Rejects from the idea fa.., p.4
Rejects From The Idea Factory; A Flash Fiction Anthology, p.4Ray Daley
“You there Bella?” I looked at his radio, unsure about answering it. “Bella, wake up god damn it!”
I keyed up. “Yur.” I hoped that sounded enough like him to fool them. It was a cheap radio, the fact that either side could hear the other at all amazed me no end.
“You jacking it over those showers again dude?” His partners weren't very nice people.
I keyed up again. “Nur. Nur!”
I'd only been listening to these people a little over a day but I had already decided that I didn't like them. Not one bit. I guess that'd make killing them all that much easier.
“Hey there Bella. You got their leader pegged yet?” asked the voice over the radio.
“Nur.” I replied. I had no idea who they were looking for or why. It made no odds to me.
“You need any supplies Bella?”
I took a few moments to think about it. How would they resupply him? Would he go to them? Would they come to him? Or was there some drop-off point in between the two groups?
“Come on Bella, that's a simple enough question, even for you. Do you need supplies?” Jeez but were they impatient, give a man a chance to think maybe?
“Yur” I replied.
“Food? Or ammo?” asked the radio voice.
“Yur. Yur.” I hoped they'd know that meant Bella wanted both. Meaning more of them delivering it.
“Drop point two again?” asked the radio voice.
“Nur.” That was no help to me, I had no clue where that was and Bella was no longer in any state to enlighten me either.
“Pick up from us then? Or we come to you?” asked the radio voice.
Ah, my chance at last. “Nur. Yur.” Hopefully they'd understand that.
“Your place it is then big guy. We’ll come at midnight. Have that map ready, okay?”
“Yur.” I'd have something much better waiting for them when they arrived.
“Good man. See you later Bella.” The radio went silent.
The sun sank slowly and I managed to drag Bella over into a deep gully where he'd be difficult to find, regardless of which direction his friends approached from. I found myself some equally good cover too. I generally don't like to wait but I'd get a chance to vent my frustration on his compatriots soon enough.
His partners weren't exactly subtle as they approached his position, announcing their arrival with flashlights waving and very heavy boots stomping. They wandered into the small camp and started going through Bella’s gear. Like I said before, not very nice people at all.
“Hey Bella! Wake up man, we're here!” That was the one on the radio. The smart-ass.
Time to upset them, I guess.
I'd killed the closest guy to me before he even made a sound. And the second. Who wasn't a guy. Not that it mattered any more. She was dead now. Smart-ass was left all alone then. I was on top of him moments later.
“Who... who are you?” Smart-ass asked just after I'd stabbed him. I smiled. That just scared him even more. He knew I'd killed their biggest guy on my own. A little scrote like him might act like a big man over the radio but he knew he was nothing here.
I sat on his chest watching the life trickle slowly out of him. As he was seconds away from meeting his maker I whispered the last thing he ever heard.
“Yur, I was Bella.”
Authors Notes:- Yeah, this one. It's probably obvious I never had an ending for this. I just picked the first idea and went with it. I'm sorry if it's terrible. There are fourteen other stories which aren't as bad. Read one of those instead?
Fishing For Junk At Sunset
By Ray Daley
As the sun slowly started to rise, we looked across the water. We can see the water. Again.
"You made it on time then?" the voice of Tony Tan roused us from our introspection.
"We always do Mister Tan. I trust our payment will clear as usual?" Our voice is as one, but we are many.
Tony smiled in that slightly unnerving way he always did. "Of course." Tony’s money is good, eventually. He can be slow in paying it sometimes though. We think one day, he'll try and stiff us.
And on that day you can be sure we'll stiff him too. Terminally. Literally.
Tony left us with his promises and reassurances echoing emptily in our audio pick-up circuits.
Already the first boats were slipping their lines, eager to get a few runs in across the bay before the daily melee began. If it weren't for us, you'd be able to walk across Shanghai Bay.
We keep it clear, navigable. We call ourselves The Fishermen.
Yes, we know what you call us. We don't care.
Without us, no boat would ever feel the freedom of open water. Or any water, in fact. We clean up the rubbish, the plastic, the stuff that doesn't biodegrade.
It initially started out as a project to clear flotsam from the farthest reaches of the worlds oceans.
Only one problem. Mankind.
It is difficult, almost impossible for people to survive for any length of time out in the currents where the rubbish collects. But not for us.
No. We are an AI. We are The Fishermen.
We keep your seas clean.
Authors Notes:- The title is based on a piece of music by Jean-Michel Jarre. Pollution of water, especially the sea is getting worse each year. I'd read an article about a student who'd built a solar powered device that scooped the non-biodegradable plastic from the ocean surface. That's where this came from.
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