Derailing Bedlam: Meat Locker Part 1 #fiction #adventure

As usual, here is your warning that this story has cursing, sex (not graphic), innuendo, and violence.  It’s my Rated-R action adventure called Derailing Bedlam.  This is the fourth outing (third official) for Cassidy and Lloyd, so feel free to click on one of the two covers to see how it started.  Each one is 99 cents!

Cover by Jon Hunsinger

Cover Art by Jon Hunsinger

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With her jeep repaired and her friends preparing for a date, Cassidy finds that she has nothing to do. Unwilling to stay in her room, the mercenary changes into her only set of workout clothes and heads for the gym. The few people already inside stop what they are doing and stare at here until she claims a treadmill. She can still feel them watching her movements, their eyes always darting away if she turns in their direction. Putting the silent judgements out of her mind, the mercenary focuses on keeping a steady pace and watching the scenery go by. The random glimpses of houses and farms makes her wonder how many isolated towns are scattered about the country. A brief memory of her mother wanting to find a quiet place for her retirement brings a few tears to her eyes, which she wipes away along with the first bead of sweat. Increasing the incline, Cassidy pushes herself and tries to work her muscles enough to justify the warm bath she plans on soaking in later. Hearing a groan from the treadmill, she jumps off an instant before smoke comes out of the battery and the display spits a cascade of sparks. The machine falls apart and the other people laugh while the annoyed woman gets on an exercise bike.

A disturbance on the other side of the gym causes Cassidy to look up from adjusting the tension dial. She watches as a bald man comes out of the sauna room wearing a suit that is half a size too small for him. Even more bizarre than his clothing is the fact that he is fairly short and carrying an unconscious woman on his back. He yells for the door to be opened, so he can get his tall and toned friend to a doctor. Cassidy finds herself staring at the injured woman’s shoulder tattoos, one of a devil and the other an angel. She cannot figure out what has grabbed her attention about the couple, so she puts them out of her mind. Giving the pair a final glance as they head out the door, she starts pedaling and curses at the broken display.

“You only need to fiddle with the wiring,” a young man with a ponytail says. Leaning in front of the bike, he proceeds to fix it and flashes the friendliest smile he can muster. “My name is Amarillo. I just finished my own workout, but thought I would come over to help. Tyler really needs to get these machines inspected. Guess he was more interested in making sure the train works, right?”

“That would be the higher priority,” Cassidy whispers as she sets the display to show her speed. Half of the screen is a black mess until she runs her thumb across it, the appearing numbers barely visible. “Well, beggars can’t be choosers. You’re still here and smiling, so I assume you want something. My name is Cassidy and you’ve made a small mistake. If it’s business then you’re out of luck because I’m only a mercenary. Trying to seduce me is a worse idea since you don’t have the equipment that appeals to me.”

“Wow, that does eliminate my two goals pretty thoroughly,” Amarillo admits with a nervous laugh. Pulling a lily from his sleeve, he offers it to Cassidy, who puts it behind her ear in the hopes of him leaving. “Maybe you can still help me. My family and I are trying to become liquor dealers. We revived a distillery and have a ton of product, but my parents got sick before they could start spreading the word. My sister makes the liquor, which means it’s up to me to handle the business side of things. So, I snuck onto this train in the hopes of drumming up some deals. Do you happen to know anyone I could talk to?”

The mercenary sighs at the continued interruption, but his charming smile stops her from lashing out. “First, you sound desperate right now, which can turn someone off to listening unless they want to use you like a tissue. You came on rather charming and that could have worked if I was straight. That doesn’t help you with the men here, but there are plenty of influential women on here. Maybe they’ll even like that your sister is the brew master or whatever you call the head of a distillery. The sick parents angle can work too. Only as a last resort because you don’t want to create an opening for someone to take advantage of you. Do your research on potential targets too. That’s a big one for anyone in business, which includes my occupation. That’s probably an example of do as I say, not as I do. By the way, I’m making this up as I go along.”

“Yes, but it makes perfect sense.”

“What did you do before this?”

“I ran the farm and cultivated our ingredients.”

“Not sure if that will help.”

“Read a lot of romance novels too. It’s all we had after the collapse”

“In that case, charm and seduce your way to a deal.”

Amarillo nods his head and takes a deep breath, but gets on another exercise bike instead of walking away. He pulls out a flask and takes a drink before offering it to Cassidy. The mercenary cautiously takes the container and sniffs at the mouth, the scent of honey and whiskey catching her by surprise. When nothing happens to Amarillo, she takes a small taste and gives him a quick thumbs up as she tries not to cough. The young man takes the reaction as a compliment and enjoy another swig before putting the flask away.

“That’s not even my favorite,” Amarillo says as he pulls a list out of his pocket. Being the only one he has, he holds it out for Cassidy to examine. “It took us a long time to get everything together. My family has whiskey, vodka, gin, tequila, rum, brandy, and a few others. You don’t have to worry about trading extra like with the stuff imported from overseas. We give you exactly the amount that you request and are more than willing to send a little bit of everything for variety. We’re hoping to master absinthe by the end of the year.”

“I like the fire you’re showing here. Almost made me believe you were an experienced merchant,” Cassidy states while getting off the bike. Giving up on her workout, she heads for a small fridge and grabs a water bottle. “I’m going to lend you a hand. Go to the party tonight and talk to the Duchess of LaSalle. She has purple hair, wears a bowler hat, and runs something called the human circus out of Peru, Illinois. Try to charm her a bit, but only when her boyfriend isn’t around. Don’t push it too much because he could see you as a threat and kill you. If you can find a way to get both of them on your good side then go for it. I’ve worked with her before and she’s a great partner to have. Oh, but do not make her tea. That could get you executed in a heartbeat.”

“Thank you so much,” the young man excitedly whispers to make sure he does not draw any attention. Shaking the mercenary’s hand, he abruptly regains his composure and gives her knuckles a quick kiss. “If this works out then I’ll give you whatever you want. My family won’t have any problem with me handing off a bottle of tequila or two.”

“We’ll talk after you make the deal,” she responds with a nervous smile. Cassidy watches Amarillo hurry out of the gym, which leaves her alone with two men who are heading for the sauna. “Didn’t sweat much, but I did a good deed. That deserves a bath. Maybe I can steal a few beers before all the good stuff goes to the party.”

Coming to the exit, Cassidy slides the door open and winces at an unexpected pain in her stomach. Looking down, she sees a syringe sticking out of her exposed belly and her muscles begin to go numb. She glances at the short man in a suit, his emerald eyes gradually turning into spinning limes. The mercenary musters the strength for a swing that misses without her attacker moving away. Clumsily gripping the door, Cassidy bangs her head against the wall in a desperate attempt to stay awake through pain. A brief moment of clarity gives her hope and she whirls around to strike the man. Her arm goes too high and she receives another syringe in the armpit, which causes her body to ache. She attempts a charge and nearly grabs the stranger’s tie, but her numb fingers are unable to maintain the hold. Knowing that she is about to pass out, she can only mutter a curse and watch as the stun gun hits her shoulder.

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.
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6 Responses to Derailing Bedlam: Meat Locker Part 1 #fiction #adventure

  1. L. Marie says:

    Oh dear. I guess a man carrying an unconscious woman wasn’t enough of a clue? But then Cassidy has seen stranger things.

    This was hilarious: “I’m making this up as I go along.”

    “Yes, but it makes perfect sense.”

    Like

  2. Looks like Cassidy is going to wake up in an unfamilr place. Super episode, Charles.

    Like

  3. Pingback: Derailing Bedlam: Meat Locker Part 2 #fiction #adventure | Legends of Windemere

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