Friday, August 14, 2009

Lucky Dog (10)

The two fit, well-matched wrestlers locked arms on the grass. Forehead to forehead, the older one rested his right wrist on the younger’s bicep and gripped the back of his neck with his left hand, and the younger one, in more or less mirror reverse, extended his arm further, past his opponent’s bicep to rest the back of his hand against Bud’s left pectoral.

Bud kept his eyes on Matt’s feet, while Matt craned his neck to look into Bud’s eyes. They pushed and pulled, butting heads and kicking at each other’s ankles with their bare feet.

Bud thrust forward to get a firmer grip on Matt’s head, wedged between his bicep and ribcage. A downward twist brought Matt to his knees, while Bud kept one knee up off the ground, his hairy leg at a right angle.

Matt twisted and jerked to extricate himself from Bud’s headlock. Reaching up with his arms, he pulled at Bud’s face and neck. Bud bore down and rolled the two of them on their backs. Then he broke the hold and straddled Matt’s firm, furrowed stomach. He held the kid’s elbows to the grass and looked into his eyes, unable to wipe the grin off his face.

The kid wiped the randy grin off for him. His hard calves caught Bud along the jaw line and forced the back of his head to the ground. Suddenly Bud found his neck and left shoulder clenched in Matt’s right arm. The view from that angle was Matt’s sand- and grass-speckled tummy and contorted navel, as they rose and fell to Matt’s concentrated breathing.

“Gotcha,” the kid grunted triumphantly.

“Not yet you don’t, asshole,” Bud growled.

He grabbed at Matt’s legs with his free right arm, but they eluded him. Matt worked himself up to his knees and tightened his hold on Bud. The kid’s muscles contracted hard as lead—the pain was punishing. Bud reached up and braced his right hand to Matt’s chin. In turn, Matt added more crush to the knot. Bud’s head couldn’t be more secure than if it were double-bolted to Matt’s ribcage. Desperate, Bud grabbed a fistful of Matt’s dark hair and tugged. Matt cursed and cranked at Bud’s head and shoulder like they were a hand pump.

“Shit!” The hurt shot down Bud’s ribs and spine like an ax.

Then nature interfered. A few cool spots of rain were followed by a downpour, and in seconds their skin and shorts were drenched, and their knees and feet slimy with loose grass and muddy blotches.

(To be continued)


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