This wasn’t originally going to have a fancy title like that. But my fingers kept going and I’m so proud of them. *pats fingers*
Anyway, we have some fun little story-related things as well as the story part for today because this story seems to have a sufficient fanbase for that.
Firstly, I made a banner.
Eeep I love it. ❤
Also, a friend pinpointed the actor I’d used for my MC here (Sam Claflin), so I found a picture of him smirking in a tuxedo because.
And a story inspiration song that makes me excited.
(I don’t do those a whole ton, but I don’t know. This one gets me excited and bouncy because it occurred to me that it fit. Many hearts. ❤ ❤ ❤ )
It’s so… *claps hand over mouth because you guys don’t know his name yet* *coughs* It’s so him.
And now, the story. *bows out*
(links to the first parts if you’re new)
Taking Names (including my own)
Uncomfortable, sharp awareness worked its way into my mind again and feeling trickled back into my limbs.
I took in a breath and moved my arm a little, but my eyes were too heavy to open. My nose was smashed up against the rough fabric of a couch arm and warm puffs of my own breath deflected back into my face.
I needed a mint.
Swallowing, I squinched my eyes for a second before forcing them open. Deep purple fabric was about two inches away from my face. I turned my head away and squinted at the rest of my bedding.
It looked almost like I’d been hucked onto the couch by someone at the other end of the room. One leg hung off the side and the other propped up on the opposite couch arm. A blanket was wrinkled up diagonally over my body with a corner tickling my nose. Nothing was over my feet, though my shoes were still on.
It was hard to decide whether this was a friendly kidnapping or a slapdash rescue.
I braced myself against the side of the couch and pushed up into a sitting position and looked around the room.
Dallas was sprawled across another couch with his hair in disarray, a blanket bundled at his feet and an ace bandage wrapped crookedly around his midsection. He was still breathing at least so, hey, some success there.
Light filtered into the room through grubby curtains that looked like they’d been stolen from a bad hotel. From the pinkish hue of the light and the distant chattering of birds, I guessed it to be around sunrise.
I turned to look at the opposite wall and jumped upon seeing a reflection turn to look at me.
My reflection apparently. No one else had my quaint charm of a bloody tuxedo-leather jacket combination with the worst case of bed-head to ever see the light of day.
I couldn’t stop staring.
I gave up trying to guess what color my eyes were. My hair was a stupid color. Like it couldn’t decide whether it wanted to be brown or blond. I guess I’m just Mister Color-ambiguous. Not to mention the lovely cowlick spiking my hair in all directions.
My face scared me, though. I looked like someone I’d intentionally avoid on the street. Someone who’d shoot you if you took one extra crumb of cake.
I didn’t blame Dallas now for his underwhelming desire for my help.
So, the question now was whether this guy- Mr. monster truck and sunglasses- was a friend of mine or of Dallas’s. Because it seemed those things would be mutually exclusive. By the reaction I got from Dallas by showing up, though, I’d guess either one would know who I was.
But something inside me shied away from finding out who I actually was. Maybe I was different now. Maybe I’d run away . . . to the jungle or something. Be a wilderness man and survive. All that great stuff that my brain decides is a good idea at 5 in the morning after almost dying.
My elbow bumped against something behind the couch arm and I twisted around to look. A smiley cup of grape Kool-Aid with a green straw sloshed a little from my bumping it.
A wallet sat next to it, with a little P.O. box address tucked in the front pocket. From the handwriting’s similarity to the note I’d found in my jacket, I guessed it was mine.
I grabbed the Kool-Aid, flicked out the straw and drained the stuff in one swig.
There was the click of a doorknob and a squeak as it flung open. And who should come thundering in but the scary-sunglasses-man himself.
Though he was in a big pickup truck before and his height of almost seven feet wasn’t as obvious. I didn’t realize I’d dropped the Kool-Aid cup on the floor until I heard a plastic clatter on the floor.
The giant looked over at me and I saw his eyebrows go up to touch the edge of his fedora. “Hey, you’re up!”
He liked me, at least. Maybe he didn’t bring me back to eat me.
He came over to me in a couple of strides and tipped his head down at me, “I put a Band-Aid on your head. Does it feel better?”
I put my hand to the back of my head and found a big adhesive patch stuck on top of my hair. “Um . . . sure.” For now. Taking it off would be another matter entirely. I craned my neck up at the mountain next to me and dug frantically in my nearly empty memory bank for some recollection of him.
He tugged at his tie and looked at me with a frown. That wasn’t good.
Thankfully, Dallas woke up just then. He sucked in his breath and stiffened, his eyes popping wide open to stare at the ceiling.
Giganto looked over at him, put one hand on his hip and pushed his fedora back a little on his head. He glanced back over at me and nodded towards Dallas.
“I was about to ask . . . is he on our side now or something?”
Dallas’s eyes rested on the resident giant and I swear he just about passed back out just then. I felt like I should say something to reassure him, but I honestly wasn’t too far below Dallas on level of fright.
