Nothing’s fun about being a pit fighter. Sure, at first it looks exciting because of the danger, the excitement, the glory of winning, and the money. The money! I own a cobra and a viper and there’s my condo downtown.
Before I started this I had zilch. School wasn’t for me and neither was flipping burgers. I got into martial arts and stuck with it. Still, fighting had risks. Serious injury was one of the major ones.
Like how just now that Tai fighter got his knee shattered when the Shaolin dude kicked his leg inward. There’s also the chance of being arrested. Prison wasn’t my main concern. Death was my bane.
It’s not like I was afraid to die. Just I liked being alive. From the suckle of my first breath every morning, to the joy of slamming my fist into an opponent’s face, and raising my hand in victory - life’s worth living.
My next fight was coming up and I knew I’d win for sure. This was a first for me. I knew equality had recently become a big deal. Didn’t know it would come to me standing in a pit preparing to fight a girl.
“Contra Divine,” they called her—an interesting ring name. Mine’s better, Sig the Slugger. Still this slugger never fought no broad.
She was a dirty blonde with sleek abs stretched about in the pit across from me. It was hard to believe I was really about to do this. Even when my manager told me it was going to happen, I was doubtful. At first the idea of having to fight a girl sounded like a joke. But it turned out I was contractually obligated to fight whomever my manager deemed appropriate.
When I became reluctant my manager said, “This is what the people want to see. Look, you’re in the same weight class. It’s a done deal. You need the money.”
I did. I had a payment to make on my second car and the ex-wife was nagging me for child support again. Not that I would pay, but I needed this fight money anyway.
Although my opponent was equal to me in reach and weight, as a man, I had more muscle mass. Then again, we were the same height. She was mostly legs. I’d call her Legs if we met in a bar. She was cute enough to hit on. Her soft crystal eyes as blue as the sky.
I couldn’t think that way about an opponent. I had to see Legs as just another face to pound and not as a hotty with perfect b’s. I had to avoid looking at her chest altogether, which was sloppy of me to do from the start. I wasn’t ever sloppy before.
Despite being a fighter with a long record of wins, I had managed to not kill anyone. That’s a big deal for a fighter. Most victors killed their opponents at the end of a bought. I was “a rare commodity,” so my manager would say.
Other fighters believed an enemy combatant was not truly defeated unless the victory ended in the opponent’s utter demise. Killing seemed wrong. I would do what was needed. Make them submit, or knock them out, and stop the fight. I never felt like I was in danger either.
Judging from the looks of this girl I’d be knocking her out like most of my previous opponents quickly. I liked to choke them out with their own arms. It was my finisher. That way they knew I owned them in the pit.
I’ve seen some girlies fight here and there. Chicks liked to kick. It made sense from a logical viewpoint. A kick could produce more brute force than a punch, technically. However, a punch was quicker and with arms as burly as mine I didn’t have to worry about strength. This girl’s legs were long and well defined. If I managed to stay clear of them, I would do okay. Also, I had strong arms that knocked out better opponents than this girl could ever dream of facing.
Turned out this battle meant I’d be the first fighter in the pits to face the opposite sex. I got the experimental opponents. Once fought this deaf guy. I punched him in the ear. He was fighting for the same reason as me. Besides, it’s not like he heard the punch. I still remember his eyes rolling up into his head. He made this weird sound like a challenged kid—probably because he couldn’t hear himself.
That wasn’t my oddest fight either. I fought this one guy who had a wooden leg. He came into the ring hobbling, so I kicked his only good leg. Had I been a real bad guy, I might’ve killed the stubby bastard. Instead, I strangled him with his own arms until he passed out. My manager probably set me up with weak, I mean strange opponents because I wasn’t a killer.
This girl was safe losing to me. I’d hurt her for being dumb enough to fight a man, and then send her home to her sewing, housework, and tampons. She’d know better and give up fighting. The end.
Contra Divine was in good shape for a girl. I couldn’t find an ounce of fat on her body. She wasn’t too muscular. I wouldn’t call her “She-male,” or nothing. Her body curved just right. She appeared fit and athletic. I’d wager she worked out intensely day-to-day.
I heard she got her name because her challengers defied their own mortality. But her other opponents were just women.
“Legs” suited her better. I couldn’t believe she volunteered to fight a man. “Must be nuts.” She gave me an angry glare. Her cheekbones were nice looking at least; made her look highborn. “Too bad I’d have to bloody that face.”
I wrapped my fists in tape as she did the same. We approached each other in the center of the pit. Someone from afar yelled, “Fight.”
