Creative writing course 2014: The Choice Pt5 Final part

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Nobody would miss Yovac and even after the circus of events that followed his fatal shot, nobody gave a damn about his final act when the dust had settled, the sight of some low-life nobody’s corpse floating out of an airlock attracting no mourners or well wishers.

As the Lawman put it, having turned up too late to stop Yovac’s fatal deed “Well y’ don’t see that every day” checking the pulse, old faithful lying on the ground and charging for the next shot, next to Yovac’s discarded ID “Alas poor Yovac, h’ took it like a man and ended it like a gent’leman”.

‘Bob’ on the other hand had a new lease on life, as he looked contemplatively at the new ID he had acquired with the Loan Shark’s money, the name wasn’t as catchy as Yovac but he could live with it.  The lawman was more than happy to let Yovac die and Bob rise from the ashes; a fair trade for ridding his space station of a couple of violent sociopaths and a third one leaving; three less to disrupt his hedonistic existence.

As Bob looked out from the viewing window of his new ship, an older model transport called ‘The Gamblers Luck’ the body of the Loan shark floated by, nothing but the clothes on the guy’s back were left after his former clients and employees had gone through the Loan Shark’s possessions like a plague of angry locusts.

Bob had been quicker than the horde though, regaining a sense of his old honour and cunning to bag the Loan Shark’s prized possessions, a customised pirate blaster to replace old faithful, a few hundred credits and the old transport Bob was masterfully piloting.

He would have liked to have said he was happy at last, but the words ‘Less Depressed’ would do for now.

The next chapter: Devil and Damned Territory

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Creative writting course 2014: The Choice Pt4

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

That had been two hours ago; the Loan Shark would be looking for Yovac and for his money, the lawman as well no doubt as Yovac had crossed too many lines and ignored too many rules. Yovac had slithered into a bar on some sub level of the space station to escape his fate, finding corrupted salvation from a bottle and hope of release in the barrel of a gun. In a few moments he would be free of his regrets, the energy pistol’s compressor drawing a charge from the battery, filling with compacted energy that would be propelled down the magnetically charged barrel.

Gripping the pistol firmly in his hand, its hilt rested heavy on the bar; the sound of that little girl’s cries as her father hugged her tightly, turning the innocent’s eyes from the dead monster Mr Vile and then Yovac – the monster standing over the body. That scream of innocence lost echoed loudly enough in Yovac’s mind to give him the clarity he needed to do the only decent thing he could.

Yovac stood, back straightened as if he was still a man of honour, barrel caressing his ear… his finger applied pressure on the trigger, the first click letting Yovac know the gun’s barrel was ready to deliver its terminal load, on the next click it would release the shot; Yovac drew in his final breathe. “WHAT WERE YOU THINKING” the annoyingly unmistakeable voice of the Loan Shark stretched from across the bar, ruining the moment.

The Loan Shark’s whiningly high pitched voice was in fitting with his weasel like stature “DID YOU AT LEAST GET THE MONEY BEFORE KILLING MY BEST EMPLOYYEE?” In a mere second Yovac’s emotions shifted from reassuring suicidal intent to a warm familiar rage “I’M TRYING TO KILL MYSELF HERE” he shouted above the Loan Shark’s shrill tone “KIND OF LOOKING TO DO IT IN PEACE” he snapped. The tragedy… the comedy… the humour! “I can’t even kill myself right!” laughing riotously, Yovac wasn’t sure if it was the emotional break or the severe stress of the situation, but hell, failing to even kill himself, proof that life had a warped sense of humour!

The Loan Shark was unimpressed by Yovac’s laughing fit; Yovac found himself laughing even harder at the sight of the Loan Shark’s short legs struggling in a ludicrous shuffle as he approached Yovac, whose gun now rested by his side. The bar’s patrons hadn’t taken much notice of Yovac, but with the Loan Shark’s rude intrusion, they were now silently watching and waiting “HOW ARE YOU GOING TO CLEAR UP YOUR MESS YOU BLOODY MERC?”

