The Invite © April
By The Hit Man
Story adapted from pictures of Beach Fight 5
Although we didn't live that far apart by real miles, my Mom and her sister, my Aunt Delia, didn't really socialize very much. So, that also meant I didn't see much of my cousin, Alfred, her only child. Not that I minded. They were both a couple of blow hard know-it-alls who knew everything about anything and weren't the least bit shy in either proclaiming it or spouting off fact after fact after fact. Well, I think you get the point.
Then one day, my Aunt Delia called. She needed my Mom to take her someplace because her car was broke down. Almost in the same breath, she instructed, not asked but instructed my Mom to bring me along to keep Alfred company. I begged, I pleaded, I made promises I knew I wouldn't keep, but Mom was adamant, if she had to spend time with my Aunt Delia, then I sure as hell could spend a little time with Alfred. After all, my Mom added, he just got a new ping pong table. "You guys can wile the time away playing that until we get back." No amount of cajoling was going to make a difference and before I could utter even one more syllable of protest, the car pulled away, Aunt Delia filling in as shot-gun, my normal spot. "Alfred's in the back yard," she yells at me as the car drives away. Like I cared.
Now what you need to realize most about my cousin is that he is a self-proclaimed couch potato and certainly looks it. He stands a bit taller than me, both standing up and lying down with a gut that protrudes well out past his chest. I suppose you might call him a big boned boy; that's how my Aunt Delia explains it anyway. Me, on the other hand, I'm into mountain bike riding, surfing, rock climbing, and wrestle on the school. I almost hate to say it, but with all that, I have a pretty good physique.
I walk down the driveway to the back of the house and sure enough, there is a ping pong table set up. As I approach, Alfred pulls himself up off a futon setting in the shade. "Bout time you hauled your sorry old ass back here. Ready to get it whooped by a champion table tennis player?" See what I mean, he calls it by the 'legal' name, not satisfied with plain old ping pong.
"Sure, just let me know when he arrives," I answer in jest. Alfred doesn't take it as a joke and just stands there starring at me, ball in hand, ready to serve. I step up and we play a bit. Then I serve and he whacks the ball hard but it misses the table on my end.
"Miss," I say and set up to serve again.
"That hit the edge," Alfred yells at me. "It's my turn to serve." I know my Mom wouldn't appreciate me at the moment but I have had all I can stand.
"Come and get it, you big blow hard," I shout back, "if you're man enough."
Alfred walks down to my end of the table, his eyes squinting as he looks me up and down. I am holding the ball in my hand. I hold it out in my open hand. He tries to grab it but I close my hand. We do this a couple of times until he grabs my hand hard between both of his. I hear a crunching noise and when I open my hand, it is reveal a squashed ball.
"That was my only ball," Alfred yells at me. "You little piss-ant, I'm going to squish you like you did my ball." I give him my best smile knowing that nothing would make me happier than to pummel Alfred for a bit.
"Bring it on, you tub of lard." He starts toward me and I plaster
a blow right to his jaw. It rocks him on his feet a little. He starts toward
me again and I hit him with a right upper cut to the belly. My hand sinks
in a little ways but he is firm further in. Frankly, that surprises me. I
follow up with a blow directly below his sternum and am satisfied to hear
him gasp at the pain. Oh man, this is feeling real good right about now. That
is until he connects with my abs, a hearty one-two combination that leaves
me gasping for air. Holy shit, where did he learn to throw a punch like that?
"Ain't so much fun anymore, is it little cuz?" He grabs me by the neck and hauls me toward a shed at the end of the drive way. I'm trying to fend him off but he has a good grip on my neck. I manage to slam an elbow into his side and he grunts. But not nearly as loudly as I do when he shoves me forward and crashes his elbow right into my kidney. I almost scream at the sharp pain and my knees go weak.
His hand is around my neck again and he bangs me up hard against the shed wall. No hesitation, his knee collides with my groin, sending shooting tendrils of pain backward to join those coming forward from my kidney. He then spends at least the next ten to fifteen minutes punishing my abs, his punches totally destroying what muscle I had, each one digging in deeper until I was only standing because he was supporting me with his hand on my neck.
He grins at me, one huge shit-faced smile. He moves his hand to my chin, pulling my head up until we meet eye to eye. I see his other fist coming but there is nothing I can do about it. It lands straight against my chin and I only feel the pain for a brief second as he lets me drop to the ground unconscious.
"Mother fucker, that was my only ball," Alfred says as he heads
back to the futon couch sitting in the shade.