Malingering in Moab

May 18, 2010


So we spent a quiet night for once, or at least after we were able to kick Ethan out of our room. Being alone with Hannah in a comfortable bed once again was amazing in more ways than I would care to count. She is quite the Goddess. She is only the second female Stalwart I’ve met and although Mar was a wild one, she was a little too dark for my tastes. Hannah is the light to that dark and sometimes, I find myself wondering if I’m really worthy of such grandeur.

Again, it points out, with a ten-foot razor tipped spear, how becoming a Stalwart has changed me. I may have to risk my life every few days or so, but there are also some perks to being a superhero and one of them is being with a woman such as Hannah.

After I dressed, I looked through my weapons; I still had the sledge luckily. A few knives and chains I’d grabbed from the Ripperkah bikers were also stuffed into my backpack, but I needed a little more.

One thing I had plenty of was money, which is certainly another thing that had never been the case before I became a Stalwart. Thank you Loskeep!

So I went shopping. Now, I didn’t want the local fuzz to come down on me, so I tried to keep it a little low-key. I grabbed up some new axes, one full sized and two small. A hammer and nails and well as a baseball bat to go with them.

When I saw a big-ass vise it gave me an idea and I grabbed that up too.   Hannah was still getting ready…women; when I found Ethan outside of his room, chain-smoking. “Hey any chance you can rent a ride?”

“I can’t, but Brian Whitney can,” he said, while flipping out a wallet crammed with all sorts of fake IDs and credit cards.

“And you were trying to bum money from me? Dick.”

“Hey, I try not to use these.”

“Right…” I handed him eight hundred dollar bills. “Listen carefully” I said, but it was hard to focus with Ethan panting over the cash. “I want you to rent a big powerful SUV. Since you are a Loki guy, I also want you to grab a few jerry cans and fill them with fuel. You got it?”

“Oh yeah, it’ll be my pleasure.” Then he quickly took off whistling a happy tune. No doubt wondering how he could get what I asked for as cheaply as possible, so he could pocket as much of my cash as he could.

Hannah joined me a few moments later. Her hair glistened in the sun as if Apollo had designed it just for her. “Where did you send Sparky?”

“On an errand, which I guess frees us up for a few. Would you allow me to take you out to lunch?”

Smiling, she slipped her hand into mine and said, “Lead on handsome.”

By the time we hit the place, it was about beer-thirty and since this might have been my last quiet moment before things started to get rough again, I indulged. After I finished my cheese steak, a dozen chicken wings, as well as my second pint, I figured I’d head to the men’s room while Hannah fielded an unexpected call from her mom.

I completed my business and I was washing my hands like a good boy, when I heard the sound of movement behind me. Whipping around, I was just able to catch the descending dagger that had been meant for my back. The cloaked man got all sissy on me and tried to slice at my wrist, that is until I slammed him against the wall hard enough to crack the linoleum.

A couple more whacks and he had dropped his dagger. When I saw that it was smeared with poison, a string of rather colorful descriptors issued from my lips.

“Your hours are numbered, Primus. You think we can’t find you? What a joke. You will never make it to Idaho. You won’t even make it to a grave, for we will keep you animated corpse for target practice until we strip even inch of flesh from your bones.”

I was getting a better view of this fiend now and it was disturbing. His face was covered with dark spiraling tattoos. Like his hooded cloak, everything else he wore was a deep jet black.

I was deciding whether to insult him, ask him a few questions, or just pound this short stack when he flashed me a sick grin and burst into a couple hundred inky pieces.

At first I thought he had killed himself, but then I saw them flapping around like demented bats. Becoming liquidy slugs, they were dripping into the overhead air vent. I grabbed up and handful of paper towels and, after lighting one end on fire, I tried to burn as many as I could. They shrieked like angry gremlins, but mostly all I did was look like a freak when a businessman came in to use the can.

He tried to ask me some questions, but I suddenly remembered Hannah and rushed passed him. She was okay, but I wasn’t taking any chances. We left the bar and now I’m writing this down quickly, so there will be some record before we leave Moab.

Wish us luck.

Want more of the action, come check out Jack’s first book

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