Grecca Refuses to Drop Dead

#BlogBattle 17 Theme: “Drop”

If you’re interested, this is a continuation story. Grecca’s been a busy girl. She lives in a future only I can imagine. Well, you can imagine it, too, but you’ll have to take my word for it when I say she has some pretty cool household gadgets to work with. Here’s a rundown of the stories involving Grecca, so far:

  1. Grecca Through the Loops
  2. Grecca In the News
  3. Grecca and a Horde
  4. Grecca at the End of a Rope
  5. Grecca Steals a Frog
  6. Grecca’s Rage

Grecca Refuses to Drop Dead

The force of the cryoblaster’s expulsion shook the ventilation grating above their heads. Grecca ducked, afraid part of the door would drop.

“Grecca, stay put. Let me make sure there’s no surprises up top.”

She nodded. For once in her life, Grecca could not find a single word to utter with any semblance of coherence while Ariston climbed around her and up the last five feet of ladder.

He knocked the useless locking mechanism open and pressed the heavy grating up. With a huge push, he sent it over, opening it completely. He then pulled something strange from the back of his black chauffeur trousers. She heard a clicking sound as he pulled back on the matching black metal object.

“Hold tight,” Ariston whispered down to her.

She looked up at his silhouette against the bright midday sky. How long had she been down there?

“Hurry!”

“Shhhh, princess.”

Whether it was his intention or not, she didn’t know, that utterance snapped her out of her stupor. Princess was the last nickname she ever wanted to be called. Her dad called her that and she hated what it implied.

Grecca ignored the biting pain of blisters on her hands and climbed up behind Ariston. “Well?” she asked, her perturbation echoed through the one whispered word.

Ariston ignored her. His upper body slowly rose out of the hatch as he scanned the area around their escape hole. The next thing Grecca knew he’d climbed the last few rungs and hopped out.

Below her Grecca heard something clanging and her heart skipped a beat. She looked up at Ariston, full-on panic overtaking her body. She froze as yelling voices rose up from the base of the shaft.

“Take my hand, Grecca. Take it.”

She couldn’t let go of the ladder. The rung dug into her blisters. She thought her skin oozed pus or sweat making her hands slippery on the metal.

“Damn it, Grecca. Take my hand.”

Ariston bent the entire upper half of his body down into the hole and reached as far as he could toward Grecca. She finally registered what needed to happen when a lasegun beam shot past her head.

Ariston had to swivel to miss being hit. He lost his grip on his precarious perch and slammed his chest into the ladder, catching himself on it before his feet toppled over. His body flew in a sideways arc toward Grecca, and she screamed in expectation of the impact, but instead was met only with Ariston’s grunt as he caught himself on the edge of the ladder.

“Go!”

He was angry. It was enough to get her moving. More beams shot from below. Ariston pushed her up with his free hand and climbed out behind her.

He rolled out onto the ground and grabbed the black metal thing he’d been holding before.

“Get down!” Ariston yelled as he proceeded to lean over the edge again and fire down into the hole. There were more yells and loud thunks which echoed out of the deep pit as their pursuers dropped back. Ariston pulled out of the gaping expanse. Blood oozed from a wound to his shoulder.

This was too real, all too real for Grecca. “What is going on, Ariston? I don’t understand any of this.”

“We’re still not in the clear. We’ve got to move.”

Grecca stared at him. “I can’t go another step.”

“You can and you will,” he said to her. “Where are they?”

“Who?”

“The team.”

He did a three-hundred sixty degree turn, scanning the distance. There was nothing. It was an open, barren expanse as far as the eye could see. The only thing dotting the desert horizon was more of these strange ventilation openings for at least a quarter-mile radius around them.

“Reinforcements will arrive any minute.”

“My feet already hurt, Ariston. I can’t do it.”

She watched his look of surprise turn to recognition when his gaze dropped to her bare feet. He dropped to the ground and with rapid movements untied his boots. Pulling them off, he handed them to Grecca.

“Here.”

She turned her nose up at the cleverly designed boots, most of which had been hidden below the cuffs of his pants. The smell of sweaty man feet assaulted her cultured nose. “There’s no way I’m going near those.”

Ariston shook his head, anger resonating from every pore. “You put them on yourself, or I will.”

They glared at each other, but before Grecca could blink she was knocked to the ground. A cloud of dust billowed up around. She coughed, choking on the dry, grittiness of it.

Ariston deftly shoved the boots on her feet.

“Get your spoiled rump off the ground and run.”

Ariston pointed over her shoulder. The next thing she knew, he was firing at someone crawling out of the hole. She was about to do as Ariston ordered, but the sight of the man climbing over the edge arrested her movements.

“YOU!” she screamed, distracting both Ariston and the man. “You caused all this, Pantheras! You drugged me, you odious space junkie pirate from–from outer space!”

