By Nicola Griffith
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I handed my Total Enterprises credit card to the woman behind the desk. She handed me two keys. “They’re not next to each other. ” “Not a problem,” I said, and gave one to Dornan. ” In my room were two faxes, and a large FedEx box. I put everything on the bed and opened the window, which was less than eight feet above the water. I listened a moment; all I heard was the slap and slip of Puget Sound against the pilings driven deep into the muck of Elliott Bay. I closed the window. Being so close to the water was less than optimal, in terms of security.
Faster. Hit it three times. And again. Experiment: stand closer, try the other hand, point the other leg forward. Shout when you hit it. Hit it five times. Don’t think. Do. And run. ” The air began to hum, and muscles plump, and just before the room kindled I clapped my hands and said, “Enough. ” They did, in an obliging circle, some smiling, and Blue Blouse scooted to her left with an ingratiating bob of her head—teacher’s pet—to make a space. I took it. “I am Aud Torvingen. ” They waited for more, but I wasn’t interested in proving I was qualified to teach them, and the name of the class, Introduction to Women’s Self-Defense, was self-explanatory.
In the column next to them put what you’d be willing to do to your attacker to stop it. So, for example, decide if you would rather be raped than feel the rapist’s eyeball burst all over your hand. Decide if you would rather blow someone’s head off with a twelve-gauge shotgun rather than let them pinch your backside. Decide whether you’d be willing to let a teenager torture your cat instead of dislocating her shoulder, whatever. It won’t be easy. But think about it as clearly and fully as possible, and decide.
Always by Nicola Griffith