The longer of the necklaces you pull over your head, and the looser of the bracelets, drop them in his hands; he doesn’t say a word, just watches with blue, blue eyes; and behind you on the opposite end is your opponent, some hulking brute at least twice your size, in all likelihood, but you know this’ll be a cakewalk—the bigger, the slower, and quite possibly dumber.
Some kind of cheer—or perhaps it’s a jeer—comes from the motley crowd behind the chain link fences as your opponent flings off the red hoodie he was wearing and revealing his excessive muscles; you merely turn, approach, take up a ready stance. The first of the stiletto knives is in your left hand, its grip snug and perfectly fitting.
For a moment, nothing. For a single tiny moment there’s nothing.
Then there’s a rush, a blur, a feint, a swing and a duck and your first knife is sunk into the inside of his elbow, right at the joint, almost through; a howl of pain and you duck around, a kick to the back of the neck—something hits you in the midriff and you find yourself skidding back amidst a flash of pain, but it only takes a moment for you to catch your breath again and dig your boots in and you see brilliant blue watching you from all the way over there, only you, and you’re mentally counting down seconds until the chloroform kicks in, but you realize that you really don’t need it. And the second knife’s already in your hand and one more nimble side-step and right in the side of the throat—