Welcome to Flash Pulp, Episode Twelve.
Tonight’s story: Red Mouth’s Legacy, A Blackhall Tale – Part 6
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Flash Pulp is an experiment in broadcasting fresh pulp stories in the modern age – 400 to 600 words brought to you Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
Tonight we present the finale to our first Blackhall tale, as Thomas makes his final stand against his ursine captor.
Next week we return with a trinity of solo pieces, including another entry in the case files of Mulligan Smith.
Red Mouth’s Legacy, A Blackhall Tale – Part Five of Six
A new type of waiting had begun, as man and beast watched the flames move voraciously amongst the brittle wood.
“What treachery is this? You would roast us both!” the bear roared.
“I will give you some advice – and what I give you will be free, not a spite heavy trade.” Thomas smiled, his smokey vice bobbing between his cracked lips. “If you head down to the river we have twice now conversed upon, your strength will surely knock back the great elms which hang over that water. If you were to then rut the dirt clean, you could create a break and stop this contagion – at least so long as the wind stays easterly. T’will not be easy, nor quick, but it’ll keep this blasted hillock from balding entirely, and from letting the blaze spread to the lands beyond.”
“Pray do not think to inform me of how to fight such an enemy.” The bear snarled, stepping forward. The rending hooks of its front paws caught the light of the flames.
It reared and bellowed then, its rage flooding the hilltop and valley below.
Thomas raised the tip of his sword.
“Until now I’ve not thought it likely that I might see my Mairi again, but if pressed I will gladly remove your head to save the time. I’m sick of your god awful shouting and groaning – if you wish to taste the poison of my silver, then come, and quickly, as I have a date to keep.”
He had taken his full height as he talked, and despite the mighty bulk of the beast below, upon his perch his frame now towered over even that of the lord of this primordial forest.
Without response the bear sank upon its haunches, once again resting in the position it had so long held.
Lowering his weapon, Thomas once again spoke:
“Do not rest long, it will be a short time before even yonder valley begins to crackle.”
The albino moaned then, the forlorn cry of a being who has lost a child and must make do with what remains. Rolling forward it took to its legs and began to push its way along the corridor of flames, picking up speed as it moved down the hill and out of sight.
Blackhall stood against the roasting heat as long as he dare, then slipped down the rocky scape and into the trees to the north, limping towards the smell of ocean salt.
Flash Pulp is presented by http://skinner.fm. The audio and text formats of Flash Pulp are released under the Canadian Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 2.5 License.