#AtoZChallenge - Pull Him Off-Balance

Hey y'all! My super-awesome co-author Dan is filling in for me for a couple days while I finish writing my application to grad school. I leave you in good hands. Have fun!
See you Wednesday,

For those who are here for the first time, this is an interactive fiction adventure. I will write a scene every day, and my visitors will vote for where they want the story to go next, by leaving a comment on the post. You can start from the beginning here.

In a moment of refreshing clarity and precision, Andy's mom gauged her attacker's speed and angled her body slightly away from him to conceal her secret weapon, the umbrella. She loosened her grip on it, allowing it to slide through her hand until she could feel the band around the top of it. Then she held it fast, waiting like a viper for her moment to strike.

He ran forward, pulling a wicked-looking knife out of his pocket as he did. A grin began to steal across his face, only to disappear into an expression of astonishment as Andy's mom struck, swinging her umbrella out from behind her with lightning speed and a swordmaster's accuracy. She caught his heel with the hooked handle and pulled with all her might as she twisted it, causing his knees to buckle as his body suddenly shifted direction.

He fell, hard, onto the flagstones and she could hear his "Wufff" as the breath was knocked out of his lungs. The knife clattered off into the grass some distance away. Lying supine on the ground, he shook his head as if to clear it, but it was plain his vision was still swimming.

Andy's mom stepped forward, placed the heel of a shoe against one of his splayed arms and, taking hold of the hook-handle of her umbrella, positioned the pointed end firmly against the would-be assailant's Adam's apple. In the most authoritative Slovak she could muster, she declared, "Yield," and the man stopped struggling.

Moments later friendly agents spilled out of the castle gate and saw, to their surprise, Andy's mom standing like a victorious Sir George over the vanquished dragon. The special agent in charge was among them, and he immediately strode past her to assist Mrs. Klímová  -- her eyes beaming in admiration -- out of the vehicle a second time. As he did, to Andy's mom he said, "Pack your things."

Caught off-guard she responded, "Sorry, what was that, sir?"

"Pack your things, agent, he said, flashing her a look of approval, as he led Mrs. Klímová by the hand. "You're headed to Crimea in the morning to begin field operative training."

Andy's mom smiled at the memory, scooping sliced peppers into a simmering pan. Those were interesting days.

She checked the oven. Dinner would be ready soon. She walked to the kitchen doorway, where she could hear the faint sounds of plastic smashing against plastic over and over from Andy's room. Knowing that it would take him a while to respond when so engrossed, she called out.

What should Andy's mom say?
"Quick, Andy, wash your hands and set the table!"
"Quiet down those monsters and get ready for dinner!"
"Quit the battle, brave knight. Food awaits!"
Voting has closed on this post! Please click here to move to the next post in the story :)

Hey there, I hope you enjoyed my slight detour for the last few days. AJ will be back at the helm tomorrow. It's been my abundant pleasure to write for you. I wish you all the best of luck in your adventures to come!
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