Category: Flash Fiction

The Ninja: Death on a Moonless Night

A return to Flash Fiction … 500 words this time.

Death on a Moonless Night.

It was a dark, moonless night. The humid air lay heavy, almost suffocating those trying to sleep after the day’s long battle. A lone Union sentry, posted about twenty yards from the general’s tent, shifted his tired feet. He glanced nervously around. He could feel it … an unconscious foreboding nagging at his conscious mind. There was a sense of death on the night air.  His post was deep within the Union encampment. A safe enough post. The sentry listened … hearing only the buzz of mosquitoes and the constant chirping of crickets.

In the tent, a mosquito buzzed the general’s ear. He swatted at it futilely, then rolled over on his cot.  Despite the heat, he pulled the wool blanket up over his head … protection against the buzzing insects. Grant was exhausted. Today, he’d sent three divisions to push the Confederates from Big Black River Bridge. They’d captured over 1,800 enemy soldiers. Tomorrow, he would lay siege to Vicksburg. Grant’s mind kept churning over the many important preparations for tomorrow’s action.

Damn Mississippi. Nothing but swamps, rebels, and mosquitos, he thought to himself.  Gradually, the physical need for rest overpowered the general’s brain, and he drifted off into a fitful sleep.

Saitō was the night. He was invisible, a lethal force hidden in the darkness; unstoppable. The sentry died. A small shuriken, its points dipped in deadly toxin distilled from chrysanthemums, nicked his neck. The poison did its work. Saitō caught the sentry as he fell, dragging him into the tree line. Saitō crept up to the tent where Grant lay sleeping. Concealed in the shadows, he listened to the snoring emanating from the other side of the canvas. His target slept. Time to complete his task.

Saitō scanned the encampment. All was still quiet. A living shadow, Saitō moved stealthily toward the front flap of the tent. An imperceptible movement of the flap and he was inside.  Saitō rose silently from the plank floor of the tent platform, sliding a tanto from the scabbard in the small of his back. He approached the cot where the general lay sleeping. The tanto was poised, ready to stab downward. Grant’s death would breathe new life into the Confederacy. It was why he’d been paid.

“I wouldn’t,” a voice spoke from a corner of the tent. Even in the dark, Saitō could make out the seated figure of a man, his feet propped up on a wooden whiskey keg. The man’s hand rested on his right thigh inches from his holstered .45 Colt Peacemaker. Moving like the wind, Saitō whirled, changing his grip on the tanto, ready to kill the impertinent fool interrupting his work. The man’s hand flashed. The colt barked, a bullet stuck Saitō, centered between his two black eyes.

Grant sat up in his cot.

“What the … ?”

“It’s alright, Sir. I’m Agent Jim West of the U.S. Secret Service. President Lincoln assigned me to keep an eye on you. You’re safe now.  Better get some more rest. You’ve a big day tomorrow.”

 

Memorial Day Giveaway Reminder

My Memorial Day Kindle giveaway of Serpents Underfoot has been a huge success so far. Over 150 fans have downloaded Kindle versions of the book. A few hours remain … click here get your copy now while they are free. There are no gimmicks or requirements. I am simply holding this giveaway in honor of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice to keep our country free.

 

 

 

Snooker Lessons, U.S. Navy SEAL Style!

A Lesson In Snooker … SEAL Style!

JD, Jimmy Stiles, and two other new BUD/S graduates caught a cab to a local beer and snooker joint for some well-deserved R&R. After a few beers, the recounting of memorable moments in their training got a little loud. Their boisterous attitude rubbed a few local boys the wrong way. It did not help that the ladies present began showing more interest in the young SEALs than in them.

Wayne Morrison liked starting trouble so he could watch the fights that usually ensued. He reached over and poked Junior Willis in the ribs. “Hey Junior, you going to let those Navy boys steal our women?” he asked. Junior stood about 6′ 7” and weighed about 300 lb. He was usually easy-going, but tonight he’d consumed enough beer to override the good sense he prided himself on having.

“No fucking way,” he replied. Junior paused the snooker he was playing with his friend, Gordy. “Back in a minute, Gordy.” Junior headed toward the table where the group were still laughing and having a good time. Because of his Asian looks and slighter build, Junior homed in on JD.

