Stabby Knives

This story was originally published in the standalone section at Zeroflash.

“Knives is an interesting surname,” Laura said with a smile. She was resting her chin on her palm, staring dreamily into Stanley’s eyes.

He grinned back at her.

“It gets worse,” he said.


“I got a bad allergic reaction on my first day of secondary school. My tongue swelled up and I could barely speak, but I thought I’d be fine. I spent the whole day introducing myself as ‘Stabby’.”

Laura giggled sincerely, and Stanley passed her a freshly refilled glass of wine.

“They didn’t let me live that one down for a while, let me tell you.”

“You know what ‘nominative determinism’ means, right?” she asked, after a sip.

“What do you think?” He gave her an over-the-top sideways glance, and she chuckled again.

“Well, Mr Stabby Knives,” she said, lifting her wine in a mock toast, “Thank goodness nominative determinism doesn’t always work.”

Stanley laughed.

“Yes!” He raised his own glass with one hand and, under the table, replaced the cap of the cyanide bottle with the other. “Thank goodness for that.”