The Knife Man rang the bell. And waited. And waited. And waited! He held his thumb down on the bell.
A gangly teenage girl opened the door. She looked him up and down, inspecting his solid white outfit. Sewn-on name patch read, John.
‘Can I help you?’ she asked.
The Knife Man smiled. ‘Just here to see if you need any knives sharpened, honey.’
‘John’s our usual Knife Man,’ the girl said. She looked past the stranger on her porch. The old Knife Truck idled on the road.
The man pointed to his name patch. ‘I am John.’
She rolled her eyes. ‘I see that. But, there’s usually another John.’
He shrugged. ‘John’s off the job, sweetie.’
The girl frowned. ‘Why’s that? He sick?’
The new Knife Man smiled, again. ‘I guess you could say… he couldn’t quite… cut it.’
The girl held her hand on the door’s knob, ready to close it. ’What’s that supposed to mean?’
His smirk grew wider, still. ‘Well,’ he giggled, ‘I suppose you could say that this business is pretty… cutthroat.’ The new Knife Man chuckled, obnoxiously.
‘So, he was fired? What are you saying?’
‘We’re a team, miss.’ He slipped his foot over the threshold. The girl noticed and began slowly shutting the door. ‘Yes, a team! And sometimes you have to make… cuts… from a team…’ The man snorted.
‘Okay, so he was fired,’ she said. ‘I think I understand what you mean. And, right now, our knives are all nice and sharp.’ The closing door tapped the new Knife Man’s foot, and he pulled it back. ‘So you may be on your way. Until next week. Good day.’
The girl rushed the door closed. But, it became stuck.
‘Little girl,’ hissed the man.
Between the door itself and its frame, in the thin crack beside the knob, she saw a sparkling knife jutting its way in.
The girl shrieked, but didn’t release her grip on the doorknob.
The new Knife Man pushed on the opposite side, jimmying the knife back and forth.
‘Are you sure you’re sure?’ he called out. ‘About the knives? About not needing any sharpened? ‘
‘Yes!’ the gangly girl screamed, all of her weight against the door. ‘All set! Go away!’
The man stopped pushing, pulled his knife from the doorway.
The door slammed and the locks clicked in to place.
He knocked on the wood. ‘Are you alone in there, honey?’
The girl’s voice ripped through the neighborhood. Ripped into Hell.
That was quite enough for the new Knife Man. At that, he turned and galloped down the steps. Ran to the old Knife Truck. Had to get away.
He keyed the ignition and tore down the road, speeding around a curve. The new Knife Man in the driver’s seat, the old Knife Man rolling in the back.