The man then threw the curving knife with enough force to puncture Brooke’s advancing thigh, and as Sugar leapt toward him from behind, he dodged the advance and moved forward to recollect the knife from Brooke’s leg. Brooke howled for only a moment, then watched as the man moved away to make a safe distance between the three of them. There was blood at his mouth. Even more at his ear. He was staggering now, soaked in blood down the back of his shirt and pants. He appeared light and trembling. Brooke and Sugar watched him like a wounded deer. He was nearly set to bleed out and they would have him. They waited and the boy watched and the fourth man glanced around the campsite to confirm that he had lost each and every one of his men. There were bloody piles and bundles gathered by the bedding. A low fire. The woods were quiet until the man dropped to his knees. He held the knife out with both hands now, a bit of slobber at his chin.
“There will only be more men like us,” he said. He coughed and spat. “You will only kill and kill until you are overcome.”
Brooke stepped forward as if to offer himself up to the man.
“Would you like to stick me one last time before we finish you?” he said. He set his good leg out before their kill. He leaned back to smile at Sugar, who shook his head and plucked tobacco from his sock.
“Don’t be grotesque,” said Sugar, as the man plunged the curving knife into the bones of Brooke’s foot.
From Haints Stay by Colin Winnette, Two Dollar Radio, http://twodollarradio.com. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.