From little acorns do mighty oaks grow. That was an adage that Leopold knew all too well. On numerous occasions he’d been in taverns and bars and witnessed seemingly innocuous disagreements alchemy into all out mass brawls. But he was a cool head. Often surrounded by such chaos part of his skill was to not be enveloped by it. Leopold had long ago lost the ability to flinch.

Flaking paint textureThen he heard it. A small, insignificant scratching sound. Repeating in beats of three.

*Tink* *Tink* *Tink*

He turned his head to face the wall he thought the sound was coming from and he felt the corse fibres of his uncomfortable scarf pull at his three-day old stubble.

“What on earth is that?” He thought. “It’s too percussive to be a mouse gnawing at the skirting board; couldn’t be tap dripping either.”

When Leopold had rented the room he’d expressly asked that the two rooms either side remain unoccupied for the duration of his stay. Slowly he rose from the chair which furnished the otherwise bare space and silently made his way towards the wall.

*Tink* *Tink* *Tink*

“What ever is it!?”

Leopold pressed his ear against the flaking paintwork and listened. The noise stopped. All that remained was his breathing and the slamming of a door out on the landing.

“Flint!” Suddenly he realised what the sound had been; two flint stones crashing together in the hope of igniting a spark. Leopold instantly understood that they’d found him yet again. He also understood that as he stood there with cheek resting against the partition wall that a short powder fuse was burning its way towards a makeshift bomb. He surmised that he hadn’t the time to supposed so instead he readied himself. Sat down and braced for the blunt force that was about to strike him.

How things often escalate! A disagreement in a bar; or even a small scratching sound, ‘tink, tink, tink.’


– Image courtesy oDietmar Down Under –


5 thoughts on “Boom

    • First of all congrats on the editorial position. Nice to see you still have time to always be number 1 link on the site!

      Second, thanks for the comments. Leopold is actually a character I created for last weeks challenge (using ‘rain’) but I didn’t finish it/cut it down in time to submit 😦

      I’ll post the ‘prequel’ on Monday…watch this space!

  1. Karma!Wonder if he survived & how come when the two rooms next to him were supposedly empty,did “they” find him?Were they not of this world-why were they using flints?So many questions:-)Looking forward to reading the “prequel” 😉

    • Aha! Indeed. Nothing so scifi/supernatural. It’s just suppose to be set in the late 18th/early 19th century. But if that didnt come across then I guess it wasn’t good enough writing.

      • Oh no Sammy,its definitely great writing,I loved it but as you well know sometimes coming from different backgrounds(cultural or ethnic or any such) or having different perspectives,makes it little less comprehensible to a reader-it’s nothing to do with the writer & thank you for explaining,now it is clear:-)

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