Thirteen it took to kill me.
Not that I was such a fierce fighter as all that — reputation precedes and exaggerates — but they’d never killed anyone before and they were afraid of my fetch. Thirteen hands drove the knives downward, handmade in the old way, ground glass, sharpened steel, proper shivs, so that no one could afterward say she’d had the killing of me, and my fetch would be torn apart harmlessly trying to come after all of them.
As though it were that simple.
They took me by surprise, the cowards, jumped me all together in a closet so I couldn’t get any room but I made them know who they were after, anyway. Not a one of them got out of it without some of her blood on my hands, and one or two will bear the scars the rest of her life, I’m sure. I know I got the leader’s right eye, bitchqueen of them all, my nails into her skull even as this damned darkness came down.
Maybe that was it.
Her blood in my mouth, her hatred under my nails, the eye I took with me on the long march… well, whatever it was, I took it with me and so everything’s not quite so dark as it should be. Shapes, mostly, and light and dark, but that’s enough. And the blood of all of them — mine and theirs — it’s bright as neon, ropes between us, so for all their caution I’ll still take my revenge. Blood for blood, after all, the old rules.