Chad Rohrbacher’s Gischler Contest…Did He Fly?

Chad Rohrbacher kindly offered up a contest a couple of weeks ago.  The winning entry gets a bundle of stuff by Victor Gischler.  You can check the original post here and while you’re at it you can have a look around Chad’s Site, it’s more than worth a mooch.

Gischler writes gritty noir and has also written for Marvel comics, hence the prize.  So, I’ve tried to add the two together in my entry for this comp.

I hope you enjoy…


He had always thought he could fly; only no one ever believed him. You see, he was, lets say, a special kid. He was a bit slow in the head. Reading and writing just weren’t things that his brain was capable of. He couldn’t spell for shit, let alone spell the word shit! When his younger brother was born though, people paid him even less attention than they had before, but it didn’t really bother him. He wasn’t capable of emotions and he just carried on in his own little world of being able to fly. But when his younger brother started saying that he could fly too, well, that just wasn’t fair.

* * *

Gary Black was a loan shark. He wasn’t your run of the mill loan shark. He was big time and had some nasty men working for him. His business was extremely profitable and he had most of the local police force in his pocket.

“So, you need another month to pay back the loan? What d’you think I am a fucking bank. You came to me ‘cos the bank fucked you off. What d’you want me to do, give you special treatment ‘cos you’re a fucking copper? Fuck you, you piece of shit. I’ll tell you what, to show you I’m a fair man, you get that money to me by the end of the week or Tony, over there, will be paying you a visit.”

“Th…thanks, Gary. Err…is the end of the week Friday or Sunday?”

“You decide, and pray you choose the right day. You’re the gambler. Now get out of here and do your job of keeping these streets safe. And next time you come in here, show me some respect. Only my friends call me Gary. It’s Mr Black to you.”

The door was opened by Tony and the policeman was shown out.

“So, what’s the job list today boss? Anything decent, ‘cos me and Dwain haven’t cracked any heads for a few days. We’re getting a bit rusty.”

Tony Bradley smiled at his boss, his gold incisors glinting in the sunlight shining through the office window. He walked over to the seat that had just been vacated and sat in front of his boss.

“Yeah, I’ve got a special job for you today. There’s a guy over in the city. Lives in that Beetham Tower at the end of Deansgate. Not a full shilling, but he owes me big and he’s owed it for too long now. Get over there,” Gary said and handed Tony an address and a plastic key card, “He’s on the thirty eighth floor. Do what you do best, Tony, and report back to me.”

Tony took the items from his boss and stood up. He walked to the office door and opened it.


“Yes boss?”

“Don’t matter; just make sure he doesn’t need any more money.”

Tony left the office and made his way to the car, meeting his equally deranged friend, Dwain, on the way to the car park.

From the office window, Gary Black watched the black BMW with the blacked out windows emerged from the car park and head north across the city centre towards the tower.


The ratatatatat of a machine gun echoed around the apartment. A shout of delight sounded followed by another blast of gunfire.

A faint click in the hallway was drowned out by the commotion in the living room.

Whoops of joy followed by rapid gunfire. “Yeah! Have some of that. You’ll never kill me.”

Tony and Dwain walked down the hallway, listening to the commotion ahead of them. Just off to their left there was a large sliding glass door that led out onto a balcony. The late afternoon sun brightened the room. But what welcomed them in the main room was a geek’s playground. There were original arcade games, set out along the walls: space invaders, galaxians, donkey kong and pacman. There were pinball machines from years gone by.

Tony was momentarily overcome by a flashback to his youth.

All over the walls there children’s drawing’s. Stick people with words written underneath them; ineligible words. Stick people flying, stick people jumping over buildings. And in each picture there were always two people. One was always bigger than the other.

In the centre of the room was a leather couch sat in front of a huge flat screen television that hung on the main wall. On the screen were a troop of soldiers advancing on the bombed and bullet ridden remains of a building. The soldiers advanced slowly, as did Tony and Dwain.

“What are you guys up to?”

Tony stopped in his tracks, holding his hand up to Dwain who was behind him.

The man on the couch who was playing the game didn’t move. His speech was laboured and almost childlike.

“Come on guys. Join me.”

Tony turned to Dwain with a quizzical look on his face.

