Archive for the Patchwork City Category

Tracker

Posted in Patchwork City on December 8, 2008 by jeereg

Asher knew he was being followed right away, so he turned into an alley, skipped up the wall onto a fire escape and through an open window into a dark living room.  He watched his pursuer through the half-closed drapes.

The Queen’s Bishop slid into the alley, tall and strange.  It stopped underneath the window, turned its eyeless face toward him, silent as a ghost.

“If you’re here,” Asher said, almost to himself, “it means you need me for something.  And you being you, that means you need someone to find your Queen.”

The Bishop said nothing.

“Alright.  I’m in.”

Rules

Posted in Patchwork City on November 24, 2008 by jeereg

There were old, unbreakable rules in the Patchwork City, and some of them had to do with regime changes.  Rules old enough that most didn’t remember how they went.

The city had settled into a calm, the eye of a hurricane with the air crackling.  It had been a long time since one of the Bosses had been killed.  Longer still since one had gone missing.  After a few days, both sides realized they didn’t know what to do.

Chad was sitting at a lunch table.  His knuckles itched.  He stood up.

“We’re gonna find the Rulebook,” he said flatly.

Awakenings

Posted in Patchwork City on September 23, 2008 by jeereg

Erika woke in a sweat, blind with the dream, and she waited until the world came into focus.

When she went downstairs, wrapped in a silk robe, the Doctor was hunched over it, tools in hand, steady as steel.  Nearly all of the workshop lights had been re-angled, and the scene glowed like a theatre.

“Almost done?” she asked.

“Not almost,” he said, muffled by the rag over his mouth.

He shut the panel, and the thing began to tick, slowly, rhythmically, and then faster and faster until the sound became a whir.  With a lurch, the Tinkertoy stood.

String

Posted in Patchwork City on August 29, 2008 by jeereg

It all unravels, spinning away into the night sky, like a spider in reverse. Buildings hiss back and forth as their very fabric unspools, hard stone made soft, layers of material disappearing. Trees vanish in a haze of string. People scream, but only as long as they have mouths.

She walks through it all, trying to stay calm, to reassure herself that it’s a dream, but it has the stain of memory on it, or prophecy. The world is a stitch, and it has been undone.

It’s like this every night. There’s no escape. When she wakes, she’ll remember everything.

The Boys

Posted in Patchwork City on August 18, 2008 by jeereg

“Burn it down,” he said, and they went to work. Biff and Thunk had pieced together some cocktails and whipped flaming bottles at windows, but Boiler stood in the thick of it, screaming fire. Chad watched the blaze leap.

With the Schoolboy dead, this wasn’t as much fun.

Chad fixed his tie and hefted one of the pawns, trussed up on the corner. “Now,” he said. “Where’s the Queen?”

It squeaked. “We don’t know! I swear. She’s been gone for days.”

“Right,” he said, and raised a knobby fist.

In a blossom of sparks, a rook burst from the inferno.

Plea Bargain

Posted in Patchwork City on July 6, 2008 by jeereg

She woke, slick with sweat. Her King lay beside her, snoring. Everything was quiet. They were fine.

Quiet.

Hell.

With a boom and a rush, the wall in front of her dissolved into sand, spilling across the floor. Standing on air, his coat wrapped tight, Quick grinned like the end of the world.

His voice, music in the wind: “Checkmate.”

The White Queen stood, shivering. Quick’s feet touched ground. Her heart in her throat, she said, “I thought you’d be here sooner.”

“I took the scenic route. Ready?”

The Queen gulped and said, “I know where to find the Tinkertoys.”

Waiting for the Night to Fall

Posted in Patchwork City on June 16, 2008 by jeereg

Things were falling apart.

It should’ve been a sweep, a dust-off of the North Side, a few hard drops on what was left of the Schoolboy’s empire. Instead, every corner had cost. Strategies crumbled from the inside; she paid for pawns with knights and bishops.

Quick was calling, and she didn’t know how to answer.

Now the chaos was spreading. Riots in the East, South, West. Stitch-storms. Tinquakes. And here she was, huddled in this sickly room with its peeling walls, her King by her side, listening to the highcrows screech through the window, waiting for the night to fall.