Archive for the ‘30 Characters’Category

30 Characters – #1: R.E.X.

originally posted on the #30Characters site


It was a little shack, tucked up against the side of a cluster of boulders in the desert. Calvin, John, Herman and Zeke rode up on their dinos, stopping the beasts in a semi circle around the entrance.

“Hey!” Zeke called at it, stepping down off his dino and strolling casually forward. Calvin and the others followed suit. The place wasn’t much, just some sheets of metal leaned up against each other and tied to some wood. The entrance was tall and wide and covered with dirty cloth that flapped in the breeze.

“Maybe he ain’t home,” John said, taking a handkerchief out of his back pocket and wiping the grime from his face that had built up over the ride.

“Naw, lookit that,” Herman said, gesturing toward the roof of the shack with hat. It was hard to see in the bright sun but there was a small trail of smoke coming from a small stove pipe in the back.

“Who the hell cooks inside in this heat?” Calvin said. He’d grown up in the north and had never gotten used to the desert heat. He often looked back to the time before he started running with a gang and getting himself thrown out of town as the best times of his life, but maybe that’s just because it wasn’t so damn hot then.

“I don’t care,” Zeke said with a sneer, twisting the over-sized ring on his finger as walked up to the entrance. “He’s on our land, and that means he’s got to pay.” Herman and John followed close behind, but Calvin hung back to stand in one of the small spots of shade the rocks provided.

“We know you’re in there,” Zeke yelled, kicking at the wood that framed the entrance. “C’mon out!” Still nothing. Zeke spun his ring again in irritation.

“The hell with this,” he muttered, grabbing the cloth that served as a door and yanking it down. Zeke was big, close to seven feet and as strong a man as Calvin had ever seen, and pulling the cloth so suddenly brought down several piece of wood with it.

The interior of the shack was small, probably not big enough for the four desperadoes to have all stood inside together, much less the figure sitting near the back of the shack wrapped in robe with a hood pulled down over his or her face. There was a small fire in front of him and a pot sat on a cooking rack on top of it, steam rising and escaping out the rudimentary chimney in the ceiling. There was a large roll of blankets in the far corner, taking up nearly half the shack but other than that the place was empty.
“You broke my door,” the figure said in a buzzing, electronic voice. Calvin’s hand dropped down to his repeater instinctively. It didn’t make sense, but the voice sounded similar to the Bots his folks had warned him about when he was a boy. Calvin had only seen them and heard their shrill, buzzing gibberish once but that was enough; he’d been the only one in his gang to get away from their steel claws and burning lasers.

“What the hell is wrong with your voice?” Zeke said, taking a step back. Calvin gripped his repeater harder. He’d been riding with Zeke for almost five years and didn’t think he’d ever seen him take a step back.

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11 2011