He swung; I swung. We both missed — or so I thought. But the blood that splattered on my face made me think otherwise. When he swung at me the second time, more blood flew in my eyes. I wiped my face off and saw his arm, dripping fat drops of blood that landed in spiky circles on the pavement. I’d slashed the wrist on his knife arm.
It was pure, dumb luck.
It was also pure, dumb luck that when he swung a backhand and hit my hip, his switchblade closed on his fingers. Apparently, his knife was the broken one.
He grunted and peered down at his skinned knuckles. I took the opportunity to kick him in the knee, hyper-extending it backwards and sending him to the ground.
There was one thing left to do. I jumped on him, grabbed hold of his hair, and plunged my blade into his neck, transforming it into a fountain of blood – thick, scarlet blood; sweet, syrupy blood. Wonderful blood. God, the euphoria was amazing.
I was drunk on it. Which must have been why I had no qualms or fears about opening the back door to Peace and Harmony Co-op and washing my hands in a sink conveniently situated right by the door.
And when one of the hippie employees came out of the nearby bathroom, flashing me a perplexed look, I said simply, “Hey, what’s up?”
He looked pissed. “Do you work here?”
A tip for effective lying: don’t confirm or deny. I tried to look offended. “You don’t remember me?”
He scratched his head. People actually do that, you know.
“You seriously don’t remember me? I’m Colin; you’re Brian. We’ve been through this.”
His expression moved from anger to confusion to shame. Beautiful. “Oh,” he said. “I’m sorry.”
I patted him on the back as I walked past him into the store. People always forget when they’re wearing name tags.
I got a few more looks when I emerged from the back room into the front, but I walked outside without incident. My Not Dogs were still on the ground. The box was dented a little, but they seemed otherwise unharmed. I couldn’t say as much for Julie, who was leaning against a car on the street, arms crossed and looking ready to scold her boyfriend.
I remembered my promise and sobered right up.