I’m availing myself of the penultimate opportunity to participate in WordPress’s heretofore unbroken chain of connection and collaboration that is the Daily Post before they yank it out from under us forever. I already aired my grievances in yesterday’s two posts and have joined Judy Dykstra-Brown’s urgent forum seeking to persuade WordPress to change their minds, so today I’m moving on and posting something much more fun and enjoyable. If you’re as upset about the imminent end of the Daily Post and Community Pool as I am, I encourage you to join the forum.
On 4/18/18, I posted a 3,000-word story about Detective Darla Nyte, titled “A Dead Man Walking”, that I wrote in collaboration with 9 other Bloggers.
Very soon afterward, one of my awesome co-authors, the amazing and talented Liz Charnes, was so inspired by the world we created and had so much fun living in it that she posted the first part of a spin-off featuring Darla’s assistant, Steve.
If you have already read them all, the next part of the ongoing saga appears below. If you haven’t already read what’s gone before and want to, you can click Liz’s name above. That post, “Skewed”, is Part 3 of Steve’s story and contains links to 1) the original “A Dead Man Walking”; 2) Liz’s Part 1 of Steve’s story, “Genie”; and 3) my Part 2 of Steve’s story, posted under “We Created a Beautiful Monster”.
I hope you enjoy. Whether you read/have read the whole story or not, please let me know what you think.
Steve’s Story, Part 4 (A Darla Nyte tale)
As Steve and Darla crammed beneath the desk, Steve’s PalmPal flew from his breast pocket, landing screen side up and reflecting a view of the gun-toting genie. Steve flinched. “Darla,” he whispered. “Darla, that’s not my jinn!”
Darla stared at him blankly. “Did you knock your noggin, Steve? What the hell do you mean, ‘that’s not your jinn’?”
Bullets continued to spray the room. Expended shells, chips of wood and plaster, and chunks of moldy ceiling tile rained down on the desk sheltering the cowering pair. Steve was grinning. “The short version is, I have a jinn, and it’s not the one trying to kill you!” Steve thought Jim’s name.
What little space was left beneath the desk was suddenly filled as Jim appeared, accompanied by a loud ripping sound and a horrid stench. “Ahh, that feels great! So sorry, kids, couldn’t be helped.” Jim offered his hand to Darla. “Pleased to meet you, Darla, I’m Jim. Need a little help, do ya?”
Darla pinched her nose with her left hand and shook with her right. “Pleasda meetcha, Yim. By all beans, helb!”
Jim disappeared then immediately reappeared behind the attacker, placing him in an iron headlock and knocking the machine gun to the floor. “Let’s take this elsewhere, shall we, friend?” Jim said as both jinn vanished.
In the sudden silence, the room’s occupants peeked out of whatever piece of furniture they had dodged behind, under, or into. Seeing only settling debris and dust motes dancing in sunbeams, each began to emerge from hiding, shaking out their hair and brushing off their clothes. Darla and Steve crawled out from under the desk and stood up. The remains of a shattered ceramic coffee mug teetering on the edge of the desk crashed to the floor, causing everyone to jump.
The sergeant to whom the desk belonged resumed his seat, removed a duster from a drawer, and swept the debris from his desktop. He shot a deadpan look at Darla. “I’d say it looks like someone wants you dead, Ms. Nyte.”
“Ya think?” she glowered. “Let’s go, Steve.”
* * *
Darla activated her PalmPal and summoned her car. “You have some ‘splainin’ to do, Steve,” she purred.
Steve had dialed up Gary and was waiting for the call to go through. He held up his pointer finger and mouthed, “One minute,” at Darla. When Gary answered, Steve cooed, “Hello handsome, is it too late to spread that dinner out and put out a couple extra settings?”
Gary giggled then clicked his tongue. “Tch, tch, so predictable, Darling. Already done, and I’m putting the Fettucine back on now. Be a dear and give Darla a kiss from me.” Gary hiccupped. “Oh, and you might want to bring another bottle of Chateau Montrose, this one’s almost empty.”
Darla’s car arrived, and she and Steve got in. Mentally adding gratitude for Gary’s patience and prescience to his growing list, Steve told Darla, “I’ll explain it over dinner, Boss.”
“Wonderful,” Darla sighed, “Being locked up always leaves me famished!”
Steve wondered how he would go about explaining the story of the strange woman, the lamp he was supposed to deliver to Darla, and Jim. No sooner had he thought the name when the jinn appeared in the back seat, farting loudly and dusting off his hands.
As Darla rolled the windows down, and she and Steve stuck their heads out, Jim leaned back, crossed his hands behind his head and said, “I have no idea who sent my young friend after you back there, and he’s not talking. He was…a wee bit mad that I kept him from fulfilling his contract.” Jim chuckled. “Anyway, I left him with his hands full. He shouldn’t be a problem anytime soon. Let’s go eat!”
End Part 4