New Year’s Revolution 2020

Posted by David A Ludwig
Jan 24 2020

I almost ran out of time again, but also again have managed to put together an entry for the New Year’s Revolution 2020 Blog Hop, hosted by Cara Michaels.

The prompt this time was a story on the theme of New Year’s; Absolution, Evolution, Execution, Retribution or Revolution. My 744 words are from my Fantasy Fighter setting, and may indicate the shape of some of my flash fiction to come for this year. Make sure to check out the challenge link to find other entries in the comments!

                Johnny Treeman was out like a light, collapsed on top of his sheets in his broad collared metallic disco shirt and flare jeans. 2019 had been a heck of a year. Skipping the Agency shindig was a better call than he’d expected; he barely made it home after a single ginger beer at the grill down the hill.

                He couldn’t lift his head or twitch a finger. Distant booming fireworks announced midnight. The cacophony sounded muted to Johnny’s sluggish mind. He felt cold. He rallied to try and work his way under the covers.

                A meaty vise grip practically crushed the exhausted hero’s ankle before dragging him over the foot of his bed.

                “RETRIBUTION!” A terrifyingly familiar voice howled.

                Johnny’s floor splintered under his body, then the ceiling and finally a dresser crumbled around him as the dirty giant cudgeled the hero around his home. Johnny struggled to his feet, spitting blood and bracing for battle—more concerned about his assailant’s assault, than how the burlap shrouded fiend learned a four-syllable word.

                “You brought this on yourself, you know?” The sultry purr to Johnny’s left surprised him. “There will be no absolution for your sins.”

                “What sins?”

                Johnny adjusted his stance to encompass the extra enemy, cursing his persisting ponderous movement. The warm skinned fiery eyed Greek in his doorway was decked out in her finest dominatrix leather. Not a good sign. How did either of them get past Johnny’s security without waking him up?

                “The way you persecute poor Butch; always beating him then locking him up is unforgivable.”

                Johnny was in no condition to fight Butch Slade, even without Melantha Karahalios. Still, he couldn’t help one strident laugh.

                “That murdering dirtbag doesn’t deserve any better. You have that in common, I suppose.”

                Butch’s animalistic growl and wild eyes under his sack hood were more the level of articulation Johnny was accustomed to from his nemesis; the message unsettlingly clear given the hero’s present handicap.

                “I had a similar revelation.” Melantha’s laugh was lighter than Johnny’s had been. “You and Butch are more evenly matched than your win-loss ratio suggests. But when you get in trouble, your Agency friends bail you out. Butch has no one on his side. I find it criminal he hasn’t won even once.”

                “If he won, I’d be dead!”

                Johnny tried to keep Melantha talking while he looked for a way out. Butch was clearly waiting on his succubus ally draped comfortably in the doorway.

                “Things have been too simple for you heroes; calling in as much backup as you pleased in your pursuit of lone wrongdoers. My assistance is just the evolution Butch’s vendetta needed.”

                Johnny’s imperceptible creep toward his bedroom window was spoiled by his knees buckling, and he had to catch himself on the corner of his bed. Butch immediately imposed himself between Johnny and the window egress. Sadistic hunger burned in Melantha’s scarlet eyes.

                “Feeling groggy, Johnny? That totem of yours really is impressive. I thought enough tranquilizer for one grizzly bear in your drink would be enough, yet you staggered all the way home.”

                The hero’s eyes widened as the pieces came together. With her magic, Melantha could have been anyone in the bar.

                “That’s the beauty of these team ups; I thought I had failed in the execution of my plan when you made it into your stronghold.” Melantha nodded to Butch. “It turns out all your fancy defenses are just an alarm system to Butch—and I was able to assure him you wouldn’t hear it.”

                Butch stamped on Johnny’s foot to keep him from flying away at the impact of the brute’s oversized fist. Trying to burn his way through the drugs and the pain, Johnny latched onto Butch’s arm but was too far gone to find the elbow and break it.

                The musty mammoth lifted his foe easily into the air, before headbutting him down through the foot of his bed. Johnny’s barely recovered faculties were gone again. He didn’t need to worry about fighting Melantha and Butch at the same time. The sultry sorceress had already done her part and was content to gloat.

                “You can tell Aphrodite; this is the new normal. From now on, the bad guys team up too.”

                The demolished defender found himself grateful to be smashed through his window. Unlikely to be able to affect his landing, he still seemed safer sailing over the forest than among his allied adversaries.

                Viva la revolución.

6 Responses

  1. Siobhan Muir says:

    That’s definitely going to put a damper on the whole hero-always-wins thing. Great flash, David.

  2. I love a good team-up and it’s always more interesting when the good guys actually struggle. Good job!

  3. Thanks for the comments!

  4. Miranda Kate says:

    Interesting tale. Hero is not quite so heroic in this one. Well done.

  5. Oooh, Melantha’s new strategy promises loads of fun for this world. 🙂 Thanks for joining the challenge, David!

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