The big guy looked between the two of us, shrugged and sat himself down on the floor, leaning his back up against the coffee table. “Well, I guess the other night went kinda sideways, huh?”
I blinked at him.
“The guys got worried when you didn’t come back, so they sent me to pick you up and give the guys that roughed you up some . . .” he coughed into his elbow, then grinned his great chasm of a mouth at me, “. . . bad luck.”
Dallas made a strangled sound.
I wasn’t liking the picture that was emerging from the jigsaw pieces of my life at the moment. It looked like a perfectly decent, polite kid like Dallas was my enemy, I had a hit man and quite possibly a gang, not to mention a mysterious note about my apparently murdered family.
“So what ended up happening anyway?” My giant shifted his position like he was settling down for a story.
I let out my breath and ran my hand over my hair, “Well . . .” I glanced over at Dallas and licked my lips, “ . . . I . . . don’t remember.”
Dallas’s mouth opened and a look of realization spread across his face.
The giant tipped his head, “Don’t remember what?”
“Like . . . anything about my life,” I looked between them, “I know that’s probably a lot. Guessing I’m about twenty-something. So . . . could I maybe get like a short summary of who you guys are?”
The giant looked surprisingly sympathetic. “Dude, that’s awful!” He stood, “Hey, I have ice cream in the freezer. You always liked ice cream. Do you want some?”
Well, ice cream sounded tempting, I’m not denying that. But it wasn’t quite my priority at the moment.
I held up a hand, “Not . . . at the moment. Hold on, just tell me your name real quick, ‘kay?”
He straightened his tie as though giving a school recitation, “Baden News. Though no one really calls me Baden. So, Bad News.”
Well, first impressions aren’t always correct. But it looks like mine was spot on.
I swallowed hard.
Mr. News pointed over to the kitchen, “I’m going to get the ice cream now.”
I nodded. Ice cream was certainly not the worst thing that could happen.
As soon as he was gone, I looked over at Dallas. He’d regained a little of his color and gotten in a more upright position. Also he was looking at me.
I managed a smile at him, “So . . . what sort of terms are we on?”
“Last time I checked, the sort of terms where you would shoot me out of annoyance.” I couldn’t tell if that was a glint of amusement I saw in his eyes.
I winced, “Sorry . . . “
“It’s more relation than anything else,” Dallas shrugged, “I’m the sidekick of your worst enemy.”
Something held me back from asking who my worst enemy was. I guess I was nervous it would turn out to be Mother Theresa or something. Instead, I reached for the wallet on the table next to the couch. I turned it over in my hands a couple of times, then held it up to Dallas.
“Is this mine?”
Dallas squinted at it and shrugged. He’s such a chatterbox.
I opened it.
It flipped open in my lap, revealing a small wad of bills and, in a clear pocket, a driver’s license with my smirking face on it. I looked at myself with a furrowed brow for a second before moving on to the part where it said my name.
And, printed in all its ridiculously long glory, there it was.
I could have thrown up.
I looked up at Dallas again, “Wolfgang Dankworth? Is that seriously my birth name?”
“Far as I know.”
I rubbed my thumb over the letters. “Sounds quite villainous.”
“Well . . . yeah.” He put his hand on the back of his neck and frowned at me.
As if that was a given. Gosh, my predisposal to evil seemed nonnegotiable with this kid.
I looked over more of my license and found I was licensed in Nevada. Random. I thought criminal types as myself would stick to the slums of New York.
I peeked through the pockets of the wallet. Some thank-you note from a pawnshop. An old ticket to a Seattle Mariners game. A Target membership card. An opera ticket made sense, at least.
My fingers hit one last thing that felt like photo paper. I pulled it out. A snapshot of a little kid grinned back at me with eyes that I couldn’t decide the color of. Dimples showed in his cheeks and cowlicked, light brown hair poked up in all directions.
Indistinct memories prodded at the back of my mind. Was that me? No . . . my face was too angular for that. A brother? I blinked. Was this Peter I’d written about in my note?
A loud thud sounded on the table next to me and I jumped, sticking the picture back in my wallet.
Bad News grinned down at me. “I got some strawberry.” He dropped a spoon down on the table next to the open, pink ice cream.
“Um . . . thanks.” I gave him a casual salute with my shaking hand and picked up the spoon.
“All my other spoons are lost,” News pushed his fedora back on his head. “So if you wanna share with Knight, he has to use the same one as you.”
“I’m fine,” Dallas assured.
The phone rang just then and Bad News dashed out to get it. A heard a few muffled gang-speak terms, a phone click and he was back.
“The gang’s on their way.”
Any color Dallas had regained was immediately gone.
I stood up, ignoring my once again throbbing head. “Leave a note, News. I’m going for a drive.”
While I have a head start, at least. And an alive Dallas.
Bad News grabbed his coat off a hook on the wall. “I’m coming too.”
He had to live up to his name.
Hope you enjoyed!
I seem to be cranking these out pretty well, so hopefully you guys won’t have to wait around for too long. 😛
Have a favorite character or part yet? What do you think of the newly revealed names?