My senses come back to me slowly. There is an odd weight in my left hand. Through the still red haze, I can see the cold metal bar in my grasp. There’s a large dent near the top of it, and a blood stain a few inches lower. There is a significant impact on the ground, where the gravel has been gouged up, following a sweeping arc. Tracing that arc, my eyes fall on the body of my assailant. He isn’t moving

With the threat out of the count, I wipe my eyes on my shirt, and blink until the red haze lifts. My attacker is starting to stir. There is a considerable amount of blood in his hair, flowing from his head. His right arm slowly tracks forward, dragging the hand along the ground. With evident effort, he lifts himself up. I stand there, watching as he struggles to sit, and make up my mind. In an unsteady arc, I bring the bar parallel to his head and hold it there.

“Trust me, Kid. You have no idea who I am.”

The words leave my lips, and I drop the bar. Without looking back, I walk away.

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