Six-Sentence Story: Championship Rounds

Kenny would always claim: his endurance had no rival. 

Whether sparring on the mats, sprinting around the track, or strength training at the gym, the lungs of Kenny’s teammates would burn and their muscles filled with lactic acid, but Kenny continued like the Energizer Bunny. 

Kenny’s coach wasn’t concerned about his ability to push an unfathomable pace for three, hard fought rounds, though the championship rounds—four and five—were a different ballgame. With a title fight looming on the horizon, the confidence Kenny possessed in his gas tank was second to none.

Coach attempted to instill the difficulty of competing, if necessary, for two rounds more than usual, “Those extra ten minutes, along with the added pressure, aren’t like anything you’ve dealt with before.”

The bell for the fourth sounded, Kenny struggled more than usual for a deep breath, and a bit of concern formed in the back of his mind about how long it would take until he’d be running on fumes.

Prompted from the Six-Sentence Story at:

Prompted from the Word of the Day Challenge at:

Prompted from Your Daily Word Prompt at:

Flash Fiction: A Coach’s Sculpture

Greg walked through the doors of Tiger Claw MMA as a stick figure from the pages of a child’s sketchbook—gangly, awkward, and all the teenager’s features appeared to be growing at a different rate. 

Coach Vee knew right where to start, modeling and chiseling Greg into a highly touted mixed martial arts prospect.

When Greg entered the cage for his pro debut, he resembled a sculpture of skin and sinew. 

Word Count: 71

Prompted from the Weekend Writing Prompt #144 at:

Prompted from the Word of the Day Challenge at:

Six-Word Story: Pampered Sparring

Light sparring is like being pampered.

Prompted from the Saturday Six Word Story at:

Prompted from The Word of the Day Challenge at:

Five Line Fiction: Kill Or Be Killed

“Bait her with feints and uncork that right hand as soon as she bites,” Coach modeled the necessary movements as an example to pair with his words.

Clarissa believed her MMA debut was going better than the panic in Coach’s voice would suggest, but that’s when she realized what was absent—at the most needed moment—from her mindset: violence. Kill or be killed.

Leaving the stool to enter the third, and final, round, Clarissa bit down hard on her mouthpiece, trapping Coach’s advice in her skull and severing the ‘happy-to-be-there’ mentality.

“Lovely execution, Clarissa,” Coach repeated as though he’d been zapped into a state of constant shock after Clarissa knocked her opponent out cold.

Prompted from Friday’s Five Lines or Less Challenge at:

Prompted from The Word of the Day Challenge at:

Prompted from Fandango’s Word of the Day Challenge at:

Ten-Sentence Story: Chasing Dollars Right Down the Drain

Words aren’t supposed to hurt, but in the world of MMA, they can most definitely lead in that direction.

A heated exchange online between Northern California’s Lee Stunts and Oregon’s Ray Tiffer caught the eye of Four-Ounce Fury’s Promoter, Richie Wild. Within the hour, Wild had contacted each party’s management team, drew up the contracts, and calendared the promotion’s most anticipated main event to date. 

It wasn’t so much the content shared on the ListenUp app that garnered Wild’s attention; rather, it was the tidal wave of interaction generated from the fanbases of both fighters. Each comment, ‘like,’ and share was another dollar in the bank.

Four-Ounce Fury 8 went down at an abandoned ice-skating rink in Ashland, Oregon—the ideal midway point for Stunts, representing Humboldt, and Tiffer, from somewhere around Bend.

The first bout of the evening hadn’t even begun, and the show was already sold out—nearly unimaginable on the local circuit. Wild even sold an additional two-hundred “standing room only” tickets, but he had to cut that off—shredding his sensibilities to pieces—and turn away customers with grips of cash when every clear path vanished. 

Initially, Wild saw full seats, beers steadily streaming, and a snack bar line that never ended—profit, profit, profit; however, the tension surrounding the main event thickened in the atmosphere, and he was able to see the situation for what it actually was: an understaffed and underpaid security team, alcohol-fueled hostility, and a growing awareness to the crowd’s level of unpredictability.

