The Craftsman

2 minute read

“You see, Detective, I have a little problem with knives. I collect them, large and small. Not swords, mind you, or anything garish like that. Just a simple blade will do, thank you very much.”

“Folding pocket knives are particularly useful. They’re easy to handle and I rarely cut myself. I insist on a locking blade. It’s very important to keep one handy, in your pocket, for the little jobs such as cutting a length of rope or duct tape. Serrated the first third, I prefer the business-end bevelled and sharp to the point. I always grind an edge on the back as well; it can make all the difference in a pinch.”

“For the important jobs, the real work, I prefer a fixed blade with a single, full tang, one that’s strong and light but still weighted enough to be balanced. A ten-inch blade is best as it can pierce and cut clean through all but the thickest abdomens.”

“Making your own knife is a satisfying art. Have you tried it, Detective? No? You probably prefer the comfort and distance of a gun. I made my first knife in eighth-grade shop class. I stole a metal file and ground an edge on it when the teacher wasn’t looking. I fashioned the hilt out of pine. Me, the artist, the master craftsman!”

“I remember that stray cat that followed me home. It took a few weeks to get it to trust me. Tuna works best for making friends. A cat only has about a half pint of blood. It seemed like more.”

“Can I have a cigarette? Thanks, Detective. You’re a good sport, given all that’s happened.”

“My favorite knife, the one you found, is actually a dagger. I made that one too. Do you like it? The hilt is wrapped in a hide I tanned, another useful skill, I might add. You’ll never guess what I used; or should I say ‘who?’ I special-ordered carbide steel for the heart of my creation. If it can cut metal, it can cut bone, am I right?”

“So here we are, Detective, in this lonely basement. It’s just you and me, compadre. Are the ropes too tight? Would you like a smoke? You look like you could use one. These things’ll kill you, ya know. A pretty lady like you shouldn’t have such a nasty habit. We’ll leave the tape on, okay?”

“By the way, it was eight girls, not seven. You missed one. Well, with you that’ll be nine, plus your partner over there. He makes an even ten. A nice round number, but nowhere near the record. I have so much work to do, so many masterpieces to create.”

“Hold still. If I miss the spine, it’ll only hurt more. That’s my girl. Close your eyes. This’ll be over shortly.”

“For you, at least.”

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