Untitled Fiction Piece – Preview

I’ve been working on a new piece of fiction for a while now. It may seem pretty mainstream at first (maybe it is) but I believe I put my own twist on things so, anyways, hope you have fun reading this one. This is actually just a preview of sorts to see how it fares with the audience. I’ve got more on the way, having already written enough for another chapter or two.


The two bikes swerved this way and that, trying to weave their way through the horde of cars between them and the toll booths and subsequent entry to the huge, white bridge in front of them. Its slight arch to the left, and its tall and elegant pylons accentuated its already flamboyant figure in front of the majestic city of Bombay.

Both bikes were occupied by two members each, both wearing black jackets and blue trousers with black helmets. Their jackets concealed the handgun tucked underneath. The passengers on both bikes had big black duffel bags slung over their shoulders, which housed all sorts of equipment required for the effort underway.

As they got closer to the toll booths, two more bikes joined them from a narrow entrance to the highway, on their left. They were all similarly dressed and each rode the bike as recklessly as the next.

Then suddenly, all four split up and each went to one of the four functioning toll booths and patiently waited in line. People in cars around them cast curious glances at them, but they looked straight ahead. None of the toll booth attendants knew anything about them and it was essential that it stayed that way. Each rider co-ordinated their approach to the toll booth with that of the others’. It was apparent that they all intended to reach the toll booths simultaneously. If one was left behind, the others dropped behind by a vehicle or two to make up for it.

It was close to 9 in the morning and traffic was starting to roll in. As the bikes approached the booths in their queue, the four passengers moved their duffel bags to their front, and opened up the zip in such a way that it was convenient to get out whatever was inside, while concealing it from onlookers until it was outside. They were very casual with the whole movement.

At 8:49 AM, all four bikes rolled into the four toll booths and the attendant held out and open palm in which they were supposed to place the toll money. The riders turned off their bikes.

In a swift motion, the drivers of the bikes pulled out the guns out of their holsters and four distinct gunshots were heard and four toll booth attendants held out their hands to motorists for the last time. Commotion ensued. Some cars tried going around the toll booths and escaped onto the bridge but did not know of the existence of three similar riders in the middle of the bridge and four more at the other end. Others tried reversing out of the toll lanes and what resulted was a frenzy of hitting the reverse gear, and lots of screeching tires.

Three policemen stood by the toll booths, leaning on their armoured cars. As soon as they heard gunshots, they all threw the doors open and scampered inside. The roof hatch was thrown open and one police officer immediately positioned himself to use the submachine gun if necessary. One police officer slowly drove the giant vehicle towards the booths while the third one contacted other patrolmen.

“Shots fired at BWSL toll booths! Shots fired! Assistance requested!”


So, that was a sort of first chapter or a prologue kind of thing to the new piece of fiction I’m working on. Its got crime written all over it with a potential terrorist angle round the corner (probably, maybe). I still haven’t managed to come up with a name for this story. Believe it or not, this story has been lying in my drafts folder for over two months now, and I’ve admittedly been just too slow with this one.

I’m going to need your help in coming up with a name for this one! Maybe its a little premature for you guys now, having read only this preview so I’m going to publish a second chapter in the near future, so look out for that and then we’ll get to the naming ceremony. However, if any of you already have a potential name in mind please drop it in the comments!

I’ve got more written, I wanted to split it up into chapters, build it up, create suspense (it’s fun!) and before I do that, get some opinions. How did you people like this so far? Should I describe the situation a little more before getting to the actual toll booth shootout part? Or is it fine as it is? All opinions welcome! 😀

Thanks a lot for reading! 🙂

See you on the other side.

A Tale of a House of Cards

House of Cards. What a show. Completely. Mind-blowing. Oh, Kevin Spacey you glorious creature.

I was recommended House of Cards by a friend recently. In fact, I had seen the pilot episode a couple of months back after seeing some awesome reviews, but somehow that episode didn’t really interest me at that moment, so I didn’t watch it any further, which I think was unfair and premature judgment on my part. However, after my friend’s recommendation, I decided to give it another try and I did, and now, well, I’m hooked. I just got done with the first season a couple of hours back and its just amazing. I can only imagine how much better it gets in the second and third seasons.

The characters, all the facets of their personalities, the direction, screenplay, story, and dialogues are top-notch. This is one of the best dramas I’ve ever seen, and there are very few that I rate so highly. Very few.

Francis Underwood being Francis Underwood.
Francis Underwood being Francis Underwood.

And you know what the icing on the cake is? That deadpan, piercing monologue that Spacey’s character Francis Underwood gives every now and then, looking right at you, breaking the fourth wall so often they don’t even bother to put it back anymore. Ever seen Deadpool break the fourth wall? Its beautiful isn’t it? Underwood is the only other character I’ve seen who is as good at it, if not better.

