Jab

Posted on November 12, 2009

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(I’m participating in NaNoWriMo. See also my weekly blog entries at Virtual Writers, Inc. This is an excerpt of an in vitro novel “Bloody Management” only. Unfettered, unedited, but not dispirited. From chapter 8, “Boxing”.)


When Hestia was eight, her father took her to a boxing match. It was a Heavyweight World Champion fight:

“Two really big guys are going to hit each other in the face and one must win”, he told her. He was practically foaming at the mouth with excitement, and so she was excited too, not knowing what to expect, really.

They had the best tickets, right at the ring, because her father was a lawyer who knew a lawyer who worked for the company that put on the fight. “This is big money, Hesty”, her father remarked, using her least favourite nickname, “really big money.”

There was a lot of talk about money in her family: mother complained about not getting paid enough through her Royalties – but when she asked her about the Royals, her mom only laughed.

“Not Royals, stupid, Royalties – money”, she cried, almost choking on her coffee. She was always drinking coffee, strong coffee, and she smelled of coffee mixed with cigarettes. Even now, after more than thirty years, Hestia still wanted to smoke if only to smell like her mother. Her father only talked about not talking about money, since he hated talking about it. He liked making it, though: “Your father is very good at making money, which is why you’ll never have to worry about anything”, her mother said, and: “Money isn’t everything but it’s good to have more of it.”

Then came the fight, the big money fight of the big guys. And big they were, not only for an eight-year-old. Hestia had put on special clothes: this was the first time her father had taken her out. She used a few things of her mother’s: emerald earrings playing nicely off her green eyes, and a black feather tiara. “Can I wear this”, she asked her mother, who was writing and only waved at Hestia, her mind having wandered off somewhere else.

Five minutes after taking her seats, Hestia was perspiring like never before and she thought she’d choke from the air which was heavy with smoke and the sweat and ire of two thousand people. She was uncomfortable and bored. Her father was gesticulating to his friend, who sat next to him: he showed how he’d take out the Russian: “A right jab when he’s outreached himself!”

When the two boxers were in the ring, Hestia saw that one of them, a black guy, was a lot shorter than the other one, who looked too calm to be hitting anyone in the face, a boy with giant hands and giant feet.

“This guy is a whopping nine inches taller!”, she heard her father say to his friend. They were both smoking cigars and her father seemed to have forgotten she was there. So that were nine inches. The black guy reached but to the chest of the other one. Still, they were both incredibly big. Hestia had thought her father large, but these two looked frightful.

About half an hour later – she had put her hands over her eyes –  she felt something fall in her lap, making a funny sound as it made contact with the tiara, and Hestia thought ‘how funny I should be able to hear this with all the noise’. She dropped her hands and picked it up: it was a bloody tooth.

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