Come on an adventure and follow along with Jack as he writes his new book, in real time! Here is chapter 5.
by JACK DEY
A whisper from the wilderness calling.
Riveted by the cold, angry eyes of a calculating monster who had thrown her up onto the counter, Lisa frantically pulled down at the hem of her skirt. Red-faced with embarrassment and forced to sit in front of her tormentor like a stricken child, she trembled noticeably while a furious giant stood over her with unknown intent. Staring through a glaze of hypnotised eyes, Lisa’s countenance appeared frightened, upset and totally incapable of defending herself.
Seconds later, a disturbance erupted as Caylin burst into the hotel bar, tripping on the step and causing an uproar with the bungled entry. Ploughing headfirst into the stiff, muscled frame of a huge man, the collision deflected his slight physique like running headlong into a solid brick wall, finding himself crumpled on the floor and smarting with the pain of the collision. In slow motion, Caylin struggled to his feet and caught a glimpse of his petrified wife staring in a lifeless, almost catatonic expression and completely unaware of his presence. Suspecting she’d met her match in the aggressive actions of the muscled beast, Caylin battled to contrast the pitiful sense of vulnerability with the headstrong woman he’d married. Heart in mouth but seething with indignation at her treatment, the courtroom lion pounced, foolishly sacrificing himself. Calling the brute to account but overpowered in size by a factor of four-to-one, Caylin successfully tore the giant’s attention away from the bar room counter using the only weapon he had: a razorsharp mind connected to an equally effective tongue.
Without warning, the grip of a massive hand constricted Caylin’s throat, halting the stream of abuse while the slender man dangled helplessly off the ground in a crushing vice. Struggling to breathe and in the fight for his life, Caylin choked out a further attack, hoping Lisa would have the presence of mind to take advantage of his costly diversion. As the stranglehold intensified and threatened to crush him, Caylin’s verbal assault diminished into a pathetic squeak trapped in his throat and echoing around inside his pressurised head.
Puzzled by the cause, but with the giant’s attention turned and his back to her, Lisa snapped out of her trance and saw her chance to escape. Taking a gasp and holding her breath, she warily kept the giant in focus, slipping down off the counter and using the hulk’s massive size as a shield. Concentrating on the door and bolting for safety, no one seemed to notice her plight or drew attention to her attempted getaway. Humiliated and extremely shocked by the stranger’s behaviour and bitterly shaken, Lisa hesitated for a second at the door, straining to hear the voice of her jailer and whether her escape had been foiled. Sounding like the chorus from a wrestling match and with all the audience involved in some other trial, Lisa hurriedly threw open the door and found herself standing outside on the verandah. Suddenly realising she was free, she let out her breath and burst into tears, but she was still too close to the furore to be safe.
Awkwardly running for the car and violently fumbling with the remote, she eventually slammed the driver door shut and intentionally locked herself inside. Panting heavily and out of control, she leant her head onto the steering wheel and began to tremble violently. With no idea how the focus had turned or why the colossus had been distracted, the only thing on her mind was to get out of town and put the whole belittling experience firmly in the rear vision mirror. Starting the car with a shaky push of a button and fully intending to leave, Lisa attempted to place her foot on the brake but her legs were shaking so badly it took several moments to control their movements. Finding the transmission shifter, she wrenched at the tiny stick with a jittery hand and eventually managed to fumble it into reverse. However, before she could gather her thoughts long enough to release the parking brake, a face appeared at her window and scared her half to death.
Trading places with his wife but still contending with the powerful hold, Caylin verged on an asphyxiation blackout. Unable to refill his lungs, gripping the massive hand with the insignificant grasp of two of his own, Caylin struggled frantically, beginning to see the dizzying stars of unconsciousness while his feet dangled almost a metre above the floor. Veins stretched to bursting and eyes about to explode, Caylin gurgled helplessly, noting the unprecedented and lunatic mission had achieved its intended goal, allowing Lisa to escape the trap and whatever nefarious deeds the powerful man had in mind for her.
Drinking customers and dining hotel guests had fallen uncomfortably silent, keeping a wary eye on the public show of violence and hoping it wouldn’t escalate any further. However, not a single witness had the courage to challenge the mighty man and stop the sickening drama from turning fatal. After all, the small and clearly insane woman had provoked the massive man with her verbal attack, and in their minds, at least, the irritated reaction appeared to be a perfectly justified response. As the toxic show continued, few realised that the crazy woman had slipped out while the skinny little man had sacrificed himself and deflected the monster’s ire.
The massive man and his capacity for bad behaviour were well known among the community, and no one dared to challenge the mocking hulk if they knew what was good for them. In fact, he had acquired the nickname Goliath, but nobody was ever brave enough to use it in his presence. Oddly, the self-confessed bad boy knew of the handle, and enjoyed the respect it offered from lesser humans. But when it was challenged…!
About to faint and with his face glowing red, Caylin’s mind began to fade just as a casual, dry command idled across the bar room stage. “You’ve had your fun, big fella, now let him go before he becomes a statistic and you end up doing life for murder.”
