Travelers Welcome

Travelers Welcome

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Giants and Nobodies

by Steve Calamars

The brass-knuckles are already on when I round the corner.  They are on my right hand, concealed in the pocket of my blue jeans.

I see Kafka on the sidewalk.  He appears to be arguing with Milena about something.  He doesn’t see me coming.

Kafka is a giant in this neighborhood.  I’m more of what you’d call a nobody.  The only element in this entire arrangement in my favor is surprise.

So I walk up quick.  I pull my fist from my pocket.  The gleam of the brass-knuckles in the sunlight is sour to his eyes.  Kafka squints.

Milena opens her mouth to scream, but it’s too late.

I catch Kafka with a right hook, like a cinderblock to the side of his head.

My left hand comes from my left back pocket in a flash.  All you hear is the metallic flutter of the butterfly knife.

I bury it in his chest 5 or 6 times, before leaving the knife in there and cocking my right hand back.  I fire it like a fastball into the center of his face.

Solid brass-knuckles bulls-eye the soft target of the nose.  An explosion of red jelly and jagged purple bone fragments.

Kafka falls back, like a flat gray sheet along the sidewalk.

I leave him lying there, bleeding out, Milena at his side, crying over him.

I slip my right hand back into my pocket.  I keep walking.  I turn the corner at the end of the street, my body dissipating like pink light and black smoke—

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