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The Fight (standard:action, 1402 words)
Author: NitramAdded: Mar 10 2004Views/Reads: 2392/1598Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
A young boy growing up in NYC in 1940 learns a lesson about fighting.

Click here to read the first 75 lines of the story

fight, sissy.  Huh?” 

The whole class was looking at him.  Okay, that was enough.  “I'll meet
you in the schoolyard at three,” said Arnold. 

The Moose looked surprised, then he laughed.  “You heard him,” he said
loudly.  “You better be there.” 

“He won't,” said Nasty.  “Sissy-boy will run home to his Mommy.” 

“I'll be there,” said Arnold. 

For the rest of the day Arnold was in a daze.  All he could think of was
the fight, with The Moose crushing him while everyone looked on.  In 
math class, he even missed solving a problem at the blackboard, 
something unheard of.  “Are you feeling okay, Arnold?” the teacher 

“He's feeling sick, scared sick,” said Nasty, loudly enough for all to
hear, then he laughed. 

In the schoolyard, it seemed to Arnold that the whole school had come to
watch the fight.  He could see Kissel and had a fleeting hope that 
maybe his friend would step in and help him.  But Kissel stayed back by 
the fence and just watched. 

“Look at sissy-boy,” said Nasty.  “He's pale as a ghost.  I think he's
going to faint.” 

Arnold thought for a moment that Nasty might be right.  He was sweating
and his knees felt weak. 

“You ready, four-eyes?” said The Moose. 

“Yeah,” said Arnold.  Then he realized he'd forgotten to take his
glasses off.  He started to say, “Wait,” but Moose had moved quickly 
forward, embracing him in a bear hug and before he knew what was 
happening Arnold was on the ground with Moose on top of him.  Arnold 
struggled, trying to move his arms and legs, but Moose was smothering 

“Make him say uncle,” said Nasty. 

Moose raised up to reply to this and in that instant Arnold got an elbow
loose and jolted Moose in his Adam's apple.  Moose put both hands to 
the injured spot and Arnold jerked his body loose and staggered up.  
“Go get him, Moose,” yelled Nasty. 

Arnold quickly removed his glasses and somebody took them from him.  It
was Kissel.  “Don't be afraid of him,” said Kissel.  “He's slow as a 

To Arnold, Moose now was a big blur.  But he could see  Moose holding
out his hands and advancing slowly, a little smile on his face.  “Come 
on, four-eyes,” he said. 

But Arnold moved back.  He knew if he let Moose grab him again he was a
goner.  He had to keep away.  He held his left arm out and his right to 
protect his chin, as his father had taught him.  Arnold knew he was 
scared but he was still able to think.  Keep away.  Jab him.  It was 
like solving a math problem.  Every time Moose got close Arnold danced 
sideways and moved away.  “Come on, sissy,” said Moose. Now he dropped 
his arms and beckoned for Arnold to come closer.  It was almost too 
easy. He'd left himself wide open.   Arnold delivered a left jab to 
Moose's nose.  “Hey,” said Moose.  He felt his nose.  “Okay.  I'm going 
to kill you now.”  He rushed forward.  Arnold stuck out his left arm 
again and this time Moose's nose ran right into the straight jab.  It 
started to bleed.  Moose reached a hand up to his nose again and came 
away with blood.  “My nose is bleeding,” he wailed.  “You broke my 
nose.”  He stood there, suddenly a big harmless lump. 

“Okay, sissy-boy,” said Nasty, moving in.  “Let's see if you can fight
me.”  But Kissel was suddenly there, saying, “Arnold's  had his fight 
already.   If you want to fight, let's go.” 

Nasty muttered something and slunk away, just like the hyena in a Tarzan
movie, thought Arnold. 

“Fight's over,” said Kissel.  “Let's get home, Arnie.” 

For the first time in a long time Arnold didn't have to worry about
fighting as he lie in bed that night.   It was over.  To hear Kissel 
tell it to the other guys on the block, he'd destroyed Moose just as 
Louis had done to Schmelling    Arnold knew he'd been lucky.  Moose was 
just as dumb as he was big.  Arnold still didn't know if he was a 
coward.  He knew that if Nasty or anyone else challenged him to a fight 
he'd still be scared.  He knew fighting was stupid.  But he also knew 
the time came when it was worse not to fight. 

The End 


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