Man, Unraveled (short story)


He thrust the loose jumble of papers into his briefcase. Reading through them made no difference, it was just plain wrong what they were doing. He was a man, dammit, he could not let them walk roughshod over rules and procedure.

Outside, the air was thick and heavy with moisture. Coal black clouds hung like a pall of smoke in the sky, threatening to break at any moment. He would be damned if he got caught in the rain. His mood was dark enough as it was.

Twenty steps down from the entrance to the subway. He would catch a train be out of the blasted city, grey concrete jungle, before they even knew he was away from his desk. A man had to stand by his principles, to hell with the consequences.

One wet step and he slipped, caught his balance on an iron railing. Someone tried to catch him and their hand slammed into his neck. They were already walking away. Not trying to catch him, there was blood soaking the collar of his shirt. A knife on the subway, so that was how it was.

The world peeled away before him. He could feel himself unraveling, being pulled apart like a knitted sweater. One part of him was already gone, his arms numb and distant. Now another, his legs gave way. Dammit if he would die in that blasted city. He was a man.

The last thread caught, stuck in a knot of pure stubbornness. He would not let go. But he was tired, losing the will to fight. It would not be so bad to surrender now. He let go, it felt liberating. It was just like going to sleep.

Read another crime short story here.

Read some historical crime here.

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