He stood motionless, glass chips at his feet, the cork laying at the foot of the fridge with the corkscrew still threaded in it, and all around his feet a translucent puddle that he thought would be his company for the evening. But the night had quickly become more interesting. Suddenly, he knew he had only one option, to fight. He knew they wouldn’t fire on him inside the apartment, that the guns they wielded were just for show. He didn’t know what exactly they wanted to do with him, but somehow he got the feeling that if he went with them….well he wasn’t going, that’s all.
They faced each other, them shuffling quickly through the doorway separating the living room and the kitchen and assembling opposite him across the little island-style counter which he stood behind. They held their aim on him, and the one in front broke the silence.
“Don’t move Jarnell, there’s nowhere to go. We don’t want to hurt you, just detain you for questioning. Mr. M is very interested in you, in the knowledge you posses.”
His eyes shot to the corkscrew, then back to the men. “Okay, guys, you’ve got me. I’ll come quietly.”
He raised his hands to ease their minds and slowly stepped sideways out from behind the counter and stood directly over the corkscrew. He counted the men, only eight? They had no idea who they were dealing with.
In a blur of motion, Jarnell brought his feet together around the tool he’d used so many times–though never in the way he intended to now–and jumped flinging it with his feet up into the air directly into the path of his hand, which snatched it from mid-air. In a fluid motion, he spun the cork off, and twisted the tool so that the screw was sticking out from between his fingers, while the handle was held within his fist, and assumed a defensive stance.
The men laughed.
Their laughter was interrupted by Jarnell jumping toward the counter that divided them, putting one hand down and pushing off into a front-flip, landing directly in front of the man who stood ahead of the rest, the one who had spoken.
The man let his gun, which was strapped to him, fall to his side and came at Jarnell while the rest of the men sat stunned at the sheer agility of this simple looking man. Jarnell caught the man’s arm as he attempted to bring it across his face, skillfully twisted him around, pinning his arm behind his back. He jabbed the corkscrew into the man’s carotid artery, then twisted as if he were opening a cheap bottle of merlot. His neck was gushing thick red life in pulses. Jarnell threw him aside, and again assumed a stance that said, “Come get some.” The crowd rushed him, and he caught the first one by the neck, twisted and heard the bones snap, and the man exhaled his last breath. He turned and brought the corkscrew hard into the chest of the next, just under the armpit where there was no body armor, finding the heart like a surgeon. The other four tried to seize him all at once, but he nimbly flipped backwards, reached down and procured a large piece of what was left of his wine bottle, dropping the corkscrew.
He sliced the throats of the would-be captors one by one while fending off the others with quick jabs to the face, and then stood for a second catching his breath. He surveyed his apartment which, only five minutes ago, had been quite normal, peaceful even. But now it resembled a battlefield, riddled with corpses and destruction. What could he do now? Where would he go? And who in the hell is Mr. M?
He ran out of the room and didn’t stop running until he reached the street, and realized how suspicious he looked. He slowed to a leisurely pace, and turned south into an alley that led to Boone Street, where the only man he ever trusted lived. Maybe he would know what to do. At least he could stay there until he figured it out.