Sometimes, those knives talked to him.

The top drawer next to the fridge was wide open. Each stainless steel dagger had a luster that spoke a tongue only Joshua could hear. They've always called his name, haunted his dreams, and stalked him on his way to work. They always bossed him around and got louder in tone when he went past them. They always made themselves known and strangely appeared before his eyes when he thought he misplaced them. In other words, he and knives had a thing with each other.

"What the hell do you guys want?" Josh said to the blades in the drawer. He was exhausted, clad only in his underpants, and Whitney kept stirring in her sleep and disrupting his. He had to go to work at seven, and she was off for the day. "All I'm gonna do is get me a glass of orange juice and head back into the bedroom. I gotta be out of here in four hours—I don't have time to play now."

Why not take one of us with you? said the butter knife, dull and still dirty. Whit doesn't know how to wash dishes and rides me about vacuuming the rug, Josh thought.

That bimbo didn't believe what you said before she went to sleep, the steak knife added. So why don't you just off her now before things get out of pocket?

"You do have a point," said Josh, "but she's my girl. I can't!"

He slammed the drawer shut, opened the fridge, and took out the orange juice carton. He poured it in the glass on the counter and gulped it down without hesitation, grimacing at the brain freeze and the pulp that he hated. Whitney knows that I hate pulp in my orange juice, he thought. She'll pay for that with a puncture in her guts!

We're always on point, said the cleaver.

"What do you know?" asked Josh. Without realizing it, he reached in the drawer and pulled out the thirteen-inch steak knife. "Cleavers don't have much of a point. Besides, I've always been a poker—not a chopper. Sorry, butch. I'm no Jason Voorhes..."

He placed the glass in the sink along with the dirty pile that had been there for four days. Whitney acted like a little girl plenty of times, and Josh figured that she had no "home training" like his mother said when she popped up in his life at random intervals. He would wash those dishes, but he was testing his "Whit" to see if she'd attend to them.

She obviously didn't have any wit if she believed what her girlfriends said about him—that he was cheating on her—but that wouldn't matter. With the right sharp object, things could be fixed as well as cut the fuck up. An arm here, an organ there, gore everywhere.

He went into the living room and fell on the couch like he fainted, nothing but midnight darkness surrounding him. He let the knife fall to the carpet, and he sobbed.

What are you doing, Josh? it said on its way down. Whit doesn't sleep in here!

"I'm sleeping in here in case I do somethin stupid." He wiped his eyes like a preschool toddler. He hadn't killed yet, but he poked and pierced his way into and out of many altercations in the streets. Whitney accused of him of cheating—bad idea in a house of stabbing utensils. She knew he was prone to pick up one in a flash, but she didn't know he was belonophilic, and she didn't know that she was on his hit list for four months.

Josh stood as if he was a bigger man than his usual scrawny, dagger-happy self and kicked the knife across the carpet, slitting his big toe a little; he was used to being cut. He stretched his arms, trying as hard as he could not to look in the direction of the knife. Sometimes he didn't know why he stood unbending when a blade glimmered in his eyes—it was like he could move a muscle only if it was intent on picking the blade up and putting it to use. It didn't matter where it slashed—the walls, some of his clothes, the curtains. As long as he swiped the blade at something, he was A-okay.

After a common sense/subconscious debate, the wooden handle magically appeared in his right hand like some telekinetic phenomenon (am I imagining things again?).

In no time, he was on top of her. He wanted to stab her with another one of his many tools (she always turn me on thick thighs nice rack long hair), but that certain tool wouldn't make her pay.

That's right, Joshua my boy, the steak knife said. It smiled in a way he never seen, an ominously metallic grin. Touch me, Josh. Feel my frostiness like you did when you stabbed Whit's old boyfriend in the arm. Now stab her! Stab the dumb bitch!

As he raised the knife over his head with two hands, Whitney stirred a bit and mumbled something incomprehensible (how I'd love to slice me up a sleep talker). His heart was doing jumping jacks in his chest. This was it, bye-bye, girlfriend. This was something new—he never stabbed anyone in the head—

He closed his eyes and brought it down on impulse.

He opened his eyes slowly—missed her face by a half an inch. Whew, that was close (you knew you missed her on purpose!). More tears fell and some landed on her face, but she didn't stir, though. He retracted the knife from the pillow and some feathers came out with it. As he rolled off of her and to his side of the bed, he thought about tomorrow night. How hard was it to gut someone like a pig? Pulling a knife from a drawer wasn't like pulling a sword from a stone, you know. That would be good in a book--Stabbing for Dummies. He held the blade his arms like a crying baby as he slept—

—or at least tried. The knife kept talking to him.

Kill her! What are you doing, you numbskull! Hack, hack, hack!