The thought of a blade cutting his flesh to the bone had always been a dread fascination of Jakith’s. Something he would day dream of from time to time which had never failed to send chills flooding down the back of his neck. Here and now, it did far more than fascinate, it enslaved his entire focus. The glinting piece of steel demanded attention, twisting his guts to knots, his sense spilling from his mind like ice water bursting from a flimsy dam. Absolutely captivated by the gleam of the cruel instrument moving from side to side, back and forth with a practiced weight and feline prowess. The man holding the knife was a decrepit thing. Thin, yet stringy with corded muscle, which wriggled under rough skin as he clenched and flexed his hands. It was easy to see that these hands were no stranger to hard work, and the more Jakith studied them, it seemed to him that the work had been violence and blood. Knuckles gnarled and crisscrossed with old scars, but his eyes were the most unsettling feature of this cacophony of a face, chips of flint leered ****** from beneath granite brows. The remainder was hard lined, craggy and gaunt. It reminded Jakith of standing at the edge of a cliff and staring down into oblivion. Jakith held his hands up in a feeble attempt to disarm the situation and was taking careful steps back from the man as though he’d just cornered a rabid hound. He could feel the panic begin, now coming to a boil, overflowing, grabbing hold of his limbs, molten bronze coursing through his veins and coming to set, freezing him solid.
“What do you want?” his voice a cracking squeak.
The man said nothing, huffing and snorting like a bull preparing itself for violence.
“I’ve got money, take it!” Jakith fumbled to untie his coin purse, holding it up to display its meager contents. He would have given the man anything to end this waking nightmare “Please! Take anything you want, please!” his voice thick, tears welling in his eyes. “Please, take anything you wan...” his words cut short, turning to a cry of utter despair as the man lunged forward, grabbing for Jakith’s neck with one hand while the other came up with deadly intent, a veteran fighter throwing a punishing body blow. Jakith dropped the purse from his numb fingers as he reached in a pathetic attempt to stop the man’s arm from ramming the blade into his side. Jakith felt his one hand dig hard into the man’s bent elbow, the other completely missed the mark only managing to get a meek hold on the back of the man’s sleeve. Before he could adjust his position he felt the first punch thud into his ribs. Jakith let out a wavering cry ‘Stop! No!” another one thump “AAK…. NO!” grunting “….UGH!” he felt the wind knocked out of him on the third punch, gasping for breath. The grim realization that the punches were tipped with steel caused his mind to reel with disbelief. The man’s hand, gripping like irons around the back of Jakith’s neck and pulling close enough to whisper murderous secrets, his arm a piston driving the blade up, again and again and again, but all coming short. Jakith had worked his hands around the man’s wrist, ******* in his stomach and half jumping with every ******. “What do I do? What do I do?” His mind racing, the man’s rank stink was overwhelming, flooding his nostrils, he could hear the man’s rasping breath in his ear, close as lovers. Jakith felt his strength failing, and the thought of another painless horrifying thump made him want to scream “stop, please stop, anything, stop!” but Jakith knew the time for words had been long dead, his hopes dying with them. His mind was going black, but in the blackest pits of Jakith’s mind something was lurking, waiting. An ancient sleeping demon forced to the light. A sudden animal fury came boiling up exploding with reckless abandon and he let out an unhuman scream. There were no words, no thoughts, just a single unrelenting focus on the absolute obliteration of this worthless flesh in front of him. Jakith twisted his head up and bit into the man’s neck like a snarling wolf. He felt the gristle and flesh give way and blood filled his mouth. He spat gore and bit again pushing his mouth hard into the man’s straining muscles and crunched. Jakith’s eyes were wild, blood spattered across his pate, and the man let out a cry of pain and fury, jerking away. The man tried to step back, but Jakith feeling the weight shift and swept the man’s leg with his own, and they began to fall. The man’s head clacked off the ground with the familiar sound of knocking hardwood, and they began to struggle for the knife. Jakith cried out in savage frustration trying desperately to secure the weapon. He grabbed the man’s wrist and threw his legs around the man’s head. The man sunk his teeth into the back of his thigh, but that wasn’t important, with every ounce of mad savagery left to him, Jakith yanked the man’s arm to his chest, using hips as a fulcrum and snapped his back straight. The man’s elbow exploded with a repulsive crack and crunch as it gave way like a buddle of dry