I Tried…To Protect You  [Part 22]

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(Books by Authors Who Never Existed:  A Steampunk Hybrid story)

By the author of BARD: Owner of the Gemstone

Tobey is lying across the empty space on top of the Salinas desk.  The bronze faced man is motionless in front of him.  Behind him, he can feel the ridge of the bookcase that contains the books, by authors who never existed.  His human mom is listening to the crank radio, while holding the hearing horn to her left ear.   Through the side windows of the front door, he sees a steam delivery truck pull up to the curve.  Dense mist starts pumping out of the steampipe on the top of the truck’s cab.  His eyes widen and he looks closer.  At the same time, he sits up.  Dark figures pour out of the truck.  He hears the soft sound of metal turning against metal.  The front door opens.  He detracts his claws and hisses. 

Four human female figures, all around the same height, and all dressed in black, stand in front of a much taller, masculine figure, also dressed in black.  The tall figure moves sluggishly.  One of the females, pulls out a large brass pistol, with an air cartridge on the top.  The muzzle of the gun has a pointy projectile protruding from it.  He feels a sharp pain in his left shoulder.  He cries out a warning, to his mom.

Chief Shabuni with Inspectors Harper and Campbell, charge through the front entrance.  They must have been watching from outside.  Tobey shakes his head and blinks his eyes.  It’s getting hard to focus.  There’s a scuffle between Chief Shabuni, the Inspectors, and the black clothed women.  Three of the women fight, while the one with the brass pistol, steps back and takes aim.  As he was watching the fight, Tobey forgot to keep an eye on the tall masculine figure.  There’s a familiar scent to the man.  A petrol smell mixed with lavender cologne.  The man is placing some contraption into the brass man’s chest.  With a hiss, he fights through his wooziness, and claws at the black clad man.  The man ignores him and starts to screw the contraption into place.  With all his remaining energy Tobey lets out another cry.  Then he slides back down into a lying position.  It’s getting harder to just keep his eyes open.

The man closes the brass faced man’s chest and pats Tobey’s head.  “S-s-sorry,” the man says in a familiar voice.  As the man walks away, a twirling sound comes from the brass faced man’s chest.  The brass faced man’s headlight eyes flash on and his clamp hand reaches for the books.

Tobey glances at his mom.  She’s asleep in her armchair with a needle in her neck.  He hears a thump followed by another one.  A moment later he hears a much heavier thump.  As the brass faced man walks away with the books, he notices bodies lying on the hall floor.  Some of the black clothed women are limping or holding their arms.  On the floor are Inspectors Campbell and Harper.  Closer to him, is Chief Shabuni, sprawled on the floor with one arm reaching in his direction.  All the blacked clothed women, but the one holding the pistol, start to drag Chief Shabuni towards the mist shrouded delivery truck.

Sorry Chief, Tobey thinks.  His eyes close and he rests his chin on the surface of the desk.  “I tried…to protect you.”  


Honourable Mention

That Cello Guy

Cremaine “ThatCelloGuy” Booker, is one of the first musicians on Youtube, who had me saying, “Wow!” and realizing how much I enjoy listening to cello music.


Nothing Else Matters

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