The guttural breathing increased with the anger. The beery breath was expected. The knife digging into his throat was unexpected. The boy watched from a hazy fury as the cold steel disappeared into the five o’clock shadow. He froze, it happened that fast. He could only see the handle of the blade. That meant the blade. The entire blade? He wanted to run, somewhere, away from the handle sticking out of Rogers’ neck. The boy figured correctly that stabbing and throat cutting . . . if that’s what he’d done . . . would cause blood. But so much blood?
Bubbles gurgled and rode the bloody mess out of the gash. Between the continued flow towards Rogers’ chest steady jets of blood super-squirted out towards the boy and wall. The spurts were strong enough to hit the wall at first. Rogers didn’t really do anything. He seemed intent on figuring out why he was fading. He stumbled around some, digging his hands into the opening that was blocked by the knife. His Adams apple thing-a-ma-jig slid to the side but was hung up on meat and stringy stuff. Blood pushed chunks towards the floor and then . . . BANG! Rogers tumbled onto the yellow linoleum, followed up with some kicking and twitching. His hands were balling up into tight fists and then relaxing before balling up again.
“Mr. Rogers, y’all okay? Mr. Rogers?” The knife turned a punch into a reddish mess. Rogers had swung first but missed. The boy hadn’t. Rogers on-no goddamn account should have swung at him . . . maybe, just maybe, he wouldn’t be bleeding out if he hadn’t. The boy wondered if what he’d done was really an accident. When Rogers swung at him the boy quit thinking and just swung back is all. He swung back and was holding the knife but wasn’t thinking on it as much as he should’ve.