A blind man stumbled into a restroom at a nightclub. His right hand clung greedily to his groin, knees knocking together; his left hand clutched the base of his sheathed sword. He padded around the threshold using the sword as a guide, and eventually found a countertop to his left (the sink), a metal box on the wall to his right (the hand drying machine), and an empty floor space ahead of him, wide enough for several men to crowd upon. He started into the room tapping more patterns on the floor. He angled his nose into the air as he did, causing the sunglasses on his face to catch the ceiling light.

The mobsters in the room stared at him.

They stared with slanted, spiteful eyes. They stared with pierced brows bunched together. They were spectators at a zoo, and the creature on display wasn’t cute. Two of the mobsters placed a hand on the knife at their belt, another twisted the golden ring on his finger. They were crowded mostly near the middle and last stalls, some just coming off their phones, others pulling a joint from their lips. This meant the blind man wouldn’t reach them for a few steps yet. Except…

The blind man halted as he tapped someone’s shoe. “Eh? Someone there?” he asked.

The victim, a spikey-haired thug chewing on a toothpick, looked up from his shoe towards the blind man with a vacant stare. His cohorts grinned at each other as they sensed his animosity.

“I’m looking for the restroom. Can you help me find it?” the blind man asked again. He did a little jig with his hips and thighs, and groaned.

“Restroom,” the thug repeated, as if he’d never heard of the word.

“Just give me one minute, please,” the blind man said in a near-whisper. “I’m begging you, I’ll do anything. I really can’t hold it in any longer.”

The thug looked the blind man up and down. His eyes rested on the sword, and glittered.

“Let’s make a deal,” he said. “That sword. Hand it over, and I’ll tell you where the restroom is.”

“My sword…?” the blind man started. He clamped his weapon to his chest. “Oh, I can’t give you that. This blade is my third arm. Maybe something else? I have five dollars on me…” He started patting himself down.

The thug scowled. “Just get bent,” he said, before sticking out an arm to shove the blind man out of the restroom.

In the width of a second, the thug’s position with the blind man had switched. Suddenly the thug was the one stumbling out of the restroom and into the stuffy darkness of the nightclub, while the blind man stood where the thug had, one dangerous step closer to the rest of the mob.

The mobsters snapped to their senses. What had just happened? The blind man drew closer, now tapping around frantically in search of a urinal. “I’m sure this is the place. I just need thirty seconds. Ten seconds!” he exclaimed.

The golden-ringed mobster balled his confusion into a fist and ran at the blind man with the fist cocked to fire. A blade flashed, and then the blind man stood behind the mobster, one golden-ringed arm flopping to the ground in his wake.

While the mobster screamed up a storm and collapsed into one of the urinals, the two knife-wielding gentlemen drew their weapons and darted forward, murder in their eyes. The blind man scampered backwards to avoid getting surrounded, but accidentally slipped on the discarded arm in the process. The thug who had been pushed from the restroom snuck up behind him and wrapped him in a bear hug. The blind man kicked the ground, pushing himself out of the way of a fatal knife stab and the man behind him into the door frame. As the thug grunted in pain, the blind man pulled free of the hug, spun gracefully, then fell to one knee, blade aiming at a mirror now peppered with blood.

The mobster behind the blind man again collapsed out of the restroom, this time clutching his neck which was fountaining blood; the mobsters in front of him froze, knives still raised, then dropped lifelessly to the floor with their intestines spilling out.

The blind man sheathed his blade. After a moment in thought, he turned and walked out of the room, muttering, “Guess I’ll go look somewhere else.”




(Read the original draft.)


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