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Cuts Like A Knife

An unfortunate group of friends find themselves deep inside what they thought was a cave... but what is a home... a home for a being that is not welcoming to strangers.

By Stephen Kramer AvitabilePublished 8 months ago 6 min read
Cuts Like A Knife
Photo by Jeremy Bishop on Unsplash

This story was originally published on Medium.


Tanner jerks his head back as a dagger soars past his cheek. It careens towards the far rock wall, the point smashing through rock, and the dagger planting itself into the wall.

Tanner turns back ahead, the monster reaches for another of its nine dagger fingers… a new dagger growing in place of the one it just threw. It yanks another dagger out of its hand, snapping it at the handle. It whips the dagger forward. Hiroto attempts to move out of the way but the dagger flies too quickly and stabs through his bicep. He howls in pain and drops to the floor.

Josefina and Isabella jump for Hiroto and start to scoop him up off the floor. But Lakshmi doesn’t waste any time. She runs for the back wall where several daggers are plunged into the rock. She begins to yank on one.

“Help me!” Lakshmi yells out.

Tanner races towards her. Both he and Lakshmi tug and tug on the daggers, trying to free them from the rock wall. They are plunged so deep inside.

Behind them, they hear the breaking of another dagger, and the whipping sound of it through the air. Tanner and Lakshmi instinctively duck… the dagger clanks into the rock wall and falls to the ground in a loud clatter. Tanner spins around to see the monster break another dagger off his hand, more daggers growing in the spots where the others had been snapped off.

“He just keeps regenerating them!” Tanner exclaims.

Lakshmi bends down, picks up the dagger on the floor and heaves it at the monster. It spirals out of control and the handle bounces off the monster’s shoulder. Josefina and Isabella manage to get Hiroto onto his feet and drag him away from the monster. The monster reacts quickly, snapping another dagger off, and chucking it at them. The dagger plunges into Isabella’s shoulder.

Isabella screams and stumbles backwards. She trips and falls. Josefina with both hands, and Hiroto with one good arm, lift her back up. The injured trio hobbles back together as if they are clumped together.

Tanner tugs and tugs on one of the daggers inserted into the rock wall. Lakshmi does the same. Tanner breaks his dagger free, spins around, and heaves the dagger at the monster. The dagger slices through the monster’s arm, drawing blood. The monster bellows in pain. Lakshmi rips her dagger free from the wall and throws it at the monster like a professional knife-thrower. It stabs directly into the monster’s belly. It howls with rage and pain.

This buys enough time so that Josefina, Isabella, and Hiroto can stumble over to their friends. Hiroto rips the dagger from his arm. Blood spews out onto the damp rock floor, he doesn’t make a sound, but his grimace is heard loud and clear. The group looks to their left, then to their right. Two paths. Neither is clear to be an exit. But one of them must be. Then again, one of them may be a dead-end.

“Which way should we go?” Josefina asks in a panic.

“We came in from up on the left… down that way.” Hiroto points past the monster. “So, we should probably go left here.”

“But there’s more light coming from this path.” Tanner points to their right. “I don’t think just cause we came in from the left we should automatically head to the left.”

“We need to choose one way out!” Josefina screams. “Let’s just go to the left!”

“We should go towards the light!” Tanner insists.

Lakshmi stays silent and she continually yanks on the last dagger stabbed into the rock wall. It’s wedged into the rock as if it’s been glued there.

“I’m heading to the left.” Josefina says.

“Shouldn’t we discuss this?” Isabella grunts.

Blood leaks from her stab wound in her shoulder, but she dares not remove the dagger. She is weak from the knees up.

“You can stay and discuss this all you want. I’m heading this way.” Josefina’s eyes dart towards the monster and lock onto it.

“I need someone to help me!” Isabella insists. “Can we please all go together?”

Josefina’s eyes are wide open, unmoving from the monster. With the exception of Lakshmi, who continues to tug on the last dagger buried into the rock wall, everyone looks to the monster. They’re all in awe as they see the monster has pulled the dagger from its stomach, and a new dagger is growing from its stomach wound. Another dagger is growing from the wound on its arm.

“You want to wait around with this thing?!” Hiroto screams.

“To the left!” Josefina yells.

“Okay, fine, let’s go!” Isabella gives in.

Josefina and Hiroto latch onto Isabella and begin to tug her to the left. Tanner follows but looks back to Lakshmi who is still struggling with the dagger.

