Standoff

Start of the story is here.

Chris was staring at me with eyes wide. His skin had taken on an unhealthy pallor and beads of sweat stood out on his brow. His right arm must be millimeters away from breaking. I fancied that I could hear the bone creak. I could certainly see the point of the blade dimpling the skin of his throat right over the carotid artery

I’m not the only Department employee who uses a walking stick. Of course most of the others use sword canes. Practical, lethal and terribly illegal. I don’t have one of those. I do have a safety catch near the top of the stick and a switch hidden in the handle.

I swung the Stick O’ Doom up, twisted the safety catch and flicked the switch. A six inch long dagger blade sprang out from the shaft, splitting the rubber ferule. When I stopped moving the tip was resting on the adam’s apple of the tall thin man holding Chris.

I saw him eye the stick and wonder what else it did. Like the Hob from the street  he could see it was fictionally active. I saw him make his mind up. I saw his knuckles whiten and his arm tense.

“You do that and I’ll slit your throat so deep you wont bleed to death you’ll drown in your own blood.” I said.

As I said it I felt the world change around the stick. Tendrils of narrative lashed out from the stick and wrapped around both of us binding us together. I knew, and I could see that he knew, that if he cut Chris then I would have no choice. The stick would make me slash his throat. And he would die. And the cause of death on the post mortem would read ‘death by drowning’.

I remembered a word from God knows where. Geas. An old Scots Gaelic word for something that was part curse, part obligation and occasionally part reward. I had laid a geas upon him and if he ignored my warning he would pay the price.

I heard a deep voice from behind me. “Oh for Fuck’s Sake. Can I not go for a crap without you lot starting world war three.”

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