Cristy looked for a fault in Terry’s stance. As it turned out, finding such a thing was no simple task. His feet were placed as they were supposed to be. His elbows were kept close to his sides, and his chin was kept low. His arms weren’t clenched in fear, or even in anticipation; they were, however, coiled to strike.
And in spite of Terry’s flawless form, Cristy threw the first punch. She sent her fist sailing right for his immaculate face, hoping to tarnish it, even just a little. He rolled with the blow and smashed the air out of Cristy’s chest, all before it even registered that his black glove had moved. Fucking jackass! Cristy hissed. The room around her tilted from side to side. She strained every breathing muscle she had, forcing the air back through her lungs, stabilizing the whirring room.
And in this way, Cristy didn’t go down. Instead she sent a kick his way, in hopes of catching her opponent by surprise—
No luck. Terry grappled her leg and threw it upward, flipping Cristy’s upper body into the rubber mat.
She got back up. This time, she didn’t look for a flaw in his stance; Terry had long since perfected the art of performance. There would be no flaws to speak of. She didn’t hope to catch him off guard, either; after a lifetime of defending himself from gay bashers, Terry’s guard would be high strung 24/7. But it was this last idea that she did take something from.
She stopped seeing Terry in his black gym clothes. Instead, she chose to see him in the clothes he’d entered in: the cutoff shorts and the pink tank top. His queer clothes. His fag clothes. And that was all it took—Cristy wouldn’t lose to a fag. Not in the first round, no matter how perfect his stance.
She juked him, and being the flinchy queer he was, he actually took the bait; Cristy retracted her fake right and hit him full force with her left, landing a solid paff! on his immaculate, stupid face.
Cristy followed through with another two cracks, right to the exact same spot, and he was too dazed to do a thing about it. She pummeled him to submission, to the ground, not letting up, unrelenting: unrelenting.
Fuck your stance! She sneered at him, and for good measure, she dropped to a knee and snapped off another punch to his gut. Your stance ain’t shit without a real fucking man behind it!
She went for a kick, but her sneaker was blocked by a well-polished dress shoe. Michael Jackson had to push Cristy away, just to stop her from killing her good friend Terrence.
As the blood stopped ringing in her ears, Cristy heard the hoots and cheers from around the gym. And quite suddenly, Cristy felt small. She helped Terry up, and apologized for being so rough.
Terry rubbed his swollen cheek. “In your defense,” he said, “it was a boxing match.”
Cristy smiled, took two steps back, and centered her feet. “Does that mean you’re up for round two?”
Terry was flawless in form, but Cristy was indomitable. As she stood in the shower after their workout, that’s exactly what Michael told her.
“You’re unbeatable Cristy,” he promised, and with such an innocent smile. “You’ll knock Duke Cane dead.”
© Ray Underscore Thompson, November 2015