Lena Corazon

Flights of Fancy

Dice Games, Day 2: “Worthless?”

Okay, I got a little distracted from the #DiceGames fest this week, so my last 2 fills are a little late. But better late than never, no?

For Day 2, I rolled a 2. The prompt: Write a love story. Blood and gore mandatory.

I thought I’d have a bit of fun with this one, so here, have a couple of supernatural hunters, a horde of zombies, and a lovers’ tiff. This piece of flash fiction tried to run away with me, but I managed to shave it down to 750 words exactly.

And don’t forget to check out the fills from the other intrepid #DiceGames writers while you’re at it!

-oOo-

“Worthless?”

Fighting zombies was no time for a lovers’ quarrel, but Gareth had learned long ago that his beloved wasn’t like most women. A young lady of refinement would never be caught armed to the teeth with knives and pistols, nor would she spend her days tracking supernatural creatures to kill them in the most brutal way possible.

That was exactly why he loved Serenity. Her jealous streak, however, was another story altogether.

“I know you were looking at her.” Her voice, sharp with accusation, was loud enough to be heard above the noise of battle.

“Spirits be damned, Serenity, I love you.” The gravitas of his declaration was lost in his rather unmasculine screech as blood fountained from the monster before him, its head suddenly missing.

“Keep up,” she snapped, whirling away from the spurting corpse. Her katana flashed in the sunlight.

Grunting, he adjusted his grip on the crossbow, picking off two more of the shambling creatures before they could close in on her. “Are you even listening to me?”

“Sorry, I’m too busy trying to keep your worthless hide alive.”

He winced. “Worthless” wasn’t exactly the word he’d use to describe himself. He might’ve been more comfortable with a stack of books than he was with a weapon, but in the 2 years since Serenity had hauled him out of his library and proved that monsters existed, he’d become a fairly proficient hunter.

Pushing his silver-rimmed spectacles up the bridge of his nose, Gareth pulled a pistol out of his holster and emptied the rounds into the last creature. It tottered, stumbled backwards, and fell with a satisfying thud to the ground.

That’s when things went to hell.

A dozen more zombies were on them in the flash of an eye. Serenity leapt into the fray, a blade in each hand as she sought to keep them back. Gareth loosed his arrows upon the horde with breathtaking speed, until the crossbow was ripped out of his hand.

The zombie had him in its undead grasp before he could sneeze, lifting him a half-foot into the air. He struggled wildly, legs kicking out, but his attempts were completely ineffectual.

When was he going to learn to stop showing off?

The zombie’s hand tightened around Gareth’s throat, cutting off his screams. Spots danced before his eyes, and he wondered, absurdly enough, whether the creature would rip his head off or merely choke him to death.

He never got the chance to find out. He found himself crashing to the ground instead, the zombie toppling over a moment later. Putrid goo oozed from the body and puddled around Gareth, but he couldn’t bring himself to move.

Still alive. Still breathing. Shocking, really.

A shadow dropped over him, and Serenity’s face swam into view. Blood and gore stained her clothing; the squishy gray bits flecked on her cheek must’ve belonged to some poor zombie’s brain. Still, she was the most beautiful thing he’d ever seen. He grinned up at her with all the enthusiasm of a psychotic.

“Maybe ‘worthless’ wasn’t the right word.”

His heart expanded in a swell of satisfaction. Maybe it only took half-dying for her to notice? “That’s right, ma’am.”

Her dark brows furrowed, her lips twisting in disapproval. “‘Reckless’ might be more accurate.”

Oh. Not quite the compliment he’d been hoping for. The silence stretched out between them, but she broke it at last, an unexpected grin brightened her face.

“Looks like I’ve managed to corrupt you at last. Never thought I’d live to see the day,  Mr. Mountbatten.”

“Done more than that. You stole my damned heart while you were at it.” He inhaled gingerly, wincing at the pain that lanced his body. Bruised ribs, perhaps?

It didn’t matter. Gareth had things to say, and he wasn’t going to let petty injuries stop him. “I’m not lookin’ at anyone else. You’re the only one I want, Serenity Vega.”

She was silent as she knelt beside him, but her fingers lingered over his cheek with unexpected tenderness. “I know.” Her voice scarcely more than a whisper. “You have my heart, Gareth.”

Gently, she pulled him against her, cradling his head in her lap and pressing her lips to his forehead. His delight was slightly dimmed by her next words.

“If I catch you staring at another buxom barmaid’s assets ever again, I will personally castrate you.”

He could only chuckle in response and nuzzle in closer. No, Serenity wasn’t like other women, but she suited Gareth just fine.

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3 Comments

  1. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this entry. These two characters are so well fleshed out for a short story. I’m actually hoping you might want to write more about these two!!

    I do have one stupid question…Is Richard the first name and Gareth his last? That would be my only constructive comment. It took me out of it for a few seconds while I was trying to figure out if they were the same guy.

    Serenity is quite kickass…and her name is SERENITY!! Me <3. Imma go google some Fillion now.
    Lauren Garafalo recently posted..The I’m Alive ROW80 Check InMy Profile

    • Thanks so much, friend! This story really did threaten to run away with me, and I might maybe come back to it at some point in the future. There is something that makes me giggle about a former librarian/scholarly type turned zombie hunter — a bit of a gender role reversal here. And I had all these ideas for cool “Weird West” steampunk gadgets and stuff…

      And THANK YOU for pointing out the ridiculous name gaffes. This is why I should not try to do last minute name changes, late at night, right before I post. All mentions of Richard have been tweaked to Gareth, as it should be.

      And eeee, Serenity! I was bored in class one day, but I perked up when I realized that one of the authors being referenced in my prof’s lecture was Serenity, and I decided that it would be the perfect name for some badass 19th century warrior lady. 😀 😀

  2. Loved this one! This was just awesome. Definitely love Gareth (maybe could even see myself in his position) and the warrior-woman archetype Serenity fits appeals a lot to me as well.

    Absolutely my favorite part was Gareth pushing up his silver rimmed glasses–great image that both contrasts and fits the scene of him hunting zombies so perfectly, while at the same time telling us everything about who he was before and why Serenity is such an odd match for him.

    That and you had real affection between the characters at the end which left me a happy reader. It’s a feel-good zombie bashing romance!
    David A Ludwig recently posted..Dice Games June 8My Profile

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