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My Showdown with Matt
By R.H.

Today was the day of the big showdown. Me versus Matt. Ever since Matt moved here, he and his two buddies had been causing problems for my friends. They all looked to me to stop Matt. After all, I'm the good-looking jock, the Captain of the baseball team. And at 17, 6'2", 185 pounds, I'm very strong and I have a nice hard body. I am everyone's hero.
Over the past couple of weeks, I've had fights with Matt's buddies. Sure, they're big and strong, but when I got them one-on-one, neither one was much of a fight. I beat them easily. Now, those victories have led to the showdown with Matt. I'll finally get my hands on him. He's not too big. Maybe 5'10 and I have about 20 pounds more muscle then he does. So he's even smaller than his buddies. He became the leader of their little gang because he is the smart one of the group. But he's not looking too smart now that he has to face me. Everyone in the neighborhood has come out to see me fight Matt. This will put an end to their gang. Everyone's expecting me to kick his ass and that's exactly what I'm planning to do. What I didn't know is that Matt had other ideas.
The fight was set to take place in the big sand lot out past where my backyard ended. It was out of sight of all the neighbors' houses. Everyone was gathering. Finally Matt and his buddies arrived. This was it. As everyone circled around us, I took off my shirt, stepped toward Matt and said "Let's do this."
I snapped a couple of left jabs at Matt's head, connecting with both punches. Already I could see he really didn't want any part of me. Then BAM . . . I threw a hard right that wobbled him.

My friends cheered, but became silent quickly when Matt's buddies stared at them. They were still afraid of those guys. It surprised me how quiet it got. The silence distracted me. Matt took that moment to fore off a punch of his own, hitting me squarely in the stomach.

It had no effect. My abs are solid as hell. He threw another punch into my stomach. Again, I couldn't even feel it. I looked into Matt's eyes. I could see he was scared now. Somebody had finally stood up to the bully of the neighborhood.....and that somebody was me. The fight continued as I delivered a left followed by a right. Both landing into his gut . . .

He felt those. You could see the look of pain on his face. Everybody in attendance knew that my punches hurt, his didn't. I waited for the right opportunity . . . and BAM . . . a big right hand sent him down to the ground. I quickly got on top of him. This was it. I was going to save the day by giving Matt the beating he deserved. BAM...BAM...BAM, I unloaded a flurry of jabs to his head. Then, leaning back I drove two right hands into his gut. You could hear the load slap of my fists connecting with Matt's gut. He moaned from the force. BAM...BAM, two more solid punches drove into Matt's stomach. Matt was down and I was up top. You could feel the excitement building in the crowd of my friends as I was delivering on my promise to defeat the bad guy. I was their hero. I was their savior. Everyone knew this fight would be over soon..........
But right then, his buddies jumped in, knocking me off Matt. They jumped on me, holding my face in the sand and wildly throwing punches to the back of my head and body. Their punches didn't hurt a lot. They shook me up a little. The worst part was when I tried to breathe, I got a mouthful of sand. As they heard me choke, they held my head down even harder. I inhaled more sand. I was close to passing out. That's when I heard Matt say "Stand him up, boys."

Matt's buddies pulled me to my feet, grabbed my arms and pulled them behind me. Matt was a bit shaken up from the pounding I had given him, but he came over to me and started unloading punch after punch to my stomach. Normally, these punches would have no effect against my solid abs, but with my inability to catch my breath because of all the sand I inhaled, I couldn't tighten up my abs now. These punches were hitting hard and doing some damage.

I could feel them smashing against my vulnerable ab wall. As I coughed up sand with every punch that landed, I wondered why my friends weren't helping me' I guess their fear of Matt's gang was stronger than their loyalty to me. Matt threw a lot of punches in a short time. Each one softening up my gut bit by bit.

But we all knew Matt was the leader of this gang because he was the smart one, He knew he wasn't the one that could throw the hardest punches. So as Matt started to tire out, he switched places with one of his buddies so he could continue the onslaught. BAM BAM BAM BAM BAM BAM

This guy could hit hard. A lot harder than Matt. Several more punches landed to my softening abs. My abs were bright red now. I could feel my stomach was being bruised by the big punches that were slamming into it. Lefts and rights continued to damage my ab muscles. I would have fallen to the ground except I was still being held up. Several more hard punches sank deeper and deeper into my gut. Even though I had stopped coughing up sand, my abs were too sore now for me to defend myself. I was at their mercy and they enjoyed every punch they threw into my weakened stomach.
Again they switched places, giving the last of the threesome his chance to pound my abs.

