Two men lock stares across a worn table; both of their faces mottled with stubble and sweat, one wearing a green Pioneer cap. A buck knife sticks from the pocked table top. The crowd circling them, most with sewn-on name tags, grease stains, and breath to kill Satan, press closer to the cone of light offered by a single naked bulb above the table.
"What you got now, Jeb?" The man in the Pioneer hat says.
Jeb let's his left hand drop below the table. His mouth curls open. "Jus' this."
He pulls the tin snips from beneath the table and drops them with a clatter. The knife falls over, tumbles from the wooden surface, and rattles on the floor. Voices rise from the crowd. Bets are exchanged.
Pioneer hat swallows hard, opens the snips, and slides a finger through the blades. His eyes are closed when he presses down, using the table top for leverage with his free hand. He doesn't see the blood spurt across the table, but he hears the crunch as the snips break through the bone. He yanks the bloodied hand away and thrusts it in his lap, his face swollen and red as a boiled beet.
The crowd hoots and claps until Pioneer hat raises his other hand.
"My...turn," he mutters.
Jeb shifts in his chair. The wooden slats of the floor creak.
Pioneer hat points to his mouth and leans forward into the light. For the first time, the crowd gets a good look at his teeth, how sharp and crooked they are like the maw of a shark. Jeb raises a shaking finger, pushing across the table toward the other man's mouth...