Thursday, May 19, 2016

Friday Flash: They Fight Crime

This week Chuck Wendig found yet another great random-idea-generator, and sent us all to They Fight Crime. It was pretty fun, so as so often happens, I hit the button a bunch of time, picked what I liked best, mixed and matched, and then shifted genders around because they were all "he...she" combos and that's sooooo 20th Century. Chuck just wanted us to play with the characters, not necessary have them fight crime, but that's what mine decided to do. He also gave us 1500 words, but I only used a bit over my usual 1000. What I got, by the way, was:
He's a patronizing scientist with a love for bananas.
She's a mistrustful barbarian with a taste for style. 
I made them both female because why not? Here, for your Friday distraction, I give you Susan and Maga.

Attraction of Opposites Saves the World

“Maga, can’t you clean up after yourself for once?” Susan shouted her frustration from the living room. “How the dickens can I be expected to do my work when you leave shopping bags everywhere?”

Maga poked her head out of the bedroom. “I like new clothes. And you have to admit I wear them well. You’ll manage.”

“But the furniture doesn’t look so good in the bags, Maga. And I can’t work if there’s no space. Anyway, with all your shopping, did you ever think to pick up more bananas?”

Maga stiffened, her hair escaping the effort she’d made to tame it. “I may be a barbarian, but I do not eat bananas.”

The bickering ran on until a red light began flashing over the door, accompanied by a piercing whistle. Maga uttered a barbaric curse and slipped out of the Prada heels and into her fur-lined boots. She pulled a deerskin tunic over her head to cover the designer dress; too much work to take it off. Grabbing her spear and bow, she headed for the door.

Susan, toting her own kit—a mini-lab in a briefcase—had beat her outside. She was kicking her motorcycle into reluctant life as Maga leapt onto her own mount.

Minutes later, Maga pulled the nimble steppe horse to a halt at the crime scene and swung down, sword at the ready. Susan looked up from the device with which she scanned the scene and scowled. “Maga, if you’d just join the 21st Century you wouldn’t miss all the fun. The perp’s gotten away, but I’ll figure out who it was soon enough, with my brilliant invention.”

Maga tossed wind-tangled hair from her face and answered in the thick accent she used only in public. “I am barbarian! I ride my horse!”

“Well, I don’t see what you can do on this case. The only clue the thief left behind is DNA, which my scanner is analyzing now, and this cell phone with a code only I can break. You’ll have to sit this one out and let the scientist work,” she added smugly.

“Oh?” Maga narrowed her eyes and gazed into the distance. Her vision undamaged by screens and books, she could see the fleeing figure about to vanish from sight. She vaulted back onto the horse, urged it to a gallop, and moments later scooped up the suspect. The stolen briefcase still swung from the woman’s fist.

“Got you!” Maga wrestled the perp into submission and draped her over the horse in front of her. “I like scarf,” she added, removing the woman’s expensive silk scarf and wrapping it around her own neck. It looked a trifle odd with the deerskin tunic, but would go perfectly with that little number she’d gotten on sale last week. They cantered back to the crime scene.

“Done playing?” Susan asked. “I’ve nearly cracked this code and will soon know who the miscreant is.”

Maga ignored her, turning to the suited man who sat on the curb, weeping quietly. “Is this yours?” She handed down the briefcase and the man leapt up. “My case! You caught her!”

“And do you know this…person?” Maga’s accent was so thick now that she had to repeat the question three times.

He squinted at the perp, who glared back, though at something of a disadvantage as she was still face down across the horse’s back. “Aha! My greatest rival! So, Miss Haggelund, you would steal the data that makes my empire greater than yours?”

“Ha!” Maga’s captive snorted, and was allowed to slide to her feet and stand nose to nose with the man in the suit. “You stole my phone and conned these idiots into breaking the code for you! And now you whine that I have your precious briefcase.” She swung to fix her own glare on Susan, who was staring intently at the phone. “Give me my property!”

Susan raised one eyebrow, then the other. “I think not!” She read a little more on the phone. “Maga, keep that briefcase. These two are playing a deep game indeed.”

“Urgh!” Maga put all the force of her barbarian ancestors into the growl, and it had the desired effect. Both suspects, as they now appeared to be, cringed away from her, and she recovered the briefcase with no trouble.

Susan slid the phone into the pocket of her lab coat and put her hands on her hips. “So you think you can divide the world between you and run it all? You reckoned without the greatest scientist on earth. Me,” she added in case they didn’t get it.

Maga kept a closer eye on the two, who now, faced with a common enemy, were drawing together, exchanging plans in a glance and signaling with a nod. Maga caught the woman before she had taken two steps, flung her toward Susan, and spurred her mount after the man. He had reached the motorcycle and it looked like a clean escape until Susan, one arm holding the woman in a neck-lock, pulled a remote control from her pocket and pressed a button.

The motorcycle grew a cage. That was how Maga always saw it, anyway. It was all clever engineering, but she preferred to think of it as magic. Being a barbarian and all.

Susan phoned for the police while Maga rode over to where the man would-be master criminal was whimpering inside the motorcycle/cage.

“They always think they can steal a poor helpless scientist’s wheels,” she said, and the barbaric accent was gone. She dismounted, and Susan pressed another button, releasing the cage. Maga tied the man with leather thongs, knotting them tight. The police would cut them anyway. They always did, and then she had to go find and cure another hide. Zip-ties would have been easier, but Maga had a reputation to uphold.

Explaining to the police that these now-pathetic creatures had seriously planned to take over the world took a long time, as usual. It was well past dark, and a light drizzle had soaked deerskin and lab coat alike before the cops found someone who could understand what the phone and the papers showed. When they left at last, Maga put an arm around her shivering partner.

“Come on. Let’s find an all-night grocery and get you some bananas. Then I want to go home and see if this really matches that dress. I might need a new pair of shoes,” she added dreamily.

©Rebecca M. Douglass, 2016
As always, please ask permission to use any photos or text. Link-backs appreciated!


  1. I love this! One of your best. This duo should go far :)

    1. Thanks! I don't know how well I can write a fashionista, though, even a barbarian one. I just don't care enough about it. I'm definitely with Susan, sticking to her lab coats :)


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