The Year of the Knife

(Authors Note: As a change of pace, I am going to start publishing a few original short stories now and again for you guys. Some of these stories were written recently and inspired from actual events, while others were begun some time ago. I wrote “The Year of the Knife” while the epidemic of terrorist knife attacks was at it’s peak a few months ago. All characters are fictional and any resemblance to anyone living or deceased is strictly coincidental.)

Knife Related Crime and Victims of Knife Attacks

A Short Story by The Tactical Hermit

Daniel/Jerusalem, Israel

Sergeant Daniel Akkerman removed his Oakley sunglasses and wiped his brow with a handkerchief. Although used to the heat of the open desert, inside the city walls, where no air could circulate, the heat was like a sauna. “How do these city people stand it?” Daniel asked his good friend Avi Strausser. This was Daniel and Avi’s first day patrolling inside the “new” city of Jerusalem. Since the attacks on law enforcement, military and civilians by Hamas and Hezbollah had increased in all parts of the country, IDF Army presence had been doubled, sometimes tripled, in major cities all over Israel.

Raised in the foothills outside Nazareth, Daniel had decided to stay in the Army after his two years of conscription. Two things propelled him in that direction. One was the prospect of going to college or trade school for another 2 years and sitting in a classroom for that long did not appeal to Daniel. The second was Revenge. His Grandfather, Levi, had been murdered by Arabs in 1945 while working for what was then called the Sherut Yedioh or “Intelligence Service”, the modern name for it now was the Mossad. His father, an IAF Pilot who had flown Mirages during the Six Day War and shot down 3 Egyptian MIG-17’s,  had told him the story with a tear in his eye at his bar-mitzvah when he was 13 years old. A fire was lit that day in Daniel’s heart. A Fire that has burned hotter every day since. Daniel soon grew to love the discipline and camaraderie of his Army unit. The “fellowship of adversity and suffering” as his Commanding Officer was fond of calling it. All the Officers in Daniels unit knew his family name intimately. His father was not only respected but revered, and because of that Daniel was always pushed harder than the others. One day after a particularly grueling 10 mile ruck through the foothills Daniel’s platoon leader  gave a small speech while the sun was setting low in the western sky and the wind played a sad melancholy tune as it blew down into the low canyons. “What we have here in this unit, this brotherhood, has already been forged in fire.

Daniel and Avi took a position above a small strip mall. The elevated position gave them both a good vantage point and allowed a breeze to cool them off from the sweltering heat of the day. Daniel took a quick drink of water as he scanned the market area below.  “Quiet Day” Daniel commented. “Yeah, real quiet” Avi replied. “Do you ever wish we were back on checkpoint duty?” Avi asked with a gleam in his eye. “At least then we might get some action.” Avi asked, cutting his eyes over to Daniel. “Action” Daniel responded. His voice and thoughts slowly drifting off, as if taken on a hidden wind. Avi noticed the expression on Daniel’s face had changed. He was no longer smiling.

At the tender age of 23, Daniel had already been in three engagements with Hamas and Hezbollah terrorist. The most recent had been at a traffic checkpoint outside Tel-Aviv last fall. At a Standard check-point for weapons, three adult arab males in their mid 20’s rolled up acting very nervous. While Avi checked ID’s and paperwork,  Daniel slowly walked around the car with the vehicle mirror checking underneath for anything out-of-place. When Avi asked the men to exit the vehicle and pop the trunk, one of the men shouted something in arabic and the driver hit the gas. As the car hit the spike strip at high-speed, the driver swerved to try to run over the gate guard, Staff Sgt. Yohan Gertz. Gertz immediately backed up several steps, at the same time firing a controlled burst from his Tavor into the driver’s side windshield, hitting the driver in the face and neck multiple times, killing him dead. As the car lazily slowed and rolled to the side of the road 15 yards from where it began, the other two men, one in the front passenger seat and the other in the back, exited the car.  As Daniel and Avi both took cover behind a barricade, Daniel quickly noticed both men were armed with pistols.”Gun, Johan, Watch Out!” Daniel yelled in Hebrew.Hearing Daniel’s voice, one of the terrorist quickly fired two shots at Daniel’s position with his pistol. Both rounds hitting low, a few feet in front of the barricade. Johan returned fire from behind the guard booth, the rounds clipping the car door but missing the terrorist altogether.. As Daniel peeked back over the barricade, he saw one of the men preparing to hurdle the guard rail and disappear into the scrub brush of the gorge below. Daniel quickly framed his target with the Aimpoint Red Dot on his tavor and squeezed off three shots. All the rounds found their mark, zippering the man in his upper back. The man slumped over the rail in a heap, dead. The other terrorist, seeing this, got angry and broke cover from the front of the car, moving toward Johan at the guard booth. The terrorist began firing rapidly with his pistol, the rounds impacting wildly all over the booth, splintering wood and piercing plexiglass, with Johan safely tucked away behind cover. It was not long until the man’s pistol was empty, dropping it, he then drew a 6 inch blade from a sheath in his belt and charged Johan like a crazy banshee yelling “Allahu Akbar!!” Johan, a veteran of the 2006 Lebanon War, was not rattled by this stupid display. He calmly stood up from behind cover, shouldered his tavor and fired one three round burst from no more than 50 feet away. The rounds found their mark with deadly effect, the arabs chest exploding like a ripe watermelon all over the hot Israeli asphalt.

