E. Paige Burks
The Sword in the Ceiling
Writer's prompt: The Sword in the Ceiling
By: Brian A. Klems | July 19, 2016 | After a long, hard day of work, you return home—the only problem is, your front door is wide open, all your lights are on and there's a sword stuck in the ceiling. The rest of your house looks normal, but you also notice several holes dug in your backyard. What's going on?
My heart dropped to my feet. The sword in the ceiling? I knew what that was. I'd been found. They were here, and, from the looks of things, they knew that I had it.
I turned quickly, running up the stairs to my bedroom. I pulled a revolver from the bedside table, tucking it into the waist of my jeans. I knew they wouldn't be here anymore. This was just a message; just the hello to a whole string of nasty about to be unleashed on me.
I threw open my closet door, grabbing my bag that I kept packed for emergencies and situations like this. I knew that I had become too comfortable. I'd gotten complacent, thinking that the bastards would never find me. I raced down the stairs, jumping the last three and sprinting to my car.
The engine roared as I gunned the '67 Chevelle through the neighborhood. The only good thing was that they thought I was stupid. They thought that I would hide such a precious treasure in my own house. How stupid were they?
I knew where I needed to go. There was only one man who could help me. My former partner, Aubrey.
Aubrey lived in the shadier part of town. His home was a ramshackle double-wide parked on a piece of land filled with scraps of cars. I think he used to sell the parts in the cars, but nowadays he was too damn drunk to do much.
I could smell the alcohol through the front door as I stepped onto the porch and knocked. He shuffled around inside, probably dragging himself off the couch, tripping over bottles on the way to the door. I could hear muffled cursing.
Finally, the door swung open, and Aubrey's glassy eyes met mine. He frowned at me for a moment, but then a smug grin split his face.
"Well," he said. "Come to apologize to me finally?" He laughed. "I never thought I'd see the day."
I rolled my eyes, pushing past him. His home was disgusting and absolutely wreaked. "There's no time for that, Aubrey," I said, turning to face him. I placed my hands on my hips as he leaned against the door, dressed in a bathrobe, a t-shirt, and his boxers. His face was unshaven and his hair was a mess.
"Then what the hell you doin' here, Lizzette?" he demanded.
I drew a slow breath, glancing away. My stomach was twisting in knots and as much as I loathed this jackass, I knew I wasn't going to survive without him.
"They found me," I said softly. I looked back at him, seeing confusion on his face.
"Those boys you hustled for that car?" he asked, his stupid smirk returning. "I always told you-"
"No, idiot," I interrupted. "The knighthood." I felt my voice stick in my throat, but I powered through it. "They were in my house. They were looking for the amulet."
Aubrey seemed to sober up instantly. He shut the door quickly, sliding the locks on it. This was the first time I noticed the series of deadbolts on his front door.
"I knew this would happen," he mumbled, shuffling toward the back of the trailer.
"Where are you going?" I demanded, trailing after him. I was surprised when he reached the bedroom and lifted his mattress, revealing a huge cache of weapons.
That mischievous smirk came to his face again. "Ready to do some hunting?"
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