Flash Fiction Friday – Friends and Enemies

I sort of forgot it was Friday today and was about ready to go to bed when I remembered. Since I’ve been slacking with my flash fiction lately due to Camp NaNoWriMo, I decided to stay up and whip something up. This little scene from the back-story of Sarge, my Blades in the Darks character, came to mind. Hope you like it!

Friends and Enemies

The first came out of nowhere and before she even felt the pain radiate from her nose out into her cheeks, Isabelle was on the ground.

“What the fu-”

“You’re lucky that’s all I can do without getting MPs up my ass!” Casta snarled, face twisted in rage. Isabelle couldn’t remember ever having seen her like that. “You uppity fucking bitch! If you couldn’t keep your big mouth shut, at least you could’ve kept my name out of it!”

Suddenly Isabelle knew exactly what she was talking about. “Look, I couldn’t jus-” she began, scrambling to get back on her feet but Casta’s boot landed heavily in her chest and knocked the wind out of her, pushing her back down.

“Shut up!” she spat. “And stay the fuck down.”

Isabelle wiped her nose with the back of her hand, measuring her comrade in arms up with her eyes. She could take her in a fight – probably. But even if she did, the MPs wouldn’t care who started the fight or why, so she did as she’d been told and stayed down.

A long silent beat passed by as they locked eyes.

“Dishonorable fucking discharge,” Casta said, finally. “Hope feeling morally superior was worth it.”

She swallowed, biting back an answer. The truth was, she wasn’t sure it had been worth it. It certainly hadn’t gone the way she’d imagined – reporting a superior up the chain of command only to find out his crimes were by the generals order. But she hadn’t expected to be discharged, hadn’t intended to take others down with her.

“Once we’re out of here, away from the MPs… if I see you, I’ll fucking kill you. Understand?”

She nodded, slowly. Something stung at the sincerity of her words – they hadn’t been friends exactly, but they’d fought alongside each other against the Skovs. She’d’ve thought that counted for something.

She stayed down as Casta stomped off and closed her eyes a moment, drawing a slow breath. When she opened them again, a hand was stretched out against her, fingerless blue gloves and frayed cuticles.

“You all right, Sarge?”

Isabelle nodded tersely, grabbing Celene’s hand and letting the stocky private help her to her feet. “Not a sargeant anymore,” she replied. She cleared her throat. “Speaking of that… sorry I got you both into this. I should’ve…” She trailed off. She wasn’t sure what she should’ve done, really. Lied and said she was the only witness? Maybe…

Celene shrugged. “You did the right thing. It would’ve eaten at me if we’d kept it to ourselves.” She looked around, suddenly cautious. “If I’m being honest, now that I know what sort of stuff the general approves of… I’m glad I won’t be taking orders from him anymore.”

“Mm…” She felt similarly herself. Lifting a hand to her face, she gently felt along the length of her nose, wincing when she got halfway down the bridge. She was pretty sure it was broken. She was gonna be half blue in the morning. “I don’t think Casta felt the same way…”

She shook her head. “On the bright side, I think the hawk nose thing will work for you.”

Isabelle laughed, more surprise than amusement. “Thanks, private.”

“No problem, Sarge,” she replied lightly. Then she drew a sigh. “Well… better go pack. Out of here by nightfall, after all.”

“See you around.”

“Sir.” She did a quick salute, and disappeared off in the direction of the barracks.

Isabelle watched her until she disappeared out of sight, then she straightened her collar. “Right… packing…”

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