders?’ They are a bunch of goat herders that overran the Hurnian Empire. We don’t want to mess with them, especially of open ground.”
“But we have good armour and the best weapons money can buy,” Wylder observed. “Surely we would have the upper hand.”
“Let’s not find out,” Trenour said gravely.
After about a half an hour, the pair crested a long rise to come face to face with about a thousand goats. Scattered among the herd were about seventy nomads armed with staves and spears. Three others approached on sturdy donkeys and began to nock short composite bows.
“What do you think of our ‘goat herders now?’” Trenour asked, dropping his sword and raising his hands.
“Goat herders? What goat herders, I only see fierce nomads,” Wylder gulped.
Colin couldn’t quite believe what he had just heard, but he most definitely had to go check it out. According to his brother Hugh, who had heard it from Andre the stable boy, a barbarian warrior had recently arrived in the town, and she, yes she, was staying at the tavern. But to top it all off, she was reported to have bare breasts!
Colin rushed through the streets, and pushed past the throng of young men that had gathered to gawk. He soon regretted his impetuous move, as she reached out and grabbed him by the collar. She dragged him across the table, and began to full-on kiss him, tongue and all.
He squirmed to free himself from her grasp, and fell gasping on the floor. “Bear breath! They had said bear breath.”
It didn’t take long. Everything was over in less than five minutes. Ellis had bought himself a place on the mail coach and settled in for the journey to the town of his youth. He had been away for twenty years, and now after a career abroad that seemed twice that long, he looked forward to a well earned retirement.
His first awareness that something was amiss was when a tree fell across the path of the coach and it jerked to a sudden stop. Then when four masked men stepped in front of the horses all became clear. A weaselly built man demanded the cash box and the mails, and when the driver took longer than he thought necessary, the weasel shot a crossbow bolt into his shoulder.
It was then that instinct and muscle memory kicked in. Ellis swung open the coach door and rode it outwards, taking a flying roll onto the roadway. Coming to his feet, he loosed to daggers from his belt, piercing the chests of a bandit each. He then drew knife from his boot and embedded it in the forehead of a third.
The weasel was still desperately trying to reload his crossbow as Ellis snatched the throwing knife from third bandit’s skull and adroitly took out the weasel’s throat.
Ellis then went and tended to the driver’s wound and pondered if it was every possible for a mercenary to “go home.”
Many people are aware of the United States Air Force’s ultra-secret Area 51 facility. What you might not know is the United Kingdom has its very own compound where sensitive technology, and it is rumoured alien devices might be found. Yes, of course I am talking about Area 5.1. What it lacks is high tech mystique, it more than makes up for in old world charm. Well, that’s what the website says any way.
Stake outs weren’t like they were in Dan’s father’s day. Dad used to be gone for days at a time and return home smelling of sweat and stale coffee. No, Dan’s surveillance were quite different with state of the art optics, audible, and sensor arrays. To make it better still it was all done in the station, a mere ten minutes from home with decent coffee, and a unending supply of donuts.
My boss called me into her office and silently handed me a piece of a paper instructing me to use my position as the office “gopher” to implement some productivity initiatives. First, I was to surreptitiously exchange the French grind coffee in the break room with a generic supermarket grind. This she believed would decrease the number of breaks for refills and also cut down on catering costs. Next, I was to gradually shift the file cabinets to decrease the standing space around the water cooler in order to hasten workers’ returns to their desk. Finally, I was instructed to replace the cushioned two-ply in the restrooms with a coarse paper which made toilet breaks on office time a less appealing proposition.
Well, her predicted results manifested themselves soon enough. But what I enjoyed most was not the sense of power I had in being instrumental in the changes; but rather the lucrative side-business I ran selling first-rate coffee, and plush toilet paper from my mail room trolley.
Zebulun had always been a risk taker. Back at school, he once pushed the limits by purposely coming to class with dirty nails. This of course earned him a firm caning, but he thought it worth it as it proved him a rebel. Later in life he rode his horse at full gallop across the new railway line barely clearing the track before the Pinkerton Express roared past. But it was the now famous photograph that proved his daring-do when he was the first known example of someone smiling at the camera.