Jul 25, 2017

Short Story: "All Washed Up"

“Ha! I bet you thought I forgot. I mean, you thought I actually loved you and all was forgiv-…”


(I was tagged in a writing game over on Tumblr where I was asked to write a scene or short story based on the dialogue prompt “I’ll shoot. I mean, you thought I actually loved you?” I fudged the prompt slightly, but those words are in here, I promise! This is basically canon because I can see this happening to these dorks.)

Unexpected Inspiration Short Story - "All Washed Up"


“Maybe this isn’t a good idea,” Sol said as the pair eyed their target.

Firedrake yanked him back behind the wagon and glared up at him. “Are you kidding? Firing this thing was your idea in the first place! Besides, it’s your brother. If we’re hitting anyone, it has to be him.”

Sol looked down at the hollow- but definitely not empty- tube he held in his hands. “But he’ll get mad.”

“That’s precisely what I hope for.”

Firedrake inched along the wall of their wagon-home and peeked around the side. Oh good, Etri hadn’t heard Sol’s complaints. His nose was still buried in a book. Judging by the cover, it was the one Firedrake had “borrowed” from him last week.

Sol moved over to where Firedrake stood and raised his arm. Then lowered it again. “I can’t do it. It’s too mean.”

“Fine. I’ll shoot. Call him over.”

Sol looked as though he was going to protest against this, too, but finally his shoulders dropped and he called out, “Hey, Etch! Can you come here for a sec?”

Firedrake grinned as Etri placed the book on the stairs of the wagon and stood up. Not wanting to be seen until the last moment, Firedrake took a few steps back. This was going to be great. Ever since Etri had caught on about Firedrake “accidentally” misplacing everyone’s belongings and, in retaliation, stuck Firedrake’s costumes up high where Firedrake couldn’t reach, Firedrake had wanted to get back at him. What better way than to humiliate someone so stoic and boring? Firedrake forced down a cackle of glee.

…This was taking longer than Firedrake expected. Had Etri decided to return to his book? When Firedrake heard the crunch of the dead summer grass, they raised their makeshift weapon up to the level they knew Etri’s chest would be. That was the upside to Sol and Etri being identical twins; Firedrake had already tested this out on Sol as soon as he’d invented this weird plunger-inside-tube contraption.

As soon as Firedrake saw movement, they fired. When the ammunition splashed back into their face, Firedrake shut their eyes. They’d forgotten that Sol hadn’t fixed that malfunction. “Ha! I bet you thought I forgot. I mean, you thought I actually loved you and all was forgiv-…”

This wasn’t right. The response should have been Etri skulking away in a humiliated yet silent funk. Not a … growl? Fearing that they may have just made a horrible mistake, Firedrake cracked their eyes open.

A spluttering and furious Blythe stood where Etri should have been. Firedrake was surprised that the water dripping from her face and hair wasn’t steaming judging from her red-hot anger and clenched fists. “I. Am. Wet. I hate being wet.”

Firedrake took a step back. Why’d it have to be Blythe? Etri’s chest height meant Firedrake had fired right at her face. As Firedrake gaped and tried to come up with an explanation better than “Sol made me do it,” she snatched the water-tube out of Firedrake’s hand. In one smooth, quick motion it was pointed at Firedrake.

“And I know you hate being wet as much as I do. Hmm, I wonder how this is going to play out?” Blythe lowered it and twirled it around in her hand, then nodded. “Just like I thought. This seems to have started out life as a cheap blow dart gun. Where did he even find… But whatever. I could just hand this thing back to Sol where I know it must have came from.”

Firedrake could hear the “but” at the end of that sentence even though it wasn’t said. They didn’t like the idea of any “buts” when Blythe was holding Firedrake’s only weapon. Firedrake glanced behind them for backup and found that Sol had wisely fled.

Here came the word Firedrake expected. “But you and I both know that I’m not particularly forgiving.”

She was right. Firedrake knew she wasn’t forgiving. They also knew that gleam in her eyes. Before Blythe could push the plunger back in, Firedrake was flat on the ground. When Firedrake risked a look upwards, Blythe’s mouth hung open and the water-tube hung loosely from her hand.

Firedrake turned their head. Adair stood in the now-open doorway of the wagon, staring down at his dripping pajamas and the puddle under his bare feet.

“Oh. I guess Sol came up with a new way to take a bath.”

Blythe nudged Firedrake with her foot. “Yeah. You could say that.”

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