Daniel and Avi were just finishing their patrol sweep of the market area when the radio came alive. “Assistance required near University Entrance. We have a report of a stabbing of an elderly woman by an Arab Male, early 20’s.” Avi quickly looked up at Daniel, his eyes dancing with excitement “Action Brother!” The University entrance was only a couples miles from the market. Jumping in the jeep they were there in a few minutes. Daniel quickly spotted the wounded elderly woman. She was lying under the shade of a tree, her eyes wide and scared. Another soldier, Sgt. Issac Kaplan was tending to her while four other soldiers had formed a security perimeter. “Avi take security with them, I am gonna see if Sgt. Kaplan needs anything.” Avi quickly dismounted, his rifle at the ready, scanning the area. A Woman who looked like a student approached Avi “The guy who did that is over by the fountain in the park up the street.” “He is in a red shirt and a tan baseball cap.” As Daniel approached the elderly woman Sgt Kaplan was applying a Quicklot bandage. The woman was crying now, her voice a hoarse whisper as she prayed.”Need anything Sarge?” Daniel asked as he scanned up the street. “No we got an ambulance en route. No arteries cut, but it is deep, and nasty to be sure. Plus the asshole shoved her down really hard, so she might have a fractured arm and hip, not sure though.” “This lady said the perp is up the street a block or so.” Avi said, walking toward Daniel. Daniel quickly keyed his radio and informed base of the whereabouts of the attacker. “We are moving to intercept.”was Daniels last words. Daniel did not wait or a response. He knew if this guy had already attacked a little old lady, God knows who was next, and he was not waiting around to find out. Daniel, Avi and two of the soldiers on the security team raced up the block.. Daniel did not even wait for the jeep to stop before dismounting. As they started walking down the path into the small park, A scream suddenly broke the silence. Avi gave Daniel a concerned glance and they both broke into a full sprint. As they turned a corner, a small family met them running the opposite direction. The mother cried out “He has a hostage, a young girl, please God, help her!” Daniels adrenaline spiked. A Hostage situation. This was one of the most serious scenarios they trained for. He keyed his radio and informed base. Avi, as always, had charged forward, not waiting on Daniel. The terrorist was standing off the concrete path behind some park benches in a grassy area, his back to the wall of a small building that was labeled “Maintenance”.

