Cliffhangers, Inc. By: L. Craig Woods


Cliffhangers, Inc. Chapter Two
By: L. Craig Woods

Hal quietly moved far enough into the room so Todd could see him, but far enough away from the two of them that Charlie would not be able to reach him if he turned around. He caught Todd's eye and shrugged his shoulders to indicate, 'What now?'

Todd blocked another one of Charlie's attempts to get past his defenses and said aloud, "Episode Nine and hurry up!"

Hal thought quickly, trying to bring up the specific Cliffhanger episode Todd was talking about and then nodded when he knew what his friend wanted him to do. Hal moved a bit farther into the room as Todd edged himself and his antagonist to his right, blocking another attempt from Charlie to part his hair in a more permanent fashion. The big money collector must have been getting tired of playing with him, because this time sparks erupted from the contact between axe and chair and Todd almost lost his hold on the only protection he had.

He had slowly maneuvered the two of them into the other room again and Todd was now backed up to a large window, which overlooked a picturesque alley and the rather odorous receiving end of a Korean fish market. Todd stopped his sidelong movement and shouted, "Any time now!" as Charlie raised his arm for a decisive chop with his axe.

"Hey, Kung Pow breath," Hal said, from about five feet behind Charlie.

The Chinaman slowly turned his head toward Hal, his arm still raised to deliver a surely maiming blow to whoever was the closest target. Hal smiled at the hulking giant and said, "Mao wears dresses."

Charlie turned a little more toward him and seeing that his victim wasn't trying to run away, took a step in Hal's direction, leaving his back exposed for just a moment, which was all the time that Todd needed.

Raising the mangled metal object over his head, Todd brought the seat of the chair down on Charlie's neck and upper back, resulting in a loud 'crack'. The impact stopped Charlie's advance toward Hal and bent the chair almost in half, but it didn't bring the Beijing mountain down.

"Oh, hell," Todd muttered, tossing aside the now useless chair.

Hal hadn't expected the attack to fully incapacitate Charlie, but it slowed him down enough that, hopefully, they could carry out the rest of their plan. "Now, Todd!" he shouted and as soon as he saw his partner drop to the floor behind the dazed, but rapidly recovering Chinaman, Hal lowered his head and ran at Charlie as hard as he could. He hit Charlie's stomach--which was a good sized and fortunately, quite soft target--squarely with the top of his head and with a large 'whoosh' of air being exhaled, the Chinaman took two steps backwards. When the back of his legs ran up against Todd, who was kneeling on the floor behind him, Charlie's somewhat expansive upper body weight took control of the situation and with arms pin wheeling wildly for balance, he went over backwards, right through the open window.

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