Risin' Up

In a broken warehouse, a make-shift ring stood, enclosed by hundreds of eager watchers. Two figures were paired in a shuffling dance in the middle of the crowd. Moments of patient judgment were interrupted by flurries of punches that struck hard flesh. The crowd moved by bets, alcohol and the sheer savagery were enthusiastic in their appreciation.

Martinez, a heavyset man of Latin descent kept the other fighter, a Japanese newcomer named Kuro on the defensive.

In this town acceptance could only be earned with blood.

“You know I’m going to keel you tonight.” Martinez grunted as he warded off another attack.

“You can-” Kuro stumbled back as a hook glanced off jaw.

Blinking back the curtains of darkness that hovered around the edge of his eyes, Kuro managed to duck under the next hook. He followed with an uppercut and shoving his remaining strength into it. Martinez’s head snapped back as he fell backwards on to the mat. The fight was over.

The roar of the crowd lifted Kuro up and he grinned back.

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