© April 2005 All Rights Reserved
By The Hit Man
The competition was fierce this year for the remaining open slots as lifeguard at the city beach. A lot of fellows had returned, making the openings even more coveted than usual. Many showed up, some with promise, but many more not even fit to consider. As the trials ran their course, it finally came down to one last open position and there were two fine candidates being considered.
Gene was twenty, what some call a 'tween' these days. He had swum in high school, also played on the water polo team. He was attending a junior college, majoring in physical fitness, hence his more muscular build. Now that his parents were divorced, he was forced to get a job to help pay the school bills. What better job than being near the water, Gene considered. This job was meant for him.
The other candidate was Luke, a recent high school grad, just 18 years of age. He had participated in "Junior Lifeguards" every year he could. Being a full time lifeguard had always been a dream for Luke and he'd be damned if he was going to let some swimmer dude get the spot that was rightfully his. His lithe body was made for cutting through the water and he knew when the rubber hit the road, the job would be his.
Both young men had been informed that they would have the committee's decision in the morning. It was disappointing to have to wait another day but what choice did they have. Luke was on his way out when a hand fell on his shoulder. Easy going and not easily spooked, he turned around, not really surprised to find Gene standing there.
"This job is mine," Gene said quietly, not wanting the other people in the area to hear him. He had a smile on his face that hid the threat in his words.
"Take your hand off my shoulder," was Luke's reply. He met Gene's gaze, his eyes intense as he starred at the older, slightly taller, but definitely more muscular fellow.
"Or what," Gene asked, his face now sporting a grin that dared Luke to start something. Luke was not one to back down from a fight, not now, not ever.
"Or this." Luke grabbed Gene's wrist. Before Gene could do anything, Luke was bending his wrist in a most painful hold, Gene's fingers now pointing up in the air. But Luke wasn't through, not by a long shot. His foot came up on the end of a powerful leg kick that caught Gene right in the solar plexus. Even with Gene's outstanding musculature, he hadn't been ready, and Luke's foot drove out most of his air. Luke bent Gene's wrist more, forcing Gene to one knee. Luke watched Gene quiver and shake as he held the hold until he finally asked, "Enough?"
Gene shook his long mane of hair up and down. Luke let go of his wrist, but at the same time, gave Gene a shove against the chest with his foot. His arm free but his body off balance, Gene ended up sitting down hard on his ass. He noticed that several people walking by were watching, some laughing a bit, a few pointing. Anger boiled up inside of Gene. There was no way this little twerp was going to get the better of him. Luke turned and started to walk away. As soon as he turned, Gene got to his feet. Now it was his turn to show someone a little surprise.
Gene closed the distance between himself and Luke swiftly. Threading his arms up under Luke's, he made to lock on a full nelson. Luke went limp, his arms flailing upward above his head. Before Gene could lock on the hold, Luke had shimmered down and out of his arms. As he hit the ground, he leaned back, sliding his upper body through Gene's long legs. Luke hit Gene a blow right behind Gene's knees. He then grabbed Gene's ankles and yanked up and back. Down Gene went, landing flat on his face on the boardwalk. Now the laughter of the crowd was definitely audible. Gene rolled to one side, a major mistake, for as he did, Luke brought a heel down hard into his gut. Gene tensed as a second blow landed just behind the first. Gene pulled his legs back out of Luke's grasp. As he started to stand, he realized that Luke was already up. Man, this kid is fast, he thought, just as Luke caught him with a combination to the lower abs. The blows were deflected by his abs but that didn't mean Gene didn't feel the power behind the fists.
Luke reached up and planted a hand on Gene's neck. He applied pressure as he pushed Gene back until he came up against one of the concrete pilings that supported the pier. His fingers tightened on Gene's neck at the same time his other fist began to pummel Gene's midsection. The blows were solid and unrelenting, only seeming to gain intensity. Gene was finding it hard to breath. Both his hands went to the one around his neck but he couldn't rip it free. In the meantime, Luke continued to lambaste him with blow after blow to the gut. Soon enough, Gene was feeling light headed, his ab muscles starting to collapse, unable to resist Luke's punches. But Luke didn't let up. Finally he took his hand away from Gene's neck, now double teaming his abs with both fists. Gene was starting to slip away, little by little his back sliding down the concrete piling.
As he was approaching a sitting position on the ground, Luke grabbed him by each side of the head, hauling him back up. His mind confused, his abs beaten into mush, Gene felt the first hot shards of gorge in his throat as Luke drove a knee hard into his gut. Over and over Luke punished him, his knees digging in deeper and deeper, shoving Gene's insides around like his knees belonged in the cavity rather than Gene's life-giving organs. Just as Gene felt that he couldn't take anymore, the blows stopped. Gene almost collapsed forward, his body totally wracked with pain. Luke held him effortlessly.
"So, I think we've decided who gets the job tomorrow, haven't we big guy," Luke said softly, his face the one with the smile now, hiding the threat in his words. Gene didn't say anything. It wasn't for lack of trying; he just didn't have enough gumption left to even speak. Luke twisted his head upward so they were once again eye to eye. "Just blink once if you agree that I'm getting the job and you aren't even showing up tomorrow."
Gene looked at Luke for a moment. Slowly, as if it hurt to even blink, one
of his eyelids descended and opened back up. Luke gave him a congratulatory
smile. Then to complete the job he'd started, Luke lifted Gene's head and
finished him off with a terrific roundhouse that lifted Gene clear off his
feet and splayed him over the railing into the sand below. Luke didn't even
look down at him before walking away, ready to start his new job as lifeguard.