Protecting Bedlam: The Twisted Tungsten Tongue Tower Part 3

Previously on the latest tale of Cassidy & Lloyd.

(If you want, buy their previous rampages for $2 by clicking on the covers below.)

Cover by Jon Hunsinger

Cover by Jon Hunsinger











“Are you really going to make us walk a fucking plank?” Cassidy asks, staring at the large piece of wood that is bolted to the roof. She watches as the follower who laughed is forced at gunpoint to jump off the plank and plummet. “I was ready for a lot of shit. Thought nothing could surprise me from you idiots. Apparently, I was fucking wrong. How does nobody notice the bodies on the ground? Also, why the fuck are you executing people by making them walk off a fucking plank?

“Take their robes and that man’s tie!” Josephina demands while she watches the followers continue to gather on the lower level of the roof. The mob is tightly packed, several of the people trying to climb one of the three glass pyramids for a better look. “This is how executions were done during the French-Canadian Revolution. We don’t have lions to drop you to, so we hollowed out the building next door. You’ll land in there where nobody can see you and some stray will eat you. We call that an alternative funeral. Let’s have the stripper girl go first since she has a mouth on her.”

“Stripper!? Your dumbass cult wears this shit,” the mercenary snaps, fighting to keep her robe on. A kick to the groin takes down one of the guards and the other is sent tumbling into the crowd by an elbow to the throat. “I’m freezing my ass off, so I’d rather die wearing this itchy thing. At least let me have some dignity in my final hours. Can’t believe it’s summer with the wind up here.”

“Does look like you’re nipping a bit,” Lloyd points out while he takes off his tie. Catching the guard’s arm in the loop, he uses the garment to flip the man off the roof. “Couldn’t let you have all the fun. So, are you just going to toss us off? Seems oddly mundane considering the gaudiness of the building and the show you put on before. Maybe this is some kind of alternative trial that starts with an execution.”

Taking a microphone out of her sleeve, Josephina taps at it and makes sure it is on. “All of you are bearing witness to the demise of two of our greatest enemies. It took me a minute to realize who they are, but what I can see of her tattoo and the way his mouth never stops confirm my beliefs. Cassidy and Lloyd Tenay have spent the last two weeks attacking our brethren and insulting our leader. They have the audacity to think they have the power to defeat a man who is greater than the messiahs that wander the country. I am sure they came here to tear down our work, but they made a mistake in coming here. Johnathan Custer’s strength flows through this building and into our bodies, so you cannot defeat us. No matter how many you cut down, there will be more to rise up and carry on our work. History will never remember either of you when we rebuild this country and write the textbooks.”

“Is that alternative history or alternative textbooks?” Cassidy asks with a yawn.

“Our plans will not be stopped by two degenerates.”

“You mean alternative boy scouts.”

“I hope you bite your tongue on the way down.”

“You know, it would be a shame if somebody gave in to his urges and made a mess of things.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

With a menacing grin, Lloyd draws his machete and kills the two confused guards who are flanking him. He ducks behind an air conditioner unit when three women charge him, all of them trying to get the safety off their guns. The serial killer circles around and comes up behind the trio, who whirl around and fire. Being so close to him, they end up hitting the guards that are coming up the ladders. Lloyd gives the woman in the middle a tiny kiss on the nose before stabbing her in the gut. He ducks as the other two try to shoot him, the pair getting each other in the face. A faint cheer rises from the crowd and the sound grows louder as they watch the intruder dominate the battle. Reveling in the attention, Lloyd adds some spins and simple dance moves as he slices his ways through the terrified guards. The fighting stops when Josephina shouts from the edge of the plank, the woman keeping a firm grip on Cassidy’s arm.

“How dare you continue defying us?” the cult leader growls, smacking the mercenary on the head with her microphone. Fearing that she is losing her followers, Josephina opens her robe to reveal a glittering dress that depicts Elaine and Johnathan Custer’s faces. “There is no way for you to win this war. We are too strong. Our leaders are unbreakable. All you have managed to destroy are those who have been proven too weak to absorb the true strength of a ruler. They did not believe enough. Remember that doubt in what we say is how you fail. Questioning us means you do not trust the path. True loyalty is needed to carry our cause to the finish line.”

“No wonder we were told that the weak-minded don’t do well in here. Your speeches are top shelf, lady,” Lloyd says as he beheads an unsuspecting guard. He skips through the bodies and stops when Josephina takes a step onto the plank. “I just want to touch on something that you said earlier. Those unbreakable leaders shattered like cheap windows in a mosh pit. Just as funny to watch them die too. Has anyone heard the stories yet or is that information listed as alternative as well?”

“Don’t listen to his lies! He speaks falsehoods!” Josephina shouts, her voice wavering. She turns pale when some of the followers shed their robes, but relaxes when those still loyal attack them. “Our leaders are strong and will help us forge a powerful country. The ones who refuse to join us will either die or be driven into the lands of our real enemies. Never forget that the world turned on us first. When we have regained our power, we will remind them why this is the greatest nation in history.”

