Home > Creative Writing Exercises, Social Networking, Writing > Three Words Musing 1: Bacon, Shortage, Blockade – Part IV

Three Words Musing 1: Bacon, Shortage, Blockade – Part IV

The fourth installment of a work in  progress! All rights reserved.

September 2012

Jimmy Webster stood across the counter in the commissary of the Orange County courthouse, staring with his one good eye at Lloyd Porter. “You’re kidding, right? No offense, Lloyd, but if you’re serious, you’ve got some seriously fucked up priorities.”

“C’mon, Jimmy. Talk like that won’t put me in a sharing mood when I get back.”

They’d known each other before the Skitters, in an age when the food chain worked a little differently. Jimmy used to be a bailiff working in Circuit Judge Blake’s courtroom. Before they ever talked, Lloyd assumed the big lummox was just a thick-necked yokel with a gun and a badge – a glorified bouncer with some real authority. Lloyd had become friends with Jimmy while covering criminal court cases. They’d sit in the hall during recess and shoot the breeze, discussing their shared affinity for video games and classic Star Trek.

“I know what this is all about,” Jimmy said, resting his left arm on the counter. He still wore the long-sleeved brown uniform shirt and trousers, although they had been patched here and there with mismatched bits of colored cloth and augmented with strips of reinforced leather and metal where prudent. The ruined socket, a souvenir from a wild shot fired at an incoming mutie during the early weeks of the apocalypse, was concealed by a patch to which he had affixed a silver and black Harley belt buckle.

Lloyd shrugged. “I’m a simple guy. No real complications. I’ve finished the last of the Bac-Os. Time to find something more substantial. Something worth living for.”

The one-eyed bailiff shook his head. “Ain’t about your snack preferences.”

The former reporter withheld further comment, choosing instead to gulp beer from a chipped Shamu stein.

“Excuse me,” said a lanky, red-haired young man who had been a Gators basketball hopeful before the Skitters overshadowed the promise of March Madness. He poked his head through the commissary door, looking toward Jimmy, who had become the de facto “lord” of the courthouse fortress now that the city of Orlando had lost its mayor, the state of Florida had lost its governor, and the United States of America had lost everyone in the federal chain of command. “New batch of refugees just come in. They all seem clean so far.”

“So far,” Jimmy said, nodding at the boy. “Thanks, Toby.” He asked Lloyd, “You up to giving them their entrance interviews?”

“Well,” Lloyd grunted, “I was going into Bithlo to pick up some power converters, but I guess that can wait.”

“Just like Han’s shot,” Jimmy replied.

“Fucking sacrilege! Greedo did not shoot first!” Lloyd insisted. He rolled his eyes in mock disgust, slid the stein across the counter toward his friend, and then walked to the door leading out of the commissary.

He followed Toby down the hall to the rotunda, where ten well-armed and armored guards kept watch on four ramshackle-looking refugees – one middle-aged black woman, a pre-adolescent Asian girl, an old Hispanic man, and a squat fifty-something white man who reminded Lloyd an awful lot of a pudgy rodent.

“The monster’s always hungry,” he growled, stopping to stare down at Patrick Betts.

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