The hysteria or pure insanity passed, as Yovac noticeably regained control, any sign of his psychosis slinking back into the depths of his darkly twisted psychology. Yovac half sat, half leaned on his barstool “Less volume, more calm” was the best he could respond with “now I’m looking to have a private moment with old faithful” very clearly patting the charged pistol “then you can bitch as much you want”. The Loan Shark wasn’t taking the hint “You can shoot yourself when our business is settled, I’m two thousand credits down and there are two witnesses that need ‘dealing’ with”.

Yovac still wasn’t in the mood; all he wanted was a little bitty hole in his head but nooo…. “I… Don’t… Care, what the hell do you want me to do anyway” warm rage getting hotter “shoot a man and his young daughter, sell their organs on the black-market?!” The Loan Shark lit up “Now that’s the kind of thinking I like” he commended Yovac, who was somehow less than willing to accept the praise  “I’ll even split the profits with you, 40% of… is…”  Yovac made his choice; as the Loan Shark genuinely worked out the figures involved, Yovac raised old faithful, one shot to the head was all it took.

Part 5 Final part

Creative writting course 2014: The Choice Pt3

Part 1

Part 2

The next time Yovac became conscious, he was waking up in a prison cell on a space station, he could tell by the sensation of gravity drives spinning around the floating heap of metal, unless his head really felt that bad.  An LESD officer (space cop) was sitting on the other side of the bars “That guy y’ beat down, ain’t pretty, m’buddy says you left that fella looking rougher than you” the thick haired Goliath informed Yovac “Gotta say mister, ain’t no one I heard ever needed two shots of stun gun either” the lawman grinning widely.

Now in a more aware state Yovac was feeling it, like someone had detonated a warhead inside his skull “Oh c…r…ap, I feel like I just got hit by a slam job at force ten” new aches and pains flaring up mean style as he tried to stand “why do I feel like that slam job hit me a second time for kicks?” The lawman wasn’t grinning anymore but there was a hint of amusement lurking behind his semi glazed eyes “Got a feeling you got a kicking, ain’t going to sugar it, you was one hell of a punching bag by the looks of things” pointing out the obvious “and that’s goin to feel like a force 5, should you go playing the mean drunk, ain’t no rule book ere ex’cep the one I hit you with”.

The lawman gathered himself, solidly getting to his feet “Y’ free to go mister” Yovac’s surprise said it all, “This ain’t no motel, now get” as the heavy cell door swung open with force, Yovac using the metal bars to pull himself up. “Where do I complain about the customer service?” he joked, wincing as even the quietest volume set off a startling pain in his head. After a few more choice words and a strong mug of ‘wake up juice’ Yovac had the strength to only just walk by himself, a few credits in his pocket, what was left of his basic possessions in a sack and a polite warning to never set foot on ‘Omega First’ ever again; strapped to Yovac’s hip was old faithful itself, his energy pistol out of retirement.

Having looked for legit work Yovac had little choice but to start asking in the ‘wrong places’; people in his situation rarely did have the opportunity for honest work , his situation falling slap bang in the middle of devil and damned territory. His reputation in tatters and the rumour spreading of Yovac’s ‘bar fight’ it took the vultures a shockingly small amount of time to pick at the corpse of his former life. The thing that got Yovac the most was the lack of second chances, how people only saw a broken down Spacer instead of an honest merc or decent human being, and how easy it was to become the person they thought he was.

‘If I don’t do this I starve tonight’ was the first justification/excuse, when a sleazy loan shark hired him as a repayment agent, ‘I’ll get a real job and quit as soon as I can’ thinking there would be a chance to redeem himself.

‘The guy I’m beating up owes money; I’m just giving him a reminder’ the logic Yovac used when he ignored the pleas of a local business owner, before burying a fist in his chest as Yovac reminded him of his debt, any sense of hope descending into mindless brutality, nothing close to the times he would stand shoulder to shoulder with comrades to defend noble ideals on far flung battle fields.

