Monday, August 27, 2012

Azraal's Office

I opened the door to Azraal's office and stepped inside.  I held the knife in front of me, ready to strike as soon as he moved toward me.

He was standing in one corner of the room, looking very calm.  His arms were at his sides in a pose of cool relaxation that was completed by the lit cigarette held loosely in his left hand.  "I see you've come armed," he said, nodding toward my knife.  "Do you plan to kill me with that thing?" he teased.

I stepped forward hesitantly.  "This isn't just an ordinary knife," I said, trying to keep my voice firm.  It trembled a little bit.  I think my hand did too.  My attempt at bravado was pretty transparent. 

He strolled casually over to his desk, widening his eyes and raising his eyebrows in an absurd caricature of fear.  "Ooh," he taunted.  "So you plan to kill me with an extraordinary knife.  How terrifying."  He leaned forward, rested his palms on the desk and gave me a sarcastic glare.  "I'm at your mercy.  You have my undivided attention."

I stepped forward a little more.  I was maybe eight feet away from him, still holding the knife in front of me and wondering how close I should get before I tried to stab him.  The fleeing in terror phase of the plan was sounding really good right about now and I wanted to hurry up and get there.

"This is no ordinary knife," I explained, "because--"

With an efficient swiftness that contrasted sharply with his earlier body language, Azraal plucked a small dagger from his desk and threw it violently.  His accuracy across such a short distance made it impossible for me to dodge, and the blade buried itself two inches deep in my chest, just below my collar bone.  It was so surprising that I didn't even make a sound when it split open my flesh.

"Because it's dipped in human blood?" Azraal finished dryly.  "I'm betting you didn't know this little sweetheart of a spell could be used against you, did you?"

My vision started to go a little blurry and I began to have trouble determining which direction was down.  Azraal stepped around the desk and grinned at me.  "You're part demon now," he told me, almost laughing.  "Ever since you drank your great-grandaddy's blood, you've been some weird human-demon hybrid mutant thing."  He spoke the last word with such disdain that, even though he was not someone whose opinions I trusted or valued, I was somehow still offended. 

I crumpled clumsily to the floor.  Azraal stood over me, chuckling to himself.  "I love it when you try to plan things out so carefully," he mused, "And then somebody comes along and just makes everything so much easier."

And then I passed out.

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