3. Qual Morgen
Gritting my teeth against the pain, I slowly test my bonds, tugging at each one by one. Heh, whoever tied these isn’t exactly the best at lashings. Giving the ropes another tug, one begins to fray slightly. Or the best quality either.
Giving my right arm, a violent tug, I tear free; followed by the left arm and the legs. Each movement sends a mall microburst of pain shooting through me. Grasping the hilt, I tear the knife from my stomach, and in doing so, a small yelp of pain slips past my lips.
“OW! Scheiss!” Cursing, I let the knife dangle loosely in my hand by my side. Taking a few uneven steps toward the trees, I turn my eyes skyward. F***! The sun has already started to rise? Quickening my pace, I break out into a jog, and pass through the barrier of trees.
Breaking the tree – line, I slow to a halt, and begin to walk back toward town. After going about fifteen feet, I get the feeling that I am being watched. Standing stock still, I hear the scuffing of shoes against the pavement, and whirling around, I dive to the side as a familiar and unwelcome face passes me by.
Setting off in a brisk run, I chase after my assailant, following him down the winding road, while the sun makes its inexorable march over the horizon. Just a few feet ahead, my target whirls around, drawing a short fixed – bladed knife while doing so and lunges towards me. Bringing my knife to bear, I meet his in a flare of sparks. Grabbing him by the wrist, I swing him in a semicircle, before letting him go. He stumbles and lurches against a tree in an attempt to regain his balance.
Reaching him, I swing my knife towards his neck, but he ducks, and the knife carves a wide gash across his left cheek instead. Catching him by the throat, I hoist him into the air and stab him in the stomach, before twisting the knife around and slicing him open at the waist.
Blood sprays from his torn stomach, splattering my legs, and sliding down his feet and onto the ground; his intestines follow soon after. Dropping him onto the ground, I bend down and grasp him by the hair, tilting his face upward, so that we are looking each other in the eyes.
“Still breathing, dummkopf?”
His yes flicker open, and his face breaks into a strained leer. “Yes…Yes I am.” A sharp pain blossoms an inch or so below my heart, and recoiling back in pain, I stumble and fall backward.
“The blades of both knives…were poisoned…and the Sun is rising…you have…but mere minutes to live.” He coughs, blood leaking from the corners of his mouth and nose.
Picking myself up, my stomach heaves, and I vomit into the brush, the acidic taste of bile mixing with the coppery taste of blood. Raising my hand, I drive it through his chest, and pierce his heart with my fingers. His body goes rigid, and then slackens, the light ebbing from his eyes, as a milky sheen overtakes them.
Delirious with pain, I stumble away, and collapse in the middle of the road. The Sun breaches the treetops, and at that instant, my skin feels as if it is being boiled. My vision clouds with a red haze, and I struggle to drag myself out of the sun. Tears of blood flow from my half closed eyes. Pulling myself forward, onto my elbows, I hack up blood.
My eyes center upon an approaching figure, though whoever it is stops just seven feet from me. Please…don’t let me die here…I…please…help me…I. I strain my hand out towards him, only to collapse uselessly, face down on the hot asphalt, unconsciousness overtaking me, pain driving out any other thought.