Random Short #10: Almost Home

Jay shifted his bag of groceries in his arm as he came to a stop.  The sun had just set behind the peaks of the mountains and he had just exited town, heading up the dirt track leading into the hills.  He was nearly home when the two men had stepped out of the shadows blocking his path.

His face hidden under the shadow of the brim of his tattered straw hat, Jay surveyed the two men.  One was a tall rust colored dekk, the other a lanky human in his early twenties.  The human wore a pair of shades that contrasted with his bright blonde hair.

“Sorry to disturb you so late at night, but we’re looking for a man around here.  He’s tall and has bright red hair.  Do you know him?” asked the kid gesturing apologetically.

The dekk stayed silent.

Jay tilted the brim of his hat back with one finger to meet the man’s gaze.  “Sorry, haven’t seen him.”

The kid smiled.  “C’mon, we need to find him.  We were sent to find him and we’ve searched all over this planet!  We were told we could find someone here who might know of his whereabouts.”

Jay watched the kid.  The only notable feature that caught Jay’s eye in the dark was the silver circlet around his left wrist.  He didn’t look like a thug or anyone who would want to cause trouble, but Jay could sense something about him that was off, different.  He got the same feeling from the dekk, who was making it obvious that he didn’t want to be out in the dark looking for some random person.

The dekk eyed him, his glowing red eyes giving him a threatening look.

“I have a feeling this is who we’re looking for, Jarren,” said the dekk, his voice low, gravely.

The kid pointed at Jay looking back at the dekk.  “Him?”

The dekk nodded,  “Get ready.”

Jay tensed, readying himself as well, gripping the bag.  He’d already lost half his groceries earlier, he didn’t want to lose the rest.  If he could just get past them, he could make it home.

The kid looked over his shades at Jay, eyeing him for a second, before he threw his arms back, kicking up gravel as he lunged forward.  The movement was instantaneous.

Jay’s was too, but much faster.  His hand raised as he leapt forward in an instant grabbing the kid’s head before he could take a swing at Jay.  Surprise lit the kid’s eyes as he started to topple backward, his forward momentum lost.  He swung his arms out, but it was too late.

The kid hit the ground hard.  Jay’s hand vanished from his face as he flew over the kid.

Ducking Jay touched one hand to his hat as he dodged under the dekk’s outstretched arm as he tried to block Jay’s way.

Holding onto the groceries, he dashed up the path keeping one hand on his hat.

“Get after him you numbskull!” shouted the dekk.

“I am!  I am!  He just surprised me is all!” echoed back the kid’s voice.

Jay sensed the kid before he saw him out of the corner of his eye.  A small smirk lit his face hidden under the shadow of his hat.  The kid was fast.

The crunch of gravel gave him away and Jay ducked, the instant the kid came flying overhead of him in a leaping kick.  The blow would have landed on Jay’s back, had he not dodged in time.  The kid went skidding across the path, kicking up dust as he spun to face Jay.

Standing from his crouch, Jay let the smile stay on his face as the kid lunged at him again, smoothly moving from attack to attack as he threw jabs and disabling punches at lightning speed.

Relaxing into his motions, Jay dodged each motion the kid made, easily matching and exceeding his speed.  Taking a step to the side out of the kid’s range, he ducked under a kick aimed for his side and took another step back, holding the bag of groceries out of harm’s way.

“C’mon! Stop moving so damn fast!” called out the kid with another flurry of attacks.  He lunged in for a close attack.

Kicking his feet against the gravel, Jay dodged back out of reach and the kid followed smoothly, leaping forward.  He had an excited smile on his face.

“Not going to happen,” responded Jay leaping nimbly back while holding onto the groceries.

“Then I’m going to have to go all out!” called back the kid.

Jay saw him touch the circlet on his wrist.  There was a sudden breeze of air that threatened to blow Jay’s hat away and he blinked, trying to hold onto his hat.  In that instant he lost sight of the kid.

“Don’t stop now!”

Whirling around at the last instant Jay raised his free arm to block a spinning kick.  It landed hard for the kid’s size, but Jay held his stance throwing the kid back.

“Not bad, but I’m late as it is,” said Jay, with a friendly smile.

“No you don’t!” called the kid lunging again.

Jay tensed and stepped backward, vanishing from sight as he leapt back into the darkness.  The movement was faster than even the kid could have moved, and it left him staring into the darkness after Jay, surprise and confusion evident on his face.


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