The mist was clearing. Brian found himself standing in the street outside the bar he had entered earlier. Half a dozen battered and bleeding men stood surrounding him, and at least as many more lay on the gravel, seriously wounded or out cold.
The attack had come from somewhere in the mist, from all directions at once. His head and torso ached and throbbed. He locked his shaking knees to keep them from buckling. Every muscle in his body seemed to be lengthening, pouring downward like water. His eyelids drooped.
One of the standing men took a step toward him, fists raised. Brian tried to turn away from him, his arm flopping behind his back like a fish.
Behind his back! His eyes opened a little wider. He straightened and forced his arm to function, whipping out his revolver and aiming it around at the circle of attackers.
He tried to pull back the hammer but too many of his knuckles were broken. He ended up simply pointing it at the closest one, who backed away cautiously. Once past him, Brian walked backwards, still aiming the gun as long as he could see them. Then he turned, moving as fast as he could manage, back toward Dok’s place.
Mark D. Diehl writes novels about power dynamics and the way people and organizations influence each other. He believes that obedience and conformity are becoming humanity’s most important survival skills, and that we are thus evolving into a corporate species.
Diehl has: been homeless in Japan, practiced law with a major multinational firm in Chicago, studied in Singapore, fled South Korea as a fugitive, and been stranded in Hong Kong.
After spending most of his youth running around with hoods and thugs, he eventually earned his doctorate in law at the University of Iowa and did graduate work in creative writing at the University of Chicago. He currently lives and writes in Cape Elizabeth, Maine.
Author’s Website: http://www.markddiehl.com
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