As soon as Avi and Daniel saw him, the terrorist, who had his face covered with a red shemagh, shielded himself with young girls body. Avi quickly saw the stainless knife-edge to her throat. The knife was big, at least 8 inches. The girl could not have been more than 13 or 14, her small, skinny body being dwarfed by the grown man’s frame. Her dark curly hair was matted and her face red and puffy from crying. Her sobs came in waves of despair as her body trembled with fear. “Please don’t kill me!” the girl screamed in Hebrew. The terrorist dark eyes darted from left to right, taking stock of the situation. Daniel could tell he was not much older than 20 or 21. He spoke in arabic, with a heavy Syrian accent. “Put down your weapons or I Kill this Jewish slut!” the Terrorist shouted. Daniel and Avi calmly kept their poise, the two soldiers behind them spreading out, forming a security perimeter watching their flanks and rear, exactly as they were trained. As Daniel processed the scene before him, Avi  side-stepped to the right, attempting to gain the right angle for a clean head shot. “I mean it you Jewish Dogs…Drop your Weapons and Stay back or she DIES NOW!” The terrorist voice was getting louder and more desperate. “Avi Back Off” Daniel said. “Give him room.” Avi slowly started backing away a few steps at a time, keeping his rifle up. About that time, Police Sirens could be heard pulling up and three more military trucks arrived with troops. “Tell us what you want” Daniel said over the din of the sirens and chaos behind him. Daniel slowly started making his way closer, his hand cupped over his ear so he could hear better. “I want Israel to Pay for the atrocities they have committed against my people!” the Terrorist yelled in Arabic. The girls sobs had turned into a pitiful wailing of despair.”Help me Dear God!! Help Me!!” Daniel noticed Avi had stepped off the sidewalk and was making a wide circle to his right. Immediately Daniel knew his partners play. “OK, you have to give me specifics on what you want.” Daniel said. “Hostage Rescue 101: I have to keep the terrorist engaged mentally and verbally and get his mind off hurting that poor girl” Daniel caught a blur over his left shoulder and noticed a sniper team setting up in a gazebo. The terrorist seeing the sudden show of force got nervous fast.”Get the fuck back or this bitch dies!!” Daniel saw a small crimson stream of blood trickle down the girl’s neck. Time was running out.

 Suddenly, Daniel saw Avi appear on the left side of the building, no more than 12 feet from the terrorist, but out of the terrorist line of sight. Daniel quickly starts side-stepping to his right to get the terrorist to look the opposite direction so he would not notice Avi. Daniel quickly keyed his radio and whispered “All Teams stand-by, Sniper Teams do you have a clean shot?” “Negative, all we can see is the girl’s head” Daniel knew this was it, he had to act. “Look, I am sure we can work this……” Daniels sentence was cut out by the loud report of Avi’s Tavor. The bullet entered right above the terrorist right ear, the side of his head literally exploding like a cracked egg; brain matter covering the tool shed and the hostage combined. As the terrorist body dropped with a thud, Daniel quickly advanced to secure the weapon and retrieve the hostage. Before he could reach her, The girl screamed hysterically, and covered in blood from the neck up, took off like a track star past Daniel and the dozens of other cops and soldiers and out into the Jerusalem street. Soon a few cops gave chase after they realized she was not planning on stopping. With ears still ringing from the gunfire, Daniel met Avi by the fountain while the Bomb Squad checked the body and the area for “secondaries”. “Well you got your Action today in spades Avi” Daniel said with a smirk. Avi acknowledged with a nod of the head, not saying a word. Daniel noticed the expression on his face had changed. Avi was not smiling anymore.

Logan/New York City, NY

Sgt. Logan O’Grady was a Fourth generation New York Cop. He would join the force a year after his father’s death in 2010 and was soon assigned to the 34th Precinct in Manhattan. After six years in, Logan had made hundreds of arrest, fired his weapon four times in the line of duty and had two surgeries for injuries sustained while on the job, one on his foot, the other on his knee.  His father, Dale, a Captain with the 43rd Precinct had passed away in 2009 after battling lung cancer for 7 years. Like so many cops and firefighters from that fateful day the 11th of September 2001, they were the “forgotten casualties”; those brave souls who had worked in and around the twin towers with no consideration for their own safety, not realizing they toxic soup of chemicals they were breathing in would kill them years later.

