FFF Something Up in Barracuda Flats Part Two
by Jeff Baker
AUTHOR’S NOTE: In part one of this serial,https://authorjeffbaker.com/2021/07/02/something-is-up-in-barracuda-flats-for-friday-flash-fics-july-2-2021-by-jeff-baker/ Murdoch has been called out to Barracuda Flats to investigate strange doings at a ranch. Very strange for the post-Civil War era. Hiding in the brush, he sees a strange device with a mysterious glow at one end in the yard of the ranch.
I stared. The glittering swirling light was hypnotizing. I stayed hidden benind the brush and watched as a weatherbeaten older man, followed by a younger man with a stern expression, wearing a battered sombrero. The younger man grabbed the two handles at the one end of the long rod just under the glowing end and at the older man’s direction swung the device so it was pointing away from the ranch building.
In another minute, my suspicions were confirmed as the glow at the base of the device shown brighter. In another instant, a bright light, like a sunbeam, shot from the device and struck an old, gnarled tree which burst into fiery shards.
I hoped Griggs wasn’t standing behind the tree.
I stared from the device to the smoldering tree and back again. I remembered during the Siege of Petersberg a few years earlier when General grant had wheeled out one of the new Gatling Guns and after seeing that horror in action I wondered if anyone would dare ever make a weapon of war again. Now, looking at what was left of the tree, wrought by the machine and watching the matter-of-fact way the two men seemed to analyze what they had done I wondered what man might unleash upon himself in the years to come.
But what were these men planning to do with the device they had made?
ADDENDA: So ends part two of this ongoing serial. Hopefully I’ll add more another week.