Chapter 8

Written by: Joe Labrum

The sudden voice on the wireless startled the intruders. The big one, who Bishop took as their leader, slid his AK-47 from his shoulder, spun in one fluid motion and emptied the remaining dozen rounds from his clip into it. His partner dove for cover as the old radio exploded in a cloud of flying debris. Bullets rattled around the cabin throwing off sparks from every bulkhead. The shooter, realizing the stupidity of his move, threw himself to the deck to avoid the ricocheting hail of bullets.

Bishop and the boy hung fast to the pipes trying to make their bodies as small as they could. Bishop felt the heat of a bullet sizzling past his head and making a loud ringing sound as it glanced off the ceiling less than half a metre above.  Suddenly the ceiling lamp exploded with a loud pop, sending pieces of jagged smoking glass in every direction. The boy tried in vain to stifle a cry and let out a squeal when a fragment burnt the back of his neck.

Together they huddled motionless in the dark, afraid to take a breath. The only light came from dim rays of a waning sunset that found their way in through a tiny window at the far end of the cabin.  Bishop strained to locate the terrorists, wondering if they were still alive. He turned his head to the right just as the terrorist leader raised his torch and shone it full in his eyes, blinding him for a moment.

Without thinking, Bishop swung down from the pipe like a circus performer. Holding on with his left hand he jabbed wildly at his assailant with his right, grabbing for the torch. Flailing with his feet, he managed to knock the terrorist off balance and jumped on him. Bishop threw a powerful right hook that sent the man backwards over the shattered radio bench.  An ear-shattering screech filled the room as Bishop pushed the metal table across the deck plates knocking the terrorist against the wall. He cried out as the table pinned his leg against the bulkhead. Bishop heard a bone break.

Then there was nothing.


“Are you alright?” Rankin’s voice sounded far off at first but got clearer.

The back of Bishop’s head throbbed. He felt sick to his stomach. Dried blood stiffened the back of his shirt like starch. He recognized the smell of vomit.

“I think so”, Bishop’s words came out slurred and jerky. “How long?”


“How long?” Bishop asked again, his voice stronger. “How long was I out?”

”I’ve been here a couple of hours,” Rankin answered. “You were in here out cold when they brought me in. How did the big one get the broken leg?”

“I don’t know.” Bishop dismissed the question. ” Where are we?  I don’t recognize this room. What part of the rig?”

The deck shuddered followed by the sound of a distant explosion. The lights fluttered and went out.

Joe Labrum (USA)



Oh for some action. Joe has provided it. A punch up that we can see and hear. Writing a fight scene is really difficult and to fit it into 500 words combined with tension and a good hook - (excuse the pun) is really good going. The way this is separated not only into two scenes but from narrative to dialogue really shows thought went into this. A really good chapter.
The serials get better by the chapter. The action and the description in this one is riveting. I was there and Bishop swing down from the pipe like a circus performer....brilliant!