Part 8 – Once more, with feeling

People have said that when they got stabbed they didn’t feel it.  Later they noticed they were bleeding but in the moment, bupkis.  Maybe they didn’t feel it because they were in a fight or flight scenario and their adrenaline was up.  Maybe they didn’t feel it because of the kind of knife or the sharpness of the blade.  Maybe they’re filthy liars trying to sound tough.  Maybe they ARE double tough sons of bitches who eat nails and spit out bullets. 

Grace has felt it every time she’s been stabbed.  She’s felt it a lot.  She thinks the first time she was stabbed, it was a policeman that did it but in reality it was a not. It was a man with mental problems who had purchased a policeman uniform at an estate sale.  You’re not supposed to do that BTW.  The original owner’s widow knew that but the nephew who was her executor didn’t.  Several people at the estate sale thought that didn’t seem right but they didn’t say anything about it.  A woman stole a dress from that same sale that had a bunch of old beads on it worth a couple grand.  The beads, not the dress.

The second person who stabbed Grace was a fellow homeless person that some people called Pharaoh and others called Stinkbomb on account of his murderous BO.  His usual MO was raping prostitutes but Grace was there at the time, so why not right?  The third stabbing you know about. 

The fourth stabbing is right now.  Grace has her arms crossed watching Sanaa do . . . some witch stuff?  Whatever it is it requires Sanaa to be squatting and also on the front part of her foot kind of like a tiny gargoyle.  Grace wants her to hurry up whatever the hell witchy thing she’s doing.  Meeting Dany made Grace think witches were pretty dang cool but Sanaa is rapidly eroding that opinion. 

Andrew Gale’s stab target was the axillary artery which starts at lateral margin of the first rib, also known as the armpit.  Here’s the funny thing, not funny ha-ha, but you know what I mean.  Because Grace is tall for a lady, if Andrew would have stuck with his normal stabbing routine he would have been fine, he would have killed Grace real good with that strike.  But he assumed that she was shorter than she really is and therefore adjusted his angle, which resulted in hitting the first rib on the bottom side and slipping between the first and second rib instead of his intended target.  Is there something to be said about feminism here?  Dunno.

Grace has two reactions to getting a steak knife jammed in her ribs.  The first is to grab her attacker’s arm in an attempt at a hold some would call Ude-garami (腕緘), others would name simply arm entanglement, and yet others still would name a “figure-four” key lock.  Grace for her part would just call it twisting someone’s arm.  This response fails because Grace suddenly feels all the strength go out of her body.  A deep stab wound can do that you know.  Takes the wind right out of your sails I tell you what.  The only time she ever felt this weak before was when she almost died over-extending herself casting a spell.  You remember. 

Her second reaction is to try to summon energy to do some sweet magic.  Maybe blind her attacker with a flash of light.  Maybe heal herself.  Maybe even, given the desperation of the situation, no-clip into the land of endless rooms.  But at this too she fails.  It’s that pesky knife again.  Grace is pretty cool under fire (hey, Grace Under Fire, maybe that should be the name of the blog) but gathering your energy to do some sweet magic takes a level of concentration that is belied by being in a tremendous amount of pain. 

She  probably could have done it, she’s a hard one this Grace, if not for the fact that she was also more than a  little panicked about a potential second stab coming her way.  Being in pain and scared of another stab, she rushed things, and that was enough to make her energy float away like a little kid at the zoo who can’t hold on to their stupid balloon.  That balloon cost 12 damn dollars and I knew you couldn’t hold onto it Warren. 

You’ll notice that one thing Grace didn’t do was call out to Sanaa for help.  Some of that is because Grace is used to operating on her own.  But some of it is because she doesn’t see Sanaa as all that capable.  Grace certainly doesn’t think of Sanaa as being able to save her from a murderous stabbing.  Grace isn’t always the most charitable when it comes to other women and their ability to act in a crisis.  It’s something she’s working on.

But what Grace isn’t thinking about is that Sanaa is a woman who packed a variety of survival knives and a pump handle shotgun in the car when they met.  And the night before last, she melted a guy’s face.  Grace may not appreciate her hippy-dippy woo-woo witch methods, but Sanaa isn’t all sunbeams and happy flowers. 

As Grace crumbles to her knees, doing her best to keep the knife pinned to her side to prevent a second stab, Sanaa goes for the eye with an extended knuckle strike.  Andrew Gale’s left eye is never going to see clearly again.  Sadly he’s undeterred by this, as exemplified by the fact that when Sanaa tries to grab for his knife hand, he’s able to shrug her off without too much trouble. 

Andrew Gale probably would have gotten the better of the situation but for the intervention of two residents of Coyoteville coming to their aid. 

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