Invisible matters of the mind turned real into the written word.
|“Everyone earns a nickname. Don’t get to choose one. Get's chosen for you. You a club recruit. Think they more than a turd.” Knucklehead’s hairless skull gleamed under the clubhouse overhead light. Ten tears etched above his right ear claimed the number of his kills. "Think again."
“Dog is what I am. It is what everyone calls me. I wouldn’t know how to answer any other name.” The stubborn jut of Dog’s chin and his bulldog expression held steady. “I come in with my name or I don’t come in at all.”
“Too late for that, fur ball.” Knucklehead hawked up a gob of mucus, spit it in Dog's face. “You ours. You pass that line when you walk in our door. See how brave you be during gauntlet.”
The jovial jostling of welcomers, turned into armed guards. Two lines of taunting, shouting faces urged Dog on. One spoke.
“Who speaks for this pile of dog shit?”
Seconds passed into minutes. Dog wrestled himself free. “I can speak for myself. Name’s Dog. Weasel spoke for me. Where is he? Where’s the girls, the free booze? This isn’t what he said.”
“He a mistake,” Knucklehead’s laughter echoed down the two matched lines. “We know's how to fix that.”
A jeweled tipped hand pointed not at Dog but at Knucklehead. “You spoke out of turn. You lead the way. Show him how it’s done.”
Cut off baseball bats were raised, Chains rattled. Knuckle dusters flashed onto curled fists. Feet began stomping a low vibrating rhythm. Dust began to rise up, ghost like from the floor.
Not everyone liked Knucklehead, but few hands were raised in menace. Knucklehead’s mouth twisted into an ugly grin, stretching the scars on his face. “Girls and booze are at the end of the tunnel, baby. Don’t let me leave you behind.”
Dog launched himself after the big brute. His best bet was to use Knucklehead as a human shield. Surprise worked the first few feet. He wove, ducked, danced, the next few, avoiding the whispering clubs and the snap of chains. “Go. Go.” He chanted breathing in huge gulps of streaming male sweat stained air.
Blood fountained before him. Knucklehead's daze shook it off like rain. Dog’s eyes blurred with it. Another club descended like a battering ram into the big man’s gut.
A chain snaked out at Knucklehead’s feet. Dog’s shield turned into a human sacrifice, blocking his way. Dog leaped as a bat shattered him with pain.
There was Weasel. Dog yanked him forward into more blows. Weasel’s head became red mist. Dog grabbed a fallen club, swinging to the line's end.
Feet stomped their approval. Blood lust throbbed in the air. A naked goddess wiggled up to him and poured booze over Dog’s head, laid a hungry kiss on his mouth. “Impressive.”
She released him, turned him around, pushed and stepped back. “Good practice. You didn't wait to hear the rules. Let’s see how well you do the real thing alone.”