Derailing Bedlam: It’s Bison, Dumbass! 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











The sounds of banging tools and sparking electronics come over the walkie-talkie, which is sitting in the middle of the table. Anxious to hear a report, Tyler taps his foot and repeatedly opens and closes his pocket watch. He occasionally looks over at Katie, who is sitting across from him with her lukewarm tea. The fact that the warlord did not make a fuss about her drink being wrong is another source of the businessman’s anxiety. A muttered curse from Bart over the walkie-talkie stops Tyler from asking his companion if she is sick or worried. Waiting for a follow up to the mysterious outburst, he finds himself holding his breath and nearly passes out since the inventor has gone back to work. He picks up the device and is about to talk when the thought of startling the workers and making a bigger mess drives him away from the table. The man jumps slightly when the door opens and Dale walks in with the cups of coffee and basket of muffins that were requested.

“Good to see that the kitchen isn’t entirely empty,” Tyler says while taking his drink. He sips at the bitter taste and glances at his bodyguard, who shrugs helplessly. “If the map in Cola’s room is right then there is an emergency turn and alternate route that they built. Guess the plan was that they would herd us south if we left Minot without Cola. We’ll come close to the border, but not enough to be attacked. This should take us back to the main line and we can return to Minot for supplies. If we can kill some of the buffalo blocking us then that should be enough food to last us. By the way, why is Mr. Tenay here?”

“Because there’s been far too many events happening with me absent or napping,” Lloyd declares from where he is sprawled on a couch. Sitting up to take a pill, he gazes out the window at the large animals that are grazing around the train. “You know, they’re not buffalo. Common mistake due to early settlers thinking they looked like the African and Asian animals. The actual species is bison, which have a shoulder hump, a beard, and a larger head than what they were being compared to. The horns are different too. Bison have shorter and sharper horns while buffalo have those big curving ones. Personally, I blame that song for continuing the misinformation campaign. That and the sports team, but I figure they’ve suffered enough over the years.”

“Thanks, but none of that helps us,” the businessman sourly retorts. Seeing that the serial killer is going to pout, he throws the only chocolate muffin to the man as an apology. “I do find it weird that there’s such a large herd without guardians. Maybe they’re in hiding and waiting to see if we’re a genuine threat. We might be attacked the instant one of the buf . . . bison touches the third rail.”

The walkie-talkie screeches and one of the lights blinks as Bart’s voice comes through with a strange echo. “No need to worry about that. Seems the electricity for the detour was coming from Nebraska. The gangs shut it down as soon as we stopped, which means they had scouts out here. If it wasn’t for you insisting on incorporating a steam engine then we’d be dead in the water. I’m working on setting up a generator for the electrical components, which will be more dependable than the third rail. Safer too since most people in this country won’t realize that they’re crossing an active track. I give us four hours before we can move again and then two days to get back to the main line. The bomb is giving me a little trouble. Deactivated the timer, but he has something else that I’ve yet to identify.”

“Just be safe, Bart,” Katie requests with a yawn. Finishing her tea, she pokes at a blueberry muffin that does not look as appetizing as it did a minute ago. “Aside from losing a lot of supplies, you lost two-thirds of your engineering staff. Is it possible for us to keep going with so few of them left? I don’t mean any offense towards Bart, but he can only do so much. Perhaps there’s a place we can go for extra manpower.”

Shaking his head, Tyler gets out of his seat and heads for the bar to mix himself the first cocktail that comes to his mind. Staying by the window, he watches the bison calmly move around the area and devour the grass. A powerful male is close enough to touch, but the thought of doing so sends a shiver down the man’s spine. Feeling a slight pain in his wrist, Tyler rolls up his sleeve and examines his ugly bruises. He accepts a bottle of ointment that Dale hands him, the sweet-smelling gunk making everyone’s head swim for a second. While administering the soothing goop, the businessman relaxes to the point where his body appears to slump forward and shrink into his suit.

“I don’t want to bring anyone else into this mess,” Tyler admits with a sigh. Wiping his hands on a bar rag, he returns to the table and forces himself to smile. “Too many disasters have happened, so I would like to keep as much of the situation a secret as possible. Last thing the Holly Sage Express needs are rumors that it’s cursed. That could lead to the stations closing up ahead of us, which means all of my hard work will be for nothing. I trust that Bart can do what needs to be done with what he has. Any passengers with engineering experience or an interest in earning back some of their ticket price can lend a hand. How are we with that special system I asked you about, Bart?”

“That’s going to take a little time since I’m focused more on getting us out of South Dakota,” the inventor replies as a loud hissing threatens to drown out his voice. A strange thud causes the walkie-talkie to have nothing more than static for a minute before crackling back to life. “The bomb is taken care of and it only looked bad. It was meant to split and derail the train, so it was like a single stick of dynamite. I’m going to implement that ownership system when I work on the electrical. You should be able to operate the train in the case of an emergency, but nothing more than speed, the radio, and the horn. Everything else will require that you use the main panel. Honestly, I’m designing it more for you to escape a threat either by stopping or pushing forward. That’s what you wanted, right?”

“I was hoping for full control, but we can discuss that later,” Tyler admits with a happier tone. Checking his watch, he runs a finger over the picture of his family and lets a tear fall onto his wife’s face. “Sorry, but I was just thinking how much they would enjoy this trip. Not the disasters, of course. Do you think Cassidy is okay out there on her own? She’s been gone with the water truck for a long time. We need that to refuel the steam engine. At least once the valve is fixed.”

Popping the rest of the chocolate muffin into his mouth, Lloyd slides off the couch and takes two more pastries. “Considering she stunned Luca instead of letting her go along, I’m assuming the kid wants to be alone. Thankfully, I’ve never been one to listen to that and I’ve been electrocuted so much that I barely feel it. Well, I do, but it’s more a sensation of boredom that comes with the urge to piss myself. Kind of like when you’re watching that movie with the actor who women love even though he looks a shaved werewolf. You know the guy. Wonder if he’s still alive and finally went full lycanthrope. What were we talking about?”

“You were going to risk the bison and their guardians in order to check on Cassidy,” Katie says as she takes the couch. Pulling down her hat, she is on the verge of falling asleep and repeatedly stops talking before jolting back to consciousness. “Go out of the caboose since there are fewer animals in the back. I have a feeling the guardians aren’t here since Cassidy got out without any gunfire. Take the tracking thingy since there’s a beacon on the water truck. Tyler should really be the one giving orders because it’s his stuff. I’m just tired and want to get some sleep.”

“Then, I guess I’ll head out.”

“Happy hunting, dear.”

“Why do I suddenly have a bad feeling about this?”

“Hey, what could possibly go wrong?”

“Awww, damn it! I’m so getting shot at by somebody now.”

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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4 Responses to Derailing Bedlam: It’s Bison, Dumbass! Part 1 #fiction #adventure

  1. L. Marie says:

    I couldn’t help thinking of Ryan Reynolds whenever Lloyd spoke. 😄 A bad feeling? That’s par for the course!


  2. Pingback: Derailing Bedlam: It’s Bison, Dumbass! Part 2 #fiction #adventure | Legends of Windemere

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