Logan took a series of deep breaths. Even though it was a mild day in the 80’s, he was sweating like it was 100+ degrees. He wiped his brow with the back of his arm, dried the palms of his hands on his pants. Removing his Glock 17 from his holster, he brass checked the weapon and slid it back home. Physically, he knew he had to get his heart rate down before the next course of fire. Mentally, he had to concentrate better, where was his mind today?  The Range Master motioned for Logan to step up. Logan walked up to the red line and quickly glanced at the course before him. This was a timed “shoot and scoot” course of fire, where the shooter moved from one location to another, in this case 100 gallon blue drums of water, engaging targets from behind cover as he went. The course had been designed by Logan’s mentor and future father-in-law, Captain Paul Dennison, who had been a cop for over 20 years, working in the Precincts SWAT Team for 13 of those. Before that Paul put in 8 years with US Marine Corps serving in Desert Storm. Suffice to say Paul was handy with guns and tactics. It had been Paul’s ideal to start this monthly training program where officers who wanted to sharpen their shooting and tactics could do so at no expense except for their ammo. Logan had not missed a training session since it started two years ago. After Logan finished his course of fire and was told his time and scores, they were recorded in a log Paul kept. “Big Improvement Logan” Paul said. “You shaved almost 20 seconds off your time and improved your A Zone Hit’s by 40% over last time, way to go!” Paul slapped Logan on the back. His pride evident to all. Paul had been friend’s with Logan’s father Dale. They had worked together at the 43rd for five years before Paul transferred. Since Dale’s death, Paul felt he had a duty to look out for Logan. He reminded him so much of Dale. Smart, Hardworking and just crazy enough to be a good cop. The fact that Logan and Paul’s niece Ashley were now planning to be married just put the icing on the cake as far as he was concerned. He had actually planned them two getting together for a while now and was elated when he found out the plans for marriage.

The next day started off like any other for Logan. Arriving at the station early for his shift, he stopped by the break room for his morning does of motor oil cop coffee and then headed to his desk to knock out a pile of paperwork he had to catch up on. One hour later he got a “notice” text, text sent out to all Sgt.’s advising them of Precinct activity. SWAT had been called out to an address of a barricaded person. The address was only 6 blocks away. Logan decided to head down there to see if he could help. Paul out in any way. Arriving at the scene a crowd had already formed. Logan saw the SWAT vehicle parked by the curve but no SWAT and surmised they must have already made entry. He also noticed an ambulance with an EMT crew waiting. Ducking under the yellow tape Logan made his way to Captain Phillips. “O Grady, What the Hell you doing here?” Phillips asked a puzzled look on his face. “Heard SWAT was making entry, thought I might drop by and see what was going on.” Logan replied. “Whats going on is a friggin’ goat rodeo. The guy inside yelled some threats about killing Americans out of his window, passerby called 911, Patrol came by did a knock, got nothing but a bunch of cursing and then through the door the guy told the officers he had a gun and was gonna kill Americans. Before leaving Patrol heard a woman and baby crying. Patrol fell back per procedure and called SWAT/HRT and here we all are.” Phillips spat black tobacco juice on the pavement and pressed the earpiece to his ear. “SWAT is going in 2 minutes. 4th floor Apartment.” Logan looked up at the fourth floor windows, he could see one that had a black sheet over it. “We got snipers covering that window, plus another team around back.” Phillips replied, noticing Logan’s gaze up at the window. Logan felt antsy. “What can I do Captain?” Logan asked, shifting his weight from foot to foot. “Standby to Standby Sgt.” Phillips responded with a smirk. “This is SWAT’s party right now, we are just the spectators.” Phillips spat tobacco juice again and then yelled at a nearby officer to get the onlookers further back.

Two minutes later Logan heard a woman screaming, 10 seconds after that gunfire, Three quick shots from an M4.  Logan quickly looked over at Phillips for a radio report. “Capt. Dennison Report” Phillips said into his mic. Phillips shook his head at Logan. “Nothing” he said. Suddenly, more gunfire erupts. A Pistol Shot and then several shots from M4’s. Suddenly Phillips radio explodes with traffic. “Office Down Officer Down! Captain Dennison is Down!” Logan’s mind did not even fully register what he had just heard before his body was in motion. As he was running for the front door Phillips could be heard yelling for EMT’s to get their asses up to the 4th Floor. Logan burst through the double doors of the building, making his way past several officers. As he was making his way to the stairs, self-preservation and training kicked in and he yelled behind him for them to radio the SWAT team he was coming up. Don’t want to get shot trying to help! Logan thought to himself. Logan could hear one of the four officesr following him up radio SWAT. Logan scaled the stairs four at a time, his heart pumping like a locomotive. Images of Captain Dennison raced through his head. The range practices, the fishing trips, the Fourth of July parties. At Dad’s wake, Paul was one of the only cops who stuck around after everybody had left. He had helped Logan clean up and then afterwards they had a beer on the porch. “Thanks for sticking around Cap” Logan said, his grief still visible. The words shook Paul up. It took him a minute to compose himself for a response. His voice still halfway quivering he said “I ain’t never leaving Logan, you can count on that buddy.” And that was that. Their friendship had been sealed with that one act of eternal kindness and respect.