“Lakshmi! Let’s go!”

“This dagger is different! This dagger is important!” Lakshmi screams.

Tanner studies the dagger. It is different from the others. The others all featured copper handles. This one has a shining gold handle. This dagger didn’t come from the monster. This dagger was already here. Lakshmi manages to tug the dagger from the rock slightly and suddenly the whole cave quakes immensely.

Lakshmi and Tanner fall to the ground. The cave stops quaking. They get back up. Tanner looks to the left to see Josefina, Isabella, and Hiroto 50 feet away, hobbling along. He wants to follow them, but he doesn’t want to abandon Lakshmi.

Lakshmi latches onto the dagger once more.

“Wait, Lakshmi!” Tanner yells. “I think that dagger is what’s holding this cave up! It shook once you pulled it…”

“I know!” She screamed. “It’s going to bring the whole cave down!”

“Why would you want to do that?” Tanner is panicked, wanting to run away.

“Do you think there’s another way to stop this monster?!” Lakshmi screams as she continues to tug on the dagger.

Tanner turns around to face the massive monster, slimy, lima bean green, seven feet tall, amphibian-like, daggers for fingers, daggers growing from its wounds.

Lakshmi makes a good point. That might be the only way to stop the monster. But they’d be stopping themselves too.

“There’s a way out up here!” Hiroto yells out.

Tanner looks to his left. He cannot see the group anymore. They must have turned a corner and left his sights.

The monster rips several daggers from its body. It holds four daggers in its enormous hands. Its bulbous eyes lock onto Lakshmi as she tugs and tugs on the golden dagger. The monster’s arm cocks back, ready to fling the daggers.

Tanner could run. Tanner could escape with the others. But Lakshmi would die. The monster would live. The monster would escape as well. Lakshmi keeps tugging on the dagger. The cave begins to rumble again.

Lakshmi is on a mission. She won’t stop. Lakshmi is going to die down here one way or another. The least Tanner can do is aid in the ending of this monster.

Tanner steps in front of Lakshmi, blocking her from the worst the monster has… and the worst the monster has is a fling of the arm and four daggers soaring through the air. Tanner shuts his eyes. The four daggers stab into his chest, stomach, arm, hip. He collapses. He bleeds out on the floor. But he affords Lakshmi enough time. She yanks the gold dagger free from the wall. The entire cave shakes so tremendously, Lakshmi loses her balance, the monster loses its balance. Rocks begin to tumble all around. The ceiling of the cave gives way and comes down on all those left underneath it.

Tanner hopes the others made it out before the cave came down. At least three people could’ve made it out alive. His last thoughts are of hope for his friends… as the boulders tumble down on top of him.


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Short StoryHorrorFantasy

About the Creator

Stephen Kramer Avitabile

I'm a creative writer in the way that I write. I hold the pen in this unique and creative way you've never seen. The content which I write... well, it's still to be determined if that's any good.

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Comments (9)

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  • Mr.Smith4 months ago

    Enjoyed this one Stephen! Had a Tomb Raider feel to it!

  • Zara Blume8 months ago

    Detachable dagger fingers are on another level of Fuck No. Did you get that idea from a nightmare? I hope I don’t have nightmares about it after reading this. My only criticism is that I felt the action happened too soon with no set up… so I was kinda like, ‘Who are all these people, and why should I care about them?’ But by the ending I did care about the two brave enough to help one another. The ones who ran off should be ashamed! Lakshmi is the name of a favorite goddess of mine, so I liked seeing it used in a story. This was so imaginative.

  • Is this a continuation of an earlier story? The names sound familiar. Imaginative, creative & heroic.

  • L.C. Schäfer8 months ago

    Talk about jumping straight into the action! 😱 how do you come up with the ideas for such original monsters 😁

  • Whoaaa. Both Tanner and Lakshmi sacrificed themselves for the others to get out safely. I would have killed all of them off but I digress, lol! That monster is so scary and lizard like because lizards can grow tails again but not as fast as those daggers did. Maybe it's more Hydra-like? I enjoyed your story so much!

  • J. S. Wade8 months ago

    Horrific but noble story. Your action is compelling. Great story Stephen. 🥇

  • Mark Gagnon8 months ago

    Stephen, the pace of the action kept the intensity building throughout the whole story. I really enjoyed it.

  • Babs Iverson8 months ago

    Superbly written!!! Terrific horror story!!! ❤️❤️💕

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