Friday, May 2, 2014

Prompt: a hairdresser who moonlights as an assassin; problem: there’s an ogre loose in town

Alyce wrapped the last white whisps of Mrs. Kendrick’s hair around her smallest roller and slid the pin gently against her scalp. As she was helping her elderly client out of the chair and over to the old-fashioned helmet hair dryer, she saw people running down the street with looks of horror and fear as they glanced behind them. That couldn’t be good.

“Now, Mizz Kendrick, you know this old hair dryer takes awhile, but it’s the most gentle one I’ve got for your beautiful, delicate hair. Do you want a magazine? Or would you like a light blanket and you can just take a little nap?”

Mrs. Kendrick smiled up her and patted her arm. “Aren’t you a dear. I’ll take a blanket and close my eyes for a bit. I didn’t sleep well last night. There was something rooting around the house. Sounded like a hog, or a bear.”

Alyce raised her eyebrows. “Really? Well, you could call Joe Peterson to come walk around your property.” Joe was one of the town’s most prolific hunters. Alyce had to keep a sharp eye out for him when she was working her other job.

More people ran past the window, and Alyce hurried to get Mrs. Kendrick settled under the hair dresser and a blanket. She’d be out like a light for thirty minutes. Alyce didn’t think she’d need more than twenty.

She swept aside the back curtain and pulled her Glock out of its holster, tucking the long barrel in the back of her waistband. She slid her twin Hissatsu blades into the custom sheathes inside her black leather Dehner boot shafts. On her way out the back door, she shrugged into her black leather jacket and felt the snub-nosed Ruger in the left wrist holster, where she could drop it down into her palm with one jerk. Something was freaking people out. Alyce liked to be prepared.

Jogging down the back alley of the main street shops, she kept a sharp eye and listened closely for any commotion. Four blocks down, behind Ralph’s used bookstore, she stopped and listed. Something was in the side alley. Eating? Noisily.

Alyce knelt and slowly peered around the corner. Oh. Eww. Was that Ralph’s black lab? The ogre tossed a bloody hunk over its shoulder, and it rolled toward Alyce. Yep. The ogre’s shaggy back was toward her, its mottled fur tangled with leaves and brambles. It was full grown, at least seven feet tall. Not a giant. Thank the gods for small favors. It raised the dog’s body up, and Alyce blinked, unwilling to keep that visual. It must have been starving, because it paid no attention to the sounds from the main street, and it clearly hadn’t heard Alyce’s approach.

Shaking her head, Alyce pulled back and stood. Great. Ogres were tough SOBs. She tugged out the Glock and thumbed the safety. With a jerk, the Ruger dropped into her left hand. If she needed the Hissatsus, she was already dead. She thought about running back to her store for more firepower, but then she heard a wet thud from the side alley. The ogre had finished its sloppy meal.

Alyce held her breath, but it was too late. She could practically see her scent molecules flooding through the air into the alley toward the ogre’s giant nose flaps. Dropping into a fighting crouch, she was ready for it to charge down the alley toward her.


Dogs in House
Houdini, Brindle

Time writing
45 minutes, including some research

May word count

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