1931: Unexpected

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He took my damned hand off.

I’d no sooner opened the next door when an axe lopped off my left hand at the wrist.

I threw myself forward, shoulder down, and struck the man in the midsection.

He was no fool, though.

The man let go of the axe and brought both his fists smashing down into my back as I drove a punch up into his sternum. We both grunted from the pain and staggered away. I didn’t draw a Colt. There was a lot of blood pouring from the site of the rough amputation.

I stripped off my coat, wrapped it around the bloody stump, and tightened it down as best I could.

“Been a long time, Blood,” the man stated.

“Don’t know who you are,” I replied.

“Jamison,” he said.

“You’re a son of a bitch.”

He chuckled and showed me his hands. Both were crafted of steel, and when he moved them, they made an odd, ticking sound as though there was some sort of mechanics in them.

“I just need your other hand,” he informed me. “Payback for what you did, oh, thirty-one years ago.”

“I suspect you deserved it.”

“Without a doubt. Still, you owe me.”

I spat on the floor. “I suppose I do. Come at me then.”

“You’ll use your Colts. Or, rather, one of them.”

I shook my head. “You want a fight with knives, I’ll give it to you. Hands, well, you’ve got me there.”

“I like knives,” the man said, and he clenched his mechanical hands into fists.

Blades came up from his wrists, each weapon easily ten inches in length. He rolled his shoulders, grinned, and took a step toward me.

I didn’t bother reaching for my Bowie knife. The draw would take too long and let him get in too close. Instead, I drew my tree pruner, snapping the blade open as Jamison sprang at me.

His attack was skilled and deft, the blades drawing blood.

But I’d been working with knives for longer than he’d been alive, and he came to a staggering stop behind me.

I heard the first splatter of blood on the floor, then the mad splash of the same as his throat opened up. He wavered for a moment, then collapsed first to his knees and then to the floor.

Sitting down beside him, as I waited for my hand to regrow, I set about cutting off his hands.

I wanted to see how they worked.

#paranormal #mystery

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Nicholas Efstathiou

Husband, father, and writer.

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