Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Treasure Hunter - FFF #39

Friday Flash Fiction time again and our well-appreciated moderator Cormac Brown offered up a Randal-submitted starter sentence "She knew time was running out, fast, but opening that door was Pandora's Box all over again."
There was an added challenge this week i.e. not to write in the same genre that we did in the previous edition of FFF. To that end, I have written a action/adventure story. My last piece was a...err...ummm...not an action/adventure one!!
One final thing: this piece is just a little longer than normal (about 1200 words) - I just could find any more edits. If you have ANY suggestions, please fire away!!

The Treasure Hunter

She knew time was running out, fast, but opening that door was Pandora's Box all over again. She firmly believed that her journey would finish here, that the answers she sought lay behind this carved oaken door, but she had a sneaking suspicion that they would want more for her – they always wanted more. She took a deep breath, turned the shiny brass knob and entered the room...


The flight into Nairobi had been a nightmare; winds had buffeted the Pilatus PC-12 immediately after takeoff and continued to so for the majority of the journey. She had been on many flights; however, they were usually in larger, international carriers. This small nine-seater scared her more than anything she had done before. More than the men in dark suits, the constant fear of discovery, the gunfights...

The pilot’s voice broke through her fear. “Miss James, could you buckle up please? We are about to set down in Nairobi. May God protect your soul.” The pilot laughed at his own black humour. Amelia James just wanted to punch him - hard.


Amelia had quickly located the Jacaranda Hotel. She unpacked her belongings, took a quick shower and waited for her contact to arrive.

She wasn’t made to wait long. She had just sat down in the huge, plush velvet recliner when there was a knock on her door. Amelia leapt out of the chair and crossed the room in a near-sprint. A quick peek through the spy hole revealed the man she had been waiting for. She unlatched and unlocked the door and ushered the man inside.

“Amelia, it is so good to see you. I had been worried you wouldn’t make it.”
“Thank you, Jamil, it is good to be here. I take it you have the documents we spoke of?”

Without replying, Jamil handed her a large yellow envelope, closing his hand over hers as she took it from him. “Be careful, Amelia, they are out there, searching for you. They know you are here.”

“I will, Jamil. I promise.”


Amelia arrived at the airport early. Her private flight waited at the far end of the airfield and she hurried across the tarmac and climbed the stairs. As she was about to enter the plane, a deep voice made her stop.

“Miss James, how nice to see you. Would you please drop your bags and come down the stairs slowly.”

Amelia turned and saw two men approaching the plane, arms by their sides but she could see the telltale bulges around their waists – definitely armed and dangerous. They stopped at the foot of the metal steps and crossed their arms, waiting for her.

“Come on, Miss James, we don’t have all day. Mr. Arbetreth is keen to see you and the documents you are withholding from him.” The taller of the two men spoke for the first time. “Besides, you don’t have a choice. Mr. Arbetreth can be very...persuasive.”

Amelia knew she had no choice; they had weapons and she believed they weren’t afraid to use them. Without really thinking of the consequences, she leapt into the air and spread her legs, each one landing smoothly on the railings either side of the stairs. She slid down toward her would-be assailants and, before they had a chance to register their shock, she landed one foot into the faces of either man, knocking them backward and off balance. She hit the ground hard, but rolled right back up to her feet. A sharp left foot snapped into the stomach of one of the men, doubling him over and she slammed her knee into face, hearing a satisfying crunch of bones and her attacker crumbled to the tarmac.

“Very nice, Amelia, I like your style.” It was the other man, gun raised and aimed directly at her forehead. This is it, she though, I am screwed. He is going to shoot me right here. She watched in fascination, as he tensed his finger on the trigger. That, however, was as far as he got. A split second later, his head had erupted in a splash of blood and bone. Amelia instinctively ducked her head and hit the ground.

“It is alright, Miss James, I mean you no harm.”


Amelia leaned back in the seat, staring out the window of the plane, watching the world slide below her, replaying the incident over and over. She wasn’t sure if she was pleased with her efforts or stunned by how close she was to be killed. She decided to be proud of herself. That kick...

“Care to share what you are smiling about? You were almost killed.”

