Gum Belle, Episode VIII
Blue-white energy coruscated between the focusing rings and across the copper wires like crawling ghosts. A high-pitched whine came from the cattle prod, and the piston hissed as it rose and spun, aimed the weapon at them. Ricketts pushed himself down the bench towards Gum Belle; Gum Belle wiggled towards Ricketts. They met in the middle, as the gun tracked them with cold precision.
If this is your idea of quality time --
He never finished the sentence. The web of light spun and flared, the whine rose to a piercing tingle, and, with a crack like thunder, a bolt of white-hot electricity lashed out at them.
Gum Belle had stretched herself across the room like a sheet, attached to the ceiling by suction-cup hands. A wavering stream of white light bled around her like a halo, and her midsection bulged as something hammered against it. The sheet drooped a little as she fell into a fit of laughter, her mouth spread grote
Miss Twist: PrologueEast Berlin, December 14th, 1965. 8:30 PMMiss Twist: Prologue4 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
It was snowing on the wrong side of the Berlin Wall.
The woman in black burrowed deeper into her coat and rubbed her hands together beneath her fur hand muff. It couldn't be warmer then fifteen degrees Fahrenheit, and the harsh, blustery wind made her face numb and stiff. No wonder the lovely lads in the press department called this the Cold War.
She turned down a narrow, dingy alley, her boot-heels clicking briskly on the cobbles. Something vaguely human was huddled beneath a pile of white-dusted rubbish. She made the effort not to look too closely at it. She couldn't afford pity. She was on the clock.
The alley opened onto a street. Across the way was a local bar. Its small-paned windows were too frosty and fogged up to see inside, but two drunks slumped by the front door, singing boisterously in German. Best to move now, before they saw her and wondered why the pretty lady was skulking in the shadows. The woman in black twitched her s
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a spray of gas bombs hit her square in the face and blossomed into sickly green fumes. Gum Belles eyes rolled back in their sockets and her head fell into a stack of her own coiled neck. The crooks van roared off, its six heavy wheels leaving deep tire tracks in the unconscious womans shapeless body. Bum Frank coughed and sneezed and struggled against the belt that kept him tied the deathtrap that was now the freighter Confidence, but to no avail.
Just then, FBI Special Agent Lionel Ricketts awoke with a gasp and a pounding headache. The Confidence was littered with bodies, and there was a big pile of some rubbery red sheeting in the middle of the deck. The custom armored jobbie was long gone, but the cloying stench of the gas was everywhere.
What a mess, he grumbled. Leave it to the criminal element to vomit all over six months hard work. Jenkins was still curled in a fetal position next to one of the gangsters, whose gas mask ha
Gum Belle, Episode IVGum Belle, Episode IV6 years ago in General Fiction More Like This
Ricketts looked up, saw the falling gargoyle, and moved faster than he ever had in his life. He shoved Ted and the blonde away from him, so hard that they fell to the ground, then turned to run.
Ted hit the pavement hard as people ran everywhere around him. He rolled and flailed to keep from being trampled. Something red darted past him, like a serpent. There was an earth-shaking slam, like a giants fist punching the pavement, and gray dust billowed across the sidewalk. He raised his head, saw his Das bowler hat roll out of the dense, gray cloud, and wept.
Well, well, well, said a merry contralto voice. Looks like I caught a whopper.
The dust was clearing. There stood a pretty woman with long blonde hair and a bright red and gold costume that resembled an aviators flight suit. She was leaning against the gargoyle, and was chewing something with relaxed ease as she held her arm a good ten feet up in the air like an anglers pole, where Lion
Gum Belle, Episode VIIGum Belle, Episode VII6 years ago in General Fiction More Like This
Ted Ricketts dashed from Helmut Arcturions opera box, only to see a red-gold cocoon pulsing high above the lobby floor. Rubbery tentacles swarmed around it, each bearing a frightened opera patron, but it was his fathers face, red and straining, eyes bulging as the cocoon crushed the life out of him, that rammed an ice-cold spike of terror through his heart.
Da! he cried, his voice high and shrill.
Gum Belles head looped around on its waving, fleshy stalk of a neck, and Ted barely had enough time to glimpse the vacant, dead look in her eyes before another tentacle peeled from her body with a soft, floppy flick and whickered through the air at him.
But Ted, though only an average student in the classroom, was an attentive pupil during recess, which had taught him many valuable skills, thanks to playground bullies. One of them was: when attacked, surprise.
He ran forward. The tentacle undulated lower and whipped at his ankles, but he hopped over
Gum Belle, Episode IIIGum Belle, Episode III6 years ago in General Fiction More Like This
There was a sound behind Frank like a snake burping and his neck burned. Blood trickled down his spine in a warm, wavering stream. He had a moment of clear and lucid thought -- Did that muther just shoot me? -- before he slammed into the alley wall and collapsed.
Vincent Salucci walked over to his car and picked up a telephone receiver mounted on the back of the drivers side seat. There was a moment of static on the other end of the line, then Eddie the Rats nasal voice came through. Yeah, boss?
The couriers down. Pick him up.
Sure thing, boss.
Soon enough, the lumbering, armored, six-wheeled monstrosity of a van that they had used for the Confidence job screeched to a stop at the other end of the alley. Eddie, Brick Mick, and a few recently-promoted soldiers jumped out, picked up Franks prone body, and hauled him inside.
You sure about the drop-off point, boss? Eddie asked over the phone, as the van