Fire On The Bayou - Part 6 (Finale)

in fiction •  11 months ago

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Vincent ran through alleys, trying to remember the way back to his bike. He came back to Dee’s store, but avoided it. He could hear piggish grunts from inside, and snuck off down another alley. He reached a street he recognized, and finally found his bike. There were no orcs around, so he opened his saddlebags and fished out the dynamite. Going back past Dee’s, he made one ready with a long fuse, sure to last as long as he needed it. He lit it, and tossed it in a garbage can by the back door, putting the lid back on firm.

He ran back to the guardhouse and got inside, then made his way passed the huddled masses of humanity to where Jeffrey and Dee were talking. “There a way to get on the roof?”

Jeffrey nodded, and showed him up. They clomped up the stairwell and exited the door, able to see the entire town. By this time the orcs had finished their sport with the rest of the civilians, and were gathering around the guardhouse. There were perhaps fifty of them left.

Fewer than the initial war band, more than enough to make mincemeat of the frightened people trapped inside.

Looking down on the horde, Jeffrey shook his head, and said, “I hope you’ve got a plan, stranger.”

“Oh, I do,” Vincent replied. “Let’s just hope it works.”

One orc, bigger than all the rest, shoved his way to the front of the gathering, and looked up at the three humans on the roof. He laughed, a harsh, grating sound, and shouted up at them, “Just give yourselves up now! I promise we’ll make it quick! Open the door, and we’ll be gentle.” Its eyes glinted with malice. “But not too gentle.”

Vincent held up a stick of dynamite, making sure that Warlord Buramog got an eyeful. “You know what this is?”

“We’re not scared of your stick, human!”

“Maybe you should be,” Vincent said as he lit the short fuse and hurled the stick of dynamite into the air. It sailed out over the crowd, exploded, and the orcs hit the dirt.

When the sound faded, Buramog got back to his feet and shouted, “Well so what? You ain’t got enough to kill us all. I’ll feast on your bones, human!”

“This entire town is wired to blow,” Vincent said, pulling a vial of salt from his jacket and concealing it with his fist. “I pull this trigger, and a chain reaction starts. We all go boom.”

“You wouldn’t,” Buramog growled up at him.

“We’ve got nothing to lose, do we? Might as well take you with us. Try me.”

One of the orcs tapped Buramog on the shoulder and said, “Maybe we should listen to him, boss.”

Vincent had been counting down in his head, and the dynamite he’d lain was about to go off. He decided to ramp up the deception. “Then we all go!” he screamed at the orc warlord. “Ten, nine, eight, seven, six…”

Warlord Buramog started to look nervous. He’d never been taken like this before, and if this human was right not only would he lose all of his boys, he’d die as well. They’d already had their fun, he figured. They could stand to let these humans go. They could always come back for them.

“Fine, we’ll go…” he started, but he was interrupted.

“One, time’s up!” Vincent shouted, eyes flashing, and acted like he was pressing a button. The dynamite in the trashcan behind Dee’s went off, a raucous explosion.

The orcs reacted with a swiftness Vincent didn’t know they had. They ran for their vehicles, making for the gate they’d so recently bashed open. At this point the gas stores in Dee’s shop went off, adding weight to Vincent’s empty threat that the entire town was wired to blow. They ran faster, and the three on the roof heard the revving of engines and the screams as the orcs fled what they thought was the exploding town.

The three defenders watched them go, and as the last of the orcs tore off into the distance Dee broke down in laughter. Vincent dropped to his knees, exhausted. Jeffrey spat, and walked over to slap Vincent on the shoulder.

“You’re crazy, man. But you saved our lives. We owe you for that. You’re welcome in St. Michael’s anytime.”

Vincent looked up at him and said, “You can’t stay here. They’ll realize they’ve been tricked soon enough. I’ve bought you a day, maybe two. If you’ve got any war wagons, you need to get these people out of here and to the next town.”

“Either way, you saved our skins. We all owe you our lives. How can we pay you back?”

“Let me come with you, for now. My bike’s trashed. I need time and parts to repair it. Help me load it on one of those wagons, and I’ll help you get to safety.”

“Say no more, we’ve got you covered.”

Dee dropped her shotgun, and it clattered to the concrete of the roof. She ran over and dove at Vincent, tackling him to the ground in a hug. While he was trying to get his wind back, she pressed her lips to his.

At that moment, thoughts of his wife, his loneliness, his despair melted away, and he kissed her back, wrapping his arms around her. And he thought, for the first time in years, that he might have found people he could make another home with.

Picture from: https://pixabay.com/en/swamp-bayou-louisiana-moss-cypress-169168/

If you enjoyed this story, you can find more of my work in the DimensionBucket Media anthology, Darkest of Dreams:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B073WPKMDC/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=jimfear138-20&camp=1789&creative=9325&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B073WPKMDC&linkId=0ef22a21e890a33c5fc0a8711774d068
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(Part 1 here: https://steemit.com/fiction/@jimfear138/fire-on-the-bayou-part-1)
(Part 2 here: https://steemit.com/fiction/@jimfear138/fire-on-the-bayou-part-2)
(Part 3 here: https://steemit.com/fiction/@jimfear138/fire-on-the-bayou-part-3)
(Part 4 here: https://steemit.com/fiction/@jimfear138/fire-on-the-bayou-part-4)
(Part 5 here: https://steemit.com/fiction/@jimfear138/fire-on-the-bayou-part-5)

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The story ended a bit quickly, but ended in a sufficiently satisfying note. I've been thirsty for some damn action since Hero Aca and OPM haven't come out yet and Garo: Vanishing Line has been a trash pile, and your story has filled that void.

Congratulations, your story has currently become my favorite anime, along with The Bible and airplane instructional videos from the 80s.

But seriously, i hope we get to travel with the town and him and get to see more of the world you set up. I like the whole Mad Max/Fallout with Orcs thing you've got going on here.

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Thanks man, I'm glad you enjoyed it. Hopefully the rest of the stories I post will make as much of a splash, and being compared to My Hero Academia and One Punch Man is a serious honor.
I'm not sure what the next story is gonna be about. I was kind of thinking about just bouncing around, revealing the world little by little, not keeping to his personal chronology very closely. Just writing a bunch of random stories about this guy adventuring around. But I'm not so sure that'll pan out, it might turn out to be more of a bunch of serials telling the same story continuing directly after one another. We'll have to see how it goes, to be honest.
I'm not the type of guy to plan things out, not very far, at least.

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It almost sounds like the dilemma you have is between a "Dying Earth" world-building or a "Conan / Solomon Kane / Robert E Howard wandering hero".

If you went with the "Dying Earth" world-building, you could have several stories about several characters in different parts of this monster-infested world. Maybe (but not required) there would be some overlap with different characters in different times of their life, such as Character X meeting with King Vincent and Queen Dee of the Bayou to ask for a guide to help them get to their destination or Character Z having a rivalry with a young Vincent. If you want to expand the world beyond the bayou, this might be the route for you.

You've probably read more Robert E. Howard than I have, so you know the pros and cons of following a single lone wanderer.

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I was honestly gonna go with the lone wanderer thing, because I kinda like the idea of Vincent never settling down and just running around getting into shit. But that doesn't mean I can't take a Dying Earth approach as well and have other characters get their own stories that expand the world. That's not a bad idea at all, truth be told.