Fiddlestix isn’t happy that Garwood is going along. The obnoxious Texan thinks she’s in charge, and tries to fly the flitter. Deacon takes care of that quickly.
Turning to Buzzard, Fiddlestix said, “I’ll trade you passengers.”
Buzzard eyed Amber Garwood with a malicious glint in his eyes. “Does she have to get there alive?”
“Well, I suppose, if you wanted to drop her someplace over Jacksonville, that would be fine with me. But her boss is expecting her to get there, so maybe we should let her arrive in one piece.”
Buzzard snapped his fingers. “Damn, would have been so much fun to watch her land.”
Blacksmith chuckled behind him. “But if you drop her out the back, Buzz, you can’t collect from the body bank.”
The three of them laughed happily, put the flitters into motion, and took off. Amber Garwood sat quietly, failing to be amused.
They had to fly low until they crossed the Florida border. Just south of Jacksonville, they turned east, hugging the coast. There was a landing strip south of Daytona. What had once been Port Orange was mostly a big lake, thanks to the tidal wave. The landing strip of the old fly-in was maintained privately, and Fiddlestix knew the owner.
It was dark when they landed. After securing the flitters, they found that Deacon had provided transportation in the form of rough looking motorcycles. Fiddlestix was dubious until the motors rumbled to life.
Riding for about 40 minutes, they rolled to a stop in an old playground outside Edgewater. Tangled swings and twisted slides looked grotesque in the star studded darkness. They cut their motors. Fiddlestix looked around warily, scanning the woods for their team.
“So are they late or are we early?” Buzzard glanced around prepared for ambush.
A twig snapped in the woods to the northwest. A bird called from behind the abandoned restrooms to the north. South near the boat launch, another answered. Safety went off all weapons as they prepared for ambush.
“Is there some sort of sign we’re supposed to give ‘em?” Blacksmith whispered, getting nervous. His voice betrayed his anxiety and he wiped sweat off his upper lip with the back of his left hand. His right held his weapon as he squinted at their surroundings.
“Deacon said they’d know us,” Buzzard said, but his quiet voice lacked confidence.
“How’re they gonna know us? It’s black as a bat’s ass here!” Blacksmith replied.
Fiddlestix swung her leg off her bike and stood up, calling softly to the woods. “Hey! If you’re the team Deacon sent, hurry it up! If not, I’d just as soon get this confrontation over with. So show yourselves or shoot me!”
A deep, disconcerting chuckle sounded over her right shoulder. She swung around, gun leveled for a head shot, to find herself looking down at a very short, homely, Asian man. From the bushes to the north, a tall man with silvery blond hair emerged. He was built like a Norse god and twice as handsome as any man had a right to be.
The final person to walk into the clearing clanked and rattled slightly as he moved. He was medium height and weight, with a dingy red flat top. He wore a tan trench coat and wrap around sunglasses. The glasses glowed eerily with a blueish light. A jagged scar ran from his right temple, across his forehead, to the tip of his nose. His smile was frightening, but familiar.
“Tully?” Fiddlestix holstered her weapon and ran at the man full tilt.
He picked her up, swinging her around with one arm. “Fiddlestix!” He chuckled. “How long’s it been?” His Aussie was accent harsh but comforting. He kissed her resoundingly.
“God, Tully. You sure don’t get any better looking. What happened to your face?” She touched the pale scar lightly, tracing its length.
“Little something went off a bit early,” he responded.
“Who’re your friends?” She glanced at the other two men, waiting to be introduced.
“Well, the tall one goes by Zeus or something. One of them damn gods.” Tully couldn’t be bothered to remember names unless it suited him.
“I go by Loki.” The handsome one nodded sharply in the direction of Fiddlestix and went back to scanning their perimeter.
“The short dude’s named some kinda weird Chink shit,” he jerked his head at the Asian man.
© 2018 Dellani Oakes
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