It didn't take much before I was again coughing and gagging from the pounding I was receiving. He even stepped back so he could give me a solid karate kick right in the center of my crumbling abdominal wall.. I was nearly unconscious.
Matt decided I had finally had enough. They released me and I fell to the ground. As I lay there moaning in pain from the beating I received, I heard Matt say to the crowd . . . "Let that be a lesson to all of you. Don't mess with us. If we can do this to him, imagine what we'll do to any of you." Matt snapped his fingers and his buddies followed him as they walked away triumphantly. As I lay doubled-up in pain on the ground, I looked around at the faces of the people that were there. I could see the disappointment on all their faces. I had let them down. Even my little brother looked at me differently. For the first time in my life, I felt like a loser.


The Showdown, Part 2: The Next Day
By R.H.


When I woke up the next day, I didn't know what to think. My body had taken a beating at the hands of Matt and his friends, while my friends stood around and watched me get beat in a 3-on-1 situation. How could they just stand around and not help' That thought was weighing on my mind. Even my little brother Jake had watched the beat down and then looked at me with disappointment in his eyes. But let's be real. How could I be expected to win against three other guys' But that is what Jake and the rest were expecting. Somehow, I was supposed to win. I knew I could take Matt in a fair fight. Maybe that's what I needed to do. I needed to find Matt when he wasn't around his body guards. At least that way I could prove that I am still the toughest guy around. I could prove that I'm still the Hero that everybody expects me to be. And I could redeem myself in the eyes of my little brother . . . letting him down hurt almost as badly as my gut hurt after the fight yesterday.
It was late afternoon. I headed over to Matt's house. It was a hot day.. I waited patiently . . . hoping I would get a chance to confront him. Just him and me. One on one. I waited out of sight in his back yard behind some trees. It was hot out so I took off my shirt. Yeah, you could still see some marks on my body from the punishment I had taken yesterday. But it didn't matter. I was focused on getting some revenge. Finally, there he was . . . he was coming out to mow the lawn. He didn't have a shirt on either. That was good I thought, because I would want to see his body get red when I started to pound on his body. That little guy didn't know what he was in for. I was mad. He was alone. And there was no one around to stop me from kicking his ass bad this time. When he got to the back part of his lawn, close to where I was hiding, I stepped out from behind a tree . . . "It's payback time," I said.
Matt froze. He quickly turned off the mower. I think he was getting ready to run. But seeing me paralyzed him.
"I'm surprised to see you," he finally said. "I didn't think you'd be able to move after yesterday."
I smiled at him with a devilish grin. "I'm a lot tougher than you think," I said. "And you're about to find out what pain really is."
Matt started looking around. His head turning fast, looking in all directions. I wasn't sure if he was looking around hoping his friends would show up or if he was looking for a place to run. It didn't matter, because before he could move, I connected with a powerful right-handed punch across his jaw.

It connected hard, knocking him to the ground. But as I hit him, that's when I noticed how sore my body still was. The twisting motion from throwing the punch seemed to aggravate the soreness in my body. I could ignore the pain, I thought. Nothing was going to stop me from beating Matt's brains out today.
As he got up, I jabbed with my left, keeping him off balance and unable to mount any offence of his own. He kept trying to block my lefts, but I was just waiting for the right moment to unleash another right. A couple of more jabs . . . then . . . POW. I drilled a right uppercut squarely into Matt's stomach.

I could hear the air being driven out of Matt's body. He doubled over. But again, I could feel that I was still a bit sore myself. It didn't matter. I was determined to inflict some pain on this little punk. I pushed him back against a tree. I held him in place with my left hand around his throat. Then I started pummeling him with several right uppercuts to his gut.

WHAM . . . WHAM . . . WHAM . . . WHAM.

His stomach was no where near as strong as mine. I could feel each one of my punches starting to sink in deeper and deeper into his gut. But at the same time, I could feel twinges of pain in my ab muscles. I winced, showing a hint of pain on my face. Matt must have noticed, because even though I was pounding on him fiercely, it seemed to give him a little hope. As for me, I was beginning to wonder how many more right handed punches I could throw. It was time to switch and try some lefts to see how that would feel. I took my hand off his throat, stepped back, wound up and aimed a big left hand at his face . . .

The left hand landed . . . unfortunately, it didn't land to Matt's head as I had planned. It landed against the tree. Matt ducked at the last moment. I grunted in pain. My hand was hurt. I tried to shake it off, but Matt didn't waste any time taking advantage of the situation. He swung hard and drilled me in my sore gut.

