Continuing my series about stories I started to write, but will never finish, here’s a new one. Only a few weeks old.
The would-be assassin lay in a motionless heap on the floor on the other side of the attic. I walked to his feet and shouted. “Get up!”
Odd. I was pretty sure I hadn’t hit him hard enough for a knockout. His legs were broken, sure, but he wasn’t bleeding anywhere nearly enough and I had specifically avoided hitting his neck or face. My instincts for this kind of thing are usually pretty good, so I went with standard procedure and lit his shoes on fire.
Now most of the time when you light a guy’s shoes on fire (assuming he’s not actually knocked out), you see one of two things happen.
Either the guy jumps up and starts running around like crazy (which is hilarious and only makes the rest of his clothes catch on fire) or he starts rolling around on the ground to put out the fire. When you get the second kind of guy, you know you’re tangling with a real pro.
This guy, though, he just kicked off his shoes and came at me with a knife, which was honestly a first for me. I vaguely heard him screaming about what a bitch I was, but I don’t let things like that get to me anymore. Taking offense is a good way to get yourself killed in my line of work. Anger slows down your mind; makes you vulnerable in ways most other emotions can’t. I was surprised, which wasn’t in my favor, but not angry.
His legs being broken made his attack just awkward enough that I was able to avoid getting my stomach slashed open wide by buckling my knees and falling to the ground. If I’d been angry, my muscles would have tensed up – I might not have been able to react fast enough.
I landed near one of the assassin’s flaming shoes, so I picked it up and started beating him across the face with it. He dropped the knife, I grabbed it, and in a second I had him pinned to the floor with the point of the knife pressing into the back of his neck, right above his spine.