Hellworld: Merchant of The Wastelands #1

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batkevin74

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No Caption Provided

“Ladies and gentlemen! Boys and girls! Roll up, roll up, don’t be shy! Antonio has wares for all!” I call at the top of my lungs as my sons, Hunter and Porter, set up the awning of our portable merchant home whilst my daughters, Archer and Drummer, keep a look out. Even though Willow Creek is pretty safe, relatively speaking, you can never be too careful.

I spy two of the famed Willow Creek Paladins. They wear their distinct red berets and sit astride large horses keeping an eye on things. People come out with things to trade, most of its junk but occasionally they have things I want.

“Name your calibre, I have them. Need water? Of course you don’t, this is Willow Creek,” I cry to the crowd. Willow Creek is a well off city. But as my father use to say, everybody wants something. “What do you need my good man?”

A man who looks like a badger holds up a shotgun that has seen better days. “Ammo.”

“May I?” I ask. He gingerly hands me the weapon and I do everything in large motions just in case a Paladin mistakes it for an attack. “Pretty dusty my friend, but I believe we do have some shells. Porter! Attend this man.”

My youngest scurries over and takes the man to the back. Archer keeps an eye on them mainly as they often think they can pull one over on him because he’s twelve. My next customer is a woman; pretty if she didn’t have a layer of dirt embedded in her pores.

“You got any sparkplugs?” she asks.

“I will have to check, what do you have to trade?”

She holds up two large plastic jugs of water. I motion to Hunter who quickly comes over. “Just go with my son.” She goes where I point and I gently grab Hunter’s shoulders and whisper in his ear. “Check the purity, if she’s pulling a fa…”

“Give her the spent ones, I know dad.” Hunter rolls his eyes at me, which is becoming more and more frequent.

“That’s my boy,” I ruffle his hair, mainly as he hates it. I look up to Drummer, perched on the roof. She gives me a wave and nods back to the awaiting people, best get back to it. “Roll up! Who is next?”

**

The sun begins to set and we close the caravan down. It has been a good first day. Willow Creek is always good and better when compared to the junk Nova Roseburg had for trade! I round the back of our working home when I see one of the Willow Creek Paladins talking to Archer, in a way that men shouldn’t be talking to young ladies.

“We’re closed,” I say to him which makes him straighten up. “Archer?”

“All good daddy,” she says which really makes me nervous, mainly as she isn’t a little girl anymore.

“Go secure the roof,”

“Drummer’s got i…”

“Go secure the roof!” I repeat. She huffs and scampers away, there’s a longing look between them that really makes my blood boil. I walk towards him; he’s quite a large man.

“She’s cute,” he states as he adjusts his red beret. If this wasn’t Willow Creek I’d get my metal bat and wipe that grin off his face. The Paladins are the law around here and you don’t fight the law, mainly as it just leads to larger problems. But you can stand up to it.

“You like chess?” I say as I walk past him, I almost feel like shoulder bumping him but he is quite large. He grunts like a horse follows me, which will make this easier.

I stop and pat a large metal box upon a trailer. “This is chess!”

He looks at me, confused as the day he was born. I look at him with a smile before doing a double take and looking at the box. “Oh silly me, I haven’t opened it.” I unlock the sides using big dramatic actions like I’m selling to the crowds and flip open the metal box. His face goes from confused to frightened pretty quick as Chess steps from the box. Chess is a Doublerman Pigdog. Black and white coat, two heads, two foot tall at the shoulder and meaner than a summer storm.

“This is Chess,” I smile as my dog growls like a desert bike idling. “He says you can go now.” Chess launches forward, barking and snarling. The Paladin freaks out and tries to run, trips over. Chess’ chain snaps tight leaving only inches between the Paladin’s face and Chess’ putrid breath. I crouch down next to Chess and look the man in eyes. “Do you understand?”

No Caption Provided

“Y-yes,” stammers the Paladin.

“Good, now get before the chain breaks.”

He scurries away into the night. I scratch Chess under his chins. “Good boys. Dinner time?”

He leaps up on me and gives me a furious licking. As I am coated in dog slobber I catch sight of one angry daughter on the roof glaring hateful daggers in my direction. She huffs, stomps her foot and loudly marches across the roof yelling into the sky. Chess whimpers his concern.

“It’s for her own good,” I say knowing full well that I can’t keep protecting her from the hellish world even though I want too. I get up. “Let’s eat.”

**

Dinner is the usual chaos of family with the added bonus of Archer giving me the silent treatment.

