Pawed and Dangerous chapter one part one.
I’ve posted this story in a few places most people like it, but one guy whose writing skills I respect said that it was more or less a piece of crap.
So I’d love to see what you guys think of it. Also it’s going into two LGF pages, because of the size requirements of the LGF pages.
Pawed and dangerous
A story owned completely and utterly, 100% by James XXXX.
To Mom and Dad for being just that supportive.
To Andrew for being just that cool.
To Mirri for being just that inspiring.
To Alex for being just that much of a friend.
To Cal for being just that all knowing when it comes to most of the stuff I’m interested in.
To everyone else who made me who I am today.
Chapter one: To see what kind of trouble we could get into.
The tavern’s name was proclaimed to be the “Erotic Pixe”, and the less said about what else happened to be on the sign announcing it as such, the better. Inside two men were locked in epic combat over the one subject that might be taken even more seriously than seeing who could hold more liquor: cards.
Of course it might not be quite the same shade. On the other side of the table sat his opponent. He was the shortest occupant of the bar at only five feet four inches. He was dressed in a brighfair to say that it was two men who were locked in epic combat. On one side of the table sat a man in drab brownish clothing with black hair eyes that were close to t red jacket which he had left unbuttoned revealing a red shirt underneath along with red long pants. He had also wore a widebrimmed red hat that he had neglected to remove upon entering the tavern.
His eyes were a shining blue, and red hair poked out from beneath his hat. There were other people present at the table, but these two currently held the largest piles of coins before them.
“So what’s your call kid?” The adolescent in red pushed a goodsized chunk of his pile into the middle of the table.
“I’ll bet… however much this is. Oh, and my name is James, kay?” The man in brown was nonplussed, but everyone else at the table was slightly aghast.
“You’re betting that much, without even looking at your cards?” James rested his hands behind his head and leaned back in his chair.
“Well, you guys kept telling me that I must be having the greatest streak of beginner’s luck ever to win this stack of metal in the first place, so since I’m just that lucky, why should I even bother looking at my cards? I’m going to win in the end no matter what I do.” The man in brown smirked as he examined his own hand.
“You’ve got guts James, I’ll give you that, but gumption and luck will only take you so far.” James smiled widely. He had to be quite young, for his teeth had a most impressive shine to them. Not to forget, that he also happened to have a mouth which contained no noticeable gaps. This in turn suggested that James had never been punched while he was smiling in his current manner.
“Thanks for your advice, but I was taught growing up not to play with my food, no matter how much fun it is. You in?” The man in brown carefully studied the amount of money that James had bet, then equaled it. James stopped reclining, and now used his hands to feel the backs of his cards, an odd look of concentration on his face. He did it for about ten seconds, rubbing all five of his cards before he evidently felt suitably knowledgeable about the contents of his hand.
“I’m glad to see you stayed in. If I can’t count on my luck much longer, I better make this hand count. I’ll toss out one.” James pushed a signle card forward, and it ended up on the bottom on the deck without anyone having seen what it was. The man in brown tossed out two of his cards and replaced them. When he looked down at what he had, he greedily pushed forward all of his remaining coins.
“You going to match that?” James pushed his own money forward with one hand while he dug around in his pocket with another.
“I’ll do you one better. Do you think you can match this?” THUNK. It wasn’t actually that loud, but metaphorically it made everyone’s eyes almost pop right out of their sockets. That small one ounce coin could almost have been mistaken for silver, except that there was something different about the way it shone.
It was platinum. A single platinum coin was worth a hundred golden ones, the same way it took a hundred copper coins to make one silver coin, and a hundred silver ones to equal one golden coin. That lone coin came close to doubling the value of the pot.
“Of course if you don’t feel comfortable, or have anything worth it on you, don’t worry, I understand.” The man in the brown scowled and reached into his pocket.
“I can’t match it in currency, but this just might fit the bill. I happen to have a magical map to a very special treasure on me. Will that do?” James nodded and watched with only mild interest as his opponent turned over his cards. He had four jacks and a two. James squinted at his opponent’s hand, leaning forward so that all four of his chair’s legs once again rested on the floor.
