Welcome to Sunday Scribbles!
Today marks week 49 of the 52 week writing challenge!
The prompt for Sunday 10th December is ‘Fruit.’
This weeks attempt is a nod to the TV show Psych, which features a pineapple in most episodes. The movie was released last week, but I’m not caught up on the series yet!
It’s also another excerpt from ‘Adventures of a Pizza Assassin,’ where my character, Shawn, lives in a dystopian society where people are assassinated if they have ‘poor taste’ in pizza toppings. It’s insane and fun, and I forgot how much I love the idea!
Shawn strode along the familiar street and up to a wooden door. He knocked and waited, hands stuffed into his pockets and foot tapping on the pavement. He turned to the man who lurked at the end of the path, Landon Miller, his bodyguard. ‘You know, you didn’t have to follow me home…’
‘Unfortunately I did,’ Landon replied. He glanced at his watch. ‘Alex’s paid me to watch you ’till midnight.’
‘Screw Alex,’ Shawn said, then his face scrunched up in distaste. ‘Okay. Maybe not. He’s my best friend, and he’s sooo not your type. Just… go home, Millie.’
Landon glared at him. ‘No. Unlike some people, I take my job seriously.’
Shawn stuck his tongue out as the door swung open behind him. He turned to his father and shuddered. Sandwiched between glares. Not cool. ‘Hey dad, left my keys at work.’
Shawn’s dad groaned and ran a hand through his hair. ‘What did I do to deserve you?’
‘Flattered,’ Shawn replied. He gestured to Landon. ‘Get your gun, there’s a stranger on the porch.’
Landon spluttered and gestured to Shawn. ‘I’m not a stranger, I’m his bodyguard.’ He held out a hand. ‘Landon Miller.’
‘Bodyguard? Isn’t that for work?’ Shawn’s dad asked. He took Landon’s hand and shook it, but his eyes were trained on the man with suspicion.
‘Under normal circumstances, yes, but Shawn was kidnapped… Look surely he told you? He wouldn’t shut up about it at work!’
Shawn winced as his dad rounded on him. ‘I told you this job was a bad idea!’
‘You know we need the money. Without mum…’
‘It’s a trial separation!’ his father replied with a furtive glance towards Landon. ‘She’s coming over later. We’ll patch things up, then you’ll quit that job and…’
‘And what, dad? Live at home forever? I’m 29! No one else will employ me.’
‘And whose fault is that?’ Shawn’s dad asked.
Landon cleared his throat. ‘Hate to interrupt, but can you continue this inside?’
Shawn turned. Landon gestured to the sky, where a few large angry drops fell.
Shawn’s dad glared at Landon. ‘You didn’t tell me you were coming, so you buy your own pizza.’
Shawn’s jaw dropped. ‘He’s not staying…’
Landon held out a hand. ‘Alex said…’
‘I don’t care,’ Shawn replied with a glare.
‘If Alex thinks he’s necessary, he stays,’ Shawn’s dad said. Arms folded, he gestured inside.
Shawn sighed and pushed past his dad. He was already slumped at the counter when Landon followed his father into the kitchen and pushed a menu under his nose. ‘Wanna share?’
Shawn shook his head. ‘I’m havin’ a large, all to myself.’
Landon sighed. ‘And you wonder why you have no money…’
Shawn ignored him, pushed back his chair, and made for the door. ‘Order for me, will you?’
‘Where you going?’ Landon asked with a frown.
Shawn paused in the doorway. ‘Just the bathroom.’ He stared at Landon. ‘That all right with you, or do you want to come with me?’
Landon shook his head. Shawn grinned and dashed upstairs. Inside the bathroom, he bolted the door and flung open the window. His hair tickled his forehead as he peered out to assess the drop, and he blew a breath upwards to dislodge it. A dumpster sat below the window. With his long legs, he’d probably be able to jump down without hurting himself. Probably.
Shawn bit his lip and glanced at the last message received on his phone. Meet me at the docks. End pier. Fruit Loop. Package will be waiting. The message was accompanied by a picture: Three pineapple rings on a pizza. Shawn salivated and stuffed his phone in his pocket. Who cared if he sprained his ankle climbing out the window? He had to have that package.
He swung his legs over the edge of the window sill and sat, perched on the edge. Moonlight reflected off metallic rooftops, and for a moment he paused and took it all in. Some of the houses were no more than shacks, really. Taller buildings were torn down during the revolution, and nothing but a sprawling mess remained. Shawn sighed. It was a mess, but it was home.
He slid off the window sill to land in a crouch on top of the dumpster. His legs shook, and the lid crashed against the base. The noise echoed around him. Shawn froze, but no one ran into the alley or appeared at the window above. He’d ditched Landon. It was time to move.
Shawn ran into the street and snickered as he pulled his keys free from his pocket. Landon was an idiot to believe he’d forget them. His motorbike was loud in the deserted streets, so Shawn sped away quickly. He reached the docks in no time, and parked his bike behind some crates. Plastered against the nearest one, Shawn stuck to the shadows and crept along the pier.
‘End pier. Fruit Loop,’ Shawn muttered under his breath. ‘There!’
Shawn crept up to the ship, and from behind a pile of crates he spied its name, painted in large yellow letters on the bow. ‘Fruit Loop 20? What happened to the other 19?’
