*Hey everyone. Didn't drop off the planet or die or anything like that. I know that I promised a whole week of Game of Thrones by GRRM, but unfortunately changes in policies at work made it so that I have to find new times to read, and with a new semester coming up, its going to become more so. I have changed things up by buying the audiobook for Game of Thrones, but as another slap to the face, the guy who does the audiobook is dull as...well he actually makes paste look interesting and watching paint dry like a worthwhile pursuit. So, to make up for my lateness, I'm going to post the next segment of Single Handed. There are only two more sections left after this, and I might combine the past a present endings into one post, just to wind things up. In the meantime, please enjoy*
Like many birds in the wild, businesses in Asgard tended to mate for life with their
locales. The First Asgard Credit Union was the perfect example. Even with the neighborhood
decline, they were still open at 9:00 AM every weekday and closed at five. Of course, they were
massively understaffed with only one teller and an elderly guard named Al who slept by the
door for most of his shift. The teller, a young woman named Anna, was busy when we entered. I flashed my keys at
her and she rushed forward when she recognized me.
“What can I do for you, Mr. Tyler?”
“I need to get into my safety deposit box,” I said, grabbing Helena around the waist and
pulling her close to my side where she yelped and grabbed my stump warningly. “We’re getting
engaged and I need my grandmother’s ring.”
Anna’s look of excitement was tempered by the grimace on Helena’s scarred face and
rather than congratulate us, she simply nodded and walked over to the box vault and unlocked
it. “I’m really busy, Mr. Tyler. I’ll leave it unlocked. Just wave to me before you leave.” That said,
she walked back to her desk. I opened the door for Helena and we both walked in, shutting it
The room was mostly empty. A plain plastic table sat in its center. The walls around it
were etched with varying sized slots. Helena stayed by the door, her arms crossed as she
watched me walk across the room to box 289. Unlocking it, I took a box the size of an old VCR
out, and set it down on the table.
“You haven’t told me what you want…” I said as I unlocked the box.
“Don’t act stupid, Chief,” she said, smiling at me from her corner, “I want the ring.”
I reached into the box and pulled out a small gold ring and tossed it across the room to
her. As soon as the ring left my hand, I reached back into the box and pulled out a little Walther
PPK handgun and pointed it at Helena, who disregarded it as she examined the ring in her hand.
“Another fake,” she said with a sigh, a look of disappointment on her face. “You do realize
that the engagement is off now, right?” “Shame. I always thought I’d marry for looks, anyway,” I said. With my stump, I twirled
the box around so she could see the empty contents. “You must think I’m an idiot.”
“Honestly?” she said. Taking the ring, Helena placed it on her right pinky and smiled
mockingly at me. “Okay Quick-Draw, you got me. Now what?”
“Cops…jail…court…I figured we could do the whole song and dance.”
“You’re forgetting something,” Helena said. “If I don’t get out of here, Graham’s going to
“I’m not worried about Graham,” I said, cutting her off and smiling. “Third floors of most
of those buildings don’t hold heat. There’s not a chance a family of four would live there. I used
to be Chief, but I was a detective for a few years. Don’t insult my intelligence.”
For the first time, Helena seemed to falter. “Everything’s coming together,” I said, keeping
the gun trained on her as I walked around the table. “Drug dealers getting free passes from cops
made me wonder who else was getting lucky. Well…Elias Fenton seemed to be a little too slick.
It was easy enough to get him to talk: all I had to do was play dumb and flash the ring around,
and before long he was answering questions I hadn’t even thought of yet.
“The ambush was a mystery. Why make such a big deal about freeing him just to let him
get caught again. But it made sense when my…ring…was taken. I knew it was only a matter of
time before someone tried again. And here we are.”
“Yes,” Helena said, her smile returning. “You, me, and the lady makes three…”
Before I could ask what she was talking about, the door opened behind her, and Anna
stood there, shocked as she looked between me, the gun, and Helena. Helena took advantage
of the situation and grabbed Anna by the hair, pulled her gun out, and shot. Shouts of panic from the lobby echoed into the vault as Helena ran out, screaming her
head off. By the time I got to Anna and started putting pressure on the wound in her stomach,
Helena was already past Al and out the door.
“Call 911, you idiot,” I shouted at him, ignoring the gun he pointed at me. “Now!” I
looked down at Anna, who was shivering in shock, “You’re going to be fine. Hold on: help is on