Styran Steeler

By A. Pervert

File 00

With A Bang

December 31st, 2026 AD.
Digital City Centre, 23:57 Hours.

Three minutes till midnight, and the exhausted Jack wondered when Montegrue would pull the trigger that would end his life. It'd be instant death, a clean shot straight through the forehead. What a way to leave the world. At least it'd stop the acute pain of a few broken ribs and dislocated shoulder blade, Jack mused.

"A top the infamous Herntech clock tower, just the two of us, with the wind blowing against our jackets," Jack said, glancing at the city beyond the roof railings. "Man Monty, you sure know how to be dramatic."

"The prey chooses it's final resting place," Montegrue replied, "the hunter simply gives chase."

Under the sparse lights of the clock tower roof, Jack saw the old man's eyebrows furrow. Montegrue rubbed his chin with his free, white gloved hand. "I don't understand, dear Jack. We had a deal, did we not? It is not very honourable to break a mutual agreement."

"You didn't tell me about your skeleton closet when you gave me the job, Monty." Jack stared hard at Montegrue. "There are a lot of skeletons in there, and the deeper I dug the sicker I got."

After Jack finished, he witnessed something he'd never seen before. Something that made the base of his spine shiver, and his heart skip a beat. Montegrue smiled, a simple movement of his lips, and now Jack realised why the underground called him 'Il Diavolo'.

It felt like he was face to face with 'The Devil'.

"You are an intelligent man, dear Jack." Montegrue sighed and shook his head. "Such a shame your stubbornness is just as prevalent."

Jack kept silent. There was nothing left to say, nothing left to do. Jack was in pain, Jack was out of mana, and Jack was out of luck. He could only try to stand on his two feet and wait for the inevitable. One could not escape Montegrue.

"I'll be generous and let you leave this world with the bang you always wanted." Montegrue brushed aside his grey fringe. Jack suspected that the old Monty wanted to savour his death with full, unhindered clarity. "So, care to voice your final remarks before the tower signals your due, good man Jack?"

He didn't need to be asked twice. "I'll see you in hell. I'll even gather up a special little welcoming party just for you, filled with all the nice little buddies you helped get down there."

Montegrue chuckled. "Do try to remember the Chinese take out. It wouldn't feel very hospitable without my favourite Mu' Chow stir fry noodles in that cute plastic box."

"I'll even get the chopsticks," Jack quipped, "I might be able to poke your eyes out with them."

Before Jack realised the time, the Herntech Clock Tower chimed at the turn of the new year. He heard the fireworks soar toward the midnight sky along with the unified cheers of hope and optimism from the ignorant population below, unaware of the demons and skeletons in their midst.

He shut his eyes and waited. 'Goodbye, world.'

"Addio, Jack." Montegrue bid his farewell, and pulled the trigger.

Jack's final thought went toward his nephew as his body toppled backward. His last expression became a grim, melancholy smile.

'Sorry, James, but I'm down and out. Guess I'm leaving my burdens to you, kiddo.'

Moments later, Jack Liber, Professional Investigator, laid dead on a clock tower roof amongst the happy festivities of the new year.

But Montegrue wasn't clairvoyant. The Devil didn't know that mere mortal Jack's final trump card had slid out of his dead hand and rolled straight off the clock tower, falling snugly into the city square's unicorn fountain pool, where it'd rest temporarily for the times to come.

A/N: I'm Australian, so the spelling of some words may differ if you live in places like America. (Color verses Colour, for example.)

I also recommend 1/2 or 3/4 view on a computer, depending on your monitor resolution.

The lass in the Cover Image is not mine, just touched up and modified for individual use and relevance. Otherwise:

Copyright © 2013 by A. Pervert.