Tuesday, June 30, 2015

A Tale by Torchlight

The wedding reception was going exceptionally well until all the lights went off. With a sigh, Angus MacDermid placed his pint on the bar and waited for the emergency lamps to activate. When several seconds passed and it was still as black as the Earl of Hell’s waistcoat, he growled. While it had been a trifle…unwise to host such a large gathering in an unfamiliar venue, he’d assumed his lads would have checked the place out to insure such amenities as the electricity were stable.

If he survived the darkness and the Deaders it would inevitably draw out, he’d have strong words for Billy and Donald. Well, time for recriminations later. Now was a time for swift and decisive action if his family and guests were to see another sunrise.

Reaching into his sporran, he drew out a clip and slapped it into the Browning Hi-Power from his thigh holster. Grinning, he reflected that what a Scotsman had beneath his kilt these days was likely to be a sight more than just his bollocks.

Before he could shout down the growing clamor, his eyes were struck by the beam of first one and then more electric torches. By the reflected light he saw Billy handing out more of the same. Mayhap the boy wasn’t a complete sod after all, Angus thought, as muffled automatic rifle fire erupted from outside. Deaders…far sooner than expected.

Pushing through the crowd he both saw and heard more weapons readied in the hands of his guests. He continued toward the front of the hall and the dais where Jimmy and Caitlin had been seated. If nary another soul survived this night, he’d see his only offspring safely away. He’d only just navigated the steps when he saw her, switchblade in hand, cutting the last of her long gown away to knee-height and stowing the blade back in her decolletage. She was one to be prepared for the worst, he mused. She stomped towards him, green eyes flashing.

“Before ye say sumpin’ fool, I’ll not be gaein awa, Da. Deaders or nae, this is ma day. So, oan yer trolley and see tae yer guests!” Brandishing a heavy revolver he’d rather not imagine how she’d stowed on her person, she snarled at him again. “Ye mak a better door than a windae, Da!” She lowered the weapon and scanned the darkness for targets.

He’d always known she was a braw one but he was in no mood to argue tonight. “Here now, Caitin. Ye need tae –“

She rounded on him, “Yer getting’ skelped if ye say one more word. I’ll nae hae my wee one thinkin’ her ma wasnae one to fight when fightin’ were needed.” She placed a protective hand on her belly, rubbing gently.

Angus wasn’t sure whether his or Jimmie’s eyes snapped open wider that night, but he nodded curtly and turned away. Over his shoulder he snapped, “I swear ya numpty lass, if we survive this night, we need tae talk!” 

This story was written for the Finish That Thought weekly flash fiction phrase prompt. 

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