Fight Story part2

On November 4th, Hot and Bumps were set to fight again in Bumps' gym. Hot wasn't stupid about it--he planned to have some friends along to back him up, and he said so in a post on this site. Both Bumps and Hot asked me to watch, write it up and post it here, but I refused both invitations. I did tell them they could tell me how it went down, and I'd post that for them. They agreed. Neither knew the other had the same arrangement with me. So November 4th comes, and I wait for a call. I wait until 2 am. I fall asleep waiting.

When I go out to my car the next morning, there's a note under the windshield wiper. It says, "Mercy General" and gives a room number. Since this is Bumps' way of communicating with me, I figure he beat Hot again, probably pretty bad if the hospital's involved. I go to visiting hours. I have trouble convincing the nurses that I'm family. Then Spider shows up, Bumps' friend with the pale skin and the long arms and the spider web tatt on his left shoulder and pec. He smoothes things over, then takes me to the room.

Bumps is in the bed. Unconscious. Hooked up to machines.

Part of me is relieved. Hey, I've been playing revenge scenarios in my head ever since Bumps beat me into a short coma a couple years ago. But I don't have the skills to do this much damage. His ribs are wrapped tight, but I can see bruising around the edges of the wraps. His jaw looks broken--lots of swelling there, plus a hint of it being wired shut. His nose is smashed up--there's one of those metal splint things covering it. His head's immobilized like they do for fighters who don't come to in the ring. As I'm taking all of this in, I realize something's wrong. Then I see what's missing.

"The bumps. What happened to the scar over the right eyebrow?"

Spider nods towards the rolling table they'll use for meals when Bumps comes out of it. There's a rubber scar in a baggie. Since that's fake, I wonder just how far this guy went to transform himself into a character I created for my stories. I pull the hospital gown open to check for the boxing glove tattoo on his left pec. That's gone, too. Without thinking, I start to reach for his eyes, to check if those bright, mesmerizing blue eyes of his were just contact lenses.

"No," Spider says. "The eyes are real."

So I ask Spider if he knows what went down, how the fight went.

He shrugs. "Wasn't there." He settles into a chair next to the bed. I don't ask anything more of him. He's never been much of a talker anyway, but he never lied to me that I know of. If he doesn't know, then that's what he says.

There's no reason for me to stay. Before I'm out of the door, though, I hear Spider's voice one more time.

"I'll be in touch," he says.

I nod and leave. I go home. No messages on my voice mail, e-mail, nothing. I wait for Hot to make contact and tell me how the hell he did it.

I wait a week. November 12th. Hot calls me.

"I didn't want to say anything until I knew he came out of it," Hot tells me. "I got a buddy on staff at Mercy General. Bumps came to today. Cops were there asking him what happened, but he didn't tell them a thing."

Of course not. That could get complicated. I don't say this to Hot, though.

"Anyway, I'll just tell you, and you write it up if you want." Hot pauses a little too long, just long enough that I'm ready to ask him to go on. Then he starts.

"I don't know how you remember fights, Doc. Not when you're in them. If you think too much you get clocked. So you go on instinct, by training. Yeah, I learned a little boxing since I fought Bumps the first time. I got a buddy in the amateurs, and he showed me a thing or two. Basic stuff, but stuff I didn't know before. I got a jab now. That helps. Bumps wasn't expecting anything new out of me, not after he jumped me last month, so surprise was on my side this time. Anyway, I show up at the gym with six friends, big guys like me, including the guy who fights amateur. He says he'll ref, but I can see the tape again, so no ref can really help much 'cause we're just gonna launch the bombs until somebody goes down and out. So we start off circling each other. I'm waiting to test my jab, he's waiting to counter when I do something stupid. We go a long time like that, long enough for my friends to stop calling out encouragement to me. It gets quiet. Then he moves in a step, I pop out my jab. He counters with his right. That's the last thing I remember clearly until it's almost over. I'm on instinct."

