one knife's target
avoiding a holiday bloodbath · 12/23

Dysfunction began well before an 8PM dinner call. The swarm of indifferent attitudes, paired with ungrateful ideas stemming from children in his eyes was supplemental of feeling the way that he did. It was the week of disparity when he didn't feel the shift. It was seen by the likes of one eye. Sniffed out with the scent of confusion and despair in the air. He went through the start of the week believing someone was going to meet their last breath or attempt to smother out his. Slade considered the opening of the week that reconciled into the holidays as a means of chances he was fighting to juggle. In essence there was going to be a price to pay along the way. Traveling plans be damned.

While the stares came across the table set in the tone of a Bahama inclusive stay, he counted some blessing. At least he revoked it from one being knowing the next day wasn't a promise to be fulfilled. On one hand where he counted out the people closest to him that felt a particular way, even if it was negatively about him, he knew there was going to be a push to change it. If manipulation was on par for the difference in attitude, then so be it. He would use the words of persuasion. Turning needs and wants into gold to see things his way. Or scheme as good as he could, to change the tides before the start of a trip turned it's worst.

A bunch of sour grapes made for sour wine and he dislike a bitter taste. His palate was sophisticated enough to want better and to believe everyone in their party would demand the same. It took diligence. A case by case basis, including an unfamiliar he had to be sensitive about once met, out of respect for a child who thought it was best to keep that part of her life in secrecy. Only he knew well enough that it wasn't so much of a hidden treasure. He felt little remorse for planting devices here and there. Tracking moves after visitations of filling a fridge with food weeks in advance.

It was a long channel to his old days and one most necessary to ensure the safety of one of the only children he knew to be alive. Slade felt the burning stares across the table from all three women as he sliced into the roasted local caught Bahamian fish. Anticipation always kept him on guard, and two out of three could strike with trained blows while the third, the wildcard of the group, just a kid. Innocent of the pull they've encountered, would use her wit to catch him in an entangled game of another hostile takedown.

He questioned how he found himself amongst the fairer of genders, and was likely disappointed for his son's sudden opting out of what was supposed to be a family vacation. A vacation that didn't match the birthday addition months ago or one he remember as a young man on Nathan's behalf. There were issues left unfixed and he understood the complexities that permitted the kid's want to be around but he tried enough. Slade would at least and made it one of the few compromises just to get through the end of the week so all could meet Christmas without any spill of blood.

His minds distraction of events brought him back to being on the offense more than defense than he had been since October. Two months out since the opposition of forces by the maniacal Darkseid, and gathering of people he didn't expect to co-exist with, was one thing to tussle along with. His motivations of participation all were links to the individuals sitting at the table before him while they dined in the terraced garden that evening.

Sonically, there were noises which the ocean made in the distance that reminded him of controlled lackeys. Buzzing of minute howls of war and the signaling of Omega beams that he couldn't shake from his consciousness. He couldn't discount the people who were also effected by traumatic events post battle and would have to compartmentalize through inner workings he had means of doing. Through habitual practice, the discipline of yoga, and years of burned disassociating as memories, he could harden himself further to cope. That worry for his other half failed to be covered up while watching Dinah take to the bottle of wine harder than allowed.

Gaze crossed to her daughter Cyn, and the snide remarks that would slide out with each bite of food taken. And lastly land on Rose's while they met for the longest since stepping foot into the resort. He could feel the tension start and end there, as the moment her knife was tucked passionately within her hand. It was no different than having to lock up a the pre-teen in a closet for getting in his way. Or submitting to disguise to follow his girlfriend on the beach. All had its purpose, even though the means of doing so was questionable.

There was an excuse to use the bathroom. A child dismissed, leaving the two women free. There was always going to be another dismissal. Where his eyes couldn't follow the split up of Mother and her child, he acknowledge their departure and kept his line of sight open. He could have enjoyed his meal. He did in fact, with any disgruntled combative moment pending. The tinkering of cutlery was least of his worries and ears caught the deflection just in time that an audience was minimal for the knife to become attracted in his direction with a purposeful throw.

It could've been an aim at his good eye, the center of his forehead, or his throat. He counted on the later, wondering if Rose counted on the possibility of missing more than hitting him as he was swift enough to move a millimeter to the left avoiding contact at all. No words were said as he took another bite. Neither was the expression of disappointment lathered upon his face. Action was expected and thought there was enough gall to do so before a full table. It enhanced the dulled and crummy Christmas spirit.

Slade looked up, narrowed eyed at his own child. He had questions even a few slick remarks to push her hand or tolerance level of his existence again. Only a helping of teenage angst that went back from another reality was warranted. He understood the action if spoken. He got it if it were Ivy having the push to act upon Rose's deep seated hatred for one parent that technically put her through hell. Although he understood the trajectory, it didn't take away from having his second chance of diffusing it once again.

He looked behind quickly to see where the knife landed. Closely the vibration in the blade exited while submerged into a tree not far from his rear. "Try harder next time, kid," he emitted after wiping his mouth with a napkin. An ice breaker for the night landed the precursor for a horrible holiday vacation or one that could be spun around before it did. Either it was going to be his duty to let the bitterness reach a new boiling point, or aid it in fizzling out before regret punished them all.


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