I’ve kind of missed the Blank Mastermind Thursdays.
Let’s have some random drabble/short story things with the characters, where random fun things happen in 500 words or under. (Or over, when I’m feeling rebellious.)
I forget the prompt for this one.
Something involving an accidental pepper spraying. And I thought I’d mix it up with adding the characters from Odd Team Out.
There’s only so long you can take a shady guy in a leather jacket following you around.
For Jean McStone, a whole block and all the way through the building to her apartment was quite enough. More than enough.
Despite her racing heartbeat, she forced her thoughts to stay calm and her hands steady. She had her training. This guy didn’t stand a chance when it came down to it. Jean could have him down in ten seconds flat.
If she wanted. There was no need to attack, though. Just do what needed to be done.
She glanced over her shoulder, trying to make it look like she was looking at something else, but watching him out of the corner of her eye. He was watching her. Was he smiling? Goosebumps tickled her arms.
The numbers came to the familiar 21 and 22. Jean stopped at Cobalt’s door, looked up at the numbers and reached into her bag where the keys were. The blur in her periphery slowed his step and she swallowed.
She felt the keys, but fumbled past them. Throwing stars. A knife. A gun. No . . . he hadn’t done anything. Just scare him off. Her hand closed around the small can of pepper spray instead. No more than necessary. It will do the job.
“Hey . . .” came a voice from behind her. A hint of amusement played in the man’s voice.
Jean stiffened reflexively. She’d taken her eyes off of him. Her grip tightened on the can and she ducked her head, looking like she was pulling out the keys.
“Do you . . .” the man began again.
Jean didn’t let him finish. She whirled around in a blink with the pepper spray up and aimed. A direct shot, straight into his eyes.
He stumbled backwards with a yell, both of his hands going to his face. Muffled curses came out from in between his fingers and he went to his knees, rubbing frantically at his eyes.
Jean reached back in, grabbing the keys to Cobalt’s apartment and spun back around to unlock the door. Just as she reached with the keys, the door swung open to show a confused looking Cobalt.
“What on earth? Who . . .?” he craned his neck to look around her and blinked.
Jean pushed Cobalt, trying to get around him and into the apartment. “He was following me,” she explained quickly, “Cobalt, let me in, now.”
“You . . .?” Cobalt looked between Jean and the man on the floor in the hall. “You pepper sprayed him?”
The man moaned in agony, thumping his forehead on the carpeted floor over and over again.
“Yes. Cobalt . . .” Jean got one leg into the apartment and bit her lip, trying to edge past more. “Let me in.”
“What the hell, kid . . .” came the man’s cracked voice. “I’m . . . I live right down the hall . . . I was trying to . . . augh . . .” he arched back, still rubbing at his eyes, “You got the extra-spicy or something here, didn’t you? Holy smoooke . . .” the curses started up again.
Cobalt gave Jean another horrified look as she finally got through the door. “In his eyes? That’d hurt even worse than the time I thought it was breath freshener . . .”
Jean ignored Cobalt, but froze at the man’s words, looking back. “You’re down the hall? Good grief . . . I’m . . . I’m so sorry . . . here . . .” she pulled Cobalt out of the door and went back to help the man in the leather jacket up. “We’ve got some soap and water . . . you can wash it out if you want, Mister . . .?”
“D-Dankworth. Wolfg . . . auuugh my eyes . . .” he curled partway up to rub his eyes as Jean helped him up.
“That’s . . . an interesting name,” Cobalt commented, pulling the door open wider as the two came through. “Wolfgaaaughmyeyes. Never heard anything like it. What is that, Scandinavian?”
“Shut up,” came the response.
“Cobalt . . .” Jean gave him a look, “Get some soap please.”
The prompt for this one was “a drabble that starts in the basement and ends on the roof”.
And we always need more Dankworth siblings, so I went with that. I think Wolfgang’s about 15-16 in this one?
As the older brother, I took it upon myself to make sure that my siblings got the best entertainment possible while Mom and Dad were on date night.
Peter wanted to play hide and go seek. Now, the best way to do that was to make me the seeker. Both of them wanted to hide . . . and it always took them an eternity to find me if one of them was the seeker . . . so the choice was obvious.
Didn’t really occur to me until later that I was kind of being the anti-babysitter by covering my eyes and ignoring my charges while they went and hid from me. Next time, we’re playing Go-fish or something.
“We start in the basement,” Peter commanded, grabbing my jacket and tugging me towards the stairs.
I raised an eyebrow at him. “Why, exactly?”
“Because. It’s a good place to start.” Peter jumped down the stairs like some crazy-haired little bouncy ball.
