A story from the point of a view of the knife in a thief’s pocket.
I am warm, but I always am, nestled as I am close to her body. I am the hard edge against soft skin, but in her case I abide. For now she is still. She’s waiting. My time will come, but not yet. We sit in darkness—at one with the shadows—and we watch.
She is normally absolutely still when she waits for her prey, but tonight her hand runs along my hilt ever so slightly, checking to be sure I am there. Her calloused fingers test my edge. I am sharp. I am ready, but she is nervous. What prey would cause my master such alarm? She is a master of the night, a denizen of shadow and the master of my blade. I am her razor edge and she is my body. When we act, we are one and our will is mighty. She should have nothing to fear.
An hour passes, but waiting is normal for us. She had spent the day checking all the angles of the building we watched. From our perch under the eaves of a building across the narrow street we could see the door to the tavern in front of us and the alleys and streets that lead away nearby.
The neighborhood was a finer one than we normally frequented, so her clothes were finer to suit. Her normal simple but darkly colored shirt and cloak were instead a midnight blue silk and velvet. I was tucked carefully out of sight in a supple black leather belt. Before the night was out blood red would be my decoration.
A man emerged from the tavern. He was tall and broad shouldered and wearing clothes that looked like a similar make to my master’s—dark and fine. When he began to walk away from us though his cloak billowed out and showed a scarlet silk lining. Surely he was no master of the shadow if he had chosen such a jolt of color for his costume. It would stand out in any crowd, be remarked upon and make a retreat into darkness and anonymity impossible. I wondered again at my master’s obvious nerves.
As the man moves away, so do we. She ghosts behind him and then with lithe grace—and a strength her small frame belies—scales a wall to take to the rooftops as we follow in his wake. He turns down an alley and I know my moment is close. She waits one heartbeat, watching as he keeps going at an even pace. She drops down from the roof around a corner and she drives forward silently. I am in her hand and we move like a wave surging toward the shore ready to crash on our unsuspecting victim. I sing out our silent battle cry as the air slides past my edge like silk. My keen blade, carefully matted to a dull grey to not catch the light, begins it’s sweeping arch that will slit a throat in a wild spray of arterial blood, but when my edge should bite into the man’s flesh there is nothing there but empty air.
In an instant he has her wrist and her arm is twisted painfully behind her back. I hear her sharp intake of breath as with a crushing grip he pulls until her hand goes slack and I am on the ground, no longer the extension of her deadly will. I watch, helpless as she writhes. His other arm has gone around her neck in a choke hold I’ve seen her use when she needs information and not blood, but the man asks no questions and makes no demands. She struggles and for a moment he just stands there, watching her try to get loose from his crippling hold. I scream my fury, but I am only the knife, with no body to guide me.
He lets his arm drop from the chokehold and she gasps for air. Then, with an almost casual indifference his draws his own blade and it’s edge does what mine has done so many times before. A spray of red and my master drops to the cobblestones next to me. Her sightless eyes don’t see the blood that pools beneath her and beneath me. It seems I wasn’t so wrong about crimson decorating my blade this night.