Vim settles back down in his seat and motions for a handsome young server to bring him another drink.
Again Lynch, wobbly, shaking, gushing perspiration, pushes himself up on all fours. He makes a sudden lunge for Fister, prepared to mount him for a pin or a series of punches, but Fister, with unexpected speed, lifts his knee and jabs it to Lynch’s groin. Greg howls. His whole body quivers and then collapses back to the mat.
Fister rolls over and covers Greg’s face with his torso while pulling Greg’s right leg up to his shoulder. It’s an easy pin, and Fister weakly counts out by slamming the palm of his hand on the mat … ONE … TWO … but in yet another surprise move this evening, Greg calls up the energy to arch up and buck Fister clear of him.
The two fighters roll over to the nearest ropes and pull themselves up to their feet, but for two or three loooong minutes, they just stand there, propped up on the ropes, breathing deeply.
Vim fidgets nervously. The once-frenzied crowd has settled to silence … even a few coughs are heard. Vim looks around at the faces in the crowd, nine-tenths of them have never stepped into a ring—to box, to wrestle, or to fight—fewer than a third of them have any fight experience at all—whether in dorm rooms or the back alleys of bars. Most of these assholes, he thinks, have never taken a punch in their fuckin lives.
Slowly, Vim rises to his feet. He begins to clap his hands together, slowly but rhythmically. The pace of his clapping picks up as scattered onlookers join him in applauding the two men in the ring. The rest of the crowd soon picks up on the cadenced applause, and the room reverberates with the roar, crashing like ocean waves, and visibly the sound heartens the fighters, bodies bruised and glistening in the harsh lights. They begin to stand erect, pull away from the ropes, shake loose their muscular limbs, and take one or two steps in and face each other down.
The fighters move closer. Their fists rise as they approach each other. Greg shoots a glance towards Vim followed by a smile. Fister sees this and glares at Vim coldly.
Greg grabs at Tom’s head in a collar and elbow tie up, wanting to continue the wrestling aspect of the fight. Fister responds with a solid fist to Lynch’s abs. Greg curls and crouches as he holds his aching belly. A knee to the chin snaps Greg backward knocking him against the ropes. Fister grows more confident as he watches Lynch fumble to remain standing. The cheering crowd is behind Fister as he slams Greg in the ribs with side and crescent kicks.
Greg is rocked by the body blows sending gobs of blood flying as each one finds its mark. Vim leans forward in his chair watching as his buddy takes another beating. He ignores his drink delivery; even the flirtation of the young, shirtless waiter who brings it goes unnoticed.
(To be continued)