A political drama, the show is basically about the life of the protagonist, Francis Underwood, a United States Congressman. He constructs a plan to destroy the President Garrett Walker and his allies, after he denied Underwood the post of Secretary of State in a last-minute decision. This plan, being so elaborate, is understandably fragile and one mistake could potentially topple the entire ‘house of cards’ so to say. Hence, the name.

If you haven’t watched House of Cards yet, then you should. Give it some time, let it get its engine revved up and it will grow on you, slowly. Once it has, you won’t get over it, ever. Promise. I’ll write a public apology post here if despite liking this genre, you don’t like House of Cards. Promise.

Hope you guys like it, and if you do, please let me know!

Until next time! 😀

What’s in a Surname?

He wiped the sweat on his forehead with his leather – enclosed hand and placed it back on the trigger. His eyes flickered. Thoughts running faster than his heartbeats.

“Anything?” he asked dryly.

“No,” answered the man next to him. Max, was his name. Maximilian actually, Maximilian Hurst. Everybody called him Max, not because they liked it, but because he despised Maximilian. For some reason he never spoke of. He was the eyes, squatting by the guy with the sniper rifle, his right eye squinting into the scope, occasionally monitoring the wind speed and direction.

The man on the gun took a swig of water from a bottle to his right. A couple more sips and it would be empty, although they didn’t expect to stay much longer.

“Travis, what’s up with you?” Max inquired.

“Huh? Nothing. I’m fine.”

Max had noticed his ‘partner’ had been sweating much more than himself and had been having much more water too. Max’s bottle was still half full.

“Just make sure you’re in the game when it matters. We ain’t got much time here.” Max could see Travis was shifty and nervous, had been that way all morning. He looked at him once again and then quickly looked back into the scope.

Four minutes later, Max perked up. “He’s here,” he announced. Travis quickly positioned himself correctly, looked into the scope and placed his finger ever so lightly on the trigger. “Second bench from that big tree on the left,” Max directed. “Yeah, yeah I got him.” Travis assured.

“Have you?”

A pause.

“Yeah.”

“Be cool, now. Dude’s gonna be here for ten minutes at least,” Max tried to calm Travis’s nerves a bit.

The sweating intensified. “Wind?” he asked. “10 k’s towards the west,” Max informed. Travis adjusted his rifle accordingly.

Seen through the scope, a certain gentleman by the name Gerry Barton sat on a bench by the river. It was an early summer morning and nobody was in sight yet. The music of an ice-cream cart could be heard in the distance. The vendor had been bribed to stay away from this area for an hour. Suddenly a child came running from the other end, clearly running towards Gerry.

“Who the hell is that?” asked Max as the kid got closer to Gerry.

“Some kid.”

“Yeah, well, I can see that. Who the hell is he, Travis?” Max was clearly mad.

“Its his grandson. David. 8 years old.”

“He isn’t supposed to be here.”

“Yeah, no shit Max! Look, I went over everything, everybody. Trust me. I know he isn’t supposed to be here. I kept checking on everybody up until we left the room an hour back.”

“You know, if you’re lying, I could shoot you right here.”

The kid was now sitting in Gerry’s lap. The two were smiling and chatting away, oblivious to the two eyes looking at them through scopes that had seen lots of bad things. David was blocking almost all of Gerry’s torso from the view of the two men and aiming for the head was risky too.

“Take the shot, Travis. We can’t know how much longer he’s going to stay here,” Max said.

“There is no shot, Max!”

“You see his head? Because I sure as hell do.”

“There’s an 8 year old kid in his lap that’s moving about too much. I can’t do it!”

“Take the goddamn shot Travis, while you still have one, or I’m gonna have to take it for you. And you don’t want it to get to that.”

Travis swore under his breath and adjusted something in his left pant pocket, before looking back into the scope. He switched off the safety with shaking fingers. His hands shook relentlessly. “What are you waiting for?!” Max said.

Travis moved his rifle ever so slightly to the right, steadied himself and pressed the trigger. The bullet whizzed by David, scraped some t-shirt and skin off Gerry’s left shoulder and went right through the bench behind. Travis turned the safety back on. David and Gerry were both very understandably dazed and the ice-cream guy could be seen running towards them, worried, but the two of them got to their feet quickly and started running.

“What the…,” before Max could complete his sentence, Travis had let go of the rifle, pulled out a knife from his left side and swung it in Max’s direction. It landed in his right arm and rendered it unusable.

“You fucking asshole!” Max exclaimed as he scrambled to his feet and punched out at Travis with his weaker left arm. Travis easily dodged it and then took another swing of his knife at Max, which was aimed at his chest but could only tear a piece out of his t-shirt. Max reached for the holster on his right but before he could take the gun out, Travis kicked his hand away and snatched the gun from its holster and in one swift motion, put the knife back, turned off the safety on the smaller gun and pointed it at Max.