‘A broken rib is nothing compared to what the other guy will do’ to justify his actions, when confronting an honest family man, a little pretence that opened the door to even more despicable acts ‘I’m only threatening his girlfriend, I’m not really going to shoot her’.

Down the slippery slope Yovac went until he loathed his own reflection, that thing staring back at him an unpleasant reminder of how Yovac had betrayed everything he once stood for, the cheap frills his money was frittered away on just a way of putting off the inevitable confrontation with his withered sense of morality.

In the end, life had a sense of justice crueller than Yovac’s jaded attitude could imagine, as he had been sent with a second ‘collection agent’ to collect another fool’s debt, only that fool was a single father with a kid to feed. In the guy’s substandard two roomed cabin Yovac’s comrade in capitalism ‘Mr Vile’ as Yovac nicknamed him, had the debtor pinned against the wall, Mr Vile’s repulsive smile gleaming as he got a sadistic thrill from putting his solid hand to the guy’s neck “Where’s the money?… Tell me now…” Mr Vile shouted ferociously, hints of pleasure littering his cruel tone “you owe our boss two thousand credits… Where is it?”

Yovac was hit by a jolt of nauseating guilt, forced to watch Mr Vile yell abuse as he demanded money from his panic stricken victim. Yovac grabbed the nearest container to him, a cheap metal bucket that served as a bin. Yovac felt so overcome with repulsion he threw up with tremendous force “Oh God” he groaned, puking into the bin once more, remains of a half digested breakfast dripping from his lower lip.

Yovac, reeling from the acidic taste of his vomit, caught the attention of Mr Vile; “What’s wrong with you? You look worse than shit”.  Mr Vile turned from his entertainment, the sight of Yovac provoking a glare of disgust “Bloody Spacer scum… No stomach”.  It hit him again, guilt eating him up as Yovac’s desiccated morality suddenly reared its inconvenient head and in his comrade’s voice heard his own merciless tones bellowing at the man pleading that he had no money; Yovac recognised Mr Vile’s routine as his own.

Just then a little girl, no more than five, emerged from the adjacent room “Daddy? Let him go you bully” she pleaded, Mr Vile’s leer was horrifying as his free hand smacked her, forcing the frail child’s frame back with brutal force, Mr Vile seemingly enjoying it like a true monster in a child’s nightmare. “You want to see your daughter smacked around some more… Where’s the money?”

Time froze, Yovac saw the girl flaying back in slow motion, her frightened look triggering a slideshow of every appalling act he had ever committed, the father’s desperation and panic at being unable to do anything to protect his precious daughter as he was still pinned “Do something useful Spacer, Put your gun to her head, see if that gets a reaction” Mr Vile ordered. “NO” Yovac roared, standing bolt upright “Enough!”

Enough?” Mr Vile mockingly echoed as he turned back to his prey. Yovac pulled his sidearm, Mr Vile’s arrogance shattered as a bolt of energy ripped through his shoulder, feeling a long lost sense of decency as Mr Vile fell to his knees in screaming pain; the panic stricken father released to tend to his terrified daughter.   Saving one broken man, redeeming some gratifying sense of morality, Yovac filled with a sense of righteousness, then the reality that one pitiful act of mercy could never make up for his numerous sins crashed into him like an asteroid, the condemningly empty space where redemption should sit, too much to bear.

Part 4

Creative writting course 2014: The Choice Pt2

Part 1

After months of happiness and a ring in his pocket, they stood in front of the sofa they had ‘snuggled’ on, next to the squarish coffee table where they would rest their intertwined feet and throw insults at bad films; she kept an icy distance between them. The reformed merc was ready to commit his whole glorious life to the women who had locked away his gun; given him choices that society refused most Spacers and other outcasts, the ultimate salvation about to turn to the ultimate tragic joke.

