Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Roaming the backfield (fiction)


Chernovsky was back in his element.

He could play the statesman. He could be a good boss and a good leader.

It involved squashing down his innate aggression and stuffing it in a box.

It was time to open the box.

It was time for the linebacker to roam the backfield and sow the seeds of fear, chaos and misdirection.

Chernovsky had learned much from Quinn and the other men he led. He learned to move silently whether by day or in the Stygian darkness of midnight, like now. He learned to improvise.

Right now, Chernovsky was on his back beneath a truck. It was not a Livingston County truck depot. Nope. The trucks belonged to the South Lyons/Milford/Highland alliance that was immediately to Livingston County's east.

Chernovsky had an ice-pick and nothing more. He poked a hole in the fuel tank high and then he poked another one as low as possible. Then he rolled out beneath the truck before he was splashed with fuel. Then on to the next truck.

Chernovsky kept the pack but had taken most of the goods out of it. To him, they were dead weight.

After he had damaged most of the trucks along the west edge of the parking lot, he backed off into the brush. He had wrapped charred, cotton cloth around some of his lead projectiles. The cloth came from a tee-shirt and still had the tiniest vestiage of stretchiness to it. Chernovsky had laboriously lashed the cloth to the projectiles.

From a hundred and fifty yards west of the trucks, Chernovsky lit the charred cloth, gingerly inserted it into the pouch of his sling and sent it flying toward the truck depot.

He hit paydirt on his third shot. Flames erupted after the glowing projectile bounced beneath one of the trucks Chernovsky had shanked.

Chernovsky waited until a crowd had gathered and then launched two more projectiles toward the crowd. He gave them high, arching trajectories and the charred cloth glowed brightly in the rush of air. The crowd did not see the first one, the one that beaned one of the leaders. They definitely saw the second and had a darned good idea where it came from.

It took Chernovsky half an hour to cover the four miles to Livingston County’s eastern flank. Troops were crammed into an old State Police outpost along I-96.

Chernovsky sprayed the building with two magazines from the AK that he had prepositioned.

Then Chernovsky ran like the devil was following him. Not east, away from the State Police post, rather, he ran north. Chernovsky did not want to be around when the soldiers from South Hudson bumbling around in the brush encountered the angry troops from Livingston County in the dark.

A mile and a half north of the police station, he was presented with an unexpected obstacle. A truck was stalled in the middle of the intersection he had to pass through.

Two men were arguing loudly in front of the truck. They were shining a flashlight at the engine and were jiggling various wires and hoses. Chernovsky was a mechanic. He quickly deduced that they didn't have a clue about what it would take to make the truck functional.

Chernovsky couldn't take the chance of trying to sneak around them. He couldn't wait for them to leave; he expected company from the two hornets' nests he had kicked.

He shot them both in the head.

He shut the hood of the truck. Better it should look like a premeditated execution. He did, on second thought, pick up the flashlight. Prisoners would not have flashlights.

Then he loped north.

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