The Blood

The following is a story to meet a challenge to write a short story of 666 words or less with a starting line picked for me.  (I am not including the preamble word count)  No further ado.

 

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The blood wanted to come off.  I could tell by the way the droplets sprayed from the knife as it arced up from the stab. The knife clung to the blood though, wrapping itself in crimson from tip to handle. I glanced at my hand and there was a surprising amount of blood on it as well. One stab, but the blood had come like a burst of a dam, and coated it to my wrist.

Everything moved so slowly, as if time stretched out from seconds to a lifetime.  The knife, rising from its first stab.  The sound of a scream drawn out like a howling wind. It was amazing the small details that I could see despite how fast things were actually moving.  A drops of blood floated up between our faces, cast off from the knife, glistening in the dimly lit room.  A flash of light from the small spots on the knife that werent’ coated in blood.  The look on his face.

I’d had so many conflicts with Jack before.  So many times we had come to blows, but the worst we had ever done was bloody each others lips, or give a black eye.  To think that it had raised to murder so quickly and over such a commonplace reason was incomprehensible.  Money. a few hundred dollars was all it took.

I looked into his face.  It was twisted in a snarl of pain, anger, and disbelief.  He seemed as surprised as I was that this was happening. While I stared in to his eyes, blood splattered across his face, flung from the knife edge.  It dashed on his cheek and ear.  A drop even flew into his wide open mouth as he yelled.

The knife stopped. For a moment I felt like we could retreat from this madness, but the knife had merely reached the top of the arc and started to plunge back down.  Both of us fixed our eyes on the knife.  The next was the killing stroke. The first stab had been impulsive, almost furtive.  Now it was determination to kill that sped the blade.

Time snapped back to reality, and the blade swung down fast and true.  The howls turned in to the shriek of pain and yell of rage, the blood returned to normal speed, dropping to the floor, covering both of us in its spray.

The knife struck home. Both of us stiffened with the impact, and an eerie silence fell, except for the labored breathing.  Another stab wasn’t needed, this one had found its home in a fatal spot. We both looked down at the knife.

It was over.  I was instantly filled with regret. A life cut short, so many things that would remain undone. Over so little.  I began to fall, the knife plunged deeply in my chest, and the world turned black.

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