The Battle of my Hands.
Long before the little voice in my head had a name he was already playing games with me.
Left alone in a small flat, sick, cold, ALONE, the mind can wander…a knife left sitting on the table…2 hours later, this text had spurted out from the darkest little voice realms of my head.
I’m having a battle with my evil hand. It’s going for the knife sitting on the table in front of me, reaching out determinedly. The fingers stretch as far as they can without the bones bursting out of the skin. My new housemate Bob has left it on the table. Careless. Real careless. I’m a pretty easy going guy to live with. I only have one rule: DO NOT LEAVE ANY KNIVES LYING AROUND. Not such a hard thing to remember. Is it? I mean, I do the cleaning. I do the cooking. All I ask is that he don’t leave any freakin’ knives lying around! Like this big one sitting here now. It’s long sharp blade glints teasingly in the sunlight that’s streaming in the window. My evil hand grunts and whines as it stretches, hungrily, desperately.
This is a battle I can’t lose. I’ve got a pretty good idea what my evil hand has in mind once it gets that knife. It’s tried it on before. Once. Staring at it now, reaching out in front of me across the table, the scar from that previous battle bulges dark red across the back of it, from the bump on the edge of the wrist to the webbing between the thumb and fore finger. It’s pulsing an evil smile, that scar. An evil snake smile. Sure, I won that first battle. But I’d been waiting for the next. Shame it had arrived through someone’s negligence. Good old Bob. Quiet, geeky, suited up Bob.
My good hand suddenly realizes the urgency of the situation and bursts to life. About time too. It makes to move and grab my evil hand. But my evil hand is ready. It lunges at my good hand. Gets it in a good grip, crushing the knuckles against each other. Shit that hurts. The knuckles crack and bubble under the tension. The thumb is loose but at a loss to do anything effective. It writhes and wriggles while the fingers buckle and try to bump my evil hand off. I’m reminded of a small rodent, trapped in the grip of the mouth of a snake with lockjaw, bucking and panicking, knowing that unless it gets loose its next breath could be its last. Really, it’s not that far removed from what’s going on right in front of my face. I sit back and watch my hands do battle against each other. Good verses evil. I relax a little. The knife has lost prominence in the mind of the evil hand. It’s got to beat the good hand before it can go for the knife. Relaxing is good, but as I watch the evil hand’s scar pulse in waves, sending more blood to tighten the grip on the good hand I realise that it’s only a matter of time before evil prevails over good. And then it’s the knife. And then it’s me. I’ve got to act. I’ve got to do something. Now.
Making sure the evil hand is still fully occupied in chocking the living shit out of the good hand I slowly raise my foot towards the table. If I can give it a big enough knock I can send the knife to the floor, out of reach of the evil hand. That will buy me some time, at least to work out how I can end this battle. I get my foot into position and then kick out as hard as I can. It’s a good one. The bump sends the knife traveling towards the edge of the table. My evil hand releases its grip on the good hand which falls limp to my side. Then my evil hand turns and hisses at me. A long, evil hiss. I shudder. Then it directs its attention to the knife. It’s reached the edge but hasn’t dropped off. It hangs there, right on the edge, balancing, just. Damn. My evil hand reaches, and reaches. I feel tendons pop, stretch. It’s determined, but, I smile. There’s no way it’s going to get that knife. Yeah, just a little sly smile as I raise my foot again. I give the table the slightest nudge and the knife turns, the heavy handle reaching out over thin air, rocking on the precipice for a second, then slowly pulling the weight of the knife over the edge like a sinking ship going under. My evil hand hisses again, this time in despair. The blade glints once more in the sunlight before it slides over and disappears from view clattering to the floor.
“Game over evil hand.” I say, but the words are barely out of my mouth than I realise I’ve spoken a little prematurely.
My evil hand lets out a horrible ear-piercing war cry and coils up into a ball. Then it comes straight for me! At the last second I try to move but I’m already leaning back in my chair and I’ve got nowhere to go! It’s bound up fist cops me right on the nose! Bam! It’s a good one. My eyes water. I see stars. I feel warm run down the front of my face and the back of my throat, then I taste blood, salty, and metallic. I try to open my eyes but realise they already are. The punch has left me temporarily blinded. My sight clears just in time to see my evil hand coming at me again. I roll my head to the side hoping to cop the impact in a slightly different spot, but only partially succeed. It cops me on the side of the nose and on the left eye. Crack! I hear bones splinter. That’s got to be my cheekbone. Searing, throbbing pain pumps through my head. And then I’m hit again and I feel myself sliding sideways. If I don’t stop myself, gravity will insist that I fall to the floor. I have to right myself but I’ve lost all sense of balance, of perspective. My head throbs. I feel blood coagulating around my mouth. I open my eye and see my evil hand close up, open, and gentling hissing in my face. Then it pulls its forefinger back and secures it behind the thumb. It moves closer, and slowly closer. What is it doing? Why doesn’t it just whack me again? And then it releases the forefinger. Whock! Ah, my evil hand has a sick sense of humour. The flick knocks me in the left temple, giving me just enough momentum to put me in the hands of gravity and I begin to fall towards the floor, accelerating faster and faster until my head hits the tiles. Slam! I see black.
