A callused fist slammed into the sturdy oak wood table with the weight of , disturbing the mugs of beer on the table. The veritable giant of a brute the fist belonged to was fuming. There was a man sitting across from him and it was obvious to everyone, even those who had just entered the bar, that this calm stranger was the subject of the giant's anger.
"Who ya fink ya are, eh?" the giant proclaimed, causing the circle of men to take a step back. "Ya can't just walk in 'ere and fink ya own the place, ya wanker! I fink ya just askin to 'ave ya skull caved in and ya purse 'gifted' to someone who'd put it ta better use, yeah?"
At this point, a pair of fellows walked in and saw the commotion. One turned to the barkeep and asked him what all the excitement was about. The barkeep replied in low tones, "You see, that stranger insulted Eddy. Called 'im a 'filthy vermin' then sat down at 'is table and ate 'is food."
The man who'd asked became very pale. "Does he know about Eddy?" he asked, foot out the door.
"I don't think so. Otherwise 'e'd probably not be as collected, eh?" said the tavern owner. Eddy, better known by his nickname "Goliath", was a big man and an even bigger name in underground fighting tournaments. Eddy was known for his brutal combat style, his favorite maneuver involved dismantling his opponents' limbs one at a time. He had been in the bar to celebrate another victory from a few hours prior. All eyes focused on the stranger as Eddy taunted the man.
"Knock knock. Wot? You a chikken now? Eh? Talk some big talk, then just clam up at a challenge? See, its blokes like ya that ain't much good for anything other than talkin." Eddy taunted, garnering a few nervous laughs from the crowd. The tension in the air was so thick that it could be cut with a knife. Suddenly the stranger burst out laughing and began to clap, slowly at first but increasing cadence. A shiver ran down Eddy's back and he realized just how off this situation was. The stranger spoke then, in a calm and collected tone.
"You are a humorous man, aren't you?" the stranger sneered, looking at Eddy with all of the contempt in the world. "At least you have the semblance of wit, contrary to your appearance. Yes, for a man who looks as intelligent as the seat on which he sits you have surpassed my expectations. Science should study you!"
Eddy was practically foaming at the mouth. He opened his mouth to sling mud at this stranger but was met with shushing and and open palm.
"Apologies, my good man. That was offensive to the chair. I can see a look of murder in your eyes. Please, I urge you to try to do your worst. I need an outlet to blow some steam, and as I am not fully in control yet I cannot use my normal means of release." the stranger said, a gleam in his eye. "If you would excuse the imposition, what hand do your write with?"
Everybody looked at each other in confusion, wonder where such an odd question stemmed from. Eddy, who was equally confused, responded in turn by stating, "I write with me left, but why do ya need ta know that?"
"Well," the stranger replied with a matter of fact air, "I ask because I would like to know what limbs I can and will break. I want to be sure that you can write so that when your jaw is shattered and you are forced to be wheeled around you can still communicate."
It was Eddy's turn to burst out into laughter. The thought that this wiry snob could incapacitate him, the scourge of the underground, to such a degree was absolutely preposterous. The Goliath brushed a tear from his eye and sighed before speaking again.
"You fink you could take me, eh? Me? Do you even know who I am?" Eddy's voice began to rise as he boasted. "I'm the monsta of the underworld! I've ended more lives than anybody else in this here room!"
"You think so? I feel like I have more blood on my hands than you. No matter, how about we get started? Shall we?" said the stranger, a small, almost unnoticeable smile on his lips. Eddy was unnerved. The fact that this stranger had challenged him was weird enough, the fact that he didn't know who he was and that his size did nothing t intimidate him threw Eddy for a loop. Eddy never felt this way before and the struggle to comprehend the situation was visible on his face.
Out of nowhere, the stranger moved with almost inhuman speed right into Eddy's reach. The onlookers all did a double take, talking among themselves to see if they all saw what had just happened. Eddy instinctively retreated, shocking the audience even more. Eddy, in all of a decade of bareknuckle boxing, had never backed away from anyone or anything. In fact, it was usually Eddy who moved first to begin with. The stranger moved again with that same speed, this time striking Eddy across the face and sending him flying into the crowd.
"Before we continue any further, you haven't yet answered my question. Which hand do you write with?" the stranger said, proceeding to lick the blood off his knuckles. Eddy got up, fuming. He rose to his full height, face turning a bright scarlet. Everybody took a step back. As anybody who has seen "The Goliath" fight would tell you, once Eddy got to that stage of anger he was a juggernaut, impervious to damage but dishing it out with hard-hitting blows. Seeing Eddy's, state the stranger's grin widened and his eyes lit up with glee.
"Shall we begin"
. . .
After about 45 minutes, the fight was over. The stranger, completely unscathed, left covered in the blood of his fallen foe. On the floor of the bar was Eddy, mind and body completely broken. The barkeep rushed over, hands trembling at what he had witnessed. The stranger had dismantled Eddy bit by bit, breaking one bone at a time. He had started with Eddy's left hand, breaking each finger individually until the hand was completely useless. The stranger then moved up the arm, breaking Eddy's forearm and upper arms. He then moved onto the legs, shattering Eddy's kneecaps one at a time and then breaking the shins and femurs. This was all done with surgical precision. The barkeep was pulled out of his stupor by Eddy groaning. With a tremor in his voice, he called out for somebody to go and fetch the police.
When the police arrived - with a doctor and ambulance in tow - they interviewed the entire bar, trying to find a clue as to who this man was and his motivation. They questioned everyone, asking them for the stranger's appearance. Unfortunately, none of the patrons nor the barkeep ever saw much of the stranger's face. They described him as tall, but could not provide any estimate of weight. The one detail that stayed the same between everybody was his smile. That smile that told of animalistic bloodlust and violent pleasure.