Logan burst through the door to the 4th floor like a bull, turning the corner, he immediately saw the black clad SWAT officers in the hall outside the apartment. Upon seeing him, immediately all of the officers cleared a path for Logan. They knew where he was going and why. As Logan entered the apartment he heard a baby crying softly in one of the back rooms. After a small hallway, he entered the living room and there on the floor lay an arab woman and man, the woman’s face was gone from bullet holes. Blood splatter had painted the walls behind her and the rug she was laying on was turning black from the blood. Logan saw a huge sword like machete laying by her body.The man was about 4 feet from her to the left.  His chest was a pulpy red blob and Logan noticed a pistol laying beside him. In a small hallway to the left was Paul. Two officers were kneeled down beside him applying bandages, doing what they could. As Logan walked up to Paul, immediately he saw a blood soaked bandage on his neck. “Where the fuck are those EMT’s!!” Logan yelled. “Give me a fucking radio!!” Logan yelled. One of the SWAT guys hurriedly brought Logan a handheld. Logan was so mad he did not even identify himself. “Get those fucking EMT’s up here now or I am gonna shoot them myself!!” Logan yelled and threw the radio back to the young SWAT officer. His fear had turned to anger now. He was literally seething with it. Logan kneeled down beside Paul and grabbed his hand. “Hey Cap” Logan choked out. Paul’s eyes were wide with fear but when he heard Logan’s voice immediately his eyes softened and relaxed. “He can’t talk, the bullet pierced his voice box we think” One of the SWAT medics told Logan.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Logan looked at the bandage on Paul’s neck as it became filled with blood. A Tear formed in Logan’s eye and he quickly wiped it away. Paul was now looking at Logan, a small smile on his face. Paul gripped Logan’s hand tighter.”Here they are!” one of the SWAT officers said, and about that time two EMT’s burst through the door. “About fucking time! What the Fuck!?” Logan stood confronting the Paramedics. Ignoring him, they pushed Logan aside and started working on Paul. Six Minutes Later Paul was in an Ambulance with Logan right beside him.

A Week later Logan was at the range. It was early morning and he was the only one there. He was thankful for that. He had come there not to shoot, but to clear his head, the past week had been a tough one. As Logan finished off a mag, he removed his earmuffs and cleared his weapon. He heard somebody walk up behind him. Turning around he saw that it was Officer Perez, one of the SWAT officers Logan had seen the day of the shooting. “Hey Sarge, how you doing?” Perez asked as he extended a handshake. Logan shook his hand and gave a smile. “Fine Perez, how you holding up?”  Logan asked. “Good Man, I wanted to tell you I was glad to hear about Captain Dennison, he is gonna pull through huh?” Perez answered.Logan smiled. “Yeah, it is going to be a long haul with the rehabilitation, but the Doctors expect him to get back about 50% of his voice, the bullet destroyed most of his larynx you know” Logan replied, a sadness still on his face. “That’s great man” Perez answered. “The Captain, man he is one tough SOB.” Perez said, shaking his head in disbelief. Logan looked at him for a minute. “Hey I never got the full story of what happened that day; you were second in the stack, right?” Logan asked. Perez looked up at him, his face changing expression. “Yeah, the Captain, for some reason always liked to take point, the most dangerous position.” Perez replied. Before Logan could say anything else, Perez went into the story. “So we breached and as soon as we entered the woman was in the living room holding a fucking sword…she was screaming something in arabic. We told her to drop the weapon but she just kept yelling, and before we could even think about getting a translator she charged the Captain and he dropped her with three to the face. About that time is when the male charged out from the bedroom to the left. I still remember having him in my sights but not squeezing off. I just did not see the gun until the shot. I remember me and Herty, the guy behind me, fired almost simultaneously. That is when I noticed the Captain take a knee and then collapse. It was such a lucky fucking shot man. To hit a guy in the neck who is armored up like we were? One in a million when you think about it.  I mean the guy just charged in and fired without aiming.” Perez took a breath. You could tell reliving the experience was not pleasant for him. “Thanks Perez for telling me that, I really appreciate it.” Logan said, reaching out and shaking his hand again. “Oh Yeah man, no problem. I only wish I could have been faster and shot first.” Perez said, his voice shaking a little. “Don’t beat yourself up man. You didn’t see it, it happens…” Logan responded. “Thanks for seeing that way Sarge. I’ll see you around.” Perez replied. As Perez walked off Logan noticed a storm rolling in. The wind picked up and blew a target stand over down range. Logan packed up his stuff and headed to the truck. He had time to drop by the hospital to see Paul before going home for dinner.