I open my eyes. I don’t know how long I’ve been out. My head throbs. My nose is broken for sure. It feels 10 times its normal size. I can hear a scratching sound. I try to focus, to work out what it is. Then I feel my head slide slightly across the floor, lubricated by my coagulating blood. It’s my evil hand. It’s slowly pulling its way across the floor tile by tile towards the knife. It senses that I am awake and turns to me. It’s nails and the tips of the fingers are rubbed raw and bleeding. Quickly it turns back to its task. It creeps its fingers along the tile, stretching, searching for the next crack to grab on to. It’s only one tile away from the knife now. It grabs at that next crack, reaching, straining. Desperately I try and mobilize my feet for one last kick at the knife, to kick it under the buffet and out of reach for good. But I can’t! My legs have gone to sleep! My evil hand gets one finger into that last crack and begins to pull. Another reaches, and then another until all four have a grip. It pulls and I feel my face slide further along on my blood. Then it’s got it. It’s got the knife! It rears up triumphantly, blood running from the tips of the fingers down the handle and dripping slowly to the floor. The scar from that battle past stretches into a smile, for it senses that revenge is near. Slowly my evil hand moves towards me, blade poised. That’s it. It’s game over. Battle lost. I breathe deeply. My only remaining hope is that the finish is quick. I brace myself. My evil hand moves slowly closer reveling in its approaching triumph. No, it’s in no rush to finish the job. It’s only inches from my head now. I savor my last remaining breaths.
Suddenly I feel my head slowly begin to slide on my puddle of blood again, but this time at a different angle. Strange. It’s not the doing of my evil hand. It defies physics. My evil hand notices too. It tilts in a look of curiosity. Then my head is jerked clear of the floor, slurping clear of my blood puddle! What is happening? Who is lifting me? And then I see it! It’s my good hand! It’s alive! And it lunges at my evil hand, knocking the knife out of its grasp, dislocating two of its fingers in the process. My evil hand writhes in pain. My good hand goes for the knife, grabs it and without flinching, plunges it deep into the palm of my evil hand.
Shit, that hurts.
It pushes further, deeper, until it’s all the way through, and is scratching on the floor. My evil hand cringes and curls up like a dying spider. Then my good hand pulls the blade out with a slight slurp.
“Ugh!” says my evil hand.
My good hand places the knife sideways on the wrist of my evil hand. There’s only one real way to end this battle. The evil hand has got to go. The good hand applies pressure and the skin gives a little before splitting like an overripe tomato. Blood runs from the opening, and drips to the floor.
“Wait, wait!” says my evil hand, gasping for breath.
My good hand pauses.
“Best 3 of 5?”
My good hand relaxes the pressure on the blade a little, considering the request. Then it lifts the blade out of the deepening cut and flips it into the air. I watch, breath held, awaiting the outcome. Where will the knife fall? The blade turns and turns in the air. On one hand, I’m hoping for a severing landing, but, on the other, I’m hoping it will miss, that the evil hand will live to fight another day. The knife continues to spin, reaching the top of its axis and then turning and heading back down. Down, down, down it spins, and just as it’s about to land back in the cut on the evil hands wrist, the good hand reaches out and catches the knife by the blade.
‘Ok,” it answers. “Best 3 of 5.”
And it flings the knife across the floor sending it spinning around and around until it disappears into the small gap under the buffet, to await the next battle.
Battle over, the three of us collapse into our own little pools of agony on the floor to await the return of Bob from his day of surely awe inspiring work, at whatever he says he does. Hopefully he’ll have enough sense to call an ambulance, not like the last guy, who dropped his briefcase and ran. I glance around at the blood. Hope he doesn’t have a weak stomach. God, I feel like shit. I close my eyes and try not to think about my throbbing head, my aching hands. I hear the front door open, then close. Must be Bob. He’s early. His footsteps approach, then stop.
“Oh my God!” he says
“Bob,” I mumble with a smile, “You left a knife out.”
There’s a high pitched shriek, something like a briefcase hitting the floor, and then I see Bob slump down beside me. Hmmm. Great. Weak stomach.
Think I’m gonna have to start looking for another housemate…
That two hours of my hands battling over the knife, we turned that into a film: