Routine Matter in the Kitchen

There was a sharpening of knives when I entered the kitchen. I thought of a viscious massacre of cows, but more likely, I figured it was just a routine sharpening of knives.

I was wrong both times.

I stood, in fact, just two feet from the doorway I came in, with a foot-long knife pointed decidely at the softest part of me. 'Point to my head,' I wanted to say, 'or my butt. Just point that thing somewhere else before you poke a hole in my throat.' But I feared that the slightest movement of my mouth would irrepably impale me on the impossibly sharp-looking knife.

So instead I looked at the floor.

And there was Eliah, bound and gagged, decidely naked but, more likely, I figured not by choice. He sort of spun around in circles on the floor, doing nothing but picking up floor burns and maybe cleaning off part of the dirty linoleum.

Then after spinning around a few more times, he saw, felt that he wasn't quite dead or bleeding yet, and looked up. He saw his savior standing by the doorway. Or his decoy, I wasn't really sure about my whole deal here yet.

But then the lady in the black underwear wielding the knife asked:

"Who the hell are you?"

I breathed a huge sigh of relief. At least on the inside. The tip of her knife was poking me like a needle teasing a naughty balloon.

She had asked me a question I could answer. I was afraid that she was the game show host, the knife was the gimmick, and the prize was the knife going in. The penalty... no more questions to answer.

"I'm... the roommate," I said, then closed my eyes. Maybe if I didn't see the blood gushing out, I wouldn't be really bleeding. I prayed that Zen wasn't just a philosophy but a law of physics.

"You're not supposed to be here right now. That's what he,' a nod towards Eliah on the floor, 'said."

"I wish I wasn't supposed to be here either. But the camping trip was cancelled, and I thought ... I could go home."

I put my hands up, albeit late. If she had a gun instead, I would have been automatic, but with the knife and the near total nudity in the kitchen, I got distracted for a minute or two.

All I wanted was a piece of toast and some hot water.

"Damn you Eliah. You promised me this was going to be easy," she said, a vague European accent I couldn't recognize inflecting her voice.

"You promised this to her," I said, shocked at my thought-to-be-conservative roommate. "Is this what you do when I go on long weekend trips? I thought I knew you, Eliah."

Eliah mumbled in his gag, something I sort of understood to be: I'm sorry, get out of here, she's insane, where are my clothes.

"Be quiet." Both of us shut up.

"And put your hands down."

"But I had a question, " I said.

"What?", she answered, accent slithering the word.

"Who... are you?"

The lady with the long dark hair laughed a short loud 'Ha!', and she had a devilish, addictive grin on her face. I wanted to laugh too, seeing the joy on her face, but I remembered the knife. And the penalty for the wrong answer.

"I am, roommate of Eliah, his escort from last night. His company, his date, his assured conquest. I had to put up with his incessant self-congradulating and theories on world commerce, and a mediocre night in bed, to get him to the proper stage. Now you've ruined what was to be the most gratifying part of the night.

Your friend Eliah in little pieces all over your kitchen floor."
"Oh," I said, understanding all and knowing nothing. I was wise yet still mysteriously stupid at the moment. Gamer's anxiety, I attributed it to.

"Argh." She growled. I could tell I ruined her plans for this night. Possibly interrupted the most sacred part of her... hunting. I felt truly sorry. But just for a moment. Eliah was still bound and gagged naked writhing on the floor, and this stunning woman in sheer black lace still had a stunningly sharp knife at my throat.

I thought it was a stand off, but in reality, she just hadn't made up her mind yet. Then she did.

She pulled the knife back away from my throat slowly. Then jabbed it into my chest. I saw the handle and an inch of steel in the front of me. I wondered what happened to the rest of the knife. Then I remembered. I wasn't two years old anymore. Just because I couldn't see it doesn't mean its not there. Zen be damned.

I slipped to the floor, barely catching Eliah's shocked panicked eyes. Sorry, if you hoped for more, but there's only


By Don Bernal

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