Created for Ronovan’s weekly writing prompt challenge. For more details click here.
“Jesus Christ, you can’t play chicken with a plane. For god’s sake, Sadie. Have you lost your mind?”
This from a girl who races the Snaefell Mountain Course for kicks. Seriously, the deadliest racetrack in the world or, if not the deadliest, certainly up there in the top ten, and she accuses me of being crazy. At least I had two extra wheels and an obstacle free track. If you didn’t count the private jet in our path, and the fact we were on a runway facing a relative giant. Okay, so maybe she had a point.
I didn’t tell her that. Instead I turned to the passenger seat with raised brows and sweetness in my tone. “You know Mother doesn’t like it when you use the Lord’s name in vain,” I told her, well aware Mother could hear our conversation and was probably laughing her ass off. “And you did that shit…twice.”
Anna threw her arms in the air, gesticulating her frustration – as is her way. “I tell you what. As you’re so determined to get us killed, why don’t I apologise personally when we meet her at the god damned pearly gates.”
To hide my smile, I dipped my head and worked the gears. “I’m pretty sure that’s blasphemous too.”
“Oh, give it a rest. The pair of you,” Mother snapped, her voice filling the car through the on-board navigation system; a sweet little upgrade from yours truly. What can I say? I’m a woman of many talents.
Julie Keesh, code name Mother because of her tough love and organisational prowess, is a woman you listen to. Everyone I know is afraid of her, and I mean everyone. Whoever you are, and whatever the assignment, when Julie is the voice in your ear, you pay attention. Incidentally, she’s also our biological mother; Anna and I are in the family business.
“And, when I said stop the plane, Sadie. I did not mean put yourself in its path.” Mother’s voice had dropped low, which scared me a lot more than the prospect of being flipped off the runway like a bug in an expensive Italian car. “This is not an episode of Fast and Furious, so get your head out of your ass and back in the game.”
Did I mention the scary part? The Keeshter, as some of our team call her, rarely minces her words.
“Copy that,” I said, aiming off the track to execute an emergency stop. “But just so we’re clear,” I continued, throwing open the driver door as I turned to grab the extrapolator; one of my all-time favourite weapons (yes, I designed it). “This is more Mission Impossible than Fast and Furious. I have much better tech.”
I heard Anna groan. “Guys, those movies are like a million years old. You’re killing me.”
This was a slight exaggeration, something else Anna is prone to do. The films are no more than thirty years old and they still rock. In my humble opinion. Not that I corrected my sister. I was too busy lining up my moving target, setting the parameters and, bam, I let her rip.
The missile sailed through the air, locked on and settled with a thud that was definitely in my head; like the sweet music of my invention. I couldn’t hear a thing over the roar of the engine, and Anna’s delayed whoop – which she yelled right in my ear.
A few seconds later, likely due to the fact all its systems had failed, the plane rumbled to a stop on the runway and I was back in the car.
“Go. Go. Go,” Anna screeched when we saw the plane door start to open.
“Are you going to tell us why we had to keep her grounded?” I asked Mother, then accelerated towards the elegant beast.
“That’s a need to know, my girl and, trust me, you do not need to know.”
Before I had the chance to respond, five modified SUV’s cut into our path and they were motoring. Whatever was in that plane, they didn’t want it getting out.
“Head back to central command. Your part is done,” Mother said with, it has to be said, a note of distraction. “Nice work.”
I turned to Anna, who shrugged in a non-verbal ‘don’t ask me,’ and turned the wheel to get the hell out of the there.
I couldn’t help looking back, the jet centred in my rear view mirror against a backdrop of clear, blue sky, and wondering what danger it contained within. Given that we were pulled from a major assignment, and given the barest minimum in terms of intel, it had to be bad.
“Next time, let me in on the plan before I start ranting like an idiot,” Anna said, pulling her feet up to rest on the dash.
“Oh, honey,” I replied, back to sickly sweet as I knocked her feet to the floor. “What would be the fun in that?”
Thanks for reading.
21 responses to “Chicken: Friday Fiction with Ronovan Writes #3”
I’ve missed your short fiction and prompt pieces. This was a great one to satisfy my cravings; it’s got the camaraderie and action that I love in your work 🙂
What a wonderful compliment 🙂 Thanks, Callum.
You’re very welcome 🙂
Great story. Loved it! 😊
Thanks, Kat, I’m so glad. It was fun, but then, Ronovan’s challenges always are 😀
Welcome back! I’ve missed you, Mel. I took a week off at Thanksgiving and will take at least two at Christmas. A good break is wonderful.
Love the story–as usual.
Thanks, Jacqui 🙂 I missed you too. I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I’m getting excited about Christmas! Thanks for the compliment. I’m glad you enjoyed the story.
A nice ride. Loved the pace and the banter.
Thanks, Ronovan 🙂 when writing it, about half way through I had to backtrack and tone it down a bit. It was in danger of becoming a dialogue only piece…they were having too much fun!
Been there, done that. But sometimes dialogue pieces are great. I like seeing if I can use sentence lengths. structures, and word usage to create tone and atmosphere.
Yes. That’s the beauty of prompts too – all that lovely experimentation. I like Lee Child’s short, snappy sentences when it comes to action and try to have that in mind. That said, if done well long, rambling sentences can completely change the tone and add humour. It’s important to practice our craft, isn’t it? Thanks again for the challenge 😀
I can tell you were having fun!
Thanks, I had an absolute blast! 😀
[…] Chicken by Melissa Barker-Simpson (Author Blog) Melissa brings some action with a touch of comedy with her first entry in the Friday Fiction challenge. You can tell there is experience behind the writing of this fast-paced ride. Her fans are loving her return to sharing her short fiction. […]
A great piece!
Thanks so much 🙂
I enjoyed reading this. The interaction between the two characters was great!
Thanks, Janna 🙂
wow this was great and it’s from another Mel too. Nice to meet you. 🙂 I love the banter between the characters and the movie references. They clued the reader (me) into where we were heading and that just made it more fun.
Thanks, Mel. It’s great to meet you too. I’m a bit of a movie buff, so I have to be careful not to use too many references in my work, but it’s fun when I get to use them! I’m glad you enjoyed it 😀
you’re welcome and definitely did enjoy it 🙂