Monday, August 5, 2013 | By: Brianna

What's a Shiv?

"Don't worry, Anna will protect you in the dark across campus."

Anna looked up from her half-painted fingernail at the expectant face of one of the younger girls and the sarcasm traipsing across the face of her co-worker.  Being one of the shortest and scrawniest people on staff, Anna was probably the person least likely to be able to defend anyone much less herself, if the occasion called for it.

So she nodded solemnly.  "Oh yeah, of course!  I've got pepper spray.  And a shiv in my purse."

The girl asked, "What's a shiv?"

Anna laughed in that Pssh, you don't know? sort of way and explained that it was a makeshift knife that could be used as a weapon.  The girl's eyes widened while Anna's co-worker smirked.  Of course, if this were a real rather than fictional shiv, it probably wouldn't have been allowed.  Anywhere.  Outside of prison.

"Have you ever used it?" Anna's co-worker asked, feeding the story but interested to see where it went next.

"Of course I have, on my ex-boyfriend's car."

Anna's favorite part of the whole storytelling experience was to watch the faces on her audience.  She could tell that the younger girl immediately believed in the maiming of a car but wanted to figure out for sure if it was true.  And her co-worker was giving her a look that said, Okay, but seriously now.

"Did he have leather seats?"

"Not anymore he doesn't."

"Did you carve your name into them?"

"Of course," Anna said, grinning wickedly.  Her audience went quiet, a mixture of skepticism and respect floating in the air while Anna bent her head down to finish up painting the nails on her left hand.  It was a couple minutes before anyone spoke again, and by then the conversation revolving around Anna's destructive streak could have dissipated.

A pause.  Then, "Did you really do that to your ex-boyfriend's car?"  Not the younger girl, but Anna's co-worker.

Anna just smiled and shrugged.  So what if I did?

"And though she be but little, she is fierce."
- William Shakespeare


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