An Irish Lullaby

By Brynn Simon

The tips of his knives scraped against the grout in between the clay bricks, composing a gravely high pitched noise. Both arms were fully extended wings, his head tilted up to the star ridden sky as he walked down the alley humming an Irish lullaby.

She stared at him, watching the knives that sat in his hands like talons hiss along the walls, and debated whether to move closer. She had been preparing for years for tonight, but couldn’t help but be sidetracked soothingly by his soft humming.

They didn’t notice as I shuffled closer to them, observing their affair from behind a rotted city dumpster. Almost no one notices me.

He came to an abrupt halt and turned his head to the side. Ignoring the stiff pain that ran through him, he stared down his left arm to the tip of the knife. “Now who could it be this time?” The smile in his voice made up for the lack of stars.  

She stopped breathing and remained in the shadows, flat against the brick wall.

“Don’t be shy.” He persisted and she remained breathless. “I know why you were sent here.”

Her eyes clenched shut tightly, trying to blink away the man with silver talons in the alley way. He was looking at her when she opened them.

The sliver of silver reflected the shadows she hid in when he held a blade parallel to his face, covering half of his grin. His fingers left the metal and the reflection blurred as the knife dropped to the ground, clattering into a dirty puddle on the blacktop.

Her eyes darted to the metal on the ground, watching anxiously as the second knife dropped a few inches from the first.. A green mark could faintly be seen on each of the knives, protruding from the pure silver handle.

His boot kicked both of the knives, sending them scattering down the brick lined alley way. One of the knives hit her foot, she quickly bent low to the filthy pavement and snatched the metal up like it was her last dying hope. Staring at it for a second she flipped it in her hand, weighing it, finally getting a feel for it. Something she’s been waiting so long to do.

The other knife slid under the dumpster and next to my dirt matted blanket. I hesitantly stroked the green outlining, running my thumb over the Celtic symbol in loops, over and over again. A warmth buzzed through me, piercing my soul. The stories were true. They really did exist.

The man put his hands in his pockets and bowed his head, saying a prayer. The woman stopped smiling and looked to the man who just made her the luckiest person in the world. She shook her head and murmured a ‘thank you’ before throwing the knife into his chest.

His death was a quick one, more blood than there was suffering.

She walked over to the body and pulled out the knife, wiping the blood on her pant leg. The blade flickered in the darkness of night, dark green symbol imprinting on her palm as she held the blade out and ran it along the bricks, softly humming an Irish Lullaby.

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