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Pen Your Pride

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            The building erupted in a burst of fire and sound, and crumpled to its foundations as she sauntered away, mighty pleased with herself. Slinging the gun she stole from the building across her shoulders, she walked straight out of town. It would have been a shame to let a beauty like that die in the fire along with those pigs.

            A little ways down the road, she retrieved her motorcycle from where she hid it among steel beams and toppled power lines. Pressing the ignition and giving the side a couple of solid kicks, the cycle hummed to life and hovered a foot over the surface. She strapped the rifle down carefully on the back of the body, then swung her leg over and took off towards the next town, leaving a trail of dust behind.

            Back in town, a man strapped his laser back on his hip after shooting straight through another man’s brain matter. It wouldn’t do to have other folks thinking he was the one blowing up town hall. He stalked to the other side of the road, spurs jingling. The citizens swarmed around in a tizzy, trying to put out the fire and rescue people better left dead. There was only one person who would try something like this, and he knew exactly where she was going. Catching up to her 21st century transportation wouldn’t be a problem, but ‘convincing’ her to help him would be a whole ‘nother matter entirely.  Sliding sunglasses over his eyes, he turned on his aerocycle and slid on, flying straight out of town before anyone noticed his absence.

            The dry wind swept back his lank, greasy hair as he raced across the deserted landscape. Looking back, he could still see plumes of smoke drifting upwards from the town he left behind. He sped up slightly.

            He could make out a dark spot a little ways ahead of him after a few minutes, and sneered at the object. That old piece of junk was bound to break down sometime, and luckily for him it was today. Patting his side to reassure himself the gun was still there, he maneuvered the cycle to come up alongside her.

            The aerocycle came to a stop next to the girl and her smoking pile of metal. Leaning on the handlebar, he called out to the frustrated kneeling figure.

“Hey darlin’, you want any help with that?”

She looked at him venomously and turned back to what she was working on.

“No thanks mister, I’ve got this one all figured out.”

“Come now, don’t tell me you’re gonna try and handle this hunk of metal all by your lonesome. I’ve got some tools in my trunk I could let you borrow.”

“No, thank you. Now you best be moving on along to wherever you’re headin’. Ain’t nobody that wants or needs your help around here.”

“Well now, that’s just rude. Here I am, offerin’ to help you and all, and you’re turning me away! Them girls be complainin’ that chivalry is dead, then turnin’ it away whenever we try an’ be nice. Tell you what sweetie, I’ve got some spare sautering guns and whatnot in the back, I’ll just leave ‘em here with you and be off.”

She stood up and wiped her hands off on her chaps, then pulled out her gun and leveled it between his eyebrows.

“I think you’d better be moving along right now, sir. I don’t want any trouble.”

“Oh, I know what you’re thinking,” He said, slowly moving towards the rear end of the cycle. “You think, since you’re all alone out here in the open, I’m just gonna take advantage of ya. There wouldn’t be nobody around to hear you holler. Well I tell you what,” He began, slowly reaching for his gun, “I just ain’t that kind of a man. I’d rather shoot ‘em,” he said, as he whipped out his gun and fired straight at her leg. She crumpled onto the dusty roadside immediately, clutching the gun wound.

“What the hell!”

“Sorry sweetie. Wasn’t like you were going to come with me on your own free will anyways.” He walked over and plucked the gun off the pavement where she had dropped it. Unloading it, he stuffed the cartridges into his pocket and tossed her the empty weapon.

“You’re sick. Runnin’ around, shootin’ girls. You should be ashamed of yourself.”

“Yeah, but I’m not. Now what was I fixin’ to do…oh yes. Just hold on a second.” He walked over to the back of the cycle and popped the trunk.

‘I’ve had this planned out, you see,” he began, as he rifled though the compartment. “Never thought it was going to be this easy, though. You’ve got yourself quite the reputation, but look at you now. A gunshot to the thigh and you’re down. Ah, I was wonderin’ where it got off to,” he said, pulling out a long, slender piece of rope. “Now you just sit tight, and I’ll tie you up all nice. Like a Christmas present,” He began, as he walked toward her. She scowled and spit in his face once he was close enough.


“Maybe so, but there ain’t nothing you can do about it, hun. And I was really hoping my luck would continue. Oh well.” He punched her square across the forehead, snapping her head to the side. Unconscious, she fell completely against the road. Pulling out his knife, he cut the rope into smaller sections and bound her hands and feet together, then strapped her into the second seat of the cycle and zoomed off.The rifle and smoking motorcycle quickly disappeared over the horizon as the heat of the sun beat down onto the pavement.

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