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Author Topic: Murphy's Law of Time Passage...  (Read 601 times)

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Offline Frozen FlameTopic starter

Murphy's Law of Time Passage...
« on: September 11, 2010, 01:05:33 PM »
Time seemed to stand still, which had an odd cruelty to it. Usually, Time tended to progress from a steady, incorrigible march to a flat-out-sprint. When one is enjoying themselves, Time would outdo itself, getting into Its European Sports Car (one of those gas guzzlers that goes from 0 to 60 in under four seconds,) cranking it up to 300 hundred miles and laying you flat as it does so.

Now, however, each moment was crystallized, running almost as quickly as set glass. And why shouldn't it be so? The prison walls were sufficiently cold and thick to make one miserable. Telephone communication was never given to those in the walls, and visits only came if one's family happened to number among the guards, or dwelt upon the small island town outside of the fortress's walls. Guards patrolled in circuits with ruthless precision and efficiency.

Tom simply shrugged and turned his mind to planning. Every situation could be resolved, if only one had the will and wits to endure. This was rather difficult, when the will to survive sapped the wits needed to be alert and aware, but necessary nonetheless. The methodical nature of planning was his only salvation, though this would be much more difficult without his only real companion; the leaky stone above his head. It dripped at a constant rate, serving as the only way for him to know for certain that time was passing between the guards' circuits.

He found out after his fifth day that the guards patrolled every 1,122 drops, except after the eighth patrol, which he supposed was lights-out time. He wasn't sure how helpful this would be, but he filed it away. He started to notice patterns in which the guards patrolled. The foremost of the guards would come every third day, after 5,610 drops. His inspections were much slower, more deliberate, but no less indifferent. Shouting at the guards, trying to elicit human contact in this solitary cell was a fool's errand. The drumbeat of their boots came with startling predictability, and had been burned into his mind. The slower clip-clop of the Officer's pace would beat in counterpoint to this.

That's when a plan started to make itself clear. Risky, perhaps, but anything was better than being cooped up in the cold silence of some hellhole island in the middle of the Carribean.

Unscrewing the the faucet from his personal sink was difficult, but he managed. Each night, after the eighth circuit, he started to chip away at the stone above him, knowing that whatever leak there could be made worse. This would make the indifferent guard take notice, but only if someone who cared to look would notice. And who better than the captain of the guard?

He chipped away methodically at the stone above his head, using his bunk to get him as close as possible to the cieling. If the guards heard the sound, they showed no concern for it. He worked quickly through the night, replacing the faucet, which was now filed to a point from the constant chipping at the stone. A week passed, and the Captain of the Guard would be making his rounds. Knowing it was now or never, Tom gave it one last, desperate hurrah. His plan paid off and the leak became quite a drizzle. By the next morning, his floor was coated in a thin layer of water.

Tom hid the faucet with the sharpened spout behind his back, and waited. Though the water had long since ceased to drip at its maddening, constant rate, the slow drip was part of him now. He knew it would play in his mind forevermore- whether that was in his nightmares after a miraculous escape, or as his torment in Hell, he had no idea.

The length of heavy steel that was the faucet had a good balance. He swung it, practicing a few times, trying to imagine the best angles at which to use it to cause maximum damage to whomever needed to be dispatched. Once he was satisfied he would know what to do, he waited in the silence.

The first three patrols passed as they normally did. On the fourth and fifth circuits, the guards paused by his cell, probably to look at the water, which now flowed beyond his cell and soaked into the mortar between the rough stone. Tom kept his eyes closed, hoping that the fifth guard would run to tell the Captain. A good bet, since the Captain's patrol was next.

Finally he heard the slower, more punctuated step of the officer's boots. He breathed deeply, calming himself for what was to come.

As expected, the officer paused outside of his cell. In his mind's eye, Tom saw the fat man's incongruously scrawny neck drawing up and down the leak, assessing it to determine if any intervention was needed. Suddenly, he heard the sound of the key rasping within the lock.

The Captain didn't bother conversing, since neither man spoke the other's language. Instead, he looked at the steady drizzle coming from the leak in the roof. Tom opened his eyes, motionless on his bunk, watched the stout officer turn his head to the sink.

He headed to leave, and Tom gripped the faucet tightly, hoping he would stay and come a little closer.

The officer must have suddenly noticed that the long, heavy faucet was gone from the sink, since he turned back to look, pausing by Tom's bunk.

In one smooth, explosive motion, he leapt up, trapping the fat man's gun arm and pinning it to his side. The man tried to throw him off, but that's when Tom brought up the now-sharp crook of the faucet-head to the man's throat. The officer froze.

Death-threats: The real universal language.

Tom prodded the fat officer slowly, urging him forward, and staying behind. He felt for the man's gun, and pulled it out and held the barrel to the base of his skull, blade still at his throat. Were anyone to get a lucky shot on Tom without hitting the Captain first, the sharp point would drag a wide, bloody swath down his neck, ending both their lives.

He only hoped that the Captain ranked high enough to be a good bargaining chip.

Offline Frozen FlameTopic starter

Re: Murphy's Law of Time Passage...
« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2010, 01:45:30 PM »
Taking a deep breath, he probed the sanguine guard up the stairs to the other cell blocks. Once they had made this passage, the other prisoners stirred like a wasp's nest from the errant rock of a young boy. They clamored upon the bars, shouting in various languages. Tom was comforted by the few strains of English, but not enough to do anything stupid.

