|Submitted by G.S. Williams on Thu, 03/31/2011 - 21:01|
I woke up, finding myself in a bed.
I was in the same room I'd been in since arriving at Tree of Life--however long ago that had been. It had the same empty bookcases, the same narrow windows, the desk I'd been using to write in my notebook.
It seemed the same as ever with one significant addition.
Someone was sitting at my desk.
He looked military--brushcut, blonde hair, muscular arms, combat fatigues... He wore a pistol on his belt, and smirked at me. A duffel bag lay at the floor near his feet.
"Wake up sleepyhead. Today, you win."
"What the hell?" I asked.
I threw off my sheets, and got out of bed. "Who are you, and what are you doing in my room?"
"Call me Gunther. Some people hired me to solve your problems."
"Your problems with the Sons of Thunder--Zebediah, and all his buddies."
I checked my door. It was shut.
“Solve my problems how?”
“How does it look like I solve problems?” He got up, and before I could stop him, he was out the door, duffel bag in his left hand.
I ran after him, but he stayed ahead of me. He’d have completely outdistanced me if Yakovitch hadn’t been in the hall.
“Doc!” Gunther said, “You’re just the man I wanted to see.”
A knife appeared in his right hand, and he stabbed Yakovitch in the stomach. Yakovitch fell over, moaning.
I wondered where the knife had come from. It was too big to hide in his clothes, less a knife than a short sword.
Gunther didn’t stop, and I ran after him.
We ran down the halls until we reached doors to the cafeteria. He threw them open, finding Agent Johnson standing there. Gunther punched him in the face, and he fell backward, unconscious on the floor.
After that he became a blur of motion, knives flashing from his hands to hit Agent Jackson, and a few other people I’d seen but didn’t recognize.
The people he hadn’t killed or knocked unconscious ran out the other doors, screaming and shouting.
After knocking over a table to grab and choke the last of them, he turned back to face me.
“Well, that’s it. Everything’s taken care of.”
He slid the duffel bag across the floor toward me. “Take a look at this.”
I had a bad feeling about it, but I opened the duffel bag anyway.
Zebediah’s head was inside.
Looking up, I started shouting at him. “This is insane! Who told you to do this? Now I’m never going to find out what’s going on.”
“Sorry, man. I can’t help you there. I don’t know what’s going on either. All they ever told me was that I needed to take out Zebadiah and his people which was anyone named James and John, and any derived names like Jameson, Johnson, Jacobsen, and what have you.
“I mean seriously, do you have any idea how long it takes to kill off every James and John on the planet when you includes last names? I felt bad about a few of them. Jack Nicholson, for example. Chinatown and The Shining were great films. But... Jack’s a nickname for John, and it might be derived from Jacob, so obviously he had to go. At least that’s the way it sounded in my orders.”
“Orders? I keep on asking, but you don’t tell me. Whose orders?”
“I may as well tell you now. It’s the readers. They took up a collection. They don’t want to see you suffer any more.”
And then he disappeared.
Hope you enjoyed this April Fool's Day chapter, we'll get back to regularly scheduled programming next week. In the meantime, a big thank you to Jim Zoetewey for writing this, I had a lot of fun reading it! Check out Jim's "Legion of Nothing" at www.inmydaydreams.com.
For my contribution to the fooling, check out Allan T. Michael's fantasy story "An Empire at War" here: http://allantmichaels.digitalnovelists.com/AEAW-Chapter%2020
and for the full list of participating writers, here's the WFG link: