Visual Dare – Tenacious

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He tried to get up but when he looked up he was met with the hard kick to the chin. Johnny’s head snapped back and he fell back on his chest. His mouth tasted of dirt and blood. His head swam and throbbed with tiny explosions. He was sure of a concussion. Johnny planted his palms on the wet ground and, again, attempted to push himself off the ground.

“You just don’t know when to give up, don’t ya?”

Johnny shook his head and spat out a tooth. He tried to speak but he just felt too drained. He managed to get himself on his knees before being shoved hard back to the ground.

Carmelo knelt down beside him. “That’s it, kid. There’s no way you’re winning this one.” The old man then stood up and faced the hyped up crowd. “OK, ladies and gents! We’ve a winnah!” Carmelo gestured towards the burly man that stood over Johnny. The man roared and pounded his chest before taking his pay and walking away.

Half an hour later and Johnny was seated on the ground beside a garbage bin. He had a bag of ice in one hand. Carmelo walked over to him.

“Here ya go, kid,” Carmelo said, handing over a couple of crumpled bills.

“Again,” Johnny said.

“Again?” Carmelo flashed his golden toothed smile. “You didn’t even last ten minutes in the last one and you’re asking to go again?”

Johnny nodded.

Carmelo removed his bowler hat and scratched his head with it. “Look, kid, I admire the guts. I really do. But the people want to be entertained and a seven minute match isn’t simply entertaining. You’re lucky you got paid.”

“I want another match,” Johnny said as he tried to stand up on shaky knees.

Carmelo sighed. “How ’bout we make a deal. If you get your skinny ass beaten up in under ten minutes, I keep your money. If you go on standing past the ten minute mark, you get paid.” Carmelo extended his hand.

Johnny looked at it. Ten minutes. That’s all he. Ten minutes. He could do it. If it meant food on the table, he’ll do it. Johnny shook the hand.

“Match starts in five,” Carmelo said.