Hot goes quiet. I wait. Again, I'm about to ask a question when resumes his tale.

"We trade pretty even, I guess. But then my left--a straight left--shoots out like I'm not connected to it. My fist to his nose. I feel it land perfect, see the blow force his head down and in. He's bleeding and woozy. And I just lost it. I see the punches, hook after hook to the jaw, boom boom boom. His mouthpiece goes flying. Finally, he gets his gloves up to protect his face, so I go to the body hard as I can. I get lost in it, Doc. I target his left side until I can see the bruises going dark. One of my friends said he heard the ribs breaking, but I didn't. I just waited until Bumps leaned to his left. Then I go for the right side just as hard. The thumping, the grunts, that light smacking sound when the gloves land--you know how hypnotic it can be, Doc. The last body shot hits the liver, and Bumps collapses, flat on his face. He rolls over on his back and grabs his sides."

Again the silence. I wait.

"You know what he did to me that first time. You were there. You wrote it up."

"Yeah," I say. "I remember."

"So I figure I'll do the same. I didn't really think about it, I just did it. I jumped on top of him, sat on him so he couldn't move his arms, and started punching his face. Over and over, and I could tell when he was out cold, but I just kept going until my friends pulled me off him. They got him to Mercy General, not me. I haven't been in to check on him or anything. My buddy kept me posted. Then the cops came and went. I got a buddy who works down at the police station, he's an intern there for his Criminal Justice major."

Hot has a lot of buddies.

"Anyway, he says they don't have anything on me. Just if Bumps points me out. So that's it. Write it up and post it if you want. Nobody's gonna believe it's true anyway. I always thought your stuff was fiction. The guys who read it will probably think this is just a story. But it's like I gotta tell somebody, like confess it or something. It's enough that I tell you. I don't care what they think."

We end the call. I write it up. But it doesn't seem right to me. Bumps trained everyday for years before I ever met him, so how does an inexperienced kid like Hot get skilled enough to beat him that fast? Hot's not claiming a lucky punch--he's claiming a perfect punch. If he has that in his arsenal, why didn't he use it last month when Bumps jumped him? Then there's all the conveniently well-connected friends. Besides, when it comes to Bumps, nothing has ever been exactly what it seemed to be.

So I show Hot's story to Bumps. Only what Hot told me--not my own doubts and definitely not what I'd seen..or hadn't seen...when I'd been in the hospital room before.

Turns out he already knew what I'd seen. The rubber scar was still in the baggie, and the boxing glove tatt hadn't been reapplied. Actually, I kinda missed them. I guess I prefer fantasy after all. Anyway, I don't ask about any of that. Bumps would tell me if he wanted to. Those intense blue eyes of his burn brighter and brighter with fury as he reads Hot's version.

"He's a fuckin liar," Bumps finally says in that husky whisper of a voice.

"So what did happen?"

"You gonna post what I tell you?" Those eyes turn on me now, and my legs weaken. God, how I wish I had a spine when I'm around this guy.

I nod.

He tosses Hot's story back to me. "Like he says, he brought his friends with him. Don't remember six, but that don't matter. I didn't care. I didn't have nobody here. Fly had a fight in Virginia on the 8th, so I sent him and Spider up to train. Spider was s'posed to be here and back me up, but he called and told me they shut down 95 for some shit and he can't get to an exit. He's the one found me after and got me to Mercy. Not Hot. Not Hot's friends either."

Spider isn't in the room now, but there's no point in checking Bumps' story against Spider's response. I can't read Spider's face, and he'd give me the same story he gave Bumps. I could check the papers to see if they covered whatever shut traffic down, but that'll come later.