“Whose turn is it to say grace?” I ask hoping that Archer will but knowing that would be like finding a fully fuelled truck full of radiation suits, rad counters and fresh fruit.

“ME! ME! ME! ME!” yelps Porter. I keep an eye as slowly my family lower their heads. Hunter has to be told via raised eyebrows and furrowed brow to do it before finally complying; Archer was already not looking at me. Porter begins “Bless my soul, what’s wrong with me. I’m itching like a man in a fuzzy tree. My friends say I’m acting wild as a bug. I’m in love.”

“I’m all shook up,” we say in bland unison before launching into the food that Hunter has prepared.

“I didn’t shoot anyone today,” says Drummer with a mixture of remorse and relief.

“Good,” I saw taking a spoonful of beans “But some days you will. Not everywhere is Willow Creek.”

“We heading to Vegas next?” asks Hunter “A man has a package he wants taken there, said I’d ask.”

“Find out what he wants transported,” I reply. “So long as it won’t get us in trouble with Lady Circus, then sure.”

“An old lady traded me this,” Porter holds up a gold band. “I felt sorry for her.”

“What did you give her?” I ask sternly.

Porter sinks in his chair and mumbles. Hunter repeats his under breath answer “Sugar.”

I stop mid chew and the table goes quiet. “Give me that!” Porter gingerly passes it over and I snatch it from him. “This is junk! It serves no purpose! You gave away sugar for a watch. One that doesn’t even work! You’re excused Porter.”

“But dad, I…”

“I SAID, YOU’RE EXCUSED!”

The room goes deathly quiet as my youngest gets up and runs off to his room. I don’t like yelling at him, or any of my kids, but it has to be done.

“He’s only twelve,” mutters Archer.

I glare at my eldest daughter. I jam the beans into my mouth to stop the torrent of anger I wish to vent at her. I chew thoroughly before swallowing, giving me time to simmer down.

“Sugar doesn’t grow on trees,” I remind her.

Archer rolls her eyes, pushes her plate away and gets up “I’m not hungry.”

I could fight with her but anything I say will only make a bad situation worse. As it is she’s probably going to sneak out tonight to try and see the man I warned off. “Check on Porter please.”

She grunts and wanders off.

Oh how I wish their mother was still alive. “Eat up, big day tomorrow.”

To be continued...

Like it? Want to join in? Here's the pitch & premise: http://www.comicvine.com/forums/fan-fic-8/hellworld-pitch-and-premise-1679724/

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joshmightbe

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Its a great start

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batkevin74

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@joshmightbe: thanks. And I might be heading the traders over to Vegas soon, maybe the package is for you, we'll find out

“We heading to Vegas next?” asks Hunter “A man has a package he wants taken there, said I’d ask.”

“Find out what he wants transported,” I reply. “So long as it won’t get us in trouble with Lady Circus, then sure.”

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cbishop

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@batkevin74: Two-headed dogs and men that look like badgers, but no giant mutant geckos? Wth?! lol (I don't think you meant the badger description literally, but thought I'd throw it into my protest anyway) ;)

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batkevin74

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#5  Edited By batkevin74

@cbishop: two headed dogs were "made" by a Russian doctor in the 50's, I'll get you the article

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ImpurestCheese

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#6  Edited By ImpurestCheese

@batkevin74: Yeah I remember reading about some of the genetic experiments the Soviet Union performed. Plus you sometimes get two headed snakes naturally, so it is within the normal (if somewhat disturbing) range of genetics.

Why do I get the impression that Willow Creek's picturesque appearance is too good to be true...

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cbishop

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@batkevin74: I actually figured the two-headed dog to be from something on the level of Chernobyl mutations, which is something you'd mentioned in the pitch thread. Just giving you grief, because I think that others will quickly (assuming this becomes a group) turn to nuclear mutant weirdness. lol

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batkevin74

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@cbishop: Experimentation plus radiation plus evolution equals two headed dogs. Mad Max: Fury Road has a two headed lizard right at the start of the film...a few steroids and maybe you'll get your giant mutant geckos

@impurestcheese: Possibly coz you're a skeptic :)

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#9  Edited By ImpurestCheese
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cbishop

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@batkevin74: Nah, I don't really want giant lizards- just razzin' ya. ;)

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batkevin74

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#11  Edited By batkevin74

@cbishop: Well there's plenty of private zoos in the US. Time plus radiation could get you something about the size of a komodo, just ask @impurestcheese she's the herpetologist

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cbishop

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@batkevin74: It's your hellworld, man- I just read in it. ;)

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Claymore1998

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Awesome stuff.

Keep up the good work.

^_^

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batkevin74

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Bumped

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