Chris/Frisco, Texas

Chris Nance was distracted and just slightly pissed off. On his way home from work he had got a text from his wife saying something about how their 5-year-old had been invited to a birthday party and needed a gift to take. “Would you please stop by Toys R’ Us and pick up a little girls toy, something $20 or less?” The Text read. Twenty Dollars! Why the hell do I have to spend $20 on a kid I don’t even know!? Chris thought to himself. Shaking his head in disbelief at the text he quickly decided he would kill two birds with one stone and swing by the jewelry store in the mall, His 12th wedding anniversary was quickly approaching and this year he wanted to do something really special for Amy, since last year he totally screwed up.  Besides, they had a toy store on the second floor not too far from the shop and he could be in and out in thirty minutes or so. Parking his truck, Chris popped open his center console, removed his Garrity Appendix Holster and spare mag carrier and slid it on his belt. He then reached under the seat to his lock-box and punched in the 4 digit code and retrieved the Smith and Wesson M&P Shield 9mm. He inserted the magazine, racked the slide and then took the extra 8 round magazine laying there.  His job did not allow Concealed Carry on the premises yet, but did allow employees to keep weapon in their vehicles. Chris and two dozen other employees had been constantly pressuring the owner to allow CCW carry for over two years now to no avail. Stepping out of the truck, Chris quickly adjusted the rig for comfort, pulled his Polo shirt over it, checked his wallet was secure and started walking to the mall entrance.

Being a Friday and after 5pm, the Mall was starting to get quite crowded. Chris politely navigated his way through meandering, clueless shoppers. On his way into the jewelry store he saw a young woman sitting on a bench holding an adorable infant baby girl. Chris immediately thought of his wife Amy and their 3-year-old princess Kylee. Once inside the jewelry store, Chris got down to the business of finding the perfect, but affordable anniversary gift that would not force him to have to sell a kidney to pay off the credit card balance. After 30 minutes, he found it. A beautiful diamond necklace with his and Kylee’s birthstones interlaced. Amy liked stuff like that and it gave the gift a personal touch. Leaving the jewelry store with purchase in hand, he headed up the escalators to the toy store. Having no ideal what toy to get, Chris made the decision to just buy what he would buy Kylee. He found a doll that talked and peed itself on sale for Eighteen dollars. Perfect. Paying for the purchase, he walked out into the mall with necklace and doll in hand and headed for the escalators.

Going down the escalators Chris decided to text his wife to tell her he was leaving the mall and would be home in 20 minutes. As he was finishing up, he noticed some commotion ahead of him near  the food court. It looked like two men fighting, one black, the other white, and then Chris heard a woman scream “He has a knife!!” Chris’ heart rate increased and he felt that familiar tingle at the base of his brain as the adrenaline started to flow. Chris worked his way down the escalator past a man who had not even bothered to take notice of the stabbing taking place 40 yards down the mall. As Chris closed distance several people were either running or walking very briskly past him, all of them on their phones, calling 911. Chris decided to approach slowly and use what cover available to him in the event this guy was armed with a gun also. As he closed distance he spotted the guy that had been initially attacked, the man was laying on his back, his hands over a large gash in his stomach, blood pouring out of the wound. “That man needs medical attention ASAP.” Chris thought to himself, no time to waste here. As he got closer to the scene, he heard a lady scream. Suddenly, from behind a kiosk that sold drones, a young black lady came running out, clutching her left arm, blood trickling down her fingers. “Help Me! He is trying to kill us all!” The lady screamed, crying hysterically as she ran past Chris and into a nearby store.