“I don’t know how to say this”, the first verbal gutter punch slammed him, her clinical tone adding an extra sting “It’s not working” a coldly emotionless blow delivered to the chin “I don’t think we should stay together” the final vocal hit. Pure rejection clouded Yovac’s sunny blue sky mood… “Ok… I understand…” barely managing to stammer a response; eerily watching himself say the words from a third person perspective, unable to fully comprehend the heart shattering knockout, he continued “let’s take a break… I’ll leave if you want…” the finality of it sinking in “but give it some time to think about things….”

The shock thankfully starting to render Yovac numb, the ring in his pocket; a dagger in the back “Don’t think about me again, I won’t think about you” she callously twisted the blade, just when Yovac thought she couldn’t annihilate him further. She faded into blackness, Yovac’s basic imagery of the room swirling in a metaphorical pit of despair and as he opened his eyes to avoid being sucked in to the hopeless pit he found a bottle to ease the pain and a gun to end it.

A few days later Yovac had found himself in a crowded bar, nothing left to do but drown his sorrows, his face contorting with the cheap taste of his fifth drink, the bartender waiting for payment. Yovac found the ring and in place of his voided funds, he shoved it into the bartenders demanding hand “I don’t want to remember anything in the morning”, with a silent but perceptive nod the bartender refilled Yovac’s glass.

That was when the Idiot said it; “Looks like she dodged a bullet”, his mates laughed tauntingly like a pack of rabid hyenas “maybe she wanted a real man!” Yovac felt the beast that was his rage feeding off the venomous bite of her betrayal, months of anti-social poison no longer soothed by the equally deadly poison known as love.  “Leave now or I can’t guarantee you’ll leave of your own volition” he forced himself to warn the Idiot. Yovac knew that there would be no controlling his actions if he gave into the seductive lure of aggression.

The Idiot, heavy set and donning some dapper threads, looked sneeringly over Yovac in his rough clothes, clean but unshaven face, Yovac throwing down another glass of discounted alcohol like his life depended on it did nothing to redeem his image. “You… Me… No contest” the Idiot snorted without fear “no wonder she left you, you’re a wreck”.

Yovac stood up as calmly as he could pretend to be, leaned against the bar, one hand gripping the neck of a bottle, the other forming a fist that slammed into the bar with an unholy sound, whole posture showing just how much restraint was in force “I was going to propose, she left me… Now please leave before I lose it…” The bartender had stepped back, the Idiot’s mates no longer laughed, the crowd subdued into unnerving silence, but the Idiot was either too dumb or too cocky to notice the warning signs “Did little loser get dumped?” mockingly spoken, nobody else stupid enough to laugh.

Yovac didn’t hear the Idiot’s exact words, only her words, that emotional gutter punch hit felt again with full visceral force, rejection, confusion, rage, hatred… Yovac desperately fighting his temper…

“A REAL MAN” as the bottle smashed over the Idiot’s hairless dome of a head “DODGED A BULLET”. Yovac’s eyes burned with pure loathing for his stunned victim, feelings of anger meant for her driving the sledgehammer fist that impacted the Idiot’s jaw with shattering power.

 “DO I LOOK LIKE SOME WEAK ARSED LOSER NOW…..” picking up the barstool with both hands, satisfyingly smashing it into the Idiot’s heavy chest, the bar stool casting the fear stricken man to the floor “ARE YOU HAPPY BITCH… ISN’T IT WORKING…” Yovac lost in a venomous frenzy as the impact of his first kick to the Idiot’s chest could be heard “SHOULD WE NOT SEE EACH OTHER ANYMORE…” The second kick made an even uglier sound as it impacted the Idiots already bloodied face, looks of shock from the growing crowd meant less than nothing, the Idiot’s pain filled tones pleading to stop the beating, only fed Yovac’s lust for some kind of justice from life “DON’T I DERSEVE SOME FUCKING HAPPINESS LIFE”.

It had taken the other bar patrons a while to act, at first they just shouted “That’s enough” and “He’s learned his lesson” but seeing Yovac’s look twist from rage to joy they were forced to action, but even with three guys trying to hold him back Yovac’s unadulterated fury let him shake them free with ease. “THIS AIN’T OVER TILL THE FAT PRICK BLEEDS” his final words so charming, before someone had to shoot him with a stun gun – twice!

