Tristan reached out, pressed the thumb latch downwards, pulled the door open, then stood motionless, for many seconds. His teeth crunched together forcefully, and there was no gap between the straight line of his lips. Slowly, and deliberately, Tristan pulled in air through his flaring nostrils, and forcefully snorted it out.
He took the few, tiny, steps to the landing, unhurriedly, carefully, and noiselessly. He paused in the doorway, and casually shifted his weight to the left, then the right, rotating his shoulders while he shifted. He did the same back-and-forth with his neck, and head.
Tristan took little notice of the room’s furnishing or accents, but took general consideration as homely and, fairly sparse. His intent, here, was not to broadly critique the decor. He was here for a specific purpose. To his right, a man sat upon a thinly upholstered, fraying, once-crimson cushion, that sat upon an old, once-freshly lacquered, wooden, chair. In front of the seated man on the chair, was a flimsy looking desk, of which there was little to comment, but the three, stacked, drawers on both sides of the center gap, and the curious absence of a center drawer. The man’s left elbow rested upon the top of the desk, and he cupped the side of his face with his left hand. His head was pointed downward, to the right, towards the surface of the desk, where his right hand, the fore and ring fingers pressing upon the paper, awkwardly secured the open, yellowing, pages of a thick book.
Tristan took a loud step into the room, and felt a slight flutter in his chest, from a location near his heart.
At the sound of a footfall, the stranger occupying the decrepit chair, using the curious, but mostly unremarkable desk, and awkwardly maintaining the open pages of the book, lifted his head from his hand, and quickly shifted his attention to the noise.
When his head swiveled, to provide him a proper visual of the source of the sound, his eyes rapidly widened, and his pupils twitched with panic. He relinquished his unorthodox clamp on the pages, and given his state of shock, spasmodically attempted to rise to his feet. He knocked his chair backwards onto the floor, and simultaneously, collided his left knee into the bottom of drawer-free center of the desk. Once he found footing, he knew he was hobbled, and favoring his undamaged right leg. He attempted several, lurching steps towards the back of the room, before pausing, wincing in pain, and bringing his left hand down to grip his left knee.
Tristan took a step towards him.
Tristan closed the gap between them, with three more powerful strides, each thundering on the floorboards as his boots made contact with the floorboards.
“Please, please don’t.”
Tristan lunged forward with his left leg, planting his foot approximately eighteen inches from the stranger. He drove his upper body forward with the motion, twisted his left calf inwardly, and swung his left fist towards the man’s face.
The stranger quickly, and instinctively, put his fists together, twisted his body to face the blow, and brought his hand to his face to defend against the hook.
Tristan’s feint was successful, though he knew, he hadn’t needed the maneuver. With the strangers rib cage exposed on his left side, Tristan brought his right foot forward, stepped towards the man, and placed his right foot directly at the instep of the stranger’s left foot.
He drove his right fist upwards in an uppercut, directly towards the strangers ribs. There was a cracking sound, when he connected. It was similar to the sound of a thinner branch being broken against the trunk of a large tree. But the sound was doubled, as if two branches had been broken at the same time. The sound also resembled two firecrackers going off simultaneously. Though, he didn’t need to hear the sound, Tristan knew that his punch had broken two ribs. He could feel the flesh sag to the force of his blow, and could gauge the yield of the skeletal structure, as his fist shattered the bones.
As he made contact, he felt a spinning, whirring, tornado-like effect in his chest. It made him feel energized. The churning seemed to accelerate as the stranger’s body crashed to the ground several feet away, the sprawling body’s hand reaching for his damaged side.
Tristan, once again, breathed angrily, through his nostrils, as the stranger staggered to his feet. The man got up, leaned to his right, still clutching his devastated left rib cage, and launched a heavy spittle of blood from his lips.
Tristan moved quickly, pressing his upper right shoulder and chest against the same spots on the stranger. He took his right leg, and hooked it around the backside of the stranger’s right, locking calves. He brought his right hand up, and gripped the man’s neck.
Then, he forced his right shoulder forward, drove his hips into the effort and powered both bodies towards the floor. The motion forced the man off-balance, and Tristan followed through to the ground, and into the floorboards. He drove the man through the wood of the floor, and left an indent into the dirt below.
Tristan felt a tingling rush within him, as held the neck of the person that he had driven through the floor within his grasp. He felt the warmth of the skin at his fingertips, and the quivering fear that lay beneath.
Deep within him, Tristan could sense a changing, shifting drive. He felt a growth in power, and increased strength that he hadn’t felt for a long time.
He lifted his hand from the neck of the unconscious body. He smirked at the trauma at the bruise-sites of his powerful grip. He appreciated the blood-stained lips of the stranger’s comatose frown.
He abandoned the broken individual, upper body limp, depressed into the floorboards, and walked towards the open door.
His concern, at this place, had been resolved.
He walked forward forcefully, his heart churning, burning, and surging with energy.
He went with a purpose, a reinvigorated drive, and with a once dormant, now rediscovered energy.