John Tang

Some Help

Posted in Short Stories and Excerpts, Sketchbook by Jt's Item Roster on February 27, 2011

The Pugilists

My counsel’ll sneak in, hold the sun up like I found the season

–Yak Ballz

A fight was scheduled on February according to the Roman calendar. The state of Phaedra had two exits in the country: The western exit was called Aelia, a sister to the metropolis Corvin, a bridge away from the starry hills; the eastern exit was called Seneca, also known as First City. After thirty-seven years the art of pugilism surfaced through the lower class of the city of Aelia; it was a major surprise when it reached the suburbs eighty miles from the city. It was there the message of the fight pervaded the town like grass: That the city of Aelia would fly in a contender from the Seneca’s wall for a match underneath the city railways—there, too, was a mythology they had begun a league of their own that had been living thirty years old to date.

The local hat peddler Lavin was on the muddy beach in the snow of last night’s bonfire ashes. Winter has been in the air passed its said-date, the cold wind gathering a violet cloud where a hint of twilight glowed through a bed of the ruffled clouds. He followed the sandy causeway to the house, and inside Lavin had made general courtesies with the parents in the living room and followed them to the terrace where Mr. Hov was reading in the local newspaper, receiving the news about the contender before Lavin offered five hundred dollars for the match.

“This will be a headliner, isn’t it, Lavin? Four thousand? Six thousand. Eight thousand? You think you’ll profit from the event?” Mr. Hov said. “I want a thousand before we lock in a date in April. I even think the mayor of Corvin will let us set up there.” “No, no. I planned to have it in Aelia. But I see where you’re coming from.” Lavin said. “Let me find the promoters we need to fund the venue, first. Then I have to find a flight for Chaos.”  “Chaos? Is that what that they are calling him on the east?” Mr. Hov smiled. “That is an idiotic title, embarrassment to the sport; it says nothing. You think I can take someone seriously who gave up his God-given name? A name he doesn’t know how to respond to when the teacher calls him up for some math questions, when his mother asks him to wash his hands before dinner. What do his parents think of him entering in this kind of sport? What theater. My girlfriend could stand in front of the tv with that kind of entertainment.” “Do me a favor though.” Lavin warned. “Let the coals burn before you begin fanning them.” “What in hell is that suppose to mean? Don’t talk in metaphors to me. I trust you, you know that, Lavin; in the past you always put the money up the night of every performance. No need for metaphors between us.” “Here is what I am saying.” Lavin said. “I want the fight as much as the coasts, the people, to watch a legendary match between two lions of our generation. Will you please do that for the city you love?”

In Aelia people believed Mr. Hov would take the title by the second round in a knock out.  There was a website people could talk of sports, and for some odd reason, since the match was proposed, the website has been gaining notoriety amongst the people, including citizens from out of the state, if you read the section “location” under the name. In the last two days someone by the name of The Draconian posted a thread where people could express their opinion on the website. On the head of the page there were poll in black and pink predicting who would come out as the champion; twenty seven of thirty votes said Mr. Hov win.

Chaos’ girlfriend must have believed people of Aelia were behind the predictions, because as the “reliable source,” by giving out her government name Melissa Davis, Aelia’s newspaper printed the fight would not happen if this kind of “bias nature” persisted in the region. To which


Question: Does the language shift?



One Response

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  1. arian said, on April 21, 2011 at 3:52 am

    Resuscitate! Habiltate!

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