Two guards rushed in, draw by the sudden din, and paused at the sight before them. They drew their guns, backing steadily away. The Captain of the Guard shouted at them in whatever language they spoke on this flyspeck island. It wasn't Spanish, French of Portugese, and Tom couldn't think of too many other tongues that would be spoken here.

The men looked confused, and it was probable that the panicked Captain told them to stand down and holster their weapons. Using the gun, Tom motioned to where the shiny steel tip rested, just under the apple of the Captain's throat, to show them he had two ways of killing should the need arise.

Jerking his head to the side, Tom motioned for the two guards to move against the barred walls on their left, composed of an empty cell. Tom needed to get through this corridor without the danger of being flanked when he passed the guards. If he could just get to the end of the corridor, he could get up the stairs to the helipad two stories above.

They seemed hesitant, and rightly so. Their better judgement won over though, and they did as they were bid. One however, made the mistake of taking out his cheap walkie-talkie.

The pistol was familar, one Tom had practiced with several times before coming to the island. He squeezed out a shot at the small black box, knocking it cleanly out of his hand. He wouldn't have been disappointed if the shot left a hole in the guard's metacarpals, but felt a flush of pride at his accuracy just the same. Adrenaline does funny things.

The other guard paused, as he obviously had in mind to do the same. With a wink and a cocksure grin, I started down the hall, past their flattened forms. I turned around, to keep the guards in front of me, and prodded the Captain backward, a bit rougher than I needed to. I reached behind me, opened the door to the stairwell and paused.

Tom spotted one of the guns by his foot. The guard saw this, and with an historic oh-shit-I-just-blew-it look, cursed.

Unable to resist the opportunity to make some more chaos, he kicked the pistol over to a nearby cell, watching as a pair of dark arms snatched it up. Bolting behind the door, he jammed it shut and prodded Captain what's-his-name up the stairs.

The climb was long and laborious, with several sharp prompts needed for him to continue. In time, however, they gained the roof, and the helipad. Upon it waited an empty black helicopter. This would have made Tom's heart light indeed, except for the three armed guards flanking it.

Whoever had built the facility had been complacent, and didn't seem to feel the need for a guard tower. Since the Island was secret by necessity, there were no spotlights or traditional landing facilities. And until today that had worked.

The fellows' manner of dress was utterly dissimilar to that of the guards, suggesting some sort of paramilitary outfit or mercenary trio. To the men below, killing the captain of the guard would have meant becoming prisoners themselves, or worse. These fellows on the other hand, were soldiers of a sort, and used to making difficult decisions with deadly pragmatism. A dead prison guard probably meant no more than some time in the brig, or a docked paycheck, depending on which mad dictator ran this outfit.

Drawing in his breath, Tom gambled upon the fact that the three wouldn't want to risk their payday on a dead guard. They probably figured his escape was improbable and were only waiting for him to make a mistake.

Tom grinned, with every intention of foiling them on both accounts.

Offline Frozen FlameTopic starter

Re: Murphy's Law of Time Passage...
« Reply #2 on: September 11, 2010, 02:04:57 PM »
The other guard paused, as he obviously had in mind to do the same. With a wink and a cocksure grin, Tom started down the hall, past their flattened forms. Turning around to keep the guards at his front, he prodded the Captain forward.

(SORRY! Noticed an odd POV-switch. My bad :( Aaanyway....)

The standoff escalated with neither side gaining or losing ground, when suddenly the doors opened. Tom expected to see another guard, but to his surprise, one of the prisoners waved a gun, shouting at the three men. One of them turned to this unexpected interloper, the other two remaining pointed at either side of Tom's head.

Fearing the worst, he grimaced when he heart the gunshot, but realized it wasn't followed by the zip of the soldier's rifle. Flickering his eyes, he saw the dark-skinned prisoner, clothes tattered, and hand steady on the trigger. Before him lay the prone mercenary, blood pooling by his head.

The second soldier turned his gun to the recent escapee, but the prisoner was better. With deadly aim, he punched a hole in the rifleman's throat. Tom grimaced, feeling outclassed by the newcomer's perfection, but resolved the problem of the last soldier his own way. With one violent twist, he jerked the Captain's neck over the razor-point of the faucet. Blood fountained down his throat as he gasped for air and words and life that would not come. Ducking behind the shorter, wider man, Tom planted a kick on his behind, launching him into the bewildered soldier of fortune.

The man tried to react, but was unable to before three-hundred-odd pounds of glorified security guard fell atop him. The rifle, now trapped was no longer a hazard.

Tom walked over the man, whose eyes ran wild. Leveling the gun between his eyes, Tom shot the man without a second thought. As he climbed into the helicopter, the other prisoner came forward.

"Please, let me come with you," he implored.

Tom hesitated, but decided that he had been very lucky. Bad things happened to people who turned jackass after a streak of fortune, and he saw no reason to tempt the fates.

"Sure, go ahead and get to the chopper," Tom said, starting it up.

The dark man's skin shone with sweat. "Thank you, for this, and for the gun. My family and I are ever in your debt. May I know your name?"

"Tom Falcone, Librarian at Large," he said as they took off into the sunset.

A few moments passed. "Seriously?" asked the former prisoner.

[The End]

Offline Dark Rhain

Re: Murphy's Law of Time Passage...
« Reply #3 on: September 20, 2010, 10:28:04 PM »
Ahh!! This was enjoyable!!
I noticed the pov switch but it didnt interfere with my enjoyment.
I look forward to reading more of your writing. :-)