“Well I hadn’t figured on that.” While James was considering the five face up cards before him, his opponent was considering the pot.
“So I guess that will be mine.” James slapped the man’s right hand with his own, which happened to be wearing covered in a red glove.
“Ehh, ehh, ehh! Let’s just see what I’ve got.” A few flipped cards later, James had the king through nine of spades sitting before him. “I was trying to get a royal flush, but who am I to complain when it works? Anyway, since I’ve got the better hand I’ll just overlook the fact that we both have a jack of spades. So do any of you have a bag I can use to help me carry this stuff out? No? Well I should be able to manage one way or another. Thanks a lot guys now that I’m done with you, I’m to go outplay some of the richest people in all of Belzar, to the tune of fivehundred gold each!” However James’ opponent was no more content with the idea James taking the pot than James had been with the prospect of the man in brown doing it.
“We may both have the jack of spades, but I’ve got the gun.” Sure enough with but a flick of the wrist, the weapon slid neatly into his waiting hand. It was one of those small one shot pistols, the kind that you could conceal in your sleeve if you were careful. James remained completely nonplussed about its presence however.
“Some free advice of my own, no man is ever going to be able to kill me with such a pathetic piece.” The man looked down the length of the gun at James, what little length there was at least.
“You know kid, it’s always the people who are thinking the least about death who end up in the ground.” James carefully looked around the table.
“I already know that one grandpa. In turn, you do realize that the moment you decide that guns rather than cards will decide who gets this pot, everyone else at the table who didn’t like their hand is gonna want back in?”
True enough to James’ words, several other people seated at the table were starting to carefully stroke their own weapons. The man in brown nodded, and smiled for the first time since the hand has started.
“I know that. But what you evidently don’t realize is that it’s always the odd man out who is going to end up with the bullets in him, and you’re new to this place. Which makes you the horse’s fifth leg.”
“But you should know that they say, since a horse’s fifth leg doesn’t have to do any walking it can just kick ass day and night. On second thought, I’ve never heard anyone say that till I did just now, ahh never mind. Let’s just get this thing started.” The man in brown carefully aligned his weapon with the center of his opponent’s chest.
“No, let’s get this thing finished. You won’t live to regret the day you crossed Kevin Turnan.” James nodded enthusiastically.
“You’re right of course, I’m never gonna regret shooting each and every single one of you who draws on me full of holes.” As the other occupants of the table brought up their guns, James just kept leaning back, and Kevin took his shot.
However, as he did so, James threw his entire weight against the back of the chair, with predictable results. His chair fell over, throwing him to the ground, allowing the bullet fired from Kevin’s small gun to pass right through the space he had once occupied. Then James rolled under the table as drawing a pair of red revolvers in the process.
He pulled back one hammer with each thumb and wrapped one index finger around their respective triggers. Then he took a moment to aim and fired. Not at the legs of those who had been sitting at the table and were starting to get up but instead James’ bullets went into the table’s legs, causing them to bend and crack.
Of course James had other ideas about simply letting the table collapse on him. Instead figuring that the best defence was a good offence, he kicked up at the table. The broken piece of furniture flipped end over end into the air and James jumped up to meet it. He quickly holstered his guns and grabbed back both his platinum coin along with Kevin’s map as they sailed through the air. The other gamblers did the best they could to fill James full of holes, but in the end all they managed to end up hitting was the table.
When he landed James took one more short hop and hunkered down behind the bar. By this time of course all the other patrons (and the bartender himself for that matter) had fled for safer climates. Just like James, the other gamblers (Kevin among them) quickly began to find what cover they could. James readied his weapons again and then silently began to count to himself.
“One onethousand, two onethousand, three onethousand, four onethousand, five onethousand.” Then James holstered one of his guns, grabbed an empty mug from underneath the bar, and hurled it more or less into the middle of the room. Sure enough, for a moment the tavern was filled with gunfire as the gamblers blasted away at the mug just because it was moving, rookie mistake. James popped up and started shooting with one of his revolvers, fanning the hammer for all it was worth.
