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The Secret Adventurer's Club Second Adventure (part 9)

Joe Spivey's picture
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The journey to the buildings took longer than expected. City kids like them didn’t really have experience in judging distances much beyond the corner of the next block. Consequently it was getting on for noon by the time the adventurers walked slowly up to the hole in the railing topped stone wall that surrounded the whatever it was.

And whatever it was, it was ominous looking. Finny and her friends were used to looking at buildings surrounded by yet more buildings with a backdrop of even more buildings. These four or five large brick edifices loomed threateningly out of the wasteland with a definite air of ‘stay the hell out’.

However, no matter how intimidated they were feeling, beyond the missing gates and sitting plumb in the middle of the yard was a tall wooden structure with what looked enticingly like a water tank on top. What was surprising is that once they were in the comforting embrace of actual walls and felt the tarmac beneath their feet, all four of them instantly felt better. Smiles appeared, tired muscles found new strength and there was a spring in their step as they gathered around the outlet pipe.

When only dusty rust fell out of the pipe as the valve was turned the disappointment was a palpable pang that added to the twinges of hunger growing in their bellies. Finny caught the feeling immediately and acted to distract them.

“Oh well, There’ll be plenty of water in Hope. C’mon, let’s explore.”

And they did, and had fun doing it – running around the empty rooms of the buildings and wondering at all the strange equipment and broken dials. But the only thing they found were decaying gas bottles, empty chemical drums and a wheel-less medical trolley with a few broken syringes. Nothing of any use at all.

Finny checked her watch for the umpteenth time to see that noon was long gone.

“I’m starving. Let’s get going.”

They finished the last of the water and Finny checked her map. Even though the place they were at wasn’t shown it was easy enough for her to work out from the sun which way they needed to head. Onetooth stuck his hand in the air, like they were in the schoolroom back at the factory.

“I need to pee.”

Finny rolled her eyes in that exaggerated way those in charge tended to do.

“Be quick then.”

Onetooth ran around the corner… Then reappeared almost immediately and running much faster.


Onetooth’s terrified face froze them all where they stood. The appearance of the charging bear only a few metres behind their friend soon fixed that. All three turned to run. But even as she was breaking into a sprint Finny knew, remembered somehow, that bears ran faster than people, certainly faster than a terrified seven year old and even faster than his only slightly older friends.

Finny stopped and spun around, hoping that the gun wouldn’t snag on her pants as she pulled it out. The world became silent, Onetooth passed her and Finny’s fear induced super sensitised skin felt the air move as he did so.

The bear was perhaps ten metres away. Its head down, eyes now switching targets from the one running to the one that wasn’t. The slight change in trajectory caused the beast to swerve so that its fur bounced in a new direction and its huge clawed paws gouged the broken tarmac, raising a small cloud of red dust. Long strands of white saliva spiralled from the flapping lips of the bear’s muzzle, at the same time revealing the enormous white teeth.

The long barrel of the revolver became level with the bear’s huge head just as Finny’s thumbs finished cocking the hammer. The only sound she heard was the double click it made. Then she pulled the trigger.

Sound came back into the world with a flash and an explosion and Finny’s stick thin arms were flung up into the air. A fraction of a second later her butt made hard contact with the ground and the air oophed out of her lungs.

He was an old bear. He knew the sound of guns and didn’t like it. With a roar of, anger…? Hatred…? He reared up, never even hearing the bullet that passed a good two metres above his head.

Finny stared upwards in disbelief. Bears are that big? Apparently so and this one was now lurching towards her like it intended to pound her into the ground before eating her. She didn’t have time to re-cock the pistol and, ignoring the painful throbbing of her hands pulled the trigger with all her might. Fortunately, adrenalin was still coursing through her veins and gave her fingers the strength to work the stiff double action. Onetooth’s advice shouted in her head. ‘Shoot him in the body Finn!’ Finny aimed into the lower half of the fur wall that was coming for her.

Another explosion and her arms were again flung high by the recoil. The bullet hit the bear under the chin, just where the lower jaw attached to the skull. It tore through soft tissue and muscle and ploughed on through the condyloid mass and the thin bone of the base of the skull. Only slightly deflected by the curve of the top of the skull, the .45 calibre slug exited through the top of the bear’s head in a spray of blood and brains.

Momentum carried the bear forward and Finny had to role to one side as its carcass crashed down exactly where she had been sitting. The role to avoid being crushed didn’t, however, save her from the spray of ejected and still ejecting matter from the dead bear.


Ytte Skovlund's picture

**  Sprays popcorn..  " FINNEEEEYYY  !!!

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