It’s Cormac Brown’s Friday Flash Fiction time again. For this session, Cormac gave us four words that had to be in the story. There was no order as to how they were used, just that you had to use them all.
Rubble, Toil, Bubble, Coil.
I have to say that I found it a bit tricky to include them and I just hope I’ve pulled it off. My story goes a little over the 1000 word mark, but hey, who’s counting?
Hope you enjoy…
“You’re bubble has burst I’m afraid,” he said, “All the work and toil you put up in, and here you are, in a world of hurt.”
I eyed him with pure hatred, his words repeating in my head as I stared. He was about six feet tall with a shaved head and a scar on his right cheek that ran from the corner of his eye to his top lip. He went by the name of Bender.
“You’ve got away with too much, Spence, and it’s about time someone knocked you off your perch,” his partner, Rover said. He was shorter than Bender, wider in the shoulders but just as ugly.
It’d be easy for them to knock me off my perch at this moment in time.
I was tied to a chair in a lock-up at the rear of hardware store, and from what I’d seen most of the power tools were stored in here. My left hand had already made acquaintance with one of them, a pair of electric tin snips, and had said goodbye to its little finger. The pain had been horrific as the jaws had cut through flesh and bone but as adrenaline had coursed through my veins, the pain had subsided. Fatigue was now kicking in; probably due to the beating I’d had but was now more likely due to blood loss.
Our minds barely remember physical pain, it seems to be able to block it out, but emotional pain is a different story. That shit lingers round forever and the man who came into the room had a lot of emotional pain going on.
“So, Spence, we finally catch up.”
“Yes,” I said, “We finally catch up, although I don’t remember you doing much of the chasing.”
“That’s what I pay my boys to do.”
“Nothing to do with you being a fat fuck, then?” I chuckled.
“You’re a brave man to talk like that in your position, Spence,” Roland Marks said.
“Well, considering I’m tied to this chair, it’s the only position I can be in.”
“You’ve got a smart mouth, and if you don’t want to loose any more of your fingers, I suggest you keep it shut.”
Roland Marks was a man of means. He was rich with money that his father had made from the scrap metal industry, only Roland had taken it further and had gone into supplying drugs to the scrap human industry. His fortunes had grown and so had his girth. His health was in decline as well, and that was the reason I was where I am now.
You see, Roland was pushing sixty and his rich man’s lifestyle had taken its toll on him. Booze, cigars, too much eating at restaurants, they’d all contributed to his health problems. But his main problem had affected his marriage to Elizabeth, his thirty two year old wife. I don’t think I need to explain any more, do I?
“You know, Roland. You should change your name. Your dodgy liver has turned your hair yellow as well as your skin. You look more like Barney Rubble every time I see you.”
There was a snigger from the back of the lock up. Roland turned to see who it was but his thugs had their heads down.
Roland walked over to me and brought his fist down hard on the right side of my face. Fireworks went off in my head and I could feel my lip swelling.
“You watch your fucking mouth!” he shouted, catching his breath.
I managed to laugh and looked up at him. “Hey Roland, is that a really small gun in your pocket…..or is it just your snub nosed, lifeless cock?”
Oh fuck, right on the same spot. This time my lip split.
“You fucking smart mouthed piece of shit! You’re going to be sorry you were born, you c…”
Roland coughed and staggered backwards, clutching at his chest and gasping for breath. His two monkeys ran to him, holding him up. Bender ran to the desk that sat in the corner of the room and grabbed a chair. Rover lowered the gasping man into it and looked over at me, his eyes wide.
I tried to sit up straight, weakly pushing myself against the back of the wooden chair. Rover walked over, reaching into his pocket. His hand emerged, his knuckles now covered in brushed steel.
“You’ve fucked it now, Spence. Say goodbye to the world and hello to planet pain.”
“NO! Rover, now’s not the time,” Roland coughed, “There’s plenty of time for that. I’ve got some talking to do.”
Rover backed off, a look of dejection on his face. I managed a painful smile at him.
Bender aided Roland as he walked over to me, carrying the chair. He placed the chair in front of me and the older man sat down, taking deep breaths. Then Roland spoke.
“Spencer, you were my best man, someone I could rely on. Where did it go wrong? I trusted you with everything, the business, the money side of things, and then you take it upon yourself to, to,” he took a few breaths, “to fuck my wife!”
“Roland….she needed….satisfying” I stammered.
“You went too far, Spence. You over stepped your mark and, I’m not sorry to say, you’re gonna have to pay. Bender, Rover, you know what to do.”
Roland looked at his two men and struggled from his chair, one hand on his chest as he took in deep breaths.
I couldn’t help but laugh, and I laughed hard, hard enough to cough up blood. I spat it onto the floor, most of it landing on Roland’s expensive shoes.
“Laugh it up Spence, laugh it up, cause it’ll probably be the last time you do.” Bender told me.
The two men loomed over me, Rover pushing his knuckle dusters firmly into place. Just as I tensed up for the first blow, the back door flew open.
“Roland, what are you doing? What’s going on?”
Roland turned round from the bench he was standing at, a paint stripper in his hand, its heating coil glowing orange.
“Elizabeth, what are you doing here? I…I told you to never come here.” Roland said between deep breaths.
“This is all wrong,” she said, looking in my direction, “You’ve got it all wrong”
“What….do you….mean, wrong? Wrong, how? Look, honey, I don’t….I don’t blame you. You had your….reasons, but that bastard….should have known better. You don’t….bite the hand that….feeds you.”
“It’s got nothing to do with Spence,” she said stepping into the room.
“No?” Roland growled.
“No, it was me,” another voice said coming out of the shadows and walking in behind Elizabeth.
“Son? My own son….betrayed….me?”
Holy shit! She’s been banging his son as well. Who’s fucking kid is she carrying then?
To be continued…..
By the way, go and check out Cormac’s latest post. He’s got a link to a great site and some excellent old “pulp magazine” covers.
You know the drill………..