Sun, Jun 23, 6:03 PM CDT

Finny's Unwelcome Adventure (part 1 of ?)

Writers Science Fiction posted on Jan 20, 2024
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Now that she had time to think again, and had stopped panicking and calmed down enough to be able to do so, Finny went over the events of the last – she checked her watch – half hour or so. She had finished work at Joe’s sweatshop… sorry ammunition factory and because it was Thursday she had been on her way to Mr Trent’s bookshop to do a bit of dusting and sweeping and then sit down in a corner and get back to her new book about a girl and a horse and… and last week she had been pretty sure something was going to happen to the horse, but then it had become time to get back to the orphanage before she was late for bed-check. On her way to Mr Trent’s, Finny passed one or two people without paying them much attention, other than to make sure they weren’t watching her. As she approached the last corner before the bookshop there were two men loading vegetables into a sack ready to go into the back of the van parked next to them. Finny swore quite a bad swearword for her. But that was it. That was what had done it. No way would she have walked between the two men and the open back of the van when she had lived in The Borough. No way would she have done it a year ago either; or even six months ago. But today… today she had and, instead of cabbages it was then Finny in the sack. Moments later it was Finny in the sack in the back of the van. A shortish drive after that and it was Finny in the sack, in the back of the van entering a building and then a roller shutter being pulled down. After it had stopped clattering, the van’s engine had been turned off, the back of the van had opened and the sack of Finny was carried over somebody’s shoulder up some stairs, along a passage and… Finny looked around again. And now she was sack-less in a room. More accurately, after checking the door with her foot for a full minute, she was sack-less in a locked room. There was the bed with the smelly mattress that she was laying on. And next to the bed was a chair, like one of those horrible ones with a vinyl seat that were in the Union Medical Centre. There was a sink, too, and a window… but that had a wire grill covering it. Underneath the window was a radiator. Finny had climbed up onto the radiator to see if she could prise the grill off the window, but the grill had new screws holding it to a very solid wooden window frame. Even if she had have been able to get the grill off, outside was just a long drop into a walled yard. So, this was it then. She had been taken… kidnapped. Despite all her supposed street smarts; and nothing good ever happened after you got snatched off a street. Nothing. Finny closed her eyes and rolled onto her side. She tried to cry silently; at least that was one thing she had remembered how to do. Elsewhere in New Flagstaff, nobody yet knew what had happened to The Reading Group’s (yes it does deserve the capitals) leading member. In the bookshop Mr Trent was mildly disappointed Finny hadn’t turned up, but he knew that she would likely have been side-tracked into some juvenile activity or other by her friends. So Mr Trent just sighed and reached for the broom. Joe Spivey, part time businessman and full time gangster, was in his office at the ammunition factory tallying the day’s production figures and looking forward to a nice steak and kidney pie when he got home. Taiyoko, today’s factory-floor overseer had changed out of the anti-static clothing required on the production floor, hung up his cane… also sometimes required on the production floor, and had just set off on the fifteen minute drive back to Hope Springs and his family. Further down the pecking order, Onetooth, the once youngest member of The Reading Group was showing Lucas, the recently orphaned eight-year-old and new youngest member, around some of the secret places Onetooth and his friend Worms had used to frequent. Annoyingly, Worms had been adopted by that Nurse Maisie and now lived in Hope Springs… hence the need for the new group member. Talking of Lucas, he had never known the hardships and horror stories that were common to most of the residents of the, partly run-down, partly falling down ‘New Flagstaff Orphanage for Waifs and Strays.’ No, Lucas was currently in a state of wonder at the places Onetooth was taking him to. Such places had definitely been off limits as far as his parents had been concerned. Especially as a lot of them seemed to require a tiny bit of breaking and entering to get into. And being chased by a janitor or security guard was also a new and exciting experience for Lucas, especially now they had given the old man the slip. But at least he and Onetooth hadn’t been shot at. Well, Lucas hadn’t… Onetooth, however, though the same age as Lucas, had by now been shot at several times in his own much different lifetime. Casper, the fourth member of the reading group and Finny’s second in command, was a year older than those two but he had never been shot at. He had never been shot at because Casper had become VERY good at avoiding such dangerous situations – mainly by running away. Currently, Casper was playing checkers in the dining hall with Plastic Micky, the bespectacled ex-beggar rescued from the streets of The Borough by one of the irregular Union sweeps. 'Irregular' because The Borough was somewhere where law and order only ever entered in numbers… large and well armed numbers. Such sorties were actually left to Union Security Forces because the local NFPD would never be caught dead in The Borough. Well, actually, they would… they’d be caught very dead and probably very quickly. That being the point. Plastic Micky, Casper’s opponent at the checkers board, was called Plastic Micky because he had an artificial foot. When he had been little, Micky’s dad had chopped off the then four-year-old’s foot simply because crippled beggars, especially children, earned more than beggars with all their limbs intact. Micky’s dad had slipped the USF net and as far as anyone knows is still resident in The Borough. That about covers all of Finny’s known associates who might have been concerned by her disappearance… if they had known. Something nobody would be doing until feeding time at the orphanage. The Finny Stories In chronological order: 000 Finny Intro 001 The Locket 002 Rats 003 A Christmas Finny 004 The Secret Adventurer’s Club 005 The Secret Adventurer’s Club: Second Adventure 006 Finny’s Birthday 007 Union Candy 008 Then There Were Three 009 Then There Were Four Again – Sort Of (WIP)

Comments (2)



12:13PM | Sun, 21 January 2024

That is a compelling start to a story.



5:47AM | Mon, 22 January 2024

Hmm.. People with one foot can get more ? I must remember that

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