Instantly, I bent over holding my stomach. Matt could sense I was in pain. He knew now that I wasn't fully recovered from the day before. This was his chance . . . and he was about to take full advantage of it.
I was doubled over, feeling all the soreness from the day before flooding back into my body. It shouldn't hurt this much, I told myself. I'm tougher than this. But Matt wasn't going to wait for me to recover. He landed an uppercut to my chin that sent me down hard. He came right over to me and started stomping on my stomach.
I tried to cover up and protect myself as much as I could, using my arms to block his feet as much as I could. But they were still having some effect on my body. The worst thing was, even after only a couple stomps to my gut, I discovered I really couldn't tighten up my abs too much. They were still worn down and hurting from the day before. I knew I was going to have to do something pretty quickly. As Matt tried stomping on me again, I reached up with both hands and grabbed his foot, blocking the blow. Then, lifting up, I was able to knock him off balance. He sprawled to the ground, giving me just enough time to get to me feet again. I tried to catch my breath. Matt got back up. He glared that icy stare. The one that scared a lot of my friends. I looked right back at him, showing him I was not afraid. And even though I might be hurting, I was not about to back down.
We both stepped toward each other. I took a swing, a fast right that was aimed at his jaw. He leaned back just enough that I missed. As my punch sailed past his head, I could again feel how bruised my abs really were. I gritted my teeth in pain. Matt saw that I was feeling some discomfort and as fast as lightning he drilled a knee into my side.
I could feel the sting of his bony knee dig under my ribs. Matt grabbed me by my shoulders and started delivering a series of knees into my gut. With each one, he would pull me toward him to heighten the effectiveness of each of the strikes.
THUD . . . THUD . . . THUD . . . THUD
The repeated blows were slamming on my abs. Each one bringing back all the agony I felt the day before. Matt could tell he was getting the advantage. He slammed more knees to my gut.
THUD . . . THUD . . . THUD . . . THUD . . . THUD . . . THUD
Each one growing in force, battering my already damaged abdominal wall. Matt gave me a couple of more knees before tackling me to the ground. Once I was down, Matt jumped on top, getting me in a reverse school boy pin. His legs pinned down my arms, but he was facing toward my stomach. My stomach that was now wide open for his abuse. With my arms pinned and my abs unable to tighten up to protect themselves, I knew I was in trouble. Serious trouble. Lots of thoughts raced through my mind. How could this little punk get me like this' I was supposed to be destroying him today. This isn't what happens . . . not to me anyway. I can't lose one-on-one against Matt. That's impossible! But it was exactly what was happening.
Matt had me down and I could only guess that he had a wide grin on his face. This had to be a moment he had been dreaming about. He had the hottest stud in town pinned down and under control. Matt pulled way back to deliver the first of what would be many blows.
His right fist rammed into my unprotected stomach. It sank in deep. He could feel my solid blocks of muscles give way as his fist collided with my belly. He did it again and again. Each time he could feel my muscles move and slide around instead of working together to form an impenetrable fortress. Yes, my wall had broken down and with each punch, Matt was bruising the building blocks that once formed my ab wall.

Matt uncorked another flurry of punches. Rights followed by lefts followed by more rights and left. He must have unloaded 30 or more devastating fists into my once proud and strong gut. MY stomach went from red to a sea of color . . . blue green and purple as the bruises became more and more visible with each punch. My once hard blocks of abs had now been reduced into nothing more than a soft pile of rubble.

Finally, Matt got up. I was in so much pain I could barely move. Matt was actually tired from the pounding he had given me. I thought he was done with me. But I was wrong. He reached down and pulled me up by the hair. He looked me straight in the eyes and said "I'm going to teach you once and for all not to mess with me." Then he pushed me back against a tree. He took off his belt, pulled my arms behind the tree and used the belt to strap my arms around behind it. I didn't even have enough energy to struggle. Now, the nastiest bully had me vulnerable again, strapped to a tree, with my body wide open for whatever he decided to do to it.

Matt stepped back and grinned his devilish grin. He may have been tired from hitting me, but that was ok. He could kick me now.
WHAM . . . WHAM . . . WHAM . . . WHAM
He was using all the force he had to plant those right footed kicked directly in my naval. Each one more painful than before. I felt like I could throw up at any second. It felt like my stomach was swelling up. My gut was totally feeling puffy from all the destruction Matt was inflicting on me.
Matt switched to knee strikes. Pummeling whatever was left of my gut. You could hear my insides sloshing all around each time he brought another hard knee into my belly. I was barely hanging onto consciousness. Being strapped to the tree is the only thing that kept me standing. Matt looked at me .. . . and as he did, I could see that he had another evil thought cross his mind.

"Look at how bruised you are," he said. "But tomorrow, you could wear a shirt and no one would know what a beating you took. No one would be able to see all the damage I've done to you. People might not know how badly I kicked your ass again. I think I need to leave my mark so everyone can see."
With that statement, Matt walked up to me and smacked me 3 times right in the face. Almost instantly I could feel my eye swelling.

"There . . . that will do it. A nice black eye for everyone to see." He laughed as he admired his work. But it was starting to get late. He knew he better finish me off before his parents got home. So he went back to his tremendously powerful kicks to my gut. It didn't take much more. In my defeated state, I passed out.

It must have been then that Matt reached into my shorts and grabbed my cell phone. He called my little brother Jake and told him he better come get what's left of me. The next thing I remember, Jake was helping me get home. I could barely walk from the pain, and Jake was none too happy to know that the brother he had always looked up to had just gotten a severe ass kicking at the hands of a much smaller guy.