“Why the fuck are you doing this Travis? You really want to go down this road?”

“Yeah, I don’t care.” Travis was sweating profusely.

“You look nervous, Travis,” Max taunted him.

“You know I’m going to have to kill you now, Max.”

“Either way, you’re dead too. Our people will find you. One way or another. Today or tomorrow. And off you pop,” Max had a weird concoction of anger, passion and loyalty in his eyes.

“You don’t know anything about me, Max. You never have.” Travis put on a camo-coloured cap on his head, with the initials, T.B. printed on one side.

“Yeah, you know what, it doesn’t matter because our people do. They know what you look like, they know your name, they know you, Travis. Speaking of, what does that ‘B’ stand for? ‘Travis .B.’?”

“Barton,” Travis replied grimly. Max’s eyes widened.

A bullet shot resounded in the area and Maximilian Hurst’s body fell to the floor with a soft thud. Travis Barton looked around, gathered his equipment, put the shell of the bullet he had just fired in his bag, looked around again and walked away.

The Incidental Phone Call

His phone rang noisily through the quiet apartment. Sunlight streamed through the windows. He’d been too dazed last night to remember drawing the curtains. He grunted as he kicked the covers off. His phone rang noisily.

“Get your ass out of bed.”

“Did you call me just to say that? Besides, I’m not even in bed anymore.”

“Nice try, big guy. I called to say you’ve got work to do and you’d better get down here as fast as you can ’cause I’ve got you twenty minutes with that lady at the hot-shot law firm downtown.”

“Whoa, whoa, slow down there. My head’s all fuzzy.” It was very fuzzy and it had really bad timing.

“Well, that’s usually the case when I have to call to wake you up at nine thirty on New Year’s morning. I’ll bet your pants are hanging from the ceiling fan and you’re looking at them right now.”

“That was a one time thing, Frank,” he said, staring at the mess that his room was.

Continue reading “The Incidental Phone Call”

The Unexpected

There was an open writing competition at the college of a friend of mine. She told me about it and it sounded fun to me. I needed a little push to write since I’ve been writing less lately. Maybe this was it. So the basic requirement for a fiction piece was for it to be under 2000 words. Here’s what I managed to cough up. Its not my best, I agree but I hope you like it. And just btw, the comment section could use some activity 😀 Thanks!


Derek presented his boarding pass to the woman at the gate. She flashed a warm and lively smile at him and took the ticket from him and having checked it, handed it back to him with a cheerful “Have a nice flight!” Derek thanked her and walked down to the plane.

Derek studied Physics at the city’s university and though he hadn’t exactly been a star student through school or early college, he came through when it mattered. He was headed to Cape Town to see his parents who lived there. His family was of South African descent. He had a seat in Economy and as he walked towards his seat he noticed how empty the plane was. He walked past three seats, which were all occupied by conspicuously well-dressed individuals, all in perfectly tailored suits.

***

Walter had just settled down in his seat in Economy Seat 52(G) in the 74-row plane. The aisle seat allowed him easy access to the aisle whenever he felt the need to stretch his legs a bit. He was pretty used to long flights now, but that need still hadn’t perished.

Walter was plugging in his phone into his laptop when he saw a kid walk by him. He looked like he was in his early twenties and he had a backpack on his shoulders. He held a book in his hands. ‘A Clash of Kings’. He wore thick-rimmed black spectacles and had a faint hunch in his gait.

Walter kept looking at him till he could no longer see him. He just wondered how many other youngsters and kids must be on the flight and what would happen to them if this all went south.

He switched on his mobile phone and pressed 7.

“You got something Bradley? There’s ten minutes to gate-closing time.” He asked to the man on the other side of the line.

“Negative. No network activity, no suspicions on the passenger list yet. Nothing much on the airport cameras either. I’ll keep you posted.”

Walter sighed and put his phone into his pocket. He decided to take a stroll and just have a look at the passengers. He buttoned up his jacket and corrected the dimple in his tie as he stood up.

***

Derek was sitting in his window seat and playing a game on his iPad. He had the urge to continue reading his book but he decided to keep it off till he was airborne. The airhostess came by to ask him if he needed anything, and he said he could use some water.

He heard the footsteps of somebody approaching from behind at a relaxed pace. He put his iPad aside just as the loud-footed, dark-skinned individual came into view. Derek looked at him and he looked back. They both smiled at each other. Derek noticed he was one of those guys in the back who he noticed earlier – the ones with the expensive-looking suits.

Walter noticed that the kid put away his tablet away just before he walked into view. He looked back at the kid when he had walked to four seat rows ahead of him. He had his tablet in his hands again. Almost suspicious, Walter thought.

***

The plane was four hours into its journey. Walter had finished his observational tour of the plane but hadn’t really caught anybody suspicious. He didn’t expect he would either. His phone screen suddenly lit up.

Continue reading “The Unexpected”