Lloyd laughs at the cheers while raising his machete for attention, the weapon abruptly coming down on the back of a groaning guard. “Sorry about that. I guess I was sloppy with that one. Fine, I won’t tell you guys that Judge Theo in Arizona was flambéed or that Christopher Tanner got electrocuted. Both as dead as the Custer brothers, who you may have noticed haven’t been heard from in a while. Then again, I wonder if you hear from your great leader very often since he’s in Las Vegas instead of here. Have any of you ever met him? Well, that’s a sea of blank expressions if I ever saw one. Anyway, Miss Brainwashing over here is right that you shouldn’t believe any of that. Doesn’t matter if I make a good speech and enunciate like I’m running for office. Honestly, I’m more likely to run for an ice cream truck. Forgetting all of what I just said, you only have to use your eyes. No matter what this woman and those she works with say, they can’t make you doubt what you see. So, remember that what you saw not too long ago was my friend and I beating one of your great leaders to death. I didn’t see Johnathan Custer’s strength protecting him from that.”

“Grymer had fallen from-” Josephina starts to announce. She stops when she cannot think of a way to finish her sentence, the confused followers making her fear that her influence has been shattered so easily. “What is there to say? Grymer, like all of us, was human. We can still gain strength from believing in each other. I mean, people die all the time. It’s their memory that we have to cherish to allow them to live on. We all remember the massacre last week. It wasn’t too far from here and . . . Wait, those were the rebels that we were killing. My point is that life is precious and can end without warning. So, live every day to the fullest and grab what you want by the-”

“If you insist,” Cassidy mutters before wrenching her arm free.

Grabbing Josephina by the groin, the mercenary quickly leans backwards to flip the screaming woman over her head. Twisting into the movement, Cassidy puts some extra force into the attack by slamming her flailing enemy into the plank. The entire crowd groans in sympathy for their former leader, the sound of the impact echoing among the skyscrapers. With a loud snap, the wooden board snaps and the two women begin to fall. Cassidy pushes the red-haired woman away to avoid getting grabbed at the same time someone catches her by the ankle. Josephina manages to catch the sleeve of her enemy’s robe, which swings everyone toward the building and makes it difficult for Lloyd to keep his grip. Looking at her friend, the mercenary sees that the piece of broken board still attached to the building is grinding into his chest. Even though her beloved guns are in the robe’s lining, Cassidy starts to wriggle out of the garment without slipping from the serial killer’s hand. She stops at the sound of tearing and looks at her shoulder in time to see the cheap stitching snap. Josephina falls for half a floor before her feet hit the ledge and slip out from under her. The woman’s chin hits the stone, which stuns her as she continues to plummet.

“Guess she wasn’t strong enough!” Lloyd shouts as he hauls Cassidy up. He leans over the edge to watch Josephina continue to fall, the sounds of the followers swarming the guards steadily moving into the building. “I don’t like the look of her form. Ragdoll isn’t a great method and there are too many things to hit. Ouch! This is why you shouldn’t have gargoyles with horns anywhere other than the roof.”

“The rest of her is still going,” Cassidy casually points out while she tears off her remaining sleeve. She snaps her fingers for Lloyd to take off his shirt, allowing her to bind the bleeding wounds on his chest. “We’ll take care of the splinters and get some pizza in a bit. Thanks for being there since I didn’t give you any warning. I’ll admit that I was a little scared you weren’t going to make it.”

“You weren’t the only one, kid.”

“Awww, she hit the awning instead of the ground.”

“Judges give her a five across the board, except for Russia who gives her a nine.”

“So, what do we do now?”

“You said pizza.”

“Yeah, I think we’ve done enough here.”

The pair turn to walk away and stop at the sight of Ben standing on the other side of the roof. Wearing a new suit, the old man smiles and waves for them to follow him down the nearby stairwell. They are more than happy to ignore him until the smiling man returns to leave clean clothes and a flyer by the door. Curiosity gets the best of them, so Cassidy and Lloyd hurry over to see what Ben is offering. The first three words on the paper make their mouths water and they rush to change into their new clothes. Before they are even done getting dressed, the pair start heading down the stairs in what eventually becomes a friendly race that threatens to drain the last of their energy.

About Charles Yallowitz

Charles E. Yallowitz was born, raised, and educated in New York. Then he spent a few years in Florida, realized his fear of alligators, and moved back to the Empire State. When he isn't working hard on his epic fantasy stories, Charles can be found cooking or going on whatever adventure his son has planned for the day. 'Legends of Windemere' is his first series, but it certainly won't be his last.
This entry was posted in Bedlam Series, Protecting Bedlam and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to Protecting Bedlam: The Twisted Tungsten Tongue Tower Part 3

  1. L. Marie says:

    Oh dear. Dare I say, “How the mighty have fallen”?


  2. Very good episode Charles. We lost our cell service today and it is my only link to the internet. Lucky for me I had downloaded the episode and could read it. The cell service just came on so I can send this comment. Thanks.


  3. A nine?! Why did Russia give her a nine? That was a clear five if I ever saw one.


  4. Pingback: Protecting Bedlam: The Twisted Tungsten Tongue Tower Part 4 | Legends of Windemere

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