Contrition

November 3, 2009

“Sorry doesn’t cut it!” she shrieked. She grasped the black plastic handle firmly, and the steel trailing behind it came away wet. Dimly, he felt at his neck. The entire front of his shirt was rapidly becoming warm and moist, but there was no pain.

“Why,” he tried to ask, but it came out as a bubble of blood.

Mass Driver

October 14, 2009

“One. Certain.” Her voice was cool and melodic in the afternoon summer heat. The blade missed her by millimeters, and I held my breath, not daring to disturb the combatants. The slightest push could disturb their struggle, and I dared not push it the wrong way. Why was she only dodging?

“Two. Scientific.” She leaned backwards as the silver length passed over her head, close enough to kiss. Behind her, an elbow stretched, and in front, her hand, index and middle finger extended.

Stupidly, he fell for it. “And three?” The blade went up, poised for the killing stroke.

I knew what was coming next, so I turned away. There was a violent shriek as the air was torn asunder, and I felt the flash even despite my closed eyes. When I thought it was safe, I ventured a look.

The smell of cooked meat mingled with the odors of dust and ozone. Two cauterized stumps, shoelaces still neatly tied, lay on the ground. Behind them a blackened trail led to the stone wall, which had been pulverized, and behind it a black furrow stretched back as far as I could see. Smoke rose in the distance from what was probably the terminus of the shot.