Set Up...and Beat
by Rough Boy
I really thought that my buddy Brian and I were on good terms. We hung out once in a while, shared some of the same friends, played in pool tournaments at local bars; you know, all the usual stuff. Then I found out something I wasn't supposed to know about Brian. Hey, people talk, not my fault. The news surprised me a bit, but I decided I wouldn't let Brian know that I knew his big secret. There really was no point in telling him what I heard; it might embarrass him and truth is; I really didn't care. That's the kind of guy I am.
One night, out at the bar, he came up to me and said, "Hey listen, I just found out that you know something you're not supposed to know. I'm just tellin' you that if you tell anyone else I'll have to rip your heart out."
"Brian, buddy, no worries man, what you do is your own business," I answered.
"Okay man, I'm just sayin'...keep it to yourself, because if my family finds out it'll cause me nothing but grief and I could lose everything."
"Got it...I've forgotten it already," I said.
A few weeks later I got a phone call from Brian asking me to meet him for a beer at the local pub. When I walked in I found him on a barstool with a few beers under his belt already. I hopped up next to him and proceeded to catch up by slugging down a few brews in no time at all. Our conversation wasn't all that interesting or exciting; in fact I was a little bored. Out of nowhere I hear him say, "Hey, I have some beer at home, let's go to my place and watch the game." So, off we went.
Brian has a great house with his own gym in the basement which he's very proud of. We walked in the front door while he grabbed the remote and turned on the TV. The game hadn't started yet. Brian grabbed two beers from the fridge and tossed one at me.
"Hey, I just got some new equipment for my gym ...wanna see it?" he asked.
"Yeah, sure," I answer as I open the door from his kitchen and proceed down the stairs with Brian right behind me.
While showing me his new equipment, the doorbell rings and Brian tells me he'll be right back. I think nothing of it and play around with the equipment. When Brian returns downstairs he has two guys with him that I've never seen before, and haven't seen since. Both had HUGE arms and looked like they just stepped off the cover of a Muscle Magazine; totally in shape, tanned and muscled up. I looked up, and for lack of anything better to say, said, "Hey, how ya doin'?"
Brian introduces them to me as two of his buddies from work that he told to stop over and watch the game too. Why he didn't mention that at the bar, I didn't know, and didn't really care. They compliment Brian on the gym set up, play around with the weight machines, lift a few barbells (with great ease I might add), and make small talk that I didn't pay much attention to. Truth is, I was a little buzzed up from the few beers at the bar and the one in my hand I was just finishing.
One of the muscle guys says to me, "Work out much?" while he backhands me in the gut, but not enough to really hurt, I just didn't expect it.
"Yeah, some," I answer after grunting from the backhand.
The second muscle guy is sort of lurking behind me and everything got quiet. I break the silence by saying, "So, we gonna watch the game? I think it started already."
Brian looks at me and says, "Not yet PAL, my two buddies here have something they want to tell you first."
By this time the second guy who had been lurking behind me grabs my arms and puts me in a full nelson, my empty beer can goes flyin' out of my hand and the other muscle guy steps in front of me and gets in my face saying,"so, you're the big mouth guy, eh?" and slams his fist into my gut. Yeah, that one did hurt; it was like a connonball slamming me in the belly, just below my navel. I would have lurched forward, but thug #2 had a tight grip on my arms and pulled me back even further, just as another fist hit my navel with enough force to make those several beers in my belly cause a tidal wave. I hadn't eaten dinner, otherwise I think it would have ended up all over the guys shoes. My head slumped forward onto my chest while my face grimaced from the pain in my gut. I wanted to ask what the fuck was going on but I couldn't get any words out yet, but as that thought whirled around in my head I heard Brian say to the thugs, "Work him over good, but remember, don't leave any visible marks on him."
The gutslugger just grinned back at Brian and said, "Don't worry man, that's what his stomach is for."
