The guy throws a knife at a fly with frightening accuracy, right next to my head. I’m about to yell at him, but he leans over me, pulling the knife out of the side of the bus. As he does this, he moves his hand – probably thinking I’m as stupid as I look and believing I wouldn’t notice – so that his wrist is pretty much over my heart. The way he bends over me is kinda claustrophobic and three responses come to mind. One: “what the hell are you doing?” Two: “Are you gay? This is a little close for comfort, isn’t it?” and three: “Go on then. Be a hero; kill the bad, nasty vampire with your pretty knives.”
For fear of offending him further than I already have – by saying “hi” to him... weirdo – I decide that option two is probably a bad idea. Number one wouldn’t get much of a response, leaving me with number three. So, without further ado, my mouth opens and the words spill out.
‘Go on then,’ I sneer at him, ‘kill me. Kill the nasty vampire with your pretty knives. Pretend you’re the hero.’ I push his hand away from my chest. ‘Thought I wouldn’t notice?’ I glower at him. Disappointment briefly flickered across his face and he moves his hand away. The expression changes as quickly as his knife throw, however, and he snarls at me:
‘Don’t patronise me you bastard.’ His other hand shoots forward, another blade appearing at his wrist.
‘Shall I rephrase that then? Hows about... Oh, I know. Go on then. Kill me, kill the bastard vampire with your stupid flashy knives and pretend you’re a big man for having lowered yourself to my level. Better?’ I am, of course, bluffing, but hey, who would care, really? Gabby. And... that’s about it.
So obviously when the guy stands up, his expression one of frustrated anger, I realise that I’ve pushed him too far. He pulls out a little metal ball and throws it to the floor. Smoke billows out of it and wraps around us, ensnaring both of us in a thick blanket of blindness. I hear the faint sound of his movement and working on instinct, I press myself up against the side of the bus and swing my legs out of the second chair. I hear him move forward quickly and as hard as I try to keep out of his way, I feel the knife jab at my arm. The knife sinks slowly into my upper arm and I grit my teeth against the pain as he slices through me flesh.
‘Um, that hurts.’ I point out and try to swat the smoke away. I move my other hand to where the pain is coming from and search for his hand a moment. I find it, his skin warm against mine. I close my fingers around his wrist and pull, forcing him to tug the knife out of me. He drops the knife and swears at me.
‘Bastard!’ he yells, ‘Give me back my knife. Now!’ I flick it off the seat, figuring that firstly, he has plenty of them, and secondly, he just tried to kill me with it – yes, I know I was egging him on. Shut up.
He thrusts his hands forward, his angry face close to mine. He jabs at me with his little hidden knives and one of them drips something, nearly invisible. And then that knife sinks into my skin, pushing into my chest. I shudder and cough, my expression twisting into a pained grimace. This one hurts more than the one on my arm, though it doesn’t seem to go in too far. I curse and breathlessly push him away, struggling for air for a few moments. I feel the left side of my rib cage bruise almost instantly and as my breathing slowly returns to normal, I swear at him loudly.