For this Free Fiction Friday, I decided that I was going to do something a little different. A few weeks ago, I decided to start writing a little adventure saga, strictly for fun, in the vane of Indiana Jones. Instead of an archeologist running around, Colton is just an adventurer, a hired-hand. It takes place in the 1920’s on an altered Earth (in other words, I am taking creative license with leaders, countries, political situations, etc). Beyond that, I have no intense plan for this other than it being a silly, serious, fun, sexy adventure story with hints of other genres sprinkled in. I am putting the first thousand-ish words I wrote on it, prior to the introduction of a few of the other key characters I have planned (and prior to edits). Enjoy!
The Colton Skyward Chronicles
Episode 1: (as of yet untitled)
by Jeremy C Kester
(All Rights Reserved)
It was loud.
As one could expect from a bar. Particularly the kind of bar that Colton was in. In other words, it was a bar of ill-repute. It was the kind of place that he preferred, even if he wasn’t there for a purpose.
By his account, he was the best dressed there, although it wasn’t a difficult feat. He was also seemingly the only one that was groomed. It made him stand out. Yet given that even those who weren’t sure that they had heard his name before, they knew better than to give him any shit for his appearance.
He was also the only thing that didn’t smell like a pair of used men’s undergarments.
Mostly men were there. The few women were there for business. The oldest of business, pleasuring anyone who was willing to pay the going rate. Even still, he was certain that he was still the best looking one there, not that any of the women were anything but nice to look at. He kept his eye on the clientele, seeing which one of them was the man that had been described to him.
“Another one?” Jerry said, interrupting Colton’s thoughts.
“Yeah, Jerry, sure,” he replied, waving his hand a scant away from a dismissing way.
Okay, maybe Jerry was better dressed. The bartender was in a well starched shirt with suspenders and a matching bow tie. It was dirty from the sweat of the hot weather. Being that the bar was located in one of the hotter of the airfields in northern Africa, it was hard not to become saturated in one’s own fluids.
Colton grabbed the warm beer, taking a sip as he continued to scan the room.
All the men were pilots or were adventurers of some kind. All worked in the area. Some as guide; others as mercenaries. Some wore turbans or head scarves, while others wore leather hats with goggles steadied on the top. It was the typical hat of a pilot, whether they piloted an airship or a plane. In this case, that was the type of a man that he was looking for.
“What business are you here for?” Jerry asked, once again cutting in on Colton’s thoughts. “Another adventure?”
“Not exactly,” he replied to the side as he continued gazing into the crowd.
“You going to behave this time? I can’t afford you starting another fight.”
He spun around, eyeing the bartender. “I didn’t start that last one,” he said defensively.
“Sure. But what about the 17 times before that?” Jerry asked, wiping the counter before leaning in with a quizzical eye.
Colton turned back with a smirk. “I have no idea what you’re talking about.”
A man with a long, healthy beard yelled over to the side before the sound of glass breaking echoed through the room. Unlike one would expect, not a single eyebrow raised as the bearded man collapsed into a drunken stupor. Each person continued their own drinks, or their raucous tales of exploits as each member continued to speak over one another.
“I’m after him,” he said as a finger pointed from a hand still attached to a half-drunk glass of beer at a slender man with a thin mustache curled at the ends. By the looks of it, the man appeared to be near Colton’s age, perhaps a little younger (or older if you asked Colton, but we’re not asking him). He wore a leather jacket that hung on his frame.
The man was talking up one of the newer, less experienced working girls. She was young, pretty, a girl that could separate a man from his billfold with ease even without adding years of knowledge in the art of seduction.
Colton smiled. It would be easier than he thought.
In a single, purposeful motion, he downed the beer, sitting the empty glass behind him as he slid from the stool past a man lying on the ground, another victim of too little tolerance to the copious amounts of alcoholic fluid passing through the bar. Chaos would keep Colton camouflaged while the smell of sex will hold the man’s attention as he approached.
The pair were discussing rates when a hand laid on the man’s shoulder.
“Hello, Dale,” Colton said. “I believe you have something of mine.”
As he snapped into the realization, Dale’s knees buckled with a nervous laugh. “Colton, haha. You—you’re back.”
He handed the girl a handful of currency before waving his hand for her to leave. She obliged, her face looking somewhere between annoyed from the loss of potential wages and relief that she was freed from the ill company of Dale.
“You sound surprised to see me.”
“Ohhh… don’t go,” Dale said, reaching for the young girl as she scooted away into the sea of wallets begging to be emptied. Dejected, he looked back at Colton. “See what you did! I liked her…” His voice sounded like a young child disappointed by what dinner he was served.
“She was too good for you,” he said, shaking his head.
Colton didn’t understand the need to pay for a woman’s company. Such an idea was absurd. As handsome as he was though, as suave as he could be, women chose to make him their target. Granted… there were those few times his billfold was stripped clean by many companions as he slept. He never intentionally paid for the company. His company was payment enough.
“She was perfect for me—” Dale argued.
“In what way, being too young to understand how bad you smell?” He waved his hands as the odor drifted up.
“Look,” Colton interrupted, placing his hand around Dale’s shoulder. “You have something of mine that I want back. Where’s your ship?”
“Wh—what? My airship?” He sounded nervous suddenly.
Colton caught it, pulling him along the edge of the room. A fight broke out in the corner. Crashes sounded through, littered with the grunts and shouts of angry, drunken men. Seeing this, he began to push Dale through the crowd with more vigor, trying to escape before he got caught in the growing brawl. As he passed by others who also were trying to escape, he saw Jerry staring at him.
“I swear I had nothing to do with this!” Colton yelled.
Jerry rolled his eyes as he shook his head.
“Dear God, he doesn’t believe me,” he said, muttering to himself as Dale squirmed in his grasp.
“C’mon, man! Let me go! I won’t try running, I swear!” Dale pleaded.
A glass shattered next to Colton’s head. He spun around, trying to see where it came from. He suspected that it was a stray glass, one thrown randomly, but he had to be sure. All too often, if he was there, there was also someone looking for him. Sometimes for good reasons; more often for bad.
“That’s exactly why I don’t trust you,” he said, refocusing on the scrawny, bearded man he was dragging out of the bar. “Your words don’t ever match your actions.”
They reached the door, greeted by a man standing there with a pistol drawn, pointed at Colton.
Instinct took hold. Colton released Dale before trying to reach for his own weapon.
“Not so fast, Mr. Skyward,” an overly dressed man with a white fedora hat on his head said, waving his pistol. Colton understood then that he was no longer the best dressed man in that establishment.
He glanced down at the gun, a Walther PP semi-automatic. It told him exactly what he needed to know of who had stopped him.
“I don’t know him,” Dale said, pointing at Colton, as he tried to slink out of the way.
Another man, an overly large brute who looked as though he ate a whole deer for each meal of the day stepped forward to block the smallish Dale from moving.
“OK, OK. I won’t go anywhere,” he said.
Meanwhile, Colton lowered his hand. Slowly. His eyes focused on the men. Why had he not seen them in there? Had they been hiding outside, waiting for him?