I managed to lift my head up to look at Brian, puzzlement in my eyes, only to see him glaring back at me. He took a 'ringside seat,' made himself comfortable, popped open another beer and crossed his legs. I wanted to tell him that if his secret got out, that it wasn't me, I said nothing to anyone, but before I could get a word out a combination of three punches landed into my navel again; left, right, left. All I could do was hang there and groan and my head slumped down again. The gutslugger pushed my forehead up with the fingers of his left hand, looked at me for a split second and drove his right fist into the pit of my stomach. The pain shot through me like a bullet and my knees buckled. I became dead weight to the thug holding my arms back and he let me slump to the floor in a heap while he said, "shit man, this guy can't take much, can he?"
Brian piped up, "Yeah, he can. He's going to. Give him about a minute to lay there and grovel, then work him over again."
I couldn't talk, shit, I could barely breathe! My right hand was holding my gut and my left was sprawled out in front of me. Just when I thought I could get a word out, the thug holding my arms started picking me up from the floor again. I got out the words, "No man, don't, wasn't me." The thug from behind said, "yeah buddy, that's what they all say," and spun me around so that my back was to the gutslugger, who punched me in the small of the back so that I lurched forward to receive an uppercut in the belly from the thug. This time the Gutslugger held my arms back and let his buddy have a turn. He sized me up with all the cockiness of his being, put his fists up and got into his fighting stance, which scared the livin' crap out of me, almost literally. He jabbed at my gut with a few rights, then a few lefts, then pulled his huge arm back and swung his fist into my softened up belly. I couldn't tighten up anymore and my belly started to sort of just hang there. I felt sick and my buzz was completely gone. I was in the middle of a freakin' nightmare. The thug said, "Hey Brian, I think he's pretty much softened up now," while they slammed me up against the wall, each one of these dudes holding one of my arms against the wall. Brian put his beer down, calmly got up and walked over to me and stood about six inches from my face. I looked at him with hatred in my eyes in spite of the pain in my gut. Brian didn't say a word to me. He pulled back his fist and drove it into my stomach. When my head fell forward, he calmly pushed it up, glared at me once more and repeated it again. Then a third time. All I could do was stand there and take it, the muscle guys had me pinned up tightly. One of the thugs said, "He's gonna pass out if you keep doing that." Brian answered, "Nah, can't have that," and punched me in the belly a few times, alternating his fists. Then he just stood there, looking at me, not saying a word. All I did was groan. My stomach was killin' me. The Gutslugger said, "I think he's had enough," and started to release his hold on my arm. The thug didn't; I guess he wasn't so sure. Brian stopped the Gutslugger by shouting out, "No!, Not yet! I'll tell ya when he's had enough." Looking at me he said, "BUDDY, you haven't had enough YET, have ya?" I weakly nodded my head up and down, but to no avail. Brian's knee came up and caught me in the lower belly, just above my groin and I was grateful that he hadn't landed it lower, although I could hardly think straight anymore. Brian stepped back and said to his buddies, "Okay, finish him off." With that instruction, each of the muscle dudes wrapped one arm around each of mine and simutaneously used their free fists to slam into my stomach one more hard solid punch that sent me to the floor.
The Gutslugger looked at the thug and said, "Okay man, we're outta here," and then turned to Brian and said, "pleasure doing business with ya," and both walked upstairs and out of the house. Brian sat back down, picked up his beer and watched me writhe and groan on the floor. My gut was aching from top to bottom and I didn't know when the hell I'd be able to stand up again, so I just lay there. I kept waiting for Brian to say something....anything...but the silence continued. I couldn't make eye contact with him, but I could see his shoes just a few feet away from me, so I knew he was still sitting there listening to my groans. Eventually I heard him walking up the stairs, leaving me there by myself. I didn't know what to do for quite a while. Eventually I got to my feet, rubbing every inch of my gut, feeling the effects of all those hard punches from those two muscle dudes and Brian. I walked up the stairs slowly, hoping that Brian had either gone out or gone to bed. All I really knew was that I had to get the hell out of there and go home. When I reached the top of the stairs and opened the door slowly, the whole house was dark and the TV had been turned off. As I closed the basement door and headed toward the livingroom and the front door, out of nowhere Brian shoved me up against the wall, held my face with his hand and drove another fist into my solar plexus with all the power he could muster, then landed a series of four or five punches into my navel. When I dropped to the floor again, he said, "I knew you could take a few more." The last thing I remember was watching him walk down the hallway toward his bedroom and closing the door behind him.