The first thing I noticed about him wasn’t his face, or even his clothes.
It was the axe.
That was when I wondered, are axes all the rage now? I sure didn’t see anyone else carrying one on the way here.
“You’re late,” I said. And he looked so fetching in the photo…
He grunted in acknowledgement. “Sorry.”
I didn’t think he sounded very apologetic.
A few moments later and we were already seated, waiting for our food. I thought about ordering wine, but I was afraid of looking like a fool in front of my date.
The axe sat on the draped table, against all common sense. I bit down the urge to scream.
He stared at me, the way a patient hunter regards his prey.
“What’s it for?” I asked weakly, my voice nothing more than a squeak. I inched a trembling finger at the axe.
“Oh, this?” His face twisted into sudden, repulsive glee. “It’s for correcting mistakes.”
Chop. My finger separated from my hand, rolling across the velvet table and disappearing off the edge.
He brandished the axe heartily, blood smeared on the edge. My blood.
An entire army of pain, a thousand strong, funneled into my bloody little stump, leaking blood. I couldn’t scream. It would disturb everyone. I’m not that kind of woman.
“I’m sorry,” I said.
He blinked. “Mistake number two.”
The next blow split my head open.
I opened my mouth to protest, but thought better not to.
With a satisfied grunt, he left the axe buried on top of my head.
Call me weird, but there was much less pain this time. I stopped feeling my severed finger, too. I felt light-headed, even if the axe was a little on the heavy side.
I didn’t attract his ire anymore. When the food arrived, we ate heartily. He wasn’t that bad, I guess. Just a little eccentric, but kinder than my past boyfriends.
I wouldn’t mind getting murdered by him, I thought.
“Let’s meet again,” I said to him, after he walked me to my train station.
“Just call me,” he said. He raised his hand.
Before I knew it, the axe was back in his hand.
Before I knew it, I was falling on the pavement, my jostled brain matter sloshing around as I realized that I was dying, or already dead.
Which one, I thought, was true?
A policeman picked up my body a full hour later.