The “Don’t Apologize” advice (see previous posts) seemed to pop a cork; for the first time, ever, I started and had an ENDING for a story within the span of a single weekend.
The Ace of Knives is about to kill someone. She is certain of this.
She is in the hallway before his door. Unpainted, varnished wood, a brass knocker. Nothing else besides the obligatory peephole.
Ringed fingers, rings that her parents wore, grip a knife. It ends here, is her thought.
Memories of humiliation flood The Ace of Knives’ mind; of being isolated, people not wanting, not caring, to understand her.
A stroke of the finger; the surface of the knife is rough. Filings clump to her skin.
Memories of cops being too rough, of curls of the lip and the holding of noses.
A stroke of the finger; the surface becomes smooth.
Memories come of her parents’ faces, of their warnings, of being hit, of doctors not caring enough.
Her finger strokes the surface. It becomes fine. Sharp.
One hand knocks on the door. No one answers The Ace of Knives’s call.
“Where is he?” she hisses under her breath. A trilling from the surface of the knife on her fingertip. “Is he inside?” she asks it. It warms to her touch. She inserts it into the lock.
“Open the door.” The knife moves quickly, surely, the lock clicks. A well placed punch to the door and it flies open, slamming against the inner wall, rattling on its hinges.
And he is there. Seated upon a fancy rattan chair. Waiting. Holding a painting of the circlet with a heart on it, as a pendant, that she now sported as a nose ring.
The Ace of Knives doesn’t know what to make of this. The fire inside sputters, endangered by a strong wind.