He kept shooting, ignoring the fact that by his third shot those other gamblers were starting to shoot back. Granted, right after his fifth shot James dropped back down below the bar. In this position of relative safety he put down the gun he held in his left hand before opening the up the gun he still held in his right.
At once, six spent bullets shot out of the empty chambers. James reached into his pockets and pulled out a handful of bullets. He dropped them on the ground and laying the gun down on the floor began to pick the bullets up, one at a time sliding them into the chambers. He had gotten three of them in place before his peripheral vision picked up the sight of a rifle being pointed at him by someone leaning over the bar.
“Got you now kid.” James turned to look at the gun and its owner. All he could tell for sure was that it clearly wasn’t Kevin Turnan at the other end of that barrel.
“No wonder I beat you guys so easily. You’re really bad at math.” The weapon in his left hand came up instantly and he oppened fire, the first bullet dug into the gambler’s palm, and the second into his shoulder.
“Two guns, seven shots, well you get the idea.” Cursing profusely, the gambler beat a swift retreat, leaving his weapon behind, which made sense since he was in no position to use it. That intruder dealt with, James went back to reloading one gun with his right hand while he kept the one in his left ready for action.
While he was going about this process catcalls started to get hurled his way.
“Hey kid I’ve seen goblins with bigger balls than you!” James wasn’t very offended, he just kept his mind on the task before him while , after quickly tossing back an insult of his own.
“Well I’ve seen one with more brains than you! So if you’d just stick your head over the bar like the last guy did, that’d be wonderful. I’ve got nine bullets and there are seven of you, so I can miss twice. Of course that’s assuming I didn’t hit any of you with my last five shots. Oh and I hate to break it to you, but I’m still feeling pretty lucky. Besides, what are you guys even sticking around for? This is really just between me and Kevin. The rest of you, why don’t you just grab some of that money which ended up spilling all over the floor and run? Is killing me really that important to you?” His question was answered in exactly the manner James had hoped it would be, by the sound of coins being scooped up from the floor and then feet beating their way out of the tavern.
“Cowardly bastards, come back here with my money!” James’ acute hearing let him pick out one gambler’s response to this statement.
“No thanks Kevin. That kid is crazy but he sure as hell ain’t stupid. I’m not going to stick my neck out for your problems.” James waited a bit till he couldn’t hear any more running keeping his back to the bar and not emptying either of his guns.
“Okay Kevin, just like back at the table, it’s just you and me. You’ve probably got twelve shots and I’ve got eight. Six in my right hand gun and two in my left hand gun. So how about we just drop our guns and I’ll let you take half of whatever if left?” A bottle shattered close to James sending shards of glass to the floor.
“I take it that’s a ‘no.’ Am I right?” Another beer bottle shattered which made James guess this time was a “yes” ironically.
“Fine, don’t say I didn’t warn you though.” Two red objects went flying over the bar in different directions. Kevin let sheer instinct take over, two targets to hit with two guns seemed a problem that solved itself quite nicely.
A few moments later James landed sprawled on another of the tavern’s tables table; his right hand now had a noticeable hole in it. Kevin for his had fallen to the floor in shock as James had shot the gun out of his left hand and scored a sunk a bullet into his right shoulder.
James smiled as he saw the results of the shots he’d fired while jumping over the bar and then quite serenly held out his bloody palm for Kevin to see.
“You should have gotten out of the game old man. You know what they say about how quickly young flesh mends?” While this statement may have been said countless times before, it had probably never been quite so apt as it was now. Before Kevin’s very eyes, the hole in James’ hand vanished as new skin grew at an incredibly rapid rate. Kevin however was too experienced at sudden turns of luck in one form or another to be truly shaken by this development.
“I’ll just have to put my next one in your head and see if you can grow some new brains.” He calmly reached out with his left hand and grabbed the revolver his right hand had dropped after his shoulder had been hit.
“I wouldn’t do that if I was you.” Kevin looked up and scoffed at James who was still holding a gun in his left hand.
“Don’t waste your last moments trying to bluff me kid. You said yourself that your left gun only had two bullets in it, an