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The Dagger Thrower

Hákon Sigurðarson

You tell lies like a child throws a dagger, with plenty of laughter, without any real technique. You haven't even sharpened the blade, and when it drops onto the ground collecting bits of earth, you pick it back up to puncture my skin.

You throw daggers with fear, your only currency, of which you have an endless supply.

You throw daggers, hands trembling with panic, thinking yourself smart against the enemies that are after you.

Little do you know that your shadow has made it all up. No one is after you but you love a good story, so you believe it until it feels true. The enemies are fast, so you must be swift.

You throw daggers, and I have let you for some time now. I have told myself that it would be okay, that I have been struck by more experienced dagger throwers before, that you could never seriously impale me.

But somehow your inexperienced hurls do not just cut, they drag and tear away at the parts I have opened up to you, and I have opened all of me to you.

You catch a tear trickling down my face.

'Where does it hurt?' you ask with your finger still on my cheek, which burns with anger from knowing that you do not mean to mock me but because you genuinely do not know.

You genuinely do not know.

'Here.' I point out the daggers for you one by one.

'Oh no,' your eyes soften. 'I'm so sorry that happened to you.'

You remove each dagger with as much care as you threw them. Quickly. Clumsily.

'There, does that feel better?' you ask. Your smile says you think yourself a nurse.

Seeing old targets freed up once again, you reach for another dagger.

'Look at my body,' I think of saying, I dream of saying. 'There is no space left for your daggers. You've even pierced me in some of the same places two or three times, so far deep you can see through to the other side. In between your throws, I haven't even had time to bleed.'

But I don't say that. Instead I reach out my hand and offer to help sharpen the blade. You'd love how the sparks fly off the metal, I say. You agree and hand me the dagger. At less than a pound it feels like nothing compared to the hundreds I have held throughout my body.

I walk down to the river with my wounds still open. From a distance I can see you waiting eagerly for your precious dagger. Your hands are in your pockets but before I can make out the look on your face, I am already floating to someplace new.

© Lani Gobaleza

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