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Consuetio ex Cultrum

The blade is so much more intimate than a bullet. More elegant. It requires proximity. Artistry. A bullet is nothing more than a tiny wrecking ball capable only of punching a hole through anything in its path until it has expended its energy. My blade does not tire unless I do. It whispers as it severs skin, laughs as it cleaves muscle, and sings when it glances off bone. It is an instrument with a wide range of sound and potential just waiting for a talented hand to conduct it.

Mine is quite skilled, though this was not always so. As with anything, practice makes perfect.

Jolene was from Oklahoma. As fine an example of stupid as I’ve ever come across. She droned on as I drove to the empty house that we’d be squatting in for the evening's entertainment. It is a testament to my self-control that I didn’t strangle the southern drawl from her long before we arrived.

Even after it was evident that there was nothing in the house at all but some high intensity hanging lights, a blanket, and a picnic basket in the middle of what was once someone’s living room, she was entirely oblivious. She just giggled, said, “Neat, a picnic,” and then prattled on about some nonsense I’ve long since forgotten.

I turned on a few of the lights, then pulled a bottle of wine from the basket and curbed an urge to break it over her skull. Instead, I popped the cork and handed it to her. She drank a third of the bottle without a breath. She tried to hand the bottle back, but I shook my head. She shrugged, set it down next to her and asked what else I had in the basket.

I told her to close her eyes. Then I showed her.

She was sitting with her legs out in front of her, knees up. Her hands propped her up from behind. I pulled the knife along the back of her ankles. The blade struck bone after severing both of her Achilles tendons. I think it took about three seconds for her brain to process what had happened and for the screams to start. Instinctively, she tried to stand and run but her feet were unable to bear her weight and she fell immediately, shrieking and sobbing. She crawled for the door wailing like a siren and spilling great gouts of blood behind her as she went. I’d been a smidge overzealous with the knife and opened both of her posterior tibial arteries.

I let her get as far as the foyer before I came up behind her, grabbed her by the hair and flipped her over onto her back. She tried to slither away and batted at my hands. I straddled her, grabbed both of her wrists in one hand and cut her top off with the knife in the other. I wanted to be inside of her.

I drew the blade horizontally across her stomach. The flesh parted along its path and strained against the organs just beneath. Jolene screamed again. My ears rang, but it was still much preferred to her earlier rambling. There was blood, but less than you might expect. It dripped down her sides and pooled on the cold linoleum.

Another shallow cut penetrated the rest of the muscle and the greater omentum concealing her intestines. That bled quite a lot, bathing the healthy pinkish tissue of her bowels in a crimson pool. I dropped the knife and rather gleefully plunged my free hand inside of her abdomen and felt the small intestines slip between my fingers. I shuddered uncontrollably.

Jolene’s screams went on unabated, but already the strength was going out of her fight. She rolled her head from side to side and beat it on the floor in agony. Her skin looked grey and sallow. Her arms jerked in my grasp but without any conviction. I let them go and they fell to her sides twitching. I knew I didn’t have much longer before she lost consciousness. I dug both hands in and pulled upwards. I held her entrails up for her to see like a greedy pirate with wet, shiny coins spilling from his fingers. Her eyes grew wide, then rolled back in her head. She fell silent mid-shriek.

It was the first time she’d shut her mouth all evening.

I propped her up in a corner and draped her insides around her like an endless string of bloody pearls and sat back to watch. She woke only once, but seeing the comprehension of her unraveling dawn on her all over again made it well worth the earlier price of admission.

Jolene bled to death in less than thirty minutes. Though she was still gratifying, I found I had much to learn about the artistry of the blade.

Learn I did, as you shall see.

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