Monday, July 14, 2014
Armed and Dangerous
The human kid behind the counter at the sporting goods store barely glanced up from his texting when Ewan and Deuce burst in. “Help you gents?” he said distractedly.
“We need an elephant gun,” Ewan said.
“What the hell for?”
Ewan pointed out the window. “For the elephant.”
That got the kid’s mind off his cell. He pressed his face to the window and gawped at the mutated mammoth wading through, or in most cases on top of, the slew of cars stalled out on the two-lane, while their drivers wisely fled on foot.
By now the police had arrived. The cop cars hung well back. There wasn’t much they could do against this sort of traffic hazard.
Meanwhile, Ewan and Deuce did a quick inventory of the gun racks. “Is this all you got?” Ewan called.
“Yeah. Where are the assault rifles?” Deuce demanded. “You’re a gun store in America. You’re supposed to have assault rifles. The right to bear arms and blow shit up and all that.”
The kid wrenched his gawp away from the window. “We don’t carry those. Just regular hunting gear. I mean, since when does Montana have elephants?”
Obviously the kid had never ventured into Talbot’s Peak itself. Ewan assessed and mentally discarded the array of rifles, compound bows, hunting knives and other sportsmen’s implements of mass game destruction. Nothing here would pack enough wallop to even put a dent in the former Freddy le Douche. What could they use that would stop him without putting Maureen at risk?
“I can’t let you have a gun anyway,” the kid continued. “There’s a waiting period. It’s the law.”
Deuce jabbed his finger at the window and the chaos beyond. “He’s not waiting.”
“He’s not trying to buy a gun. The best I can do is sell you a bow. The elf guy killed an elephant with a bow in that hobbit movie, right? That should work.”
Yeah, if you were a stunt man working with props and the elephant would be added later via CGI. Live, PO’d mutant werewolf/mammoth hybrids were trickier. Especially when they had your mate trapped on their back.
Ewan turned away from the gun racks. The kid did have a point. He’d seen Lord of the Rings several times, especially the last one with all the action sequences. A gun wasn’t going to cut it. If only he could get close enough to get Maureen out of harm’s way …
Maybe, just maybe, he could. All he needed was a different movie.
He bolted for another section of the store. Yes. They had what he wanted. He yanked one out of its rack and waved it at the kid. “Is this what I think it is?”
“Yeah,” the kid said warily. “We don’t get much call for those around here. I don’t see what—”
“I’m taking it for a test drive. Bill me.” Ewan grabbed Deuce’s arm and charged out the door with his weapon of choice gripped tight in his other hand. This would work. It had to.
God, it was said, looked after little children and idiots. Chaos didn’t look after anybody. Coyotes quickly got used to handling disaster on their own. And they were damn good at it, too.
Ewan and Deuce piled into the car. The former Freddy had already left the strip behind and was moving at a rapid clip up the road. Ewan dodged Dante’s muscle car around abandoned RVs and soccer mom mobiles and took off in pursuit.
# # #
Abram Turkle’s daughter Sharon liked to listen to the police scanner while she did her chores. Now she called out to him. “Pa! Come listen to this. Something weird’s going on down at the exit.”
Turkle listened intently to the hysterical voice of the dispatcher and the disjointed reports from cops trying their mightiest to stay calm in the face of insanity. As he listened, his grin got wider and wider.
When he figured he had the full picture, Turkle went into the den, where his house guest was field-stripping and cleaning—with the proper care and reverence, Turkle was pleased to note—the family’s collection of defensive weaponry. The man had a keen eye for quality hardware and healthy respect for a gun. Pity about his human parentage. He’d’ve made a damn fine turkey.
“Trouble down at the exit,” Turkle announced. “Sounds like a woolly mammoth’s running loose.”
Cochrane glanced up from his cleaning. His glance became a stare when he realized Turkle wasn’t kidding. Not that Turkle was much of a kidder to start with. “Woolly mammoth? Aren’t they extinct?”
“Guess this one didn’t get the memo. Y’wanna go kill something big?”
Cochrane got up. His grin matched Turkle’s for sheer ferocity. “Point me at it.”