Part 3

Creative writting course 2014: The Choice Pt1

‘Life wants to kill you, the world wants to burn you and everything else just ain’t caring’ the words endlessly circling his head, the incessant echo of a survivalist philosophy that did little to praise the joys of life. The joys of life… Happy family… Fulfilling job… Merry home… like any of that was reflected in the deep frown glued to Yovac’s world weary features, not that anyone cared to notice the Damocles swords hanging over his head with ever increasing imminence.

 Most ‘useful people’; a term Yovac knew meant ‘happy arseholes that have no inclination of impending hell’ would just say “Ask for help, you need to trust more, believe in life, live in the moment” and all that bullshit spewed out by self help books. The problem was that Yovac had trusted and asked for help; believed life would help him, his reward; a case of clinical insanity and a predisposition for suicidal thoughts, something they neglected to put in the self-help books.

 The energy pistol resting next to a bottle of neat vodka challenged him with morbid intent; but Yovac was too depressed to even drink the ready poured glass of clear liquid, harbouring its 40% proof distraction. An internal struggle tore throughout his disturbed mind, how many times had Yovac fought the same futile battle with his ever deteriorating fractured nature, stared down the barrel of his own desolation. No matter how Yovac got to the point or what event triggered it he was always faced with the same two choices, consisting of a neat little hole in the head and blissful nothingness, the other choice, living, even harder to comprehend in his threateningly negative state of mind.

 Within the confines of his mental prison Yovac found it increasingly hard to give a damn about anything, even his own bloody survival, that fun filled thought provoking a grim smile, score one for the ‘hole in the head’ option, the energy pistol whispering sweet nothings like ‘It’ll be a lot less painful in the long term’ and ‘Just squeeze the trigger and its over’, the option to live failing to even register. For the first time in a small ice age the statue labelled ‘man staring at drink’ moved, as Yovac started counting his remaining friends, failing to progress beyond a single hand and even more damning, he didn’t even manage to raise every grubby digit, an exercise that was meant to reinforce his reason for living backfiring monumentally.

 He suddenly felt the need to rapidly throw the contents of the glass down his throat; the less he tasted the vile poison the better, a grim flash of corrupted humour prompting a smile as he revelled in the potential irony of doing the mortal deed in the middle of the happiest place he could find, some kind of sick revenge on the ‘happy people’, very fitting given his increasingly warped sense of humour!

 The day he met her was where it went downhill, and having taken a machete to the overgrown poison barbs of his emotional defences she asked him out, in hindsight it might have been easier to say no; rather than deal with the unseen crap storm such good intentions were destined to trigger, paving the road to hell!  At the time things weren’t that bad and he was fairing quite well, living on the private colony ‘Omega First’ wasn’t the worse thing, not too bad a planet compared to the lifeless rocks he had found himself inhabiting in the past.

 Having been born on a first generation spaceship, grown up in an environment that taught skill and worth over fluffy values like ‘social graces’ and ‘polite niceties’ Yovac had the unfortunate fate of been branded a ‘spacer’, half the people he met hid their wallets; the other half exploited his ‘talents’. He could fly ships better than any planet born pilot and shot straighter than most sharpshooters without trying; his home ship ‘The Viking’ even gave the inspiration for his Nordic name, although it had to be said Yovac’s pasty skinned slim figure betrayed the image his name evoked.

For a brief moment Yovac revelled in the perfection of her sure smile that had brought him ease, life’s assassins cast aside with the sound of her enticing tone, but inevitably he was dejectedly cast out of happiness by memories of the night she crushed him. The night in question, when she left him, was the first in a line of damning events, as in a darkly reflective mood he chose to remember only words and shapes, the fine point detail of that critical night would be too much for his fragile mind; the tool of his potential demise was tempting enough without Yovac offering it extra encouragement.

Part 2