Decaffinated coffee is not coffee: it's a travesty (readingirl) wrote in 400words,
Decaffinated coffee is not coffee: it's a travesty

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If it moves, shoot it.

From an older prompt.  "If it moves, shoot it.  If it doesn't move, shoot it.  If you think it might have moved, shoot it." 
592 words.

          The Spud
            “Right.  Well, since you’re the newbie, you get the privilege of watching over The Spud.”  Sergeant Greene smirked around his cigar. 

            “The spud?” I ventured cautiously. 

            “The Spud,” Greene nodded.  It sounded more like a death sentence than an assignment.  “Special Plasma Undeveloped Derivative.” 

            I stared at him.  “Special what?”    

            “Listen, newbie,” he growled, grabbing my shirt front and pulling me up within inches of his smouldering cigar.  “I don’t make up the names.  That’s for those nancy-pant scientists.  I just give orders.”

            “Yes sir,” I squeaked.  He let go of my shirt and turned towards the huge metal door.  With a grace that didn’t seem to match the huge, meaty hands that were fabled to have crushed insubordinate recruits’ heads, he delicately spun the lock combination.  46-23-46. He hesitated with his hand on the handle, then turned to me.

            “What was it you did to get sent here, newbie?” 

I ducked my head and tried not to blush.  “I hit a perfect 100 on rifles.”

“Impressive,” Greene grunted.

“On someone else’s target,” I finished in a mumble.  Greene stared at me, then smirked.

“Oh, you were made for this job.” He pressed all his weight on the handle, then grunted as he pushed the door open,  moving like a battering ram.  The huge metal door swung aside with all the characteristics of horror film doors, the ones that always hid the room with Dracula’s coffin in it or Frankenstein’s lair.  It was the most terrifying door squeak I had ever heard.  The room it opened into was equally terrifying.  Completely circular, the walls gleamed with stainless steel polished to a shine.  Columns placed at interval around the room supported a huge vaulted ceiling, designed completely in gun-metal grey.  The whole room smelt like the armoury: too much gunpowder, not enough brains.  And in the centre…

“Good Lord, what is that?”  I shrank behind Greene’s massive bulk, finally finding something I more terrified of than him.  Even from behind him, I could see him smirk.

“That,” he pointed to the lump in the centre of the room, shunting me from behind him with a hearty shove. “That is The Spud.”  I stared at the thing on the pedestal.  A second look revealed it to be a huge lump of glowing pink, like a gigantic chunk of rose quartz cut and polished into a huge misshapen lump.  Greene surveyed it grimly.

“Right, newbie.  You just have to remember a few simple rules.  “If it moves, shoot it. If it doesn't move, shoot it. If you think it might have moved, shoot it.”  He turned back to The Spud and stared at it, showdown style.  His hand had strayed to the pistol on his hip.  The Spud oozed slightly.  Greene whipped out his pistol and fired off a round, which bounced off The Spud and dropped harmlessly to the floor.

“Dammit, Spud,” Greene growled, shoving the pistol back in its holster.  “You did it again.”  He turned to me and grabbed me firmly by the shoulders.  “Right, newbie.  Don’t disappoint me.”  With a final theatrical glare at glowing pink in the center of the room, he let go of my shoulder and straightened up.  I half expected him to shake a fist at the lump before departing.  But he didn’t.  He merely strode back to the door, pushed it open with a single shove, and turned back to smile grimly at me. 

“Right, newbie,” he smirked.  “Do me proud.”  The door slammed behind him, leaving me alone with The Spud for the foreseeable future. 



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