Tuesday, June 19, 2018

The Shantytown Robin Hoods by Cora Buhlert

Release date: June 8, 2018
Subgenre: Dystopian crime thriller, Cyberpunk

About The Shantytown Robin Hoods


 Latisha, Moses and Tim are three street kids eking out a living in a dystopian future. Together, they are the Shantytown Robin Hoods, a street gang that steals from the rich and gives to – well, themselves.

"The Hole" is the hottest night club in Shantytown, where the rich and the famous can party among the less fortunate. But "The Hole" is also a favourite hangout for Latisha, Moses and Tim to find marks they can rob.

But then their latest job is derailed by a mobster with sticky fingers and a prize on his head, a teen pop sensation, a trigger-happy bodyguard and a red-haired assassin.

Soon bullets are flying in Shantytown and Latisha, Moses and Tim must keep their heads down to survive and steal another day…

This is a short dystopian crime story of 2800 words or approximately 10 print pages.




The Hole was the hottest nightclub in Shantytown, the place where the rich and the beautiful went to slum among the common people. Not that they ever saw the common people, unless they chanced to look sideward, while crossing the three metres between the entrance to The Hole and their waiting armoured groundcars.
However, if one of the patrons of The Hole had chanced to glance to the left, they might have noticed a transformer box, covered over and over in graffiti and posters for gigs in venues far less exclusive than The Hole. And if they’d looked very closely, they might have noticed a shadow behind the transformer box, a shadow that looked distinctly human.
Moses, the owner of said shadow, was currently crouching behind the transformer box, together with Tim, his very best friend in the whole wide world. Both of them were clutching weapons, automatic rifles left over from the last slum war. The rifles no longer worked properly, at least not when you needed them to, but they still looked damn scary and that was enough for Tim and Moses.
Because people — at least the sort of people who patronised The Hole — usually handed over their wallets, their com-units and their bling willingly, when faced with an automatic rifle, even one that no longer worked.
Tim and Moses were twelve years old and two thirds of a street gang that called themselves the Shantytown Robin Hoods. The name had been Tim’s idea. He’d heard a story once about a man named Robin Hood. He lived a long time ago, fought the coppers and stole from the rich to give to the poor. This Robin Hood sounded like a really cool guy and so Tim, Moses and Latisha, the third member of the gang and Moses’ older sister, had decided to name themselves after him. Okay, so they mostly stole for themselves, but then they were poor, damn it.
Latisha was currently sitting on a blanket on the other side of the street opposite The Hole. In front of her, there was a tin can with a few coins and a piece of cardboard with “Homeless — No parents — Need Help” scribbled in a scratchy hand. To everybody who chanced to notice her, Latisha was just another panhandler, one of hundreds that lined the streets of Shantytown. But in truth, she kept watch on those who entered or exited The Hole and pointed out lucrative targets to Moses and Tim.
“Groundcar rolling up to the entrance,” Latisha reported through a mini-com they’d stolen two months ago, “Luxury model. Looks like a good mark.”
Moses crept forward to peer around the corner of the transformer box, clutching his rifle.
“What do you see?” Tim whispered behind him.
“Big groundcar,” Moses whispered back, “The driver gets out, looks tough.”
“Careful,” Latisha whispered through the com, “He’s got a gun.”
“You sure?”
“Yes, I’m sure. It’s under his coat. He tries to hide it, but I can see it.”
From their respective hiding places, the three kids watched as the driver walked around the car and opened the rear door. A second later, three figures emerged from the neon-drenched entrance of The Hole.
A man in a long black coat came first, hood pulled up against the rain.
“Bodyguard,” Moses remarked.
“Careful,” Latisha whispered through the com, “He’s armed, too. Pulse rifle and handgun.”
Moses scowled. Latisha always worried too much. Big sisters were like that, he guessed.

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About Cora Buhlert:

Cora Buhlert was born and bred in North Germany, where she still lives today – after time spent in London, Singapore, Rotterdam and Mississippi. Cora holds an MA degree in English from the University of Bremen and is currently working towards her PhD. 

Cora has been writing, since she was a teenager, and has published stories, articles and poetry in various international magazines. She is the author of the Silencer series of pulp style thrillers, the Shattered Empire space opera series, the In Love and War science fiction romance series, the Helen Shepherd Mysteries and plenty of standalone stories in multiple genres.

When Cora is not writing, she works as a translator and teacher. She also runs the Speculative Fiction Showcase and the Indie Crime Scene and contributes to the Hugo-nominated fanzine Galactic Journey.


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