Tuesday, April 12, 2011

F3 - Cycle 26 - Tiger Balm

Submitted for Flash Fiction Friday


Prompt: THEMED WORDLIST – Fist, Jab, Knuckle, Spirit, Fighter, Rhythm
Genre: Any
Word Count: 1500
Deadline: 
Thursday, April 14, 2011 about 4:30 pm.



"Johnny! Johnny! Johnny!" the crowd chants in rhythm, calling me to them. 


I wait in the dark corridor for the official invitation into the ring, hopping in rhythm with the crowd. Nicky knuckles the muscles in my shoulders to keep them loose. I see flashbulbs exploding around the arena like so many June fireflies. My white-trimmed red satin robe swishes as I jab the air in front of me.


I've been training my whole life for this fight. Tonight I will win. I have the edge. My fists know what they have to do. I will win. I will out-think my adversary. I will win. I will dance just out of his reach. I will win. I will.


I breathe deep one more time. I smell tiger balm, fighters tape, blood. My warrior spirit centers. Nicky pushes me. It's time. We set out of the tunnel and prowl towards the ring. The crowd sees me and erupts its energy. I take it in and soak it up. Cameras watch me climb into the ring. 


The upturned faces of the media surround the boundaries of my battlefield. I am lit from within, from without. Nicky pulls off my robe to reveal muscle and bone, skin and sinew, oil and sweat. I raise my fists and feel the wave of hunger that rolls across the arena and floods me. 


I am ready and we start. I grapple with my nemesis. I introduce him to his new master. He fights me back. He tries to win. He is losing and I break the bad news to him. Hard. He will be better for the beating he is receiving. He will learn the locations of his weaknesses. I am giving him accurately detailed maps, a topography of pain. I find the treasure. X marks the spot and I dig in. He falls, then crawls, then falls for good. 


We stare at each other while the countdown marches us towards our destiny. I see I have awoken in him the awareness of all that he doesn't yet know. He understands that I know all his secrets. His eyes close and he slumps on the mat. And I take my glory.

8 comments:

  1. "I am lit from within, from without."

    You most certainly are, and in more ways than one! I can almost smell the sweat and blood. This is very gripping. Brava!

    Doc

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  2. I had to go back and read it again, and to be honest, I stand in awe. I labour so hard every week to churn out a story and with you, it is as if you simply drop in a coin and push the right button and the story comes out perfect and complete from the vending machine of your mind. You have way more talent than you give yourself credit for my dear.

    Doc

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  3. He will be better for the beating he is receiving. He will learn the locations of his weaknesses. I am giving him accurately detailed maps, a topography of pain.

    Now that was my favorite part!

    I stand in awe. I labour so hard every week to churn out a story and with you, it is as if you simply drop in a coin...

    What Doc said!

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  4. That was spell-binding... it feels like you have actually done it and experienced it.

    And yes, what Doc said! You create magic every week...!

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  5. Doc: Thank you, but it's not effortless. I've just had a lot of experience editing.

    Beach Bum: Thank you! I was pretty proud of that section.

    Ingrid: A very high compliment! I don't have a lot of experience with boxing but I'm fascinated with what goes through someone's head before he enters the ring. You've got to be a special kind of person to do that. Thank you so much!

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  6. I love how you have captured the rhythm of the fight in your story.
    Tonight I will win. I have the edge. My fists know what they have to do. I will win. I will out-think my adversary. I will win. I will dance just out of his reach. I will win. I will. This is very much like poetry, almost a song. Wonderful stuff!

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  7. Oh god, amazing! I could see, feel, taste, experience the entire thing. It gave me goosebumps. I really love a well-told short-short. I'm still trying to figure out how fit a true beginning, middle and end in my flash fiction--so much easier to give a slice of life, so to speak--and this encapsulates what I aim for! So well done.

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  8. I so agree with amazing. The character is real and you are inside his head. From the beginning with the 'I will win's to him teaching his opponent the locations of his weaknesses. This must be the mindset of a boxer--must be--or they would not be able to continue to step into that ring. Magnificent.

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