I was standing outside by the street in a non smoking area when suddenly the guy standing next to me lit up a cig. The acrid smoke stung my nostrils and I growled: "Hey buddy! Better put that thing out!"
His eyes narrowed with an audible hiss, and he said in a menacing snarl: "You better make me."
I stepped back, mouth ajar in shock. What the?! Suddenly an unexpected knife appeared in my right hand - ratcheting up the stakes. The turning point - from which there might not be any turning back! I raised the knife point skyward and looked at it, saying, "What does this make you think of?"
He stepped back and pulled the cigarette from his mouth - I laughed in triumph, thinking he was going to discard it in defeat! - when suddenly, pivoting on his left foot and brandishing it before him like a firebrand, he lunged and struck out repeatedly with the cigarette, its tip red and sparking like a warning flare! Only tinier. I took measured steps back, parrying with my knife and working a handkerchief out of my pocket with my left hand. "Here! Here," I said, ducking and lunging, "use this handkerchief to tie our other arms together so we can circle menacingly!"
"Never!" he cried, jamming his cigarette into my sizzling hand, forcing me to drop the handkerchief in pain. Arrrrgh!!!!
"Fine!" I gritted, teethily. "NO RULES IT IS!" I whooped and sang as I plunged my knife over and over into his cigarette, rendering it useless.
He tried to shift and dodge, pulling it out of the way, but my strikes were grim with accuracy as stroke after stroke struck home. Shreds of tobacco, wisps of paper flew everywhere. The coal landed in the weeds by the sidewalk's side and smoldered. He stepped back, his hands raised before him, a lifeless filter dropped from his nerveless fingers, falling uselessly to the grimy pavement. "I give! I give!"
"Too late," I said, face set with implacableness. I stepped forward, knife weaving in the air before me, spelling out a message of threat and menace. "Naw, I'm just kidding." I put the knife away. "Man, that was pretty intense."
His look spoke untranslatable volumes.
I decided I'd better smooth things over. Victorious, I could afford to be magnanimous. A token offer to place myself in his debt, perhaps:
"Hey, can I bum a cigarette?"