I told him to screw himself.
He swung the knife toward me. I held up my left arm, the one he thought was broken, knowing full well I was offering it as a sacrifice. But before he cut me, I plunged the chopsticks into his Achilles heel. A split second later, I felt the slice across my forearm. My own blood splattered into my face as he fell to the ground.
I’ve never heard anyone scream like he did. I’d shoved the chopsticks behind his Achilles tendon, penetrating the soft patch of flesh between the tendon and the ankle. He was writhing; his knife lay on the pavement beside him. Only when I reached for it with my left arm did I realize that I couldn’t move my hand. He’d cut through several tendons just below my elbow on the outer, hairy side of my arm.
I grabbed the knife with my other hand and stood above him. But in the three seconds I took to contemplate how best to proceed, he kicked me, landing a blow to my groin. In real fights, it turns out, you don’t ever have time to think.
As I doubled over, he stood up. “If you make it out of this alive, there’s one more thing you need to know.”
I noted his chopstick-skewered heel.
“If you meet a first-timer, like yourself, you have to make him hate you.”
“Screw your rules,” I said, dropping to the ground and sweeping my leg toward his. I made contact with the chopsticks. He went down. I plunged the knife into his thigh and pulled it out.
Possessed, I jumped on top of him, slicing both of his arms at the elbows, rendering him essentially immobile. Then I put the knife to his neck.
It was almost disheartening to see how easily human flesh gives way to a sharp knife. Maybe more difficult than cutting through ravioli, but definitely easier than slicing a bagel. I wasn’t prepared for the amount of blood, though. I thought I was being delicate, poking into him like he was a water balloon. But blood gushed out.
He let loose terrified shrieks as the knife was covered in a violent rush of red ooze. It got on my hands and made everything slick. I pulled the knife from his neck and blood spurted into the air like a geyser. He wouldn’t stop screaming, so I chopped at his Adam’s apple like a sous chef dicing carrots. That stopped him.
But my squeamishness returned full force at the sight of the bits of red pulp on the knife. I tried to stand but slipped on blood, landing with a thud on top of him. I thought he started screaming again but I was nose to nose with him, staring into his eyes, which had lost the spark of life; I realized it was I who was screaming. I could smell my own breath.