“What the fuck…?” Lynch yells. Fister stands up, shaking out his right hand.
“Too sweaty,” he answers, mugging.
The crowd yells as Fister hits yet another bicep pose before returning to his seat.
Again the two men’s hands are brought together and centered on the bar. As soon as the ref pulls away, though, Fister reaches over, tugs at Lynch’s nipple, and says, “Relax, bud. It’s a game.”
Lynch jumps back from the bar, his concentration broken by Fister’s antics. He grabs the ref by the shirt, pulling him in, yelling, “This how you run a goddamn contest?” He pushes the ref away roughly, sending buttons bouncing on the hardwood floor.
Lynch returns to the bar, fuming, ”Let’s go, bastard.”
Various customers touch his shoulder as a sign of support.
“So ... what’s the holdup?” Fister asks, all innocence now.
Fister flips his long hair over his shoulders as he assumes the position at the bar. Lynch quickly grasps Fister’s hand, locking up.
Then unexpectedly Fister jerks his hand back, pulling Lynch along with him. Lynch slams chin first to the bar as his supporting arm is jerked from under him.
The crowd lets out a collective “Oooh.” as Lynch pulls him self up holding his jaw. “Ouch.” Fister jokes as Lynch checks his lip for blood.
“Okay, serious now. Let’s go.” Fister sounds sincere as he places his elbow on the bar waiting for Lynch.
The whole place goes dead silent while Lynch rubs his finger along his lower lip. He is looking down at the floor, saying nothing, his mind elsewhere. The ref gathers himself up off the floor, brushes off the dust, and skedaddles out the back door.
“Okay, Lynch. Let’s get this show on the road.” Fister laughs, a little hollowly. “Boys,” he shouts across the room at the patrons, “everybody place their bets?”
No answer. Fister leaves his elbow on the top of the bar, his fist pointing to the ceiling.
(To be continued)