The Unkindest Cut of All

The water has run cold. He doesn’t remember how long ago he had stepped into the shower. Has it been an hour? Or two? His father should be coming home soon.

When he had turned on the water, it had been warm, even scalding, but now it is icy. It raises gooseflesh on his arms, but he can’t leave yet.

Not until he is clean again.

Out, damned spot.

He nearly giggles. The irony is not lost on him. He has always hated Shakespeare, ever since his school days – not for his prose, which was sparkling and absorbing and delicate and beautiful – but because of the idiots who liked to quote Shakespeare without understanding one whit of it, all the while thinking they sounded like geniuses.

Today, though, as he had watched the water run red down the drain, he had felt a kinship with Lady Macbeth.

And wouldn’t his brothers just love that? That he identified more with a woman than a man…if he closed his eyes, he could still hear their voices; ‘Sitting out again, Faggy?’ ‘Of course you wouldn’t like sports, would you, Faggy?’

They’d always thought him different, because he was intelligent, because he preferred to read and play the violin or even just sit quietly and think rather running after a ball like a dog—

There is a clatter, and he realises he has dropped the knife. He hadn’t even realised he had stepped into the shower still clutching it.

He picks it up, and runs a hand along the edge. It’s clean, now, there’s no trace of the violence the knife has just seen. It doesn’t look sharp. Hard to believe this blade had drawn so much blood…welling up from her stomach, where he had stabbed her first, then her arms, where he had slashed her when she had tried to push him away…

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Order the Dark Things anthology and read the full story!

Featuring cross-dressing assassins, were-snakes, gods and goddesses, demonesses and asura kings, Dark Things Between the Shadow and the Soul retells age-old tales from Indian mythology—with a twist. Rearranging myth and legend to create new plots, these short stories will delight lovers of the unusual.


Image, with thanks, from Free Digital Photos

[mood|short stories indian mythology tired]
[music| Turning Tables: Adele]


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