I brace myself for the impact of the hit, as it’s too late to avoid it now. The fist hits me straight in the ribs and I feel the snap of the bones, fuck, he either bruised or broke my ribs. It will take weeks to heal enough for me to work again. Good thing I still have the money from the last time.
I kick my leg into his torso, my shin hits his stomach, making him fold himself trying to regain his breath. I use his position to my advantage and hit him with my elbow in the back of his neck, effectively knocking him down.
The audience roars with cheers, screaming my name and trying to at least touch me as I leave the cage and cross the room to get my reward money. My ribs are hurting, but no one can see me grimacing in pain under my skull mask. I can’t show weakness. The second I do it, someone will try to use it against me.
That’s why I live alone, I keep to myself, wear a mask, contact lenses during the fights and have my hair dyed each time. I can’t have anyone getting too close to me and risk getting hurt in the process.
Anything can be a liability. I should know. Everyone I ever loved were used to get to me. I had to abandon them and make everyone believe I want nothing to do with them anymore.
It didn’t help.
I still lost them.
Acquaintances? I don’t even know what happened to them.
I go to the MC and take the money from him. The bag is quite heavy, I won a lot tonight. It should take care of my expenses for a while, until my ribs heal completely. I don’t risk fighting when I’m injured. It can cost me life. If my opponent found out I’m injured, they would try to hit the place to hurt me more and win. At least that’s what I would do.
I look back to the ring to see the janitor wiping the scarlet substance off of it. Scarlet. The color of blood. One of my names. No one knows my birth name, though. I would never tell them. Everyone knows me as Ghost, Scarlet Beast. Each of my fights is bloody. Sometimes they are deadly, but the public seems to like it. The more brutal the fight, the higher the bets and the more money I get.
As I go towards the exit, some of my “fans” try to touch me. They should know better. I hate being touched. I always scrub my body clean after each fight only to get rid of the feeling of someone’s touch on me. If any of them as much as put a finger on me, they will fucking lose it. The bodyguards assigned to escort me out try to do as much as they can to help me leave in peace, knowing well how it will end if they’re not careful.
I never understood what those people like about me. It’s one thing to put your life on the line to earn a living, but to watch it as a form of entertainment is unimaginable to me. You pay to watch people try to destroy each other confined in a small cage without a way out.
That’s right, you can’t surrender and get out of the fight. There are special ‘guards’ watching the place to ‘handle’ anyone trying to disrupt the fight, even if it’s the fighter. I only discovered it about 3 months ago. To say I was surprised would be an understatement of the century.
They would never kill ME, though. I have an impeccable reputation. Many owners of those fighting rings want me to fight at their places, it would increase the sales, as they call it. The one and only Ghost fighting in their club is an honor not many have experienced. If I like the place, I usually don’t change it until I get bored of it or the owner gets under my skin too much.
Or I have to leave altogether, but that’s a different matter. I have enough money from my fights saved to create a new me whenever I need it. Now is not the time, yet, so I try to save as much as I can before I have to leave again. However, with my broken ribs it’s going to take a lot longer than I anticipated. Since I’m not going to fight for at least a few weeks, I’m going to miss a lot of fights, and that means a lot of money.
I somehow make it through the crowd without being touched and head towards my bike on the back of the property. The owner even got me a designated parking space as a way to encourage me to fight here. Not that I would choose another place. The bets here are the highest in town, crowd the most generous and the rewards the biggest. It’s a perfect place to save some cash fast.
I get on my bike and leave the club’s parking lot. The prize money sits safely in a duffel bag slung over my shoulder. I head to my hideout where I’ll change my clothes, take off my mask, hide my bike and take my car to go home.
Once I’m on the busy road, I keep my eye for any nosy fucker that may try to follow me home. It happened before, but since I’m a pretty good racer, I always lose the tail easily. Doesn’t mean I can be careless, though. I always stay watchful.
My hideout is nothing else but an old garage I bought when I came to town. It’s in a perfect location for me, out of anyone’s eyes, on the outskirts, unnoticeable from the road, unless you know it’s there. There is no real road leading there, just some shabby remains of an old dirt road.
As I near the garage, I watch the road, searching for any new trails on the road. If someone was here, I would have to investigate it and might even have to leave, depending on who was it on my property and what were they doing here. I could always get rid of them the same way I defeat my opponents in the cage, but I’d rather not be chased by not only my past, but also the ever-so-useful Police Department.
Once I’m close enough, I open the garage door with the remote and get inside. I park my bike, get the bag off and put it in the car’s trunk, so I won’t forget about it later. After locking the door, so no one can get in, I head towards the bathroom to take a long hot shower. I have to wash the blood and the feeling of being touched off of me.
I take off my clothes, careful to not irritate my broken ribs too much, turn on the hot water, put some lemon scented gel on my loofa and scrub my body clean. The feeling of that fucker’s touch is making me nauseous and I hate it. My skin slowly becomes red from my persistent scrubbing. After washing out my hair dye, I get out of the shower and wrap myself in a fluffy black towel. That reminds me, I have to take the laundry home. I don’t have a washing machine here, so once in a while I take the laundry home. I dry my hair with another towel and leave the bathroom. There is a small bedroom with a closet here, so I can sleep here and change if I need. It took a while to renovate the place to the state of usefulness, but the location makes up for the money spent on it.
I get a t-shirt and jeans from the closet, along with some underwear and change into them, not minding the dripping water from my hair. Once I’m dressed, I go towards my dresser where I have a huge mirror and try to brush my hair. Keyword: try. Even with the conditioner, my hair is a nightmare to brush. The long wavy strands get easily tangled, so it takes a lot of time and effort to make it look presentable.
My hair is naturally light brown with slight tinge of dark blonde on the ends. For my fights I dye it deep red, it’s a part of the image I created. I always fight in black leggings and tight black long sleeved shirt so that the huge skull tattoo on my whole back is invisible. It’s the only thing I can be recognized with, so I have to hide it. My long hair is either pulled into a ponytail or a bun.
I take out my contacts, looking into my natural hazel brown eyes in the mirror. One may think, why go through the trouble, when I’m wearing a mask anyways? I’d rather be careful than sorry. I don’t want anyone to recognize me. The Ghost exists strictly on the ring and that’s where she stays.
Having gone through my whole ‘back to normal’ routine, I get in my black Dodge Challenger, open the garage with the remote and head home. The drive takes no longer than 15 minutes, as my house is on the outskirts of town in the same direction as the garage. The houses in the neighborhood are quite far apart from each other and there are barely any neighbors, but still I’d rather not take my chances with coming here as Ghost.
I park my car in the garage and get into my house. It’s a decent one story house with 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, pretty big kitchen and a cute living room with a fireplace. I got it pretty cheap, since it’s pretty far from the downtown. The colors dominating here are white, grey and black. There are some accents of red and gold here and there, like the pillows on the couch or vase in the hall, or the coffee machine in the kitchen, but you won’t find any other color here. And I like it that way.
I put the laundry I brought from the garage in the hamper in the laundry room, making a mental note to wash it tomorrow, and go towards my safe to put the money away. I punch in the numbers into the keypad, open the heavy door and carefully place the blocks of money inside, keeping a few hundred to spend. I close the safe, cover the door, and head towards my bedroom. Since it’s already 1 am, I change into my pajamas and lie down in bed.
Taking my phone from the drawer in my nightstand, I turn it on to set up the alarm for 6 o’clock. It’s Monday tomorrow, or today actually, so I have to get to school.
Yes, that’s right, school.
I’m a high school senior.