What Comes Around Ch 17 bit – Trouble

Alan gripped a rough patch of bark where some crazy gymnastic sugarer must have tried to tap the tree years back; blinking, as if that would clear his head. He didn’t like fighting, no Ryans did, he’d always run if he had the chance-

“I love trouble,” a ghostly voice chuckled in memory. “And if I love it, you love it….”

I don’t want to run. I want to stop them.

I’m… not the person Mom thought I was. I can’t just watch and walk away. I have to do something.

Mom – Mom always said fighting was wrong, fighting was stupid; if you got into a fight you didn’t think it through-

But someone has to stop them.

I don’t want to fight. But I’m here, we’re here, and they have magic and the cops don’t – and they’re not going to stop coming after Maria, and-

And we have magic.

Mom always said watch and walk away, because we’d write articles. We’d tell people what was going on, and then they could do something. But the cops don’t believe in magic. We do. And – if there’s no cops, and the crime happens and you’re right there….

Anne Ryans had been very thorough on what laws they were and weren’t breaking when they gathered information for her next post. Maybe she’d never made a citizen’s arrest herself, but Alan knew the law.

Only we can’t arrest these guys. We’re kids, nobody would listen – we wouldn’t stop them without deadly force, and you can’t do that if you’re not a cop, not unless it’s self-defense. And the cops would never buy self-defense because they don’t think magic’s real. So what can we-

The cops don’t think magic’s real. That’s it. That’s where we have to hit them.

Alan drew in a breath of hot city morning. Glanced down, and dropped out of the maple tree, bouncing between branches until he touched down on mossy earth. Morgan followed silently; just a hair more cautious, so her woozy burdens never got so much as a scratch.

“I think I have a plan,” Alan said quietly, heading deeper into the park so they’d be shielded from the road. If they were where he thought they were, then this way would give them options. “It’s kind of risky, but they’re already tracking us somehow. The longer they chase us, the more time they’ve got to come up with something we can’t break out of without people getting hurt. So… we need to hunt them back.”


14 thoughts on “What Comes Around Ch 17 bit – Trouble

  1. The only thing more dangerous to the enemy then an ambush is an ambushed ambush

    Which everyone chasing Alan and Co. is going to find out, from the receiving side

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Isn’t the line “I’ve been stung.”? Though I have to admit, I like Esau’s Sons better out of his songs. More poetry should be sung.

        And I get that, intellectually. I suppose it’s just been my experience that bully’s like to pick on people who won’t fight back. Admittedly, it’s hard to say what will work, especially when most of the good part of the town is against your whole family. Can’t say she didn’t love him, that’s for sure.

        And hah, I just look forward to reading it when you’re ready to post it. It’ll be fun.


      2. Depends on where in the song Longcor’s singing it. The heartfelt howl when he’s summing the whole mess up (along with “you’ve got a pair of dry socks, I’ve got 50 bucks, we can make a deal”) sounds like “I been stung!” to me. 🙂

        *Nod* Is very true bullies pick on those who won’t fight. Especially when they figure out that every authority figure in range will make it so their target can’t fight. And they will. (As one self-avowed nerd writing an editorial on the situation put it, “People were surprised at Columbine? I’m surprised it doesn’t happen more often!”)

        In a case like that, Anne chose the lesser of the two evils – make sure you don’t start it, get away if you can.


      3. I actually got that from Jim Butcher’s Codex Alera series. xD

        One scene in the third book (i think, haven’t read the series in a long time) involves an ambushed ambush, and that is a (slightly paraphrased) quote from that scene, or at least the setup for it


      4. *G* Thanks! I tried reading that series once, but I hit the fact that slavery was an accepted part of society and then the whole “bonded creature is a human” mess, and my brain kind of facepalmed. Ah well.


  2. …now I have Pensic War running through my head.

    On the other side, I feel…unsettled? sorry? for Alan. I can’t imagine what it would be like to have your mom say not to fight at all. And then realizing that not only do you have to, but you want to.

    Then again, given what she did to save Alan, I wonder how much of it was her trying to tell him it was complicated. Another way that Richard’s silence about her death puts a weight on Alan’s shoulders.


    1. Part of it was the fact that Anne, like most people, can’t quite bend fate the way her son most undoubtedly could. So… she tried to teach him to be careful. Especially given where he was, the authorities would think he was the problem without compelling evidence otherwise. Ow.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. “…And an ambushed ambush isn’t very nice…” 😉 This is going to be Fun and probably messy and well why do I suspect Alan and co. are going to get creative? ^^

    Liked by 1 person

  4. You can tell he’s from awful far north, if he thinks a spike in a tree comes from trying to tap sap. It’s Florida. There is no maple that is ever going to make maple sugar.

    (My suspicion is attempted treehouse. There are some people out there to whom every tree looks like a treehouse in waiting.)


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