Hell Comes To Chi-Town

by Nick
originally published at 10:41AM on Thursday, October 11, 2007

“What’s happening? What was that?”

Blake couldn’t answer the boy yet; he knew that sound, but from where. Even the air was different; thick and sweaty, stale and hot. Blake knew all this, but from where?

And then he realized the answer, something dark—oh so dark—from his past that he’d tried to bury and blur, to drown in beer, to make stillborn. Blake was back, back to the worst place he’d ever been.

”’Nam,” Blake said with a cold tone and instinctive shudder. “We’re back in ‘Nam.”

“What?” Simon said, confusion palpable in his tone.

“Stay quiet, kid,” Blake responded with a whisper. “Don’t give away our location to Charlie.”

“Did someone just turn your Captain Insane-oh chip on?” Simon asked, sarcasm oozing.

“No,” Blake responded. “It was War, he brought ‘Nam to Chicago. We’re literally in ‘Nam and Chicago at the same time.”

“What?” Simon screetched.

“I’d heard of him doing this trick, but never seen it… never been…” Blake faltered. “Kid, things are about to get real hairy here.”

Frak me.”




  • from Nick:

    Any and all spelling mistakes are the fault of me writing this on my iPod Touch. Love the Wi-Fi on it, but the keypad is a bit tough to use.

  • from Nick:

    For those that care, this long ficlet stream starts here:

  • from Howie Amourscow:

    Nice angle – I’m not sure I’d even thought all the way through the subjective effects of War’s stunt on a vet like Blake vs. someone like Simon. Beautifully done.

  • from Howie Amourscow:

    In fact, I really hadn’t thought through the consequences… that’s one of the things I love about this whole place: the way you might toss an idea out there and someone else sees a really, really cool dimension to it that you would have never perceived, making an okay idea into an awesome idea. Thank you!

  • from Crown Me Tarzan, King of Mars:

    Oohhh, back-story! I love back-story!
    You don’t know how frustrating it is for me to sit here at work, read a brilliant ficlet like this which sets off a chain reaction of ideas and connections in my brain, and realize i won’t be able to sequel it for at least eight hours.
    I guess I could always skip lunch, or feign an illness…

  • from Alexa ♥:

    Hell Comes To Chi-Town
    Not that it was a long trip . . .

  • from Nick:

    Well, Howie, you actually have Tarzan to thank for the vet thing. I never thought of Blake as a veteran, but then Tarzan had Simone mention that Blake was a mercenary (another thing I wouldn’t consider him), but she’s all knowing so I rolled with it. Most mercs are war vets, so Nam seemed appropriate. He probably was one of those underage kids that went over (after lying about their age) and got f’d for life. It actually works for Blake, kinda.