At that moment Chris made the decision he could not wait for the “Calvary”, he had to confront this guy or other people were going to get needlessly hurt. Chris quickly thought about the possibilities here. If Cops showed up, they would see not only a crazy-ass man with a knife, but also some tatted up white dude with a gun. The problem rolled around in his head for a few seconds and Chris made his decision. He was gonna stop this fucker. He drew his pistol and started walking briskly that direction. As he closed distance, the floor was wet and slick with blood. The sickly odor of copper and tile wax floated up into Chris’ nostrils. Up ahead Chris could hear more people screaming, trying to get out of this maniac’s way. As Chris came around the corner of the drone kiosk, he saw the attacker. He was a tall, thin black man. He was wearing all black clothing with a red handkerchief partially over his face.The weapon he was holding was not a knife, but a 20 inch Black Panga machete, like the ones used in Africa. The attackers eyes were wild, like a beast, darting from left to right, looking for another victim. Chris raised his weapon and centered the man in his sights. He was about 15 yards distance. “Hey Asshole!! Drop the Machete!!” Chris yelled.The man turned quickly to face him. Chris had his front sight centered between the man’s nipples, just like he had practiced so many times before. The man looked at Chris intently. The man muttered something in a foreign language Chris did not recognize and then stepped forward at the same time raising the machete. Chris heard the report of the gun before he remembered pulling the trigger. The round pierced the man near his right nipple, spinning him around suddenly like some dance move. The man yelled out in pain. “You die Now Fucker!” The man yelled in a thick accent, amazingly regaining his composure. He raised the machete and charged Chris again. The pistol barked three more times, each of the bullets center punching the man on his breast bone. With the last round the man went down to both knees and fell over sideways, the life already drained out of him before his body was all the way on the floor.

Sound and time whisked through Chris’ ears with a vacuum like sound. His vision blurred for a moment, the whole scene coming to a fine black point and then expanding out again. He saw blood flowing out of the bullet holes he had just made in the man, some of the droplets making their way to the floor in slow motion. His concentration was broke by several Police Officers in Black uniforms coming down the mall, and instinctively Chris dropped his gun and got down to his knees, interlacing his fingers behind his head, just like his his ex-FBI instructor had taught him in his advanced Concealed Carry Class. Everything after that was a blur. A mixture of sound and light, muted human voices and the smell of cordite and copperish blood. Chris was taken handcuffed outside and questioned while sitting in the back of a Police Tahoe. After several eye-witnesses were interviewed and CCTV footage reviewed, the handcuffs were removed and handshakes were in order. A few at first, then hugs and sobs from strangers Chris did not know. On his way down to the Police Station to give his statement Chris called his wife. He kept it short, just the basic information, There had been some trouble, he was safe, etc. Of course his wife wanted more details as women always do, but he knew he had to keep it short, the truth is after he heard Amy’s voice he was afraid he might lose his shit right there in the back seat of that cop car. “I will explain everything when I get home babe, Love ya.” Chris said hanging up quickly. After giving his statement and spending 2 hours answering questions with Detectives, Chris was free to go. “We will have to keep your weapon for evidence Mr. Nance. A Detective will call you in a few days letting you know when it will be returned.” One of the Detectives said as Chris got up to leave. “That’s fine.” Chris nodded. Suddenly Chris’ feet felt like lead. “Ughh, can somebody drive me back to my Truck?” Chris asked, realizing his predicament with awkwardness. “Hell, Mr. Nance, we can do one better, than that, we can drive you home; you’ve had one helluva day!” The Detective said smiling. “You can say that again.” Chris replied as he opened the door, “A Helluva Day indeed.”

The End


7 thoughts on “The Year of the Knife

  1. Pingback: The Year of the Knife |

  2. Well done, brother! I could picture each scene and feel the ramp up to the critical moment or trigger pull every time.

    One minor wording suggestion: while most people wouldn’t care between using “idea” and “ideal”….ideal doesn’t fit as well is some cases.

    My examples would be:

    What’s the big idea, Mac? Get the heck outta my face!

    I have had a load of ideas lately on writing short stories.

    The situation became less than ideal in a big hurry.

    – Mark

    Sent from my iPhone


    • Thanks Mark, I wrote that one in a hurry, as it all came to me at once with all these stabbings. Got several more in the works. Some Historical Fiction, which is my favorite genre as you know.

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