twigs. Jakith held the man’s limp arm and began unleashing his fist in a flurry, hammering the man’s face tears streaming from eyes, his usually friendly grin looked more like a ravenous demon mask, pale but for the gore splattering. He was still holding the man’s arm which held the knife, Jakith pried the knife from his useless fingers. “You ****! You ****** pathetic… ****!” before he even knew what he was doing, the knife came down in a savage arc and Jakith felt the blade glance off his cheek bone, hitting the stone sending sparks. Flesh sheared like paper, with what seems like unbelievable ease and leaving a ghastly wound. “You ****! You ****!” Shrieking now, shrill and panicked, an animal insanity gripping him, holding him, comforting him. He felt a wave of maddening exaltation as he slammed the knife down, again and again. His rage coalescing into white hot beam of molten lust, a lunatic’s grin peeling from his lips. The man’s head was losing all of it remaining human qualities, a wet mass with one eye split in two and the other staring at nothing. “You ****, you ******….” He wheezed. The man was dead and for Jakith the madness was passing. He kicked the corpse away, disgusted and shocked by the realization of what he had done. He stammered to his feet, panting. Try as he might he could not take his eyes away from the horrific scene, gasping for breath which rasped and gurgled in his chest. The knife fell from his hand, sticky with blood and half clattered on the stone damped by the spreading pool. “What the… ****…?” Jakith brought his hand up to where the man had struck him and pulled his hand away wet and glistening with fresh blood, he staggered back lifting his shirt. Dark lines crisscrossed down his side, he stared in disbelief as blood ran from his wounds. “Oh…” he said words catching “well… that’s not good”. The despair creeped back into his mind and he clutched his hand to the wound, trying to staunch the flowing blood. “Help!” he cried as loud as he could, but to his dismay, the voice hardly sounding like his own, was no more than a croaking whisper. His eyes kept returning to the ****** mess of his side, an unbelievable amount of blood pouring between his fingers. “Help…” he stumbled and reeled looking for someone, anyone. He was alone, but for the mangled corpse. His eyes came to rest on the wound again, but he found that the more he stared, the more he felt he did not seem to care anymore. The only thought that was passing through his mind was "why wasn’t it hurting more... why wasn't it hurting at all?" As another moment passed, it seemed he did not care about that anymore either. As though the blood leaving his body contained all the worries this world held. He glanced down again, puzzled expression passing over his face. A sudden exhaustion gripped him like nothing he’d ever felt. “Tired... very tired” he slowly sat down, one hand still uselessly held to his side, the other steadying himself. “Just a quick rest… and… then I’ll decide what to… do.” The words no more than a ****** mumble trailing off to nowhere. God, but he had never felt so tired. It took a tremendous amount of effort just to keep his eyes open. Jakith wavered and began to slump forward, but caught himself “Wait… Wait… Wait...” the words were losing all meaning, wait for what? Jakith slumped again, this time his arm collapsed, he teetered over, nose and cheek crunching into the ground, the weight of his body plowing his face through the blood leaving him in an awkward heap. “Wait…” the word bubbling crimson, cheek flattened against the stone, breath rippling across the pool. There was something important he needed to remember, but it was slipping from his mind, passing into what seemed like some long forgotten memory. The farm, the earthy smell of the green house, the fields sweet with the sent of harvest, could that be what it was? “No, no… I need to…” The crunch of snow beneath his feet, the crisp mountain air, the sun kissing his face, his father’s easy smile and the way his sister would tease him. Jakith felt the ground falling out from beneath him, like when he was young and would catch himself falling asleep, jolting awake. But there was no jolt, just his body slowly relaxing on the stone, blood silently meandering through the cobbles. Jakith tried to pull himself back from the breech, one last attempt to hold on. If he could just hold on, hold on and stay for another sweet moment, please just one more. Then, as though his soul had been anchored to the setting sun, it ripped him into the abyss, all encompassing. A final chuckle croaked from his half smiling lips, as dazzling colors and a thousand half remembered memories flashed across his minds eye. The hollow pang of absolution, there was nothing, he would be nothing, and then... he felt home. The last thing that crossed his mind before the blackness swallowed him completely, “Is... that... you... mom...?”
First attempt at a short story, tried to make it gritty and real... visceral... raw... Let me know what you think!