“That’s it. Kill the German bugger’s!”

Tony turned back to the man on the couch and realised he was talking into his headset. He was hooked up live to his Xbox and speaking to like minded geeks from other countries.

What the fuck has the world come to? Tony thought as they continued to the centre of the room.

A reflection in the television caught the man’s attention and he turned to look at Tony and Dwain.

“Who are you and how have you got in?”

Tony waved the card key.

“Are you here to play?” The man’s lips parted in a huge smile.

Tony and Dwain looked at each other.

“Sorry, we’d love to, but your expiration date is up,” Tony said walking over the the glass door.

The smile stayed on the man’s face as Dwain grabbed him and pulled him over the back of the couch, dragging him out onto the balcony where Tony was waiting for them.

“Say goodbye now,” Tony said as his colleague hoisted the man over the balcony.

Tony got his mobile phone out and dialled, “Yeah, yeah, boss its Tony. Job done.  Straight in and all over.”

Looking out of his office window, Gary Black had a concerned look on his face.

“So, he’s dead?”

“Went over the balcony and fell to the earth like a sack of shit, boss.”

“Err, Tony. Did he…err, did he fly?”


“Did he fucking fly?” Gary snapped.

“He flew over the balcony, if that’s what you mean. Dwain helped him over it. He’ll be like road kill on Deansgate now, boss. Just another depressed suicide victim.”

“Okay, okay. Forget I asked you that. Good job lads, thanks. Come back to the office and we’ll have a drink.”

As Gary put the phone back in its holder, on the North side of Manchester his two henchmen were plummeting from the thirty eighth floor to their deaths. On the balcony, Cameron Black stood with a smile on his face.

“That was fun guys. Now it’s your turn.”


Please let me know what you think.  Thanks for looking…



Filed under chad rohrbacher, contest entry, david barber, david barber's fiction world, did he fly

20 responses to “Chad Rohrbacher’s Gischler Contest…Did He Fly?

  1. Yup some nasties alright. tough dialogue and flair for the hard-boiled here David. Lovely way for the boys to go, have a nice flight!

  2. G

    I got lost on this one. I read it three times, and I got confused at the point when Gary's two henchmen tossed the guy over the balcony, then the ending states that those two same henchmen go flying over the balcony.Am I missing something?

  3. Loved that ending. Couldn't have happened to nicer guys.

  4. Michael – Thanks for the feedback.G – At the start there's a simple kid who believes he can fly but then so does his younger brother. The thug and the guy at the end are the brothers. Cameron and Gary Black. Cameron was the guy who they tossed over the balcony BUT he could actually fly and he returned to the balcony and threw them over, thinking it was a game. ???Laurita – Thanks a lot for looking. Appreciate it.

  5. Cool stuff and some nice twists in there.

  6. Steve – Thanks man. I'll get round to reading the other entries over the next couple of days.

  7. Another well constructed story, Dave. Cameron was certainly 'cuckoo'… and flew like one, too!Like the way you twist-ended it with the nuance of the child-like game fitting with Cameron's personality. Very good stuff.Good luck in the comp, bud.

  8. Col – My writing buddy! Thanks mate. really appreciate you taking the time to read it and comment. Good luck with what you're up to. 😉

  9. Nice twist on the ending.

  10. Cameron,eh? Very nicely done. Good twisty-turny.

  11. Cool stuff. Really liked that.

  12. G

    Ahhh…now it makes sense.Shows you how alert I was while reading it.I think I need more sleep.

  13. I very much enjoyed this story.

  14. Now that was certainly a twisty pretzel. Loved how Gary was so matter-of-fact about the flying. Extra cool stuff!

  15. Nice twist. I didn't see that one coming.

  16. Jarrett, Paul, Eric, G, Pegjet, Beach, Randal & Dana – Appreciate the comments. Thanks for your time.

  17. 😉 Nice twist at the end! But, assuming both brothers were telling the truth as children, I wonder when we'll see GARY fly…..!!)A very entertaining little piece Mr B. Well done!(PS – sorry, I thought I'd already commented on this earlier

  18. Sue – Thanks a lot. Hello to Mr H.

  19. quick and fun read — Nice twist on end — loved the way you brought the crime/superhero thing together

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