I realized at that moment, if I lived to tell the tale, I’d cut my hair as soon as I got home. Hell, I might just go bald! No wonder Samurai put the tail up on the top of their heads.
They held me at gunpoint, and discussed my eventual demise. It was dreary. I’d heard a lot of the same things before in other situations.
“Can’t you people be a little more creative?” I turned my head to look my primary captor in the face… as much of it as I could see, anyway.
“What?” He looked slightly surprised to hear me complain.
“Yeah. Look. I’ve been in this position before. I hear the same shit over and over again.” I actually put my hands on my hips. It shocked me slightly that no one saw me shift my weight and decide to shoot me right away. “If I’m going to die, I’d like a little creativity with it, instead of the same old song and dance.”
Behind me—I guess it was the guy with the shotgun—someone snickered.
“Well, Mr. I’m-Not-Afraid-To-Die, what would you suggest in terms of creatively killing you?” The guy holding my hair asked me. He didn’t let up on his grip, unfortunately, and my neck was killing me.
“Now you want my help?” I didn’t have to feign indignance.
“Hey, I am addressing your complaints,” he said, and gave my hair a significant jerk. “and I’d like a little appreciation for that… and for my generous attention in exploring your end of life needs.”
Fucker. Everyone is a comedian.
“Gosh. I. Am. So. Grateful. What. A. Mensch!” I couldn’t spit on him, but I wanted to.
All three of them laughed, and the grip on my hair let up.
I dropped slightly, and spun out of his grip. By the time he started to pull again, I was more beside him than in front. I took my sword by the scabbard, and used it like a stick. The iron cap on the handle hit him below his right ear, just behind the jawbone.
He let go of my hair and clutched his head while his knees buckled. I fucking love pressure points!
The first of my major problems were solved. My hairdresser was down, and I was moving. I caught the second biker moving out of the corner of my eye, as I passed in front of him. He was going to bring my own gun up and put some holes in me—that much was clear.
Really, it didn’t seem like something I wanted to do with my day. As it was, there was the third guy with the shotgun to give me the willies. Luckily, my instincts took over. I turned my forward momentum into a roll, as though my sword was the spoke in a Frank Stewart-shaped wheel.
Damned good thing I did, too. The shotgun rang out in the ruins of the restaurant foyer, followed by a warm, wet, spray across my face as I came up out of the roll. On the bright side, it wasn’t my warm, wet, stuff squirting around!
Shotgun Biker took out the guy holding my .45. I sounded my Walt Whitman-esque barbarian yawp to celebrate the Darwinian fail of my enemy.
My sword slithered out of the scabbard with an evil glint in the diffuse light, and I closed the distance with my only upright opponent. He saw what was coming, and pumped another shell into the single barrel riot shotgun, hoping to finish me before I was close enough to be bothersome.
Let me say that I can’t use the Force. I am not a Jedi Knight. I do, however, understand how to use rubble to the best effect.
There was a half brick near my foot, so I kicked it at Shotgun Biker as I moved towards him. In a George Lucas film, the brick would have described a gorgeous arc through the air, and hit the bad guy right above his eye. Then he would have dropped the gun. Right?
No such luck. The chunk of brick bounced off his thigh. He glanced down, and that was enough for me. I swept the point of my katana across the front of his calf, opening a gash through his jeans and the meat of his leg.
He howled and the shotgun lifted towards the ceiling. Thank you, God.
I twisted the blade back into line from the short cut, and drove it, edge up, into his chest, right below the sternum. The blade, filled with the energy of my motion, pierced him through. I didn’t stop until the sword guard hit the front of his chest.
When I looked up into his surprised face, noting the thick blood dripping from his mouth, he locked eyes with me.
He tried to say something, but the only thing that came out was a noise that sounded like a pull-cord lawnmower that wouldn’t start properly.
“Does it hurt much?”
“Huk. Huk.” He wheezed.
“Yeah, I imagine so.” I pivoted on my feet and pulled the blade out.
My soon-to-be-dead—for a second time—opponent started to collapse straight down. I turned my pivot into a full step and a strike. His head parted company with his neck in a scarlet guttering of thickened blood.
“Shigata ga nai, motherfucker.” I whispered.
Rough translation: “Shit happens.”
The whisper is all I got before the first biker zombie rushed me like a football hero.
To be continued in #15, next week! In the meantime, follow me on Twitter @crawford4033, or poke around my blog.