Friday, May 06, 2011

Saffron: Part 3

Saffron: Part 3
By: James Dubeau

“Please stop,” Saffron begged Lord Hagen. “Do not waste the life of a man who did not know of our dealings.”

Lord Hagen grunted and tightened his bear hug. Heat radiated from the pooled blood in my face. The steal trap would not allow my chest to heave. Only air connected with my kicked feet.

“You win. It is in my purse.” All emotion had drained from her voice. There was no joy, no fear, or sadness. This woman had given up. She had accepted defeat at the hands of Lord Hagen to save a stranger who attempted to defend her.

“Fire!” Someone yelled. The vacant table which I had been knocked across was engulfed by flames. A lone candle on the floor had ignited the draped tablecloth.

Lord Hagen’s grasp loosened. My legs kicked a stone pillar. The sharp blow upon the brute’s leg loosened his grasp. I fell, a crumpled mess on the hardwood floor. Lord Hagen looked to his empty meaty paws. Disbelief of my freedom before death washed over his face.

Saffron may have only been a flapper who spent an evening or two with my lonely cousin back home, but there was something else to her. Something deeper. Deep down she was a good human being and did not deserve the same death the giant brute had in store for me.

Rusty mental gears ground out my next move. Saffron needed help more than I had first imagined. Crouched, my fist fired low and hard. I rolled out from below the wounded lord and rushed from the dining area. Lord Hagen clutched his family jewels and fell to his knees. Saffron’s purse was held tight against my ribs.

I lowered my shoulder and rushed from the dining area. The stunned crowd was bashed out of my way. Before anyone realized what had happened my feet had propelled me down many airship corridors. My mind raced. How could I escape from Lord Hagen on the cramped ship? My lungs burned and my legs ached. My whiskey-filled belly had not been prepared for such a hard sprint.

It was not long before my travels had found me lost deep in the great ship’s bowels. In a dark corner I rifled through Saffron’s purse. Hidden inside a compact was a sealed letter addressed to the ship’s captain. The letter had to be what Lord Hagen was after. An end could be brought to this mess if I was able to deliver the captain’s letter.

I adjusted my fedora and loosened my four-in-hand tie. My sides were on fire and sweat poured from me. Luck had seemed to be on my side.

Then I vomited.

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