Eloisa hung by my elbow as we descended after him into the damp coldness. Her face looked pale in the dark. She looked up at me, “D’you think there are rats?”
“Lots of them,” I assured her.
“Just probably not down here.”
Ellie made a face at me and uncuffed my leather jacket sleeve so it hung down past my hand. I cuffed it back as we hit the bottom step.
“Okay, so what am I counting to?” I looked around the basement, letting my eyes adjust to the dim light. Ellie still stood right near me and tugged on her two braids.
“Fifty-five and a half,” Peter answered with a grin.
“How do I even . . .”
“Readysetgo!” Peter and Eloisa both darted off. I sighed and covered my eyes. I heard two doors slam shut and small footsteps receding. I counted out loud at first, but trailed off around twenty and just counted the rest in my head.
Fifty-three . . . fifty-four . . . fifty-five . . . and a half.
“Ready or not, here I come!” My voice echoed.
I tromped up the stairs and over into the kitchen, making a dramatic show of opening and closing various closets and cupboards. Eloisa had mentioned earlier to me what a perfect hiding spot it was under the kitchen sink. And, sure enough, there she was. Curled up like a kitten next to the dish soap.
And then we started the quest for Peter, who usually giggled and gave himself away. But ten minutes later, I was starting to get worried. He wasn’t in the laundry basket . . . he wasn’t in Dad’s closet . . . he wasn’t in my dresser . . . those were usually the three spots . . .
I frowned and ran a hand over my hair. Ellie emerged from the dining room with a worried look, “Where is he?”
I shook my head, cupping my hands over my mouth. “Peter! You win! Come out now!”
A faint squeal came in response. “Help meee!”
Eloisa and I exchanged a look before both running outside.
And there he was. On the top of the roof, holding onto the chimney for dear life and looking down at us with eyes as wide as a dragonfly’s.
Some babysitter I am.
I swore and Ellie stared at me.
“Help me,” Peter whispered.
I jogged over and started the climb up our woodpile to the roof. My feet slipped a couple of times as I walked the ridge to get to him, but a few minutes later, I sat next to him.
“Holy smoke, Pete. What were you . . .?”
Peter grinned at me shakily. “I still win, right?”
Prompt for this one:
So yep. I did that. And it got cut a bit shorter than I thought but whatever.
Stealing flowers is generally a mean thing to do.
I mean, you’ve got some people who pin their pride on the two sad little irises in a pot on their front steps. Taking those is not just mean, it’s extremely obvious.
But when they have a bloated snowbank of blossoms, growing right next to the curb . . . and it’s on the way to the cemetery . . . they’re kind of asking for it.
Seriously, I could pinch flowers from that yard until doomsday and no one could tell. That is, with the premise that no one saw me do it.
And I should know better than to count on my luck at this point in my life.
I was taking my usual route by and slowed my walk on the way past the flower fortress. Coming to a stop, I looked down over the flowers, considering which colors to grab.
Usually I barely even slowed down and just snatched up whatever was nearby, but . . . I don’t know. Today needed something a bit better than that.
There were a couple of pretty reddish-purple ones that looked nice.
I stooped over and picked them. The other flowers pressed in around and filled the hole quite nicely.
But just as I straightened, a quiet voice spoke, freezing my muscles.
“Are you taking my flowers?”
I swore mentally, starting to turn towards the voice. “W-well . . . I . . .”
There . . . her hands on her hips, her lips pursed and a floppy hat on her head . . . was Abby. The nurse who mostly knew me as a delirious invalid.
She tipped her head and her eyebrows went up. A smile broke across her small, red-tinted lips. “Wolfgang?”
I opened my mouth, then closed it and swallowed, shifting on my feet. My hand holding the flowers went automatically behind my back. I forced a smile. “Abby! Hi . . . how’s . . . stuff?”
“Well, gardening day was going pretty well,” her eyes went to the flowerbed I’d just profaned, then back up to me with a slight smile. “You’re not usually the posy-picking type, Mr. Dankworth. Who’s the lucky girl?”
My dead mom. My love life isn’t as vibrant as some.
“Um . . . she’s . . .” I ran my free hand over my hair and tried to think of a good way to explain it.
Abby lowered her voice and her eyes sparkled. “Is she pretty?”
“Ah . . .”
“She has to be to merit flower theft,” she reasoned. Setting down the garden spade, she came by my side. “Come on, take me to see her. It’s my flowers, after all.”
I hid a wince, but reluctantly started walking.
Well, hey . . . Mom has a kind of pretty gravestone . . . I guess.
Aaand to finish stuff off, a couple of Wolfgang aesthetic/collage things.
Hope you guys enjoyed! And there’s more that shall hopefully be coming. ❤
Which drabble was your favorite?
’til next time,