Tuesday, January 13, 2015

even split

The Yellow World stank worse than any other color, of that he was certain. The stench of brimstone and rotten eggs assailed the nostrils of Robert Qualls. He’d chosen a poor occupation for one with as delicate a nose as he. It really was unfortunate, he thought, that the Blue World wasn’t dripping with mineral wealth and as accessible as this one. What little he’d seen of the Blue World had not smelled of egg-farts at least.

He grimaced and smiled in almost the same motion. The valuable expeditions were almost never easy, and certainly never pleasant.

He held himself in the shadows, pressed against the crumbling yellow edge of the tall tunnel. Subtle shifts in the soft amber phosphorescence were his only company. Glowing slime was just another convenience of expeditions in the Yellow World.

Robert began to absently twist his well-waxed mustache with his off-hand. His other fist was wrapped around a sawed off shotgun. He was waiting on a yellow painted pigmy with a British accent and the wall-eyed boxman. He’d been waiting too long.

“It’s clear,” whispered the piping voice of the half-man from around the corner.

Without hesitation, Rob whipped the shotgun around the corner and filled the tunnel with fire and buckshot. “It’s clear” was not the all clear.

Rob rolled into the intersection, ears still ringing, and ripped a knife from his hip. Two of the skinny, lizard-toothed eight-foot yellow bastards lay bleeding on the ground. The knife finished what the buckshot started.

Too much noise, it was time to run. He pulled a string of citrine beads from the neck of one corpse and cut a curious brass box off the mouth of the other. While he was at it, Rob scraped some of glowing goo from the floor into a tin cup.

After that he just ran, without a moment’s hesitation or a single glance back. He poured all his strength into it, dashing madly for the extraction gate – hoping that godsdamned Gnome could keep his cantankerous machine in working order. The job was queered but still should net him nearly a hundred dollars, especially since he only had to split the loot two ways. Rob just needed to live long enough to piss it all away.

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