Self mutilation is the act of causing bodily harm without the intent of death. By definition, I mutilated my body by removing three of my own fingers. The intention was not to bare a battle scar that could be used in an attempt to pick up women, my intention was to preserve life. It may seem strange to some, the idea of disfiguring ones own body for the sake of a dog, but Nika was all that I had left in this wold. Perhaps if the game included only myself I would have taken death over the torture I put myself through.

With a life’s work of maiming the human body for profit, I understood the mechanics of my task. The pain and mental changes that take effect during such an activity were an experience, so say the least.

My first obstacle was the skin, which really was not much of an obstacle. A sharp knife circling the finger is no more work that cutting the skin from an uncooked chicken. With a sharp knife, a strong stomach, and a familiarity with pain, the first step to paying my debt was over in an instant.

Parting the skin of the finger is more intense than the actual cutting. Fighting back the urge to flinch, one must grit their teeth and move quickly before too much blood escapes. Even with a homemade tourniquet around my arm, the volume of blood is shocking. Grasping the finger on one side of the cut, one must give a slight twist before a quick tug. This loosens flesh from bone and allows room to operate.

The human skeleton is not a very attractive thing to look at. As my eyes fell upon the exposed bone, my mind drifted. The image of a tall glass of milk floated before my eyes. From somewhere, just a pinch of cocoa powder was added. Robbed of its pureness, the milk was tainted. Much like the milk in my drifting mind, the exposed bone of my finger shared the visuals of dingy milk.

Armed with nothing more than a butcher knife, the difficult part of my task began. I took a deep breath before getting down onto my knees and placing my hand flat on the floor. Palm pressed flat, fingers spread, steel contacted bone. Lurching forward to displace my weight, I heard a pop and felt a wave of pain like never before. The intensity rocked my senses. I could hear nothing but a ringing in my ears. My vision went out of focus. My body tingled, all except for my finger. My finger did not tingle, it raged with an inferno of pain.

The freshly sharpened knife was not sharp enough to cut bone. The popping noise I encountered was my finger fragmenting. Like a bamboo cane that has been crushed, my finger was nothing more than interconnected shards of bone. The second rocking of my body to complete the cut was debilitating. I lost control of my bladder and vomited down the front of my shirt.

I wish I could say that was the end of my pain. One finger down, two to go. What I experienced with the removal of my first finger was nothing compared to the second and third. During that experience I learned an interesting tid-bit. It would seem that human bone dulls a steel edge at an alarming rate.


In last weeks installment of Memoirs of an Assassin, I was trying for subtlety. I wanted to play on the title of the piece and weave in a couple hints of what was to come. After having received some excellent feedback, I realize that I was a little too subtle. It’s actually kind of funny how you see things when you know the answer. I was of the thought that it was a little too obvious.

This installment clears up the question, Did the killer cut off his own fingers? I was thinking about getting a little more detailed in the process but i didn’t want to overdo it. What are your thoughts, should I have been more gory in the descriptions or is this a case when less is more?

This piece has been included in the Tuesday Serial Twitter Group. For more information on the group, head over to the #TuesdaySerial page on Inspired By Real Life.

Memoirs of an Assassin is an ongoing serial. To get caught up from the beginning, please use the links below.

  1. The First of Many
  2. Score a Point for Dear Old Dad
  3. Tough Choices
  4. Ignorance is Bliss
  5. Painful Memories
  6. Phantom Pain

I hope you enjoy reading this installment of
Memoirs of an Assassin
I look forward to your comments
and suggestions