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William Tell: (Flash Fiction)

Updated on December 13, 2016
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The first step is to know what you do not know. The second step is to ask the right questions. I reserve the right to lean on my ignorance.


Darnell was testing the balance of his throwing knives. Some of his men were seated at a table, off to the side, playing spades.

Two others brought in the punk: a nondescript hard case wannabe, who had relieved their best street dealer of the fruits of his labor for the day, several tens of thousands of dollars. He had handed off the money to a confederate who sped by riding a Kawasaki.

The punk had shot gunned the street dealer to death for his trouble.

Darnell said, "Did he talk?"

"Yeah, he talked," came back the answer. Of course he had talked.

The punk was wrapped up snug as a bug in a rug, in a straightjacket. He was secured to a wall by his collar and ankles.

Darnell placed an apple atop his head. "Don't move, now!"

He went back to his knife station, where one of his men put a blindfold on him.

Darnell said to everybody, "Now watch this!"

Blindfolded, he selected a knife by feel. He aimed it, pulling it back and forth, saying, "one... two... three..." and released the blade with all his force.

"You missed," somebody said.

"Did I?" Darnell said, removing his blindfold. "No, I got him alright, right through the throat."

Death had been instantaneous. The punk had remained perfectly still. And so, the apple had remained atop his rather flat head.

Darnell went over, removed the apple and took a big bite out of it.

"Oh, you thought I was aiming for this," Darnell said, showing the apple. "What am I, William Tell over here?"

Everybody laughed.



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