A Few Laws Broken: Hammersmith (thirty-one)

Pastel drawing of 1800s farmhouse


Chapter Thirty-One
A Few Laws Broken






Mossbunker’s wall rose a few feet higher than Ralph’s eight-foot ladder.

Perched on this, Curach whispered, “Hand me up that feather bolster.”

Chilly’s answer to a mechanical problem…ingenious, Aimee thought…was to roll the bolster tight and run a fat stick through its center. He hoisted this to Curach; Curach jettisoned the stick, then tugged and tucked to his satisfaction. The bolster served for the damping of Mossbunker’s embedded glass…an ugly sort of warning, but like a snaggletoothed cur of a watchdog, present only to force a position. Choose to obey the law or not.

They had, opting for the latter. Rungs creaked, and the first insurgent sprang, dropping beyond Aimee’s sight, but within earshot…the sound of Curach’s landing feet a practiced squnch, squnch.

“You next, ma’am, if you can.”

“Oh, now, Chilly, of course I can,” she answered. The boys first had worried about her managing the signal. The signal was the string of firecrackers in her right coat pocket; to be deployed if she spotted Mossbunker’s militia on the move.

She’d sighed. “Sakes, I’ve lit plenty.”


Darting under cover of darkness to the lee of an outbuilding, manipulating without light to see by, a match she would have to extract and strike, to meet in seamless synchronization with the target fuse, was not one of her honed skills.

She mounted four rungs at speed, Chilly taking a firm hold on the uprights and urging her over the top. There was, as yet, no over the top. She’d come waist-height to the summit, even standing tip-toed on the last possible support.

“Catch you when you come across,” Curach hissed.

“That glass won’t let the bolster shift. You take hold,” Chilly hissed.

“Curach”—she had an inspiration—“that stick of Chilly’s…”

Momentarily, the stick came nosing near the bolster’s edge. And purchased thus, Aimee achieved a belly flop.

“Pull, Curach!”

Something else occurred.

This something was a blur, after which she found herself lying, modestly dazed, on a patch of earth. Zetland’s voice had seemed to speak a word, her feet had been given a firm heave, an intervening body that was Curach’s had, with fortitude, stood its ground, though failing to use its arms to any purpose…and she had, in two rapid thuds, landed.




A Few Laws Broken

Virtual book cover for novella HammersmithMore of this piece on Hammersmith page
Boxed Goods (excerpt)












(2018, Stephanie Foster)



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