“Hey, Shithead! What the fuck do you assholes think you’re doing here? You Navy boys piss me … trying to steal our women.”

“Hey man. We’re just having a good time and drinking a few beers. Why don’t you go back to your snooker game.” Jimmy and the other SEALs pushed their chairs back, turning to get a better look. This promised to be interesting.

“Fuck that!” Junior growled. “I’m going to kick your scrawny little chink ass!” JD stood.

“Don’t hurt him, JD” one of the SEALs advised with a grin.

JD moved away from the table, hands open to show he wanted no trouble.

“Listen, dude. My scrawny little chink ass is drinking a few more beers and then it is going back to the base. How about I buy you a beer and we call it even?”

Junior Willis seemed to weigh this idea for a few seconds. His response came in the form of a huge right fist swung at JD’s head. JD slipped the punch. His right foot kicked out, the toe catching Junior midway up his inner right thigh. The kick did not stop there. JD’s heel smashed into the same spot on the other thigh. Junior let out a surprised grunt. He teetered there for a long second, his two legs splayed out at awkward angles, off-balance and unable to move. JD reached up and shoved against Junior’s sternum, setting him back down on the floor.

Junior’s snooker partner had moved closer to get a better view of the fight. Seeing his friend taken down so easily angered him. Gordy yelled as he swung his pool stick down at JD’s head. JD stepped inside the swing. Both hands met the pool stick, trapping Gordy’s hands on the stick in vise-like grips. JD circled the stick around, giving it a sharp powerful twist. Gordy felt his wrists turned back against themselves. Stepping back, JD gave a sharp tug that left him in possession of the pool stick. Reversing the tug, JD gave Gordy a solid poke in the chest. It rocked Gordy back on his heels. JD shifted his grip on the pool stick, presenting it to its former owner.

“Want to try again?” Gordy was thunderstruck.

“Hell no!” came the reply. The bar was silent. JD set the pool stick down and walked over to where Junior was still sitting on the floor. Reaching down, JD held out his hand.

“Buy you a beer now?” JD asked smiling.

Junior Willis looked up at JD in disbelief. Suddenly, he grinned. “Why the fuck not!” He took JD’s offered hand and was helped up off the floor. “That was some pretty slick shit you just pulled.”

JD laughed. “Yep. Pretty slick chink shit.”

“Where did you learn that stuff?” Junior asked.

“My mother taught me!” JD replied slapping Junior on the back as they headed toward the bar.

 

Serpents Underfoot Update Review Snooker
Serpents Underfoot
by DC Gilbert

Flash Fiction … What the heck is that?

Flash Fiction?

Last weekend I had a great two-and-a-half hour Skype session with Cristian Mihai. We covered many topics including blogging, writing in general, fiction writing, and things I can do to improve my blog. Cristian provided me with several great ideas. One of them was to try my hand at flash fiction. I was not really sure what that was, so I did a little research. I learned that the object is to tell a fictional story from beginning to end in a limited number of words. Some articles talked about 100 words, others 500 words.  I’ve never tried anything like that before. Novels have many chapters of many pages to develop your story. It sounding intriguing. I decided to give it a whirl.

So, without further gilding the lily …

Here is my first 100 word  attempt.  I call it …

 

Tiger Tale

Damn, it was dark.

PFC Shelton desperately wanted a cigarette. He knew the damned VC could smell a burning cigarette a mile away, even smoking under his poncho. Shifting, Shelton reached up to pluck a wriggling leech from the back of his neck. Sixty-three days and a wake up … Charlie could have his jungle.

Fuck a listening post, fuck Vietnam …

What the hell …?

Shelton’s grip tightened on his M-16. The black jungle exploded in a snarling rush of savage fury, hot fetid breath … and one blood-curdling scream.

His platoon found the tiger’s tracks in the morning.

 

Well, there it is in all it’s glory.  I have no idea whether it is good, bad, or ugly!  Opinions and  suggestions are welcomed.

Freebie reminder …

Just a reminder. I am giving away free Kindle versions of my novel, Serpents Underfoot, on Memorial Day weekend in honor of those who sacrificed so much to keep our country free. The giveaway begins at midnight on Friday, May 26th and ends at midnight on May 28th. I hope you will download a copy. There are no strings attached. However, if you read it and like it, I would not object if you wanted to leave a review on Amazon.com. Just saying …