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Stories from the Verse
Con Verse Lea
Chapter 80: Beam 155
Table of Contents
Previous chapter: Hastings 252
Beam looked at the village looming ahead on the road. Uncle Richard and Aunt Susan lived in the first house, and maintained a vegetable garden outside their door.
Everything looked fine. There were a few peasants milling about, but no sign of soldiers. Anyway, if he was about to be attacked, Bob would probably let him know.
They approached the house. Beam walked up to the door with Ashley, while Dawn, Bob, and Bron held back a bit. Ashley reached out to knock.
Suddenly Beam heard three sounds overlapping. One was Bob, struggling to say something; one was a voice somewhere shouting, “Now!” The third was the explosion of some unknown number of rifles firing simultaneously.
He whirled around. Bob and Dawn were gone; the weapons cart was gone. Bron was wounded, on the ground and bleeding. Men in peasant garb were rushing toward them with rifles raised.
“Stand where you are!” someone shouted. “Let me see your hands.”
“The demons seem to have escaped, sir.”
“That’s unfortunate, but hopefully we can deal with this matter before he can summon them to return.”
“Stand behind me,” Beam said to Ashley. “Don’t do anything brave. Just hold on to me and plan to go with me when I go.”
“I don’t expect we’ll be here much longer.” Then he addressed the man who seemed to be in charge.
“What can I do for you, sir?”
“Emperor James Donald Beam,” the man, obviously a soldier, shouldered his rifle and said, “you are charged with sedition and murder. Have you anything to say for yourself?”
“Hey, a guy’s gotta do what he’s gotta do. We were just trying to get by in your very strange world. You will spare my wife, yes?”
“Oh, long enough to enjoy her before she joins you.”
“Well, it won’t matter much anyway at this point. I’m ready when you are.”
“By the authority vested in me by the Son of the Goddess, I sentence you to die.”
In one smooth motion, the soldier drew his sword and sliced Beam’s neck cleanly. Briefly he heard Ashley scream, but then the world was silent.
There is a behind-the-writings look at the thoughts, influences, and ideas of this chapter, along with twenty other sequential chapters of this novel, in mark Joseph "young" web log entry #472: Versers Vanish. Given a moment, this link should take you directly to the section relevant to this chapter. It may contain spoilers of upcoming chapters.
As to the old stories that have long been here: