Friday, 6 January 2012


I hit him again, putting full hip twist and shoulder into the punch.

Blood, snot and spittle geysered from his face as his head jerked sideways from the impact.

He span almost full circle before going down and hitting the floor, hard.

“Stay down... stay down for Chrissake.” My inner voice screamed silently at him.

He rolled over onto all fours, fluids dripped and drooled from his face and pooled on the floor.

After a couple of seconds his head and shoulders lifted, and he slowly... slowly stood up again.

I found out a few days later his jaw was broken in three places and both of his cheekbones were fractured.

His eyes and nose were so badly swollen it was impossible to tell where one ended and the other began.

And he still kept getting up... and coming back at me.

I knew, I just knew that the only way to keep him down would be to kill him, and I wasn't prepared to go that far.

He squared up again, and I just let him hit me. There wasn't enough force in the blow to do any serious damage, but I took it, then went down... and stayed there.

I would take a punishment beating from “The Boys” for throwing the fight, maybe even broken arms or legs, the syndicate didn't take people like me spoiling their plans with any humour at all, not to mention the money I would have cost them.

They weren't the one doing the fighting. They couldn't see what I could see.

If I had known at the time why the money was so important to him I would have taken the dive a lot sooner.

One of his kids needed a life-saving operation, and that kind of motivation can be impossible to beat out of a man.

©2012 Stephen. J. Green.


  1. Certainly makes it impossible for me to want to beat that man.

  2. I don't know why I saw Butch from Pulp Fiction as I read this.

    At least the fighter who went down did a good thing, even if he didn't realise it at the time.

  3. I'm with Tim, they both won and the loser got his humanity.

  4. Very readable. Visceral too. I'm agree with the others to a point but I don't think the narrator's a winner till he's survived "The Boys".

    Fingers crossed for him.

    (Please come on twitter btw)

  5. Helping a family member out can make a person do very brave things. Reminded me a bit of Snatch.

  6. @John – yeah, me too, I think it must be terribly unnerving facing someone with his depth of determination, even if you have the upper hand.

    @Tim – I agree, in real life his decision would have taken a lot of nerve too.

    @Icy – I think I may have subconsciously been thinking of the fight scene from “Cool Hand Luke” where Luke just kept on getting back up.

    @FAR – This is true, the poor loser was going to end up with a little something else too.

    @Peter – Thanks, surviving a visit from “The Boys” is probably gonna leave him in a worse state than the guy he allowed to win was in.

    I really appreciate you asking me to come on twitter, other people have asked me before on here too, and I am quite possibly the only member of the #fridayflash community that doesn't use twitter. The thing is Peter, I am not really attracted to it at all, I did have a facebook account for a few months, just about every one of my family members and friends have facebook, but I didn't really gel with that either so I decided to close the account. Whilst I will probably not join twitter, I would like to say thank you for taking the interest to ask me.

    @Craig – Yeah, I love that film, Brad Pitt played a brilliant role as the Gypsy bare-knuckle boxer, didn't he? Only thing was, I couldn't understand a word he said. :-)

    @Virginia – Hiya, and thank you. And of course you can say “punchy” I take that as a compliment too. :-)

  7. That was great! Loved the double twist; first finding out his opponant was the narrator, and then the reveal at the end. Very well done.

  8. Uplifting. I like the thought that heart and need can help someone achieve what they need accomplished, even if that battle is uphill.

  9. Excellent story. They both showed a tremendous amount of heart in that fight. Hope he somehow eludes the beating from "The Boys."

  10. @Catherine - Thank you, I needed to make his reason to keep on getting up something that the reader could really relate to.

    @Aidan - thanks, yes, he did the right thing, although he wasn't aware of the importance of it at the time.

    @Eric - Thanks, I think most dads would fight as much for their kid's life. As for the guy who threw the fight? Well, "The Boys" usually get to their man sooner or later.

  11. Super imagery here Steve! And, as others have said, excellent reveal, just an all-out great story, period.

  12. Wow what a great story, a fighter with heart. Just a wonderful story Steve!
    I was with him in the ring, like he said "They weren't the one doing the fighting. They couldn't see what I could see."

  13. aww that was a really good story! He did a good thing (even if the Boys don't like it)

  14. This guy may want to find another profession! Good story, I like how he couldn't bring himself to beat the man any further.

  15. A great last line there, Steve, and a nice story about one man knowing his limitations. We can all talk tough, but the story changes when we're actually faced with the situation. Thanks for sharing.

  16. I was gripped. Totally inside the character's head for those few seconds it took to read. (could you follow my blog by the way because then I'd only have to click on your picture to get to your blog).

  17. Great story, Steve! I especially loved that last line.

  18. @Deanna – Thank you, you are very kind.

    @Helen – Thanks, I think when faced with someone who is just not going to give up regardless of the punishment they are taking, not everyone has what it takes to keep on giving it.

    @Sonia – Thank you, and I reckon “The Boys” definitely would not be amused.

    @Liminal – You are probably right, mind you, after “The Visit” he may not be in any shape to carry on with his current profession.

    @Stephen – Thanks. It takes a certain type of person to be a professional fighter, and even then, some are hungrier than others.

    @Chris – Thank you, your kind words are very much appreciated.

    @Chuck – Thank you, so many of my stories do hang on the last line too, don't they

  19. OH Steve! What an ending! Brilliant and touching all at the same time. Well done!

  20. Hiya Cathy, and thank you so much. :-)

  21. Powerful piece, Steve. Good to see his morals won out over his fears for his own 'comfort'. There's a pretty workable metaphor in there for doing the right thing over peer pressure. =)

  22. Thanks John, it would definitely take an impressive amount of courage for a fighter to go against the mob.