So I sat in the locker room, steaming from frustration, boiling from a lack of control. And Mertin walked in at the wrong time.
“Hey, do you need a towel?” Mertin held out the towel, seemingly offering it to me as if I were a peasant begging for alms.
“What?” I scowled at him, bitterness dripping off my words.
“I accidentally grabbed two so do you want the extra one?”
He was a cocky sonofabitch.
“Why, cause I’m too tired to get one myself?”
“No, I just didn’t want to walk all the way to the back to put it up.”
“Fuck you, Mertin.”
“Dude, hold down the hostility.”
“Don’t caution me on how to act you squirmy little asshole.”
“Okay, whatever dude.” He turned to walk out of the locker room, dropping the extra towel at the end of bench I was sitting on.
That was it. The line had been crossed. How? I didn’t know but it triggered something in me, some cruelty bred deep in my soul leaped its way to the surface of my mind and it was decided that Mertin would be gifted no mercy that day.
I stood quickly and grabbed Mertin by the back of his shirt, jerking him to the ground. He fell hard and was disoriented for a moment. His eyes widened with bewilderment at the violence that was bearing down on him.
I raised my fist and struck him in square in the face as he lay there at my feet, still in shock. He gathered himself in a quick moment, wrestled me off the top of him and got to his feet.
I toppled onto the ground but managed to stand up just as his fist flew at my face. I took the shot directly in the nose. It was the most distinct pain I had ever felt. My eyes filled with tears immediately. I tried to shake the fog from my head and impulsively ducked to avoid a predictable second swing from Mertin. I dodged correctly and he missed with his second blow.
His third strike, however, landed deep into my gut and my breath was immediately gone. I plummeted to my knees and fought to recapture my breath. Mertin stood over me and I could only assume he was on the verge of continuing his attack so I countered by reaching out and punching him in the testicles. It stopped him from moving.
I got up and he fell down.
He was hunkered over his knees, heaving as if he were about to throw-up. I lifted his head as best I could and quickly threw my knee into his chin. I saw the blood bubbling in his mouth as he fell back on the floor. I picked him up once more and looked him directly in his shaky eyes.
“I don’t think you’ll be getting up after this,” I relished the fear that developed on his face; it was fuel for my assault.
I smashed his nose with my forearm and let him fall to the floor again. Circling my victim, I viciously threw kicks into his ribs whenever he made a move. I straddled over him after a few minutes of torturing him with kicks and raised my fist high into the air. Then I dropped it down onto his bloodied face over and over and over again.
I savored every moment of pain I inflicted onto his limp body. I never stopped to think about if he were dead from the numerous blows to his skull. I never noticed that it felt more like I was punching a bag of sand rather than a face. I never paid attention to when the bubbles of blood stopped forming in his mouth. I never heard the door to the locker room open and I never felt my head crack against the cold tile as I was ripped from atop Mertin.
I woke to what I thought were the white walls of a hospital emergency room. That idea was quickly dispelled by the fact that hospital policy doesn’t involve punching the patient repeatedly in the face.
There were murmured screams as the blunt fists bounced off my face again and again. Then I was dropped back to the ground. I rolled over to see someone hunkered over what I initially thought was their dog that had just been ran over by a car.
It was Mertin and Sander was quivering over his brother’s blood soaked body.
Sander noticed me sitting up after a few moments and stormed over tome, tears and anger flowing from his face. He screamed things I don’t remember and he threw more punches than I could count. I was like a zombie, in a haze and without feeling. Blow after blow struck my head and body but never once did I feel the impact.
He grabbed me and tossed my body up against the lockers. I slid to the floor where his swift feet blasted into me many times. Sander paused after our prolonged soccer lesson, out of breath but still full of so much wrath. He stepped over to his brother once more, lost in anger and confusion.
After several more minutes, I rose to my feet one more time, not having any clean thought about what I planned on doing. Was I going to leave? Was I going to fight back? I don’t know. At that moment, I was just standing up.
Being slammed against the concrete wall before I even had a chance to figure that out wasn’t what cleared my head; it was what Sander said as he held me there.
“I’m going to kill you so you can burn in hell with your father,” he snarled, mere inches from my face.
That’s what sparked the fiery rage that burned away the cobwebs.
It seemed to happen naturally and very silently. I saw Sander’s fist coming at me in slow motion so I tilted my head to the side. The numerous tiny bones in his hand shattered against the unforgiving wall beside my head. His grip loosened on me and I landed on my feet. He didn’t notice his shattered hand; adrenaline numbed him to that pain for the moment.
I thrust my fist quickly upward and caught him in his chin but Sander was so much larger than me that it didn’t have the stopping power I had hoped it would. Sander hobbled back for a quick second and charged me again. I ate several punches without response. I stood there, absorbing his blows as if he were a ghost swiping vainly at the living. I caught one of his punches, one from his crushed hand, and I squeezed it in hopes that shock had given way to the reality of broken bones. It had. Sander screamed in pain and I stepped up beside him with his hand still locked in my grasp. His arm was twisted in an unnatural way, and it might’ve broken. He was bent over from the pain and I rammed my elbow into the side of his jaw. He went limp but remained conscious.
I released his hand and it dropped to the floor beside him. He sat there, bleary-eyed and stunned, beside his barely gurgling brother. I took my time as I walked around behind him. The palm of my hand struck solidly at the base of his skull and the “thunk” of his head hitting the tile floor echoed amidst the locker room walls. He was hard to lift and was, surprisingly enough, still partially awake. I decided to let him come around a bit more before I continued further.
Holding his head up by his chin, I stared Sander in the face, waiting for his eyes to begin to dilate and focused on me. I wanted to be sure he could see and hear me.
“Tell my father I don’t plan on seeing him any time soon.”
It was then that I stepped up behind him for the final time. I wrapped my left arm around his throat and gripped my right bicep with my left hand. I placed my right hand on the back of his head and pushed forward while pulling back with my left arm. Sander gasped for the first few moments and soon began to struggle more violently as I squeezed my hold tighter. Eventually his death throes were getting unruly so I quickly twisted both my arms. He finally went still and lay on the ground next to his now silent brother. I stared for a while to make sure they both remained quite still. Once I was satisfied I went to the mirror to look at myself.
There wasn’t a mark on me. Not a bruise, not a scratch, not a single blemish could be found. I was confused but still high enough from the endorphins that I didn’t think much of it. Then I noticed something. I think I felt the pain before I really saw it in the mirror but my face began to ache terribly. It was like a migraine rushing all over my head. Bruises began to appear on my face. Blood first started to drip out of my mouth and then it began to come out in a steady stream. When I looked at the mirror again I saw the cuts appearing on my cheek and head. I saw more blood coming from my nose and mouth too. My eyes suddenly had burst blood vessels and then they began swelling up completely. Everything went dark from there, I don’t know if it was from the swelling or the pain in my head but I was lost in the black.