The Final Blow
Two men duke it out in the ring. One of them is fighting for his life.
It was a deep cut across the right brow.
Blood was flowing into Jake’s eye blinding his right side, leaving him vulnerable to his opponents wicked left hook. He needed the bell to ring and he needed it to happen in a hurry.
He put his opponent into a clench and wiped his eye on whatever was handy. His opponents shoulder was as good as anything. By the time the ref. broke the two apart, he had gained enough vision to protect himself from two hard left hooks. He couldn’t keep it up. He needed that bell.
Another long thirty seconds went by before it finally rang and the brutal round came to an end. Jake went to his corner where his corner man worked to stop the bleeding. “You can’t lose this fight, Jake.” His corner man was adamant. “Leo Chovini bet on you and he needs you to win. If you don’t deliver, we’re both dead men. You’re fighting for your life, Jake…and mine. Get out there and act like it.”
“He cut me with a head butt,” complained Jake.
“I don’t give a shit what he cut you with. Fight back! Listen up. His left eye is swelling shut. I can see it from here. You need to take advantage of that.
Do whatever it takes, just don’t blow this fight. This is the last round and you’re behind on points. You need to knock the son-of-a-bitch out. Got it!”
“I’m tellin’ ya, It’s like hittin’ a brick wall,” replied Jake.
“Jesus, Jake. You’re killin’ me here, You know that? You’re killin’ me. Are you even listening to what I’m saying? You gotta’ knock him down, Jake, or we’re both dead men.”
The bell rang and the two fighters came out. A minute off the clock with only a few halfhearted jabs got the crown booing. The taunting and fancy footwork had ended. Both men were dog tired. They were getting sloppy. Dragging their feet and leaving themselves open. Jake’s opponent wasn’t too concerned about throwing punches. He only needed to protect himself to get the win.
Then it happened. A flash of red from the cheap seats caught Jake’s eye. It was a woman in a red hat. It took his attention away from the fight for just a split second. It was all the time his opponent needed.
He wasn’t looking for a knockout, but he was no fool. He took what was handed to him. A solid right cross put Jake on the mat.
When Jake came too he was stretched out on a table in the locker room. His corner man was heading for the door. He was pissed. “When Leo walks in here I’ll be gone. You’re a loser. Thanks for nothing. I hope you have better luck in the afterlife.” He left out the back door. Jake never laid eyes on the man again.
He stood to shake the last of the cobwebs from his head when Leo and his bodyguard walked in. “Well well well, If it isn’t the late Jake…aah, what is it you call yourself. Jake the Snake? Well Mr. Snake, you lost me a bundle of money today and I’m not a happy man. Don’t take it personal, but I’m gonna’ stomp on your head.”
“I got somethin’ to say about that,” replied Jake.
“Oh? You think so mister bigshot? And what might that be?”
Jake might have been tired, but he was still strong and fast. He sucker punched Leo with a bare-knuckled hard right hook, crushing the side of his head. A dead man crumpled to the floor.
Jake stood over him. “Sorry Leo. I let my fist do the talking.”
His bodyguard pulled a gun.
“Put that away you fool. You’re too late, he’s already dead. You should have shot me while he was alive. He may have been able to protect you then. That ain’t gonna’ happen now. You shoot me and you’re on your own. Is that what you want?”
The bodyguard thought better of it and put away his gun.
They both slipped out the back door.
Jake, like his corner man, pulled a disappearing act and was never seen again.
© Copyright 2020 by Scott A. Gese All Rights Reserved.
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