Life After Lockup

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1 week later


The familiar chant of the crowd, I’ve come to know all my life. I couldn’t believe I was in the middle of this shit again. I got the text from Gunner two days ago, naming the time and place.

I found myself in a backstreet of a Chinese eatery, at the cities border, away from civilized society and dragged into this underworld… again. The fight took place here, a dodgy side of town since there were limitations to where I could go. A chaotic crowd filed the streets, swapping cash and screaming their favourite fighter’s name.

I stared at my opponent, a small guy but lean and athletic. His punches were quick and effective but didn’t do much damage. The crowd jeered every time he landed me a left hook, I scanned the crowd and saw Gunner watching. The rowdy crowd encircled us, giving us enough room to fight. It was informal, raw edition, a typical underground street fight for bets and pleasure.

I dodged another punch by my opponent and sent a left jab to his jaw. He stumbled back but gained his composure quick. We both held our fists up in defence as we circled each other. I stepped back and forth baiting him to come at me. He took the bait. I gave him one round middle kick, swinging my hip over to get maximum force into the strike, hitting his abdominal muscles.

My opponent hissed and howled in agony. The crowd moved as we moved through the streets. I knew this would be an easy win. I gave another punch, my most lethal weapon, blasting my opponent’s liver. Another scream escaped his bloody mouth.

My instructions were to win each fight. And each fight I did, ever since I started this shit. I looked at my opponent, he was on the ground trying to get up again. Why couldn’t this guy stay down!

To finish the fight, I pulled him down into a crushing knee to the face. He slammed back, his nose cracked and bloody.

My win was met with loud rants and raves from the crowd. Pats on the back as I moved past, women to the left and right, touching and hanging on to me as I pulled away and walked through the crowd. Once upon a time I liked the attention it gave me, thrived on it. But not anymore, I had to lie to Lillie today, I said I was working late at the garage and hoped she believed me. luckily, I didn’t gain any injuries.

Damn, I fucking hated myself for lying to her.

I walked over to a grinning Gunner. Sick bastard, I wished it were his nose I broke just now.

I wiped the sweat off my brow. Gunner and I walked out the back street to the open fresh cool air, leaving a rowdy drunk crowd behind. I heard music filter at the back of me, clearly a full-on party was about to start. I had to get out of here before the cops pitched up.

“You won Big Ben money tonight Bleeder,” Gunner said with a sneer. The asshole always couldn’t stand that I was a better fighter than him. “Always know how to finish.” he continued.

“Tell Big Ben that’s it… I’m done.” I scowled. And started to walk away.

Gunner chuckled. “Done… Bleeder you only just begun.” I stopped and turned around facing him. “This was a small fight. The amount won is only five percent of what you owe boy.” he leered at me.

I stared at him, with venom and fury in my eyes.

He liked my reaction and continued further. “You have about ten to twelve big fights to win for Big Ben… or lose.” he said sneakily.

“What the fuck are you talking about?” I demanded.

There was distance between us, and the silence hung in the air, threatening to be sliced any moment, as I glared at Gunner’s smirk turning into a dark grin. The shithole, I felt like knocking him the fuck out. My fists clenched by their sides.

“The next fight is rigged… you’ll have to lose,” Gunner said slowly.

“Bullshit! Like hell I will.” I snapped back.

“He won’t like that answer, an answer I would be happy to report to him,” Gunner sneered, chuckling like he said the funniest fucking thing in the damn world.

I turned around and began to walk as I flipped him off. Clearly that annoyed him, I smiled at that.

“Lillie is quite a pretty girl, but she doesn’t really look like your type though…” he said haughtily.

I stopped, wide eyed and turned so fast I didn’t know how I got from where I was standing straight into Gunner’s fucking face. I dragged him by his shirt collar and slammed him against the wall… hard. I smelled his foul breath as I glowered at him, almost nose to nose.

The asshole just laughed. “Did I hit a nerve Bleeder?” he said mockingly.

My eye twitched dangerously, and I slammed him against the brick wall for the second time. Because he did hit a nerve, a very fucking BIG ONE!

“Don’t you dare mention Lillie’s name again out of your filthy mouth or approach her with your ugly face again or I’ll disfigure it permanently.” I hissed, anger and rage fueling me.

Gunner looked at me, but a creepy smile formed slowly on his gingered face. “You wouldn’t want what happened to Gabriel happen to Lillie… would you Dimitri, that would be a dying shame.” he whispered.

My eyes snapped wide, the audacity of this shit face to mention the two people I most loved in this in one breath in front of me.

I delivered one punch into Gunner’s face, he fell to the ground screaming like a fucking school girl. I gave a second punch, aiming for his nose, breaking it. Blood splattered across his face and some on me.

I walked away, with him slumped on the ground, holding his bashed nose.

“You fucker!” he yelled after me.

But then laughed menacingly. “You know you can’t win in this bleeder,” he sang out laughing like a sick bastard.

I walked into the night air, my anger still raging inside me. I shook my head hard and scowled as I stormed into the night. His words echoing all the way through. I couldn’t escape it, I felt like a prisoner even though I wasn’t in prison any longer.

“FUCK!!!” I shouted out as I punched a nearby trash can, denting in.

Big Ben and Gunner got to me, and the bastards knew it too.

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