Amelia looked up at the man who had saved her life. He was tall, handsome in an Indiana Jones kind of way, and had the palest blue eyes she had ever seen. He had introduced himself as Kelsey; she didn’t know if that was his first or last name – she found she didn’t care.

He sat beside her, worry furrowing his brow. “You really are a character – but if you aren’t careful, it is going to make you dead.”

“Kelsey, I can take care of myself. I have been chased, hunted and shot at so many times, I have lost count. This morning was a very close call, that is true, but I ain’t dead yet.”

He shrugged and leaned back in his chair. He pulled the brim of his cap down over his eyes and smiled. “You are definitely a character...”


Amelia and Kelsey arrived in Washington early the next morning. Kelsey had excused himself - citing appointments and a tight schedule, promising to catch up with her before she left town. Amelia found that she was looking forward to that.


She pushed open the door and stepped into the room. She was surprised by the size and opulence – even more surprised by the sight of Kelsey, standing beside the Director of National Intelligence. Her shock must have been evident, as the Director stood and approached her, a smile creasing his face.

“Amelia, welcome, please come in and take a seat. I see you know Agent Kelsey. No need for formal introductions, so we can get right down to business.” He shook Amelia’s hand and gestured to a seat in front of his huge desk. He returned to his seat, nodded at Kelsey, who moved around the desk and sat next to Amelia. She smiled at him, feeling a rush of emotions she knew had to be kept in check – she would explore them later.

“Amelia, my team and I have gone through the documents that you have brought to us, and Agent Kelsey has filled me in on what happened at Nairobi airport. We have discussed the implications of this and, coupled with what we know now about the missing artefacts, we believe we know exactly where we should next be looking.” The Director shot a quick glance at Kelsey. He nodded once – Amelia caught it – and the Director continued. “We would like for you to continue your service for the country, and would like to offer you an increased salary and top-level protection.”

“With all due respect, sir, I don’t think...”

“Miss James, the protection I am offering comes in the form of Agent Kelsey. I understand he has already saved your life once. I think he may be a little disappointed if you don’t show him a little gratitude in return.”

Amelia turned to face Kelsey. His smile was wide, his pale blue eyes shone brightly.

“Alright,” Amelia said, “I think I can live with that.”


Coraline J. Thompson said...

Most excellent, and I hope a sequel will be coming soon.

Sue H said...

I agree with Coraline - and you can't leave it there!

I shall keep pestering you until further chapters of this 'opener' are forthcoming! ;-)

Laurita said...

Yep, this has all the earmarks of a beginning chapter. I want more Agent Kelsey...I mean, more action. ;)

Crybbe666 said...

Coraline - Well, to be honest, I don't know if there is one...

Sue - Hmmm, long as you don't go Annie Wilkes on me!

Laurita - I know what you meant - don't know how much 'more' of Kelsey I can give you...the action I can do :)

Sue H said...

OI!!! Annie Wilkes, indeed!

Cheeky young upstart - just get on with your writing!!! ;-p

Bukowski's Basement said...

Paul, this just may be the start of something big... Dig this new Agent Kelsey...

Cormac Brown said...

You can't leave us hanging, mate!

Flannery Alden said...

I think you've found a successful buddy team...and I bet you could write something steamy if you tried.

Crybbe666 said...

Anthony - thanks mate. I find I like this pair quite a bit and that is thanks to...

Cormac - a great idea Sir, to write in a different genre. This two came about quite simply. Thanks again!

Flannery - not sure about the "something steamy"...I will stick with the action and see where that takes us!

MRMacrum said...

As the others have said, we need more chapters. Great start.

Doc said...

A grand tale all the way around. You handled the action deftly and the story flows really well. My only complaint is: Is her last name James or Adams? Is one an alias? Just asking. Well done!


Crybbe666 said...

MRM - Thanks, mate. More chapters coming.

Doc - Nope, that was a stuff-up on my part. That's what happpens when I listen to 80s compilations...MC Hammer's "Addams' Family" was playing...thanks for catching that and for reading!

David Barber said...

Apologies for my lateness, Paul. Had visitors.

Great action/adventure. Well written and pacy, and yes, some more please!