The cage door slams shut, trapping the two men inside. Betting is allowed to continue until the first punch is thrown. No introductions are needed, as these two guys are out for blood.
Vim wastes no time and charges at Doug, driving him back into the cage. Vim is beaten badly as Doug hammers his ribs and spine with his plaster-covered hand. A punch from Doug’s right hand and the plaster slices open Joey’s forehead. Vim grabs Doug in a headlock, but Lucas is quick to slip free. The oily-slick residue on Vim’s chest and arm tells him Doug is slicked up with Vaseline. Greasing isn’t allowed in formal fights, but here at The Dump no one cares.
Vim steps back blotting at his gash with the back of his hand. He watches as Doug circles around him, calling him in again. He studies Lucas’s physique looking for weaknesses. Doug is a little bigger, he is muscular but not pretty. He is big but not defined. His chest is built but his waist is blocky and bulky, classic ‘roid gut. He isn’t fat; bloated is the word that comes to Vim’s mind as he watches Doug preen about.
A splash of a cold cup of beer hitting the cage snaps Vim back to the fight. He steps in toward Lucas, slamming a hard left-right combo to his abs and jaw, which knocks Doug back against the cage. Doug responds with a knee lift to Joey’s ribs. Doug comes off the cage, slamming his chest into Joey’s. He wraps his arms around Vim’s ribcage, squeezing him tight, bringing a grunt of anguish from Joey as their sweat-soaked bellies slap together.
Joey writhes in Doug’s bear hug. Lucas balls one fist into the other and grinds them to the mid-spine. Vim’s groaning turns to roaring. He feels his ribs giving a little under the pressure. Lucas’s breath suggests he’s been drinking heavily—maybe to work up his nerve earlier that evening.
Joey’s knees slide up Doug’s hips and rest on his ribcage. He raises his arms, driving his elbows down on Lucas’s shoulders, breaking the hold.
Joey’s feet hit the canvas and in a flash propel him back against Doug’s body. He tries to shove the big guy up to the side of the cage again, but Doug’s feet are planted firmly.
Doug shoves Vim back with his hands. Vim charges back, but Lucas cuffs him cross the mouth. Vim spits several specks of blood that land on his chin.
The two men circle each other, taking wild swipes at each other that only whoosh through the air without landing. Finally they lock up, pro style, shoulder and elbow. They push and shove, bodies twisting—like surfers riding their boards, only these two ride each other.
Doug slips Joey into a headlock. Joey hears the dull thumping of Doug’s heart against his ear. His nose full of Doug’s Vaseline glaze. Doug pulls Joey in circles trying to disorient him or trip him up. Vim squints, keeps his equilibrium, and jabs same hard ones to Lucas’s thick, sagging mid-section. Doug grunts every time Joey’s fist lands on his pale gut. The crowd is noisy, but Vim still hears the smack of knuckle on flesh and the delayed contraction of Lucas’s abs—music to his ears—he could listen to this all night.
(To be continued)