A Contest


He could fight.

I stepped into the open court and looked at the man seated in front of me.

“Blood,” he said, the thought piercing my mind. “It has been a long time since last we fought.”

“Has it?” I asked.

He inclined his head slightly. “A century, perhaps more.”

I raised an eyebrow. “Are we related?”

He smiled and showed me rows of triangular teeth. “No.”

The man stood up, pushed his sleeves up, and his skin glittered in the sunlight. “My name is Shayu. I have killed you before.”

“Fair enough,” I answered. “Time to return the favor, I suppose.”

Shayu’s smile broadened. “Let us see if you can.”

He was a blur and a hiss of moving fabric.

There was no time to draw the Colts. I barely had time to move away from his blows.

“You’re older and faster,” he remarked, lashing out with a kick that broke my nose. “Fortunately, so am I.”

Shayu struck me with a set of rapid punches to my chest, and I felt my heart stutter. “Gao wants to eat you, Blood. But you are mine. I alone shall feast on you.”

He kicked again, and I shifted my weight, allowing the kick to go past my head as I drew my knife. Shayu turned a singular, graceful motion and sent an open hand toward my face.

I caught it with one hand and took an eye out with the knife.

He let out a shriek of pain, clamping his free hand to his eye and staggering back as I let him go. Glaring at me, he watched as I flicked his own eye back at him. As he gathered himself, I set my nose.

Shayu sprang at me, but his blows were off. His depth perception was gone, while mine remained.

The punches were ill-timed, the kicks off-mark.

But my knife snapped out again and again.

He tried to side-step, and I reversed the blow of the knife, smashing into his teeth with the hilt of the weapon. Shayu went down to his knees, spitting blood and fragments of teeth.

“I hate you,” he told me.

“You’re in good company, then,” I replied and drove my knife up under his chin and into his brain. His remaining eye fixed on me, so I took my thumb and pushed it in.

He deserved no more and no less.

#China #Horrorstories

Published by

Nicholas Efstathiou

Husband, father, and writer.

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