Ariston moved quicker than Pantheras, shooting him through the shoulder. Pantheras, caught off-guard by the hit, yelled in pain and lost his grip on the edge. He fell back down the hole, his voice reverberating off the walls of the deep tunnel before silence ensued.

Grecca scooted near Ariston, completing the ruination of her beautiful early 2000s era inspired jumpsuit. “Are you all right?”

“That’s the first nice thing you’ve ever said to me, princess.”

She picked up a handful of dust and raised it above her head, ready to lob it at his face when the almost undetectable whirring sound of a stealthcopter approached from the west.

“That’s our ride.”

Grecca forgot her angst, sighing in relief, when the copter hovered overhead. A basket dropped, allowing them to climb aboard and be lifted to safety.


Copyright 2015 Rachael Ritchey


44 thoughts on “Grecca Refuses to Drop Dead

  1. Grecca actually speechless?!?!? I really like that Ariston. I also love the interaction between the two of them, and I don’t think Ariston is trying to address her properly by calling her Princess…there’s something more there…isn’t there? 😉 I must say I tried to read quickly through the whole smelly sweaty man feet thing, (ew!!) but didn’t want to miss a thing from the story. Just love this whole series!! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Carrie! She certainly abyss m acts like the spoiled rotten kind of princess, but is there more to it? Hmmmm. Haha that line left me cringing and grinning by turns. It seems to me you can write a while story, filled with action and description but miss out in a great reaction from the reader by missing the most basic details. I’m practicing. LOL ☆ I’m stoked you love the series! ♡

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Whoa!! What did you say? Struggling with self confidence?? After writing the ‘Beauty Thief’?? If you are struggling then there is no hope for me. Come on, do away with this negativity and carry on! You are an amazing writer – end of discussion.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. That’s seriously nice of you to say. There’s totally hope for you regardless of what I say about my own fears. Girl, you have a beautiful, creative mind, you’re encouraging, thoughtful, kind, funny. You’re the whole package, the real deal. Thanks for the confidence boost, though. I’m really, really glad you enjoyed TBT. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Anyway you won’t be able to give it up because it’s in your veins! Also I watched your podcast videos and you had that goofy happy smile on your face – writing is a part of you, it’s who you are. Don’t shut it out because it will never leave you 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

            1. The feeling will pass. I’ve already had it at least ten times in the last year. You’re right! The need is in my veins. I just didn’t realize it before. I’m in love with story telling. I just got to remember not everyone is going to like the stories I tell. This doesn’t make my stories bad or useless. The same goes for all my writer friends. You’re full of fiery encouragement today. ♡

              Liked by 1 person

  2. Grecca is back and in her snobby, funny attitude! 😀 Even if the world be falling apart around her, never will she wear a pair of smelly shoes. 😉
    Pantheras, I’m really wondering about him, why he would do this. Lots of mystery!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, I’m not really like Grecca, but this sweaty boots kinda grossed me out! 🙂 He obviously works for something big! Can’t wait to reveal all that. At this rate, though, I am thinking it will take months! Ahhh!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. “Get your spoiled rump off the ground and move.”

    That has got to be one of the best lines I have ever read. Great story! Grecca is so well drawn, and reading about her is like the old Saturday serials. Can’t wait for the next installment.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much, Andrew. I do love that particular line a little too much. It was irresistible. haha I’m really, really happy you are enjoying this continuing short story turned longer. ❤

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            1. Really? That’s so great! He needs his own book. I absolutely love the interaction of your characters, especially the awesome and courageous, Dude. I grew up watching M.A.S.H. and your stories feel like that, but even more real.

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            2. I’m so thankful for all the men and women who’ve served in our military, the ones who’ve died defending and protecting. I’m a little teary-eyed right now. I’m grateful for how things work together in ways we never imagine. These Guys of yours deserve to be represented. ❤

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            3. Thanks, Rachael…and please also give a thought to the paramilitary contractors who went to the places that the sworn military couldn’t go. They’re represented as mercenaries, fighting for pay, but no amount of cash (and the pay was never that good) could make up for the knowledge of just what it would mean, being outside the Rules Of War.

              I said ‘they’; but it was ‘we’.

              Liked by 1 person

            4. Of course. There was actually a guy from my neighborhood, about 8-9 years ago who went over to the Middle East as a contractor to train the local police force. He may not have been in the military, but he worked just as hard and had less govt support in the process. Besides, our men and women in uniform also get paid, so I really don’t see the difference in that regard. Thank you for your service, Andrew!

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    1. Aww, thanks Claire. I sure do like them. I can’t imagine not continuing their story at this point. I’m hooked, and I’m pretty sure I’d keep writing them even if no one else was, so I’m glad you like them! 🙂 Ariston is a mystery, waiting to be discovered and I’m hoping Grecca can get back to some of her previous, snobby/snarky banter, too. haha

      Liked by 1 person

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