“Will You Bend or Break?”
Edward Mason stood with his back to the audience, dancing back and forth on his toes as he sized up the lumbering man standing across from him. Last minute fights paid better, but they left little time for getting to know who you were fighting. From a young age, Edward had always been about sizing up the opposition and knowing exactly what he was up against, this was doubly true when in the ring. Edward took a left hook straight to the jaw and for a second the colour behind his eyes burned white hot. He stumbled briefly as the crowd applauded his opponent’s solid jab and after a beat, Edward shook his head and brought up his guard.
The man standing opposite Edward was large, chiselled from stone, and powerful beyond all comprehension. Edward ran his eyes across him, sizing him up and down, seeing what else this fight offered him and after a second or so Edward saw his angle. His opponent danced around in his corner, cocky from his clean hit to Edward and over extending himself because of it. Edward waited patiently for his window and sure enough a strong right hook came barrelling towards him. Edward ducked quickly, taking his chance at a strong upper cut to the man’s soft jaw. The punch connected solidly and the man stumbled backwards as Edward continued hit after hit. With each blow, Edward felt a surge of energy coursing through his veins, fuelling his hits, pumping blood to his chest.
His opponent’s lips cracked and his eyes bulged; during the barrage of hits he had lost at least 3 teeth to the mat. Edward continued pummelling into the man, blood speckling his face as he landed blow after blow. He could hear the soft cracking of the man’s skull beneath the gloves as he let out a flurry of punches before the man dropped his guard and fell backwards landing hard against the mat as the crowd cheered. Edward stood over him breathing the fire out of his lungs as he finally noticed the ringing of the bell.
The bell, which had been ringing non-stop for the past 30 seconds or so, sounded at the first sign that Edward had knocked the man out many hits ago. The ring was flooded with people, some helping the man on the mat, others dragging Edward back into his corner. As Edward was pulled away from his opponent, he saw the blood pooling around his head like an angels halo and smirked, spitting on the mat as he left.
Edward sat motionless in the locker room, facing the floor as a young boy stood next to him, stitching the wounds on his face. Charlie, the bookie, leaned into the doorway, and tossed a thin envelope on the bench next to Edward. Edward thumbed the envelope before looking up at Charlie.
“Did he…” Edward started but was cut off by Charlie who took off his hat.
“He’s dead.” he said flatly before turning his hat in his hand and leaving the room.
The sting of the needle piercing Edwards’ eye felt deserved, as the young boy worked at repairing the broken fighter. Edward looked down between his feet at the puddle of blood dripping from the wounds on his face. Images of the man in the ring, lying in a halo of his own blood, flashed through Edwards mind and an odd sense of fear trickled through him. The boy finished, patting Edward on the shoulder and exited the room, leaving Edward alone with his thoughts.
Edward sat in the cold of the locker room as the sound of hard soled shoes on concrete echoed louder as someone entered the room.
“I don’t do autographs.” Edward said coldly without looking up.
“Good ‘cause I don’t want one.” The voice said. Edward didn’t stir and from his view, staring at the cement floor of the room, two black dress shoes stepped into frame.
“Edward Mason, I have something that may be of interest to you.“
Edward looked up from the small pool of blood forming between his feet towards the man dressed in all black standing before him.
“I’m always up for a fight” said Edward, smiling through a blood soaked grin.
This was last week.