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Operation Stingray                        Part 2 // PG. 1 of 2


PART II. Love Hurts

     I fell in love with Lindsay the first time I met her. It was her smile; warm and sweet, with a sparkle of mischief behind the eyes.

     She was wearing that smile as she held the knife over me, ready to plunge it through the back of my neck.

     I leaped forward out of the couch just as she whipped the knife down. It slashed my shoulder open, driving me onto the coffee table. I reached back to touch the wound and felt hot blood seeping between my fingers.

     I rolled over and looked at her, stammering, “Jesus fucking Christ, Lindsay, what are you doing?”

     She was staring straight ahead, not even looking at me. Just gently smiling into nothing. Her head slowly lowered, and she looked into my eyes. “Everything is going to be alright,” she said. She walked around the couch, slowly and deliberately, her eyes fixed on mine the whole time.

     I rolled off the coffee table and backed away from her across the carpet. “Lindsay,” I said, “put down the knife. I am not fucking with you right now. Put it down.”

     “Just relax, babe,” she said. She walked around to the front of the couch and picked up the stack of papers from Brian's envelope. “You're going to be fine. Brian is going to be fine. Everyone is going to be taken care of.” She stepped toward me, the papers in one hand and the knife in the other.

     I backed up into the exposed brick wall-- pain flashed across my shoulder. I stood up, breathing hard. “Stop,” I said. “Stop right there. Please don't take another step toward me, or I might have to hurt you. I don't know what's going on, but please don't make me do that. I love you, Lindsay. Please stop.”

     She paused a few feet from me. We stood in a thick silence. “You're such a sweeeeeetheart,” she growled in a raspy voice that froze my intestines. “Too bad it has to end like this.”

     She rushed at me, waving the knife in front of her. I dodged to the side, grabbed her wrist, and spun her around into the wall. I pounded her wrist against the brick, trying to knock the knife loose. I felt a wet snap in the bone, and I gasped and looked at her. She was still smiling.

     I threw her to the side and she crumpled onto the floor. She lay there a moment; squares of bright sunlight from the windows made her look like a dream. I was seeing purple spots in the center of my vision. A high-pitched ringing sound was spiking my brain like an ice pick. It was wrong, everything was wrong. This can't be happening. I pressed my palms into my eyes. The pill. Something was in that pill that Brian gave me and it was making me crazy. I have to wake up. That's all I have to do is wake up.

     I took my hands away from my eyes to find Lindsay standing in front of me. The smile was gone. A guttural animal cry exploded from her and she swung the knife at my head. I ducked under her arm and shoved her waist as hard as I could. She staggered back and fell into the window. The glass shattered and she flipped over, clutching at the windowsill just as she went over the side.

     I ran to the window and grabbed her wrist just as she let go of the sill. The knife spun and flashed down to the street. Brian's papers fluttered through the air like snowflakes.

     Lindsay looked up at me. The smile was gone, the rage was gone. It was just her. 

     “Oh my god,” she cried, “Oh my god, what's happening?”

     “Fuck, baby, hang on,” I said. My hands were sweaty and slick with blood. I squeezed harder and felt the bones twist and pop in her broken wrist.

     She screamed and jerked her arm. My grip slid down to her fingers.

     “Hold still,” I yelled. “Hold still. Reach with your other hand.”

     “I can't, I can't, oh God, don't let me fall.” She was shaking and gasping for breath. I tried to pull her up, but my shoulder screamed fire and gave out.

     She slipped another inch.


H. K. Reyes


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