Father Halyard was a true solitudinarian, though he preferred the term hermit. He was a man without pretention and preferred the solitary life of prayer and devotion. It wasn’t that he didn’t appreciate the visits from the novices that were occasionally sent to bring supplies to the hermitage. He would receive not only food and reading materials but news from the mother house, though he would never allow conversations to descend into gossip. What he missed most however was fresh daily bread warm from the oven. Everyone has their weaknesses.
The crew of the Red Vengence were a bit surprised when Captain Skull returned to the vessel accompanied by a sailor named Jon Farthing. It was the captain’s usual practice to kill all those that had gone ashore to bury his plunder. But this time there was a survivor that might lead others to the booty.
Three months later, Skull was arrested by officers from a French frigate while ashore to procure provisions. At that, first mate, Hal Scallion decided the buccaneering life was becoming to precarious with British, Dutch, and French navies now patrolling the Caribbean. He ordered to Vengence to the atoll where Skull had last buried loot and told Farthing to accompany him ashore.
As they left the dinghy, Scallion handed Farthing a shovel and told him to recover the chests. Farthing scanned the beach and did some mental calculations and the proceed to a point in the sand and began to dig. After over an hour, and with nothing had been revealed, Scallion shouted, “Farthing are you a dullard? Have you forgotten where you buriied the booty?”
“No Captain,” the youth replied. “T’was ten paces from the seal on the right. I am sure of it, I am. Captain Skull telled me that I was to burn it in me mind, and if ye asked, I were to tell ye just that.”
Ben could, and the operative word here is “could,” be quite affectionate and comforting to Grandmother. Granny Delia doted on him, but he was rather hit and miss in his reciprocation. Despite all of her best efforts, Ben would stay out late at night, and sometimes not come home at all, for days at a time, ignoring her frequent calls, only to return as if nothing had happened at all. I guess tomcats can be like that.
Hans-Dieter Jäger, aka Jon Hunter waited on the embankment across from the Houses of Parliament. He had been operating in London for about a month and his cover as a disabled veteran of the Great War seemed intact, it being true, he having served in the Bavarian Infantry. Though he had lost a leg in that war, he was proud to now once again serve the Fatherland. His English was good, and he had mastered a sound West Country accent. His prosthetic leg also aided in his back story, not to mention its usefulness in concealing messages.
He glanced at his watch and threw a few breadcrumbs onto the coping stones and watched as the gulls and pigeons gathered. It was the perfect way to cover the arrival of the particular pigeon he was expecting.
Sure enough, the bird arrived about ten minutes later. He approached it and removed his instructions from its leg.
He stared in disbelief at the piece of paper which was written in English and merely said “Turn around.” There, Hans-Dieter found himself face to face with a MI5 agent and two policemen.
Dylan couldn’t exactly call it the perfect crime, but he was pretty sure he had gotten away with it. He was a known opponent of gun rights, and hadn’t done any real outside activity since high school. Yes, the “soyboy’s soyboy,” wouldn’t be on the radar.
Not only had he used a 30-30 he had found in a cubbyhole in the basement of the house he bought six years ago, but he also knew the previous owner had died of cancer leaving no heirs. He had waited for just the right day too. It was a snowy day which kept most everyone cozy indoors.
He had slipped out of his backdoor into the woods wearing a hoody he had found left on a train a few weeks before, and he thought it would be the perfect disquise as he never wore such things. He had merely scooped it up and put it in his briefcase. It was simple as that.
Once he had made the trees he skirted the area to arrive at his destination. He then fired two rounds into his victim and made his way back into the woods, dragging a blanket he had brought with him to level out any footprints, and he was sure the falling snow would do the rest.
The next day the local news reported that the police were baffled by the crime. They had no idea what the motive was, much less the identity of the perpetrator. Who would shoot two holes into an inflatable clown at the front of a closed daycare centre?
The rat ran and he chased. If keeping up with the Jones was a struggle, and keeping up with the Kardashians only a dream, then keeping up with William Ratiker was an impossibility. This guy was unreal. He had one of those waterproof, bullet-proof lives, and he succeeded in all that he did. The problem was that “the rat,” came about most everything immorally, if not down right illegally.
Ben Willis had been an officer in the “Fraud Squad” for eight years, and for most of that time he had been trying to nail Ratiker. But, the Rat always seemed a step ahead. Ben was hoping that today was going to be different. He had finally found a hole in one of Ratiker’s alibis. Ben wasn’t going to merely chase this time, he was going to let the Rat run a maze of Willis’ creation. He would just wait for him to incriminate himself, and then he would have him.
It only took a couple of phone calls, and a little disinformation as to what Willis knew already to get Ratiker to go straight to the safe deposit box where the evidence Ben needed would be found. When Ratiker arrived Willis was waiting for him, warrant in hand. The rat indeed ran, but this time Ben was waiting for him.
Charon’s daughter sat waiting for her father’s boat to return. Until it did, she sat patiently on the pier holding a lantern to show the arriving passengers the way. It wasn’t the career she had hoped for. After all, she had great legs and had always wanted to be a model. But it was the family business, and she had been convinced to stay on at least till she got her break. She had really loved her gap year, two years ago. She had seen loads of places she could have only dreamed of back here on the Styx. The longer she sat the more she regretted giving in to her mother’s pleas to stay. Finally, as the ferry came back into view, she decided to tell her dad she had had enough. When he got to her side, she would let him know that she was heading back to Milan at the end of the week. If this job had taught her anything, it was that life’s too short to waste.
Doug Rivner looked from the window of the Hobbit hole and tried to assess his chances. He could count at least twenty-six orcs from his vantage point and he knew that making a break for it was against the odds. Fair enough, this was a Hobbit’s house and the pantry was well stocked, but he couldn’t hold out indefinitely. Eventually they would breach the door, or he would be forced to confront them. He hated the waiting game.
Only three years before he had become a Ranger, back before the dark magic brought orcs, goblins, and bugbears back from near extinction. This is insane, he thought to himself. I survived the Covid back in 2020-23 and the high water levels global warming had brought in ’27. He quickly counted the remaining bullets in his ammo pouch. Damn, 30 rounds. No way am I going to take them all out.
He double checked the barricade at the round door, and cut a piece of cheese. He then sat with his back to the far wall and munched his snack. He then placed his assault rifle across his lap and settled in. He would doze for a bit, and then come morning, Rivner, the last of the Rangers, would try to break out, or at least “go out” in a blaze of glory.
“You aren’t going to get away with reporting us. We know where you live and it might not be today, but we will get you,” Miller spat as he was led away.
Dan felt himself hyperventilating. He knew what the gang was capible of. He had witnessed their misdeeds first hand, and that is what had led to this moment. Dan sucked it up and walked slowly away trying not to let the threat repeat in his mind. He knew he was safe for the moment, and that while the perpetrators were in custody, this afternoon, he would be safe. But what about tomorrow?
This weighed on his mind for the entire journey home. Then a plan occured to him. He would alter his leaving time, and leave through the back gate. This would get him onto the street where his sixteen-year old cousin lived and he would then get her and her friend Tony to walk him to school. Sometimes it was tough being eight, but at least he had a relative for protection.