Watch out he’s got a knife

Some punk wants to get even with Tommy and he only met the guy an hour ago – an excerpt from the book

      I hear footsteps behind me. I turn around and see the punk.
      “You still owe me a finder’s fee,” he says.
      “You’re a broken record, kid.”
      He pulls a knife and pushes the button. The narrow blade flips open and catches the light.
      “Nothing doing. You’re not gonna chisel me.”
      He takes a step in my direction.
      “Where’s your two gorillas, your goons?” I say. “Isn’t that how you operate?”
      The punk cackles in a singsong voice, “Just you and me and my blade makes three.”
      I roll my eyes.
      “Come on, cut the tough-guy act. You’ve been watching too many movies.”
      He coughs up a lunger and spits it at me. It lands with a splat between us, but I’m not laughing.
      “I’m going to ask you nicely, put away the knife and go home.”
      He doesn’t reply. We circle each other. He feints with the knife. I use my hands. The punk springs forward; I dodge to my left; the blade punctures the side of my shirt.
      We circle once more. His eyes stare into mine. Sweat drips off his chin. He lunges at me. This time I’m ready. I step to my left and grab his forearm with both hands. I crank it against my hip. Then I give him a right hook to his nose. The cartilage snaps. He yelps and lets go of the knife. It clatters to the ground. I step on the blade with my heel.
      Before he knows what I’m doing, I reach down and grab hold of it. I yank up on handle so the blade snaps off beneath my boot. In a single move, I drop the broken handle and rotate up with my right into his belly. I follow with a left across his already broken nose.
      I hear a gasp. A couple going to their car does a double take. They rush back inside the bar. I grab the punk by his shirt collar and toss him onto the hood of my car. I lean into his pimply face.
      “You still want your finder’s fee!” I shout.
      The kid groans. I wipe my car him with like a dirty rag. I push him down to the gravel. He curls up in a ball, expecting to feel my boot in his kidneys.
      My hands are streaked with the punk’s blood. My shirt is also marked. I’m too revolted to take it further. I wipe my forehead with the back of my hand. I light up a smoke and flick the match at the punk on the ground.
      I get in my car and speed off, kicking up a load of gravel. My body shakes, my heart beats fast, and my lungs can’t get enough air. I toss the cigarette out the window. A shower of sparks explodes into the night.

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