I whispered, “Wait. Girl. You don’t have a chance and you know it. Take a dive after I punch you, and I’ll give you part of my winnings. Fair? Heck, I’ll even let you buy me a drink after this if you’re lucky.”
She answered with a right hook my way. Didn’t bother blocking. I got hit in the jaw. Legs hit like a girl as expected. I stepped back to let her think it hurt and showed her a half smile. Then I waved for her to give me her best shot. She came right at me with a lunging kick. I was fast enough to jump to the side of it.
Grabbing her thigh, I twisted it and forced Legs to turn around and bend over. I jammed my elbow into the back of her knee and watched her fall. I leaned close to her. People cheered for blood, so I lifted her by her pretty ponytail, faced her to me, and shoved my other fist into her mouth. My white wraps had blood spatter all on them. Cut open one of her lower eyelids. Bet she was used to bleeding.
I hit her again and again and watched blood slide down from open wounds on her face. Legs became a ragdoll in my arms. Of course she screamed like a girl. Typical. One second they whine about equality and the next they beg you to treat them like a lady.
Legs kept struggling as I yanked on her ponytail once more and shoved her away. She landed on the ground. A bunch of spectators “Oohed.” I felt like an asshole, hitting a girl. I was told as a young man not to do that.
Times had changed. Women wanted to be like men. I met a female firefighter the other day. That girl was big like an ox, and she could lift a guy her size, probably bigger. But no man would want to be saved by the likes of her for obvious reasons. No man wanted a girl to take the place of a man. No matter how hard they tried, they’re all weak, like Legs, who struggled to sit up.
She forced herself to turn over along the floor. It was plainly hard for her to lift her body. Legs lay her back against the hard floor. Her pathetic tears welled in her tear ducts. At this point I could make her submit, or knock her out. I had to be careful, so not to kill her. It was one thing to fight a girl. To beat one to death by mistake, I would be the worst kind of guy. I placed my foot on her neck. “Give up, girly,” I said and released my heel as she gagged.
Legs cradled her neck and looked at me with those crystals of hers and that sneer. Then I lost myself and looked at her available cleavage for a second. She lifted a leg and shoved her boot into my crotch. The kick forced me to stumble back and bend downward. I didn’t fall though.
She sprinted to her feet with an upward leap and swung one of her legs at me. I knew it was a spin kick, ’cause when I leaned my face up her heel hit my temple from a sideways position. My body collided with the cement floor.
When I rolled to my back, Legs caught up to me and slammed her foot into my ribcage. I coughed up blood. I could feel the world spinning. But everything came back for a second, which was enough to give me the edge.
Legs tried to slam her foot into me again, but I darted to the side and swept her front leg. She showed cat-like reflexes as her body forgot to fall.
I got to my feet and watched Legs catch her balance and jolt forward. She turned to me and lunged with ballad fists. Her left hook came close to my face. I caught her knuckle sandwich with a palm. My fingers were long enough to cover her fists. Legs swung her other set of sharp knuckles at my face. I caught that one too. Our eyes met. Then I twirled her around and forced her arms around her throat. I had her in a chokehold. “Give up, girly. It’s over”
Legs should have fallen. Instead, she leaned into me with her hips and rear-end and bent over with me, which forced my body to fling over hers. I crash-landed on my back. It felt like my arms and legs went to sleep as my spine made a crack sound against the ground. My fingers and toes wouldn’t respond when I tried to move them. It felt like sand paper brushed against my skin speedily.
Can’t … move.
Contra Divine approached. She smiled down at me like she knew something I didn’t. It was a frightening gaze. She had these angelic lips that could burn down a man’s world with a kiss.
“I’m not some girly,” she said.
“What are you then?” The words slid out with blood that just kept flowing. So much blood. I suckled for air.
Her arms were the bow to her arrow of a leg. Her shin reached near her nose. Her foot was over her head. Then she loosed her long leg down at me. “I’m woman. Hear me roar.”
Her leg soured through the wind. When her heel met my eye sockets and nose. I heard an unfamiliar crunch sound come from my skull. I saw green speckles of light and darkness, and then I felt wet and cold … so cold … and then nothing.
BAM graduated with a degree in English with honors. He's an alumnus of Sigma Tau Delta, and co-founded Writers’ ReVision: a workshop that helped authors’ edit and find publication. He was a journalist for two years, a columnist for three years, and a finalist in the WLT Manuscript Competition in the thriller category in 2014. Some of his publications can be found in: Antiphon Magazine, Ishaan Literary Review, Bartleby Snopes (story of the month), This Very Breath Journal, Microfiction Monday Magazine, and Writer's Ezine (story of the month). For more information visit: www.bamwrites.com