The Cut Chain

“In a mad world, only the mad are sane.”
– Akira Kurosawa
I was almost 7 ft and towered over the short man standing in front of me, yet his strange demeanor still sent made me avoid making eye contact. Priding myself in boxing 3 times a night, I never felt nervous walking home at night. I could handle myself… normally.
However this man certainly wasn’t normal, I thought to myself. It was the combination of several small off putting details, such as his gangly arms which were too short and thin for his wide muscular shoulders. Like simple appendages they swung without purpose at his sides. And other course the universally recognized dodgy look of a black hood hiding his face.
Closer and closer we came on this lonely shadowed street, my teeth clinched with the anticipation of a confrontation.
Nothing will happen, I will pass by and think myself silly for being so worried.
“Stop,” Like a razor his words cut through that delusion.
He only stood a few walking paces away. It was close enough to smell his musk which pierced through the damp woodland mist, a blend of bad whiskey and compost.
Probably homeless.
“You all good mate?” No point getting confrontational he might need help- but his body language said otherwise.
His silhouette shifted with what I could only assume was a smile, “Oh I have finally found my goodness…”
“T-That’s great.”
Hold it together, just cross the road.
I turned to other side of the road but something fell at my feet. I knew it was metallic from the scrapping sound it made as I kicked it.

It was a knife, its blade shined in the yellow florescent street lamp.

“Pick it up, boy.”
The fiend was holding a second knife, casually he held it hanging between his thumb and pinky finger.

All those moments of bravado in pubs across the county were nothing compared to this insanity.
Feeling my blood pressure increase flowing adrenaline burst through my veins, pulsating up my neck and through my inner ear pounding like a war drum with every heart beat. Fight or flight battled within the chemical confines of my mind, flight had the upper hand.

“If you run I’ll cut you down like the last boy, no gift was given to him.”

Placate him.

“A gift?”

“Inclusion. Invitation.”

Several moments before I could control my breathing, “To what?”

“The chain which spans the universe. Now is your turn to choose boy. Death… or to awaken from the dream of life.”
What a complete nutter.
There was no way I was gonna top be able stay upright running after 3 pints.
I won’t even use the knife, a quick jab to the side of the head with put this fucker on the pavement.
I picked up the knife.

“Nice work champ!” the madman said with the fervor of a demented sports coach, “We have a winner!”

What the fuck am I doing in a knife fight?

Before I could answer myself, he charged like a banshee the knife high above his head which was finally visible, the wind blew his long black hair exposing his green eyes burned like emerald fire- that would only be extinguished by my blood.


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