A new episode of The Retribution Serial appears below after Armed
by Barry O’Farrell
We are fired upon as we arrive at the premises despatch directed us to. The windshield shatters showering us with glass. My partner and I jump out of our patrol car. We take cover and return fire. The sound of gunfire is continuous. The air seems filled with lead. They must have automatic weapons. “Vampire,” calls a distressed woman’s voice.
I squeeze off a round. The slide of my pistol locks open. Simultaneously I reach for a fresh magazine and take cover behind our car to reload. A ricocheting round hums past my ear, way too close for comfort. I know backup are on their way but they seem to be taking an eternity to get here. I’m alert for the first sound of the wail of their siren. I’m not sure if I’m imagining the sound or if they are here.
A fresh burst of automatic fire greets their arrival. As our backup open fire, we join in. I empty my magazine again and shove another into place as quickly as I can. Everything goes quiet. It is almost too still.
Again I hear the wail of the woman, our innocent bystander. “The vampire, the vampire,” she calls hysterically. My partner bravely runs to her. He comforts her. “All clear” he shouts a moment later.
I carefully move up to take a covering position and shepherd the paramedics through. They escort the distraught woman to safety.
Warily my partner and I move forward holding our pistols at the ready. As we enter the premises we are greeted by quite a sight.
The vampire has been shot through both eyes, the zombie through the head and the troll through the heart.
The Ninja, shot through the neck, lays paralysed on the ground making strange gurgling sounds.
All four members of the Halloween Mask Gang gunned down in the act of robbing our community bank.
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Barry O’Farrell (BarryO_Tweet) is an actor who sometimes writes, living in Brisbane, Australia. Barry’s other stories can be found in A Story In 100 Words, 101 Words,Cyclamens & Swords and 50 Word Stories.
A Serial in Eight Parts
retribution: deserved punishment for evil done.
Previous Retribution Episodes 1 2 3 4
Retribution Episode 5
“When the west became civilized enough for the lawyers to start plying their trade, a man’s word was gradually replaced by the written contract, and the wording began to take precedence over intent. Now a man’s word means almost nothing. Today, the importance is the ‘letter of the law’. The dots and commas are all important, taking precedence over the intention. I believe we have made a poor trade.
“Not only is a man’s word meaningless today, too many in our society have degenerated to where they make fun of any who places a value on it. The word honor is looked upon with suspicion. People without it make fun of those who possess it. As a result, our society has no honor.”
This was a much darker outlook than what he had in our college days, but life had dealt him a darker hand to play.
We talked about the state of the courts while we watched the serenity of the mountain.
“In the failure of our system of law,” I said, “there has to be some blame given to some pretty terrible interpretations by judges.”
“Yes, but it’s part of the same thing. Zeroing in on some small detail and completely losing sight of the intent of the whole exercise: justice. They also twist and turn things around until the law says what they want, until it fits their political viewpoint. Of course, people have been doing the same thing to the Bible for centuries.”
We fell quiet. Levi got up and walked over to the cliff. I followed and we sat looking down at the north face. I had the feeling there was something that he wanted to bring up, but was hesitating. Maybe the years had made him a little unsure of me also. On the whole though, I was surprised at how relaxed and at peace he seemed.
After a while, we headed west along the ridge and spent an enjoyable afternoon working our way down the mountain, taking the long way. We did not talk much during the afternoon, just short discussions about which routes to take. In the car heading back toward town he turned and asked: “Do you remember Johnny Got His Gun?”
“Sure,” I said. “That’s the one where a soldier during WWI who gets caught in an explosion, loses both arms, both legs, has the bottom of his face blown away and is blinded and deafened.”
“Right. So he can’t hear or see, can’t move, is just a thing lying there on the bed with just his mind. I’ve always thought that would be a terrible, almost unimaginable torture,” he said. “The helplessness of it always made me cringe.”
We drove along in silence for five minutes. I wondered why the thoughts about Johnny Got His Gun.
To be continued
2 thoughts on “Armed”
As the father of a cop and as a mystery writer who has had police ride-alongs, I enjoyed the pacing and action of this story. Very tight, very effective.
Glad you liked it. Thank you.