At that moment, all breathing stopped as a new standoff began with yet another entry into the losers’ parade. If nothing else, the weird situation had added a little spice into the humdrum of boring country life as the regulars watched with bated breath, eager to see what Goliath would do with this next contender and his daring challenge. Dropping Caylin like a discarded toy and searching the room for this newest adversary, Goliath’s staring glare discounted each face until eventually settling on the suspected culprit.
Falling from the giant’s arduous grip, Caylin landed like a rag doll and crumpled spastically onto the floor. Pulling in a massive gasp and sounding like a truck tyre inflating, he blacked out for a second, but refused to faint altogether, keeping track of the dangerous beast stalking towards the only man who’d dared to intervene on his behalf. Casually sitting at a table near the back and side-on to Goliath, one hungry patron continued to busy himself with the heady task of feeding his voracious appetite, unperturbed by the gawking attention.
“You got something to say, blood-nut?!” Goliath threatened, before his huge fist came down on the table, rattling the plates and attempting to scare the insolent rival.
Pulling in an irritated breath and letting it out in a frustrated sigh, the new opponent showed little signs of fear. “Well, that’s an original, Mr Goliath. Did you think of that all on your own, or did you have help?”
Balling his fists in rage, Goliath was ready to fight, but when the redhead stood up to confront him, they stared each other in the eye, equally matched like two opposing bulls.
“Before you do something stupid, Mr Goliath, let me remind you how your namesake came to a very… unfortunate end. The man you were picking on is about the size of King David when he was a teenager and took the real Goliath down. He was fearless, taking on and killing the ancient Philistine mascot with the favour of his God, a sling shot, and a rock.” Lifting a hand to demonstrate, the stranger poked his finger into the monster’s skull right between his eyes, enraging the situation even further. “My little friend over there is just like David was, and if you know what’s good for you, you’ll crawl back into your box and leave well enough alone.”
Shaken by the threat, but ready to break the finger that had violated his forehead, Goliath retaliated. “I eat worms like that for breakfast!”
“Huh. You eat worms!” the redhead protagonist laughed and made Goliath seethe. The two opponents stared each other down for many moments while Goliath tried to process what his redheaded adversary meant. Slightly turning his head to where Caylin was slouched, Goliath took a long gawk and wondered what secrets this little grasshopper held and whether he was carrying a slingshot or a rock.
“Listen, Goliath… or whatever your real name is. That little man was only trying to protect his foolish lady. You can’t blame him for that. She, on the other hand has some major issues… perhaps a spoilt lifetime lacking the firm presence of a strong, guiding hand.”
“What are you on about, blood-nut?! That woman came in here and picked a fight with me… and I just ended it! She’s lucky that weasel jumped on my back or otherwise…”
“I’ll admit, Goliath, taking you on was just plain stupid on her part, but I’m sure you would’ve done the same thing if the circumstances were reversed. Imagine for a moment that woman was your mum, sister or girlfriend.”
“Keep them out of this, blood-nut!” Goliath threatened. “They wouldn’t do anything so dumb.”
“There’s my point in a nutshell. You would’ve taken the head off anyone trying to do to them what you had in mind for that little lady. I don’t want to break up this hotel bar, but if that’s what you want and that’s what it takes, so be it. Maybe we can settle this like two mature adults instead of destroying the hotelier’s property. So here’s what I’m offering… let me buy you a meal and just maybe we can sit down together and come to an amicable resolution.” At that point, the redhead held out his hand with the offer of an olive branch and a way to end the standoff amicably for all.
Goliath stood there, staring. It had been one of the weirdest mornings, but he wasn’t ready to back down yet. A cold glint sparkled in Goliath’s dark eyes as he sized up how to respond to his foe, but the demons eating at the big man’s brain refused to let him relent. Taking another glance at Caylin and still unsure of what was happening, Goliath decided there were way too many unknowns and what the redhead’s real objectives were. It seemed like a coward’s way of ending a conflict anyway, and no one was gonna call Goliath a sissy. As the demons screamed at Goliath’s squirming brain, he took the low road. Hoping to regain the bad-boy reputation among the idolising hotel spectators, Goliath overturned the table, answering the redhead’s gesture with an immature action and deliberately leaving no other response but to fight. Dinner plates crashed, purposefully trashing the redhead’s unfinished meal as it scattered all over the floor, while observers responded with moans of fear and chaos… exactly what Goliath was trying to achieve.
Studying his opponent and watching the outstretched hand remaining rock steady, Goliath began to feel like a fool. Figuring his head was somehow being played with, Goliath wasn’t about to give away the victory, but he needed space to figure it out. Poking a finger in his enemy’s chest, Goliath warily threatened, “This aint over, blood-nut.” Kicking the wreckage of the redhead’s meal, Goliath broke through the hotel door, shattering its hinges with the force of his escape and leaving the damage as a gesture of unfinished business.