‘Best you don’t ask,’ a voice said from behind him, and Shawn felt the barrel of a gun press into his back.
His hands shot into the air. ‘Woah there buddy, I don’t mean any harm.’ His hands shook, and Shawn bit his lip. ‘Twice in a week, really?’
‘I’m surprised too,’ a voice piped up from behind them. ‘You’re a real trouble magnet, Shawn.’
Shawn tilted his head slightly. ‘Millie?’
‘Drop the weapon,’ Landon ordered.
Shawn felt the gun at his back shudder. ‘Or what?’ his assailant asked.
‘Or I’ll put a bullet in you,’ Landon replied. ‘You have three seconds.’
The man laughed. ‘No. Put yours down, or I’ll kill your friend.’
‘He’s not my friend,’ Landon replied.
Shawn winced and covered his ears as a gunshot split the air. Liquid splattered his neck and dripped down beneath his collar. When Shawn wiped a hand across it, it came back red. ‘Ew…’ He glared at Landon and kicked the guy at his feet. ‘Thanks a lot…’
Landon rolled his eyes. ‘Next time I’ll let him shoot you. What are you doing here?’
‘I’m a boat enthusiast?’ Shawn tried. His eyes darted around the dock and landed on the boat. A man stood in the shadows by the anchor. ‘Wait here. I want to touch the hull.’
‘Shawn!’ Landon yelled after him.
Shawn ignored him. He strode up to the boat and heard a click as Landon caught up, weapon reloaded. ‘I told you to stay put.’
Landon shrugged. ‘Wouldn’t be doing my job if I did.’
Shawn glared at him. The hooded figure stepped towards them, and Shawn held out a hand. ‘Do you have the package?’
The figure nodded and gestured to Landon, wary eyes on the gun. ‘He good?’
Shawn shrugged and gestured to the corpse near the crates behind them. ‘He’s my bodyguard, but I wouldn’t trust him with the contents.’
The figure dug in its cloak and produced a box. ‘You’ll take my word for it then?’
Shawn nodded and took the box. From his pocket he pulled out some crumpled bills. ‘Here.’
The figure counted the cash. ‘You’re good. Same time next month?’
‘You can count on it,’ Shawn replied. He watched the figure slip away into the shadows and turned to Landon. ‘Come on, let’s go.’
Landon gestured to the package. ‘Do I even want to know?’
‘I doubt it.’ At Landon’s frown, Shawn added, ‘Just a second job.’
Shawn bit his lip and looked away. ‘I don’t want to live at my dads forever.’
Landon frowned and said nothing as they made their way off the docks. Shawn followed close at his heels. He knew Landon was disappointed in him, and he felt a frisson of sadness travel down his spine. Still, he could never tell him the truth. Declaring his love for pineapple pizza would get him killed, let alone this. Better to be known as a dealer than become a victim.
Shawn clutched the box close and peered at Landon. ‘My bike’s this way.’
Landon frowned. ‘You can take it, but if you deviate once, I’ll put a bullet in your tires.’
‘Understood,’ Shawn replied with a cheeky salute. ‘Home it is.’
The journey back was uneventful. At his father’s door, Shawn turned to Landon. ‘You can go now. I’ll be fine.’ Landon glanced between Shawn’s bike and the box. Shawn sighed. ‘ I won’t go out again. Promise.’
Landon eyed him suspiciously and held out his hand. ‘Keys.’
Shawn sighed and dug in his pocket. He separated his bike key from the chain and dangled it in front of Landon, but hesitated when Landon reached for it. ‘How am I supposed to get to work tomorrow?’
Landon snatched the key and stalked to his car. ‘I’ll pick you up.’
‘See you tomorrow!’ Shawn shouted as Landon’s car sped off. He unlocked the door, shoved past his father, and grabbed the plain cheese and mushroom pizza from the counter.
‘Don’t want to talk about it!’ Shawn yelled over his shoulder as he took the stairs two at a time.
His father was eyeing the box. ‘If that’s what I think it is…’
‘It’s not!’ Shawn slammed the door to his room and flung the box on the bed. With his house keys, he tore it open, pulled free an unlabelled tin, and smiled.
Deft fingers pulled up a loose floorboard, and Shawn stored all but one tin in the gap. He covered his stash and pulled a tin opener from a drawer. As he opened the tin, a fruity smell wafted towards him. Shawn salivated and grabbed a few chunks of pineapple to arrange on his pizza. He lifted a slice and savoured his first bite. ‘Perfect.’
Click. The door opened.
‘Your mother’s here…’
Shawn looked up at his father’s grinning face. The grin fell immediately when he saw the pizza. ‘No. We agreed. No more, Shawn! None! Now bin that crap before your mother sees.’
Thanks for reading!
I’ll plan this story out eventually, but it’s still early days and as much as I love the characters there are a lot of details to work out: Like how society ended up this way!
Next Sunday’s prompt:
The prompt for 17th December is ‘Tavern/Pub.’
If you try next weeks prompt yourself, let me know how it goes. Post your attempt on your blog on the 17th December and leave a link in the comments below this post so I can read it 🙂
If you can attempt the prompt in less than 140 characters, you can also #sunscribbles on Twitter. I am super interested to see what you all come up with 🙂