“Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body.” ~ Joseph Addison
“How’s he holding up?” Late arriving to the match, Buddy crouched down as he made his way across the arena seats to join his friend Mac.
“She’s pulverizing him,” Mac whispered, hoping to not get catcalled by the other spectators. “He underestimated her arsenal. She’s bringing out firepower he never saw coming.”
“She’s just a slip of a girl,” Buddy said, his voice louder than he meant. “Look how young she is.”
“Jax didn’t do his due diligence before getting in the ring. He thought she’d be easy pickings,” Mac said, leaning in to keep their conversation private. “She’s young, but damn if she didn’t train like a demon.”
“Who was her coach?” Buddy flinched as his friend was backed up into the turnbuckle, hammered by a Dickens uppercut to the chin. “Oww… that’s gonna leave a mark.”
“Who wasn’t her coach?” Mac said, “Bradbury, Moore, Shakespeare, Tolkien, Lewis, Welty, all the masters.”
Buddy let out a low whistle of admiration. Both men whooped when Jax fell face first into the mat, his opponent retreating to a neutral corner while the referee counted out the knockdown. Jax struggled to his feet, weaving like a drunk sailor on shore leave.
The girl bounced out of her corner, shifting from foot to foot. Throwing easy punches, she backed Jax into the ropes. A Twain hook to his ribs lifted him off his feet, followed by a Verne kidney punch. She finished him off with a Follett cross, sending his mouthpiece flying into the stands in a spray of spit and blood.
The crowd went wild. The ref had to caution the girl twice to back off. Before the ref could get to five, Jax’s cornerman threw in the towel.
A rush of people surged over the ropes hugging the girl and lifting her up. She raised one gloved fist over her head in a victory celebration.
Buddy and Mac didn’t stay for the official decision, they knew the girl would get the win. Jax would be black and blue in the morning. A cut over one eye from a lightning-fast Irving jab would need a couple of stitches, and his ribs would be sore for weeks.
“Do you think Jax will demand a rematch?” Buddy tore up his betting tickets, worthless now that his friend went down in a crushing defeat.
“I’m sure of it,” Mac said, “but, he better find a good librarian or she’s gonna kick his illiterate arse again.”