Bumps goes on. "I ain't gonna back out and have that punkass tell people about it. I stay. I put the tape down, and I stay. He gets his friend in the ring with us, says the guy's gonna ref. Fuck that shit. I shoulda known right then. We start the fight, but there's no circlin to it. I attack, he attacks. No surprises, no dirty punches from me, I swear. But this ref guy stays on my right, just inside my line of sight. I get distracted, ok? And Hot takes advantage. He puts his forearm against my chest and pushes like we're playin football or some shit. Pushes me into a corner. Then the other guys grab my arms, my legs. Some guy's got his arms around my hips, crosses 'em right over my balls. It's a trap from the get-go."

"And Hot stands there, smilin at me. So I'm all 'get on with it, mother fucker' and he yaps about I shouldn't of done this shit and that shit. Then he throws a straight right. I move my head one side, and the punch slides past me. He hits one of his friends instead, drops him--I hear him hit the floor behind me. Doesn't help, 'cause somebody else grabs my arm before I can get a shot off. So Hot works my body."

Bumps slides his hand along his sides. He's still wrapped tight, but his face isn't swollen as much. The immobilizing stuff is gone, and any signs of his jaw being wired shut are gone, too. But he's still in pain. His talking comes in spurts because he has to stop to get his breath from time to time. Breathing deep provokes the pain. He's got a long road back to one hundred percent.

"Fucker kept going at me, hard as he could. Probably trained some, 'cause he knows how to punch now. Didn't wing arm punches. Good leverage behind 'em. I felt the ribs go, and I swore at him, called him every name I know twice. He just kept going, even after he knew I was havin trouble breathing. The asshole wanted to kill me, I swear to God. So, yeah, he hits my liver, and I slump down like anybody would. But his friends don't let go. He props my head up with his left and bangs away at my nose with his right, three, four times. I'm not out, though, not by a long shot. He starts with the hooks. I remember four of those. Then I'm out cold. Next thing I know I'm here, Fly's fight is history, and I'm busted up worse than I've ever been. Fly comes in to tell me about his fight, he gets all emotional like a girl, bawls his eyes out."

"How did his fight go?" I ask.

This brightens Bumps' face. "Took the guy in one. This wasn't no set-up fight neither. I don't get my boys nothin but solid fights. Fly says he almost took the guy's head off. You ask him about that. He likes the story, maybe he'll let you tell it. That's his call." Bumps is smiling, calmer now, but he looks tired now. No surprise there, all things considered.

I decide to take a risk. "So did Hot fuck you?"

Immediately, the fire comes back to Bumps' eyes. "Why the fuck you wanna ask that, Doc?"

"Seems logical to me. Hot wanted revenge. I just assumed he'd do to you what you did to me. I don't know if you did it to him, you never said. Like I told you, I just assumed."

"He fucked me up, but he didn't fuck me. He got scared and ran, and so did his friends." Bumps holds me with a stare for a few moments--which feels eternal. "This the kinda balls you got now, Doc? Askin me this when I can't get outta bed to kick your ass?" The psych is one hundred percent. I feel chills.

"No. Sorry."

"You know better, Doc. Give me time, and I'll make you my punchin bag again if I want."

I decide not to ask about the fake scar, the absent tatt, the whole game he's been playing for years now. Instead, I move closer. I place a fingertip on the end of his nose. He winces a bit with the contact. I trace a line from his nose to his lips, down his chest, along the center line of his abs, all the way down to his cock.

And there's less there than I expected. I don't ask about that. I hold his balls gently. I move in tight. I dart my tongue out to lick his lips, then I kiss him lightly on the mouth. "I'll worry about you later, Bumps. For now, I'll be your friend."

I fake with my shoulder like I'm going to squeeze his balls--hey, he did it to me the first time we fought. He gasps in a breath and winces at the pain in his ribs. I pull my hand back. I lick his neck the way he's done to me. Then I take Hot's story with me when I leave.

So I'm posting this. All of it, both versions. I'm not sure I believe either of them, but the result's the same: Bumps in the hospital (still is as of the day I'm posting this--I checked, so that part is real) and Hot nervous as hell, ready for the cops to bring him in for questioning. And I'm still in the middle of it.

You know it's not over yet, right?

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