Before the opening bell sounded, a riot erupted outside of the cage, and Wild didn’t hesitate to escape through the nearest exit. From a safe distance, the captain of Four-Ounce Fury dialed 9-1-1 and watched his ship sink.

Prompted from MMA Storytime’s Ten-Sentence Story Challenge at:

Also prompted from Fandango’s Word of the Day Challenge at:

Ten-Sentence Story: That’s Illegal

“Crazy Train” Carl DuFrain elevated his hands toward the heavens, and his scowl lightened into a wide smile. Other than some blood trickling from the mouth and an eye—swelling at an astronomical rate—becoming a mountain out of a molehill, DuFrain’s opponent, Bucky Farmer, was sound asleep. 

For several, scary minutes, Farmer remained flat on his back—motionless. When he did, eventually, awaken, screams of pain frayed the nerves of spectators. Wide-eyed silence from every seat called back in response. 

The cage side physician inventoried the damage inflicted by DuFrain’s battering ram of a right hand—a broken orbital, most certainly, but only an x-ray could reveal its extent. Showing more and more signs of life, the doctor continued his examination.

As the doctor pried open the eye that had sealed shut, considerable amounts of blood and chunks of membrane poured from the eye’s socket.

“His eye has ruptured; we need an ambulance, IMMEDIATELY!”

The doctor’s intuition led him to demand that the commission remove DuFrain’s gloves; thereby, revealing egregious handwraps that were comparable to a corked bat in baseball.

Prompted from MMA Storytime’s Ten-Sentence Story Challenge at:

Prompted from Fandango’s Word of the Day Challenge at:

Cheaters Never Prosper

Jim Johns opened his Looky-Here app, eager to promote his upcoming fight for the Punisher Series Middleweight Championship, and found a message from his opponent, Grant Fletchling. 

It said: “You’re a fucking cheater, and you know it. You better not try any of that dirty shit with me.”

As early as Jim could remember, he competed by the motto: If you ain’t cheatin’, you ain’t tryin’. Whether slinking around after being “frozen” in a game of freeze tag during recess, syphoning money from the till while acting as the banker in Monopoly, or slugging it out in a cage with men of equal weight, winning was at all costs.

Pundits online—Jim called them keyboard warriors—noted the repeated barrage fouls early on, which he brushed off as haters. The tone was much different when, eventually, those within his community—other fighters, fans, and even some teammates—scrutinized his sporting etiquette.

Several of Jim’s previous dance partners had their careers stalled, or even ruined, because of Jim’s antics, playing fast and loose with a set of guidelines that are minimal to begin with. 

Hector Villanueva, a veteran journeyman with a swarming fanbase in every corner of California, suffered the most tragic fate at the hands—or more specifically: finger—of Jim; he was forced to retire when an extended digit stabbed him in the eye, detaching the retina—only thirty percent of his vision would return. 

Another unfortunate victim of Jim’s masquerade as a martial artist was Trent “Do Something” Dixon. While the round’s end alerts those in the cage to disengage, the advice, recycled since MMA’s inception, never let your guard down is there for a reason. Dixon recalled hearing the horn and wondering what advice his coach would have for him. As Dixon turned toward his corner, Jim launched a concussive right hand into his temple. Jim was disqualified—rightfully so—and Dixon, sadly, has still yet to be medically cleared for any level of physical contact. All seven of Jim’s bouts have involved an eye poke—though none as consequential as Villanueva’s—a fence grab or two, and countless warnings with multiple deductions of points. 

A nasty reputation on the regional circuit began surrounding Jim, and few would roll the dice against someone who made the already dangerous sport an even riskier proposition. The only reason Grant Fletchling accepted the bout to face Jim was because he was nearing an exit from the local scene and onto the global stage; he needed this.

Before the hum of the opening bell disappeared into space, Jim’s fingers swung like flesh swords at Fletchling’s eyes. The ref, keen to how Jim played the game, dished out a stern warning to close his fist. Fletchling spent the remaining two-minutes and twenty-seconds using Jim’s face as target practice with pristine boxing; the round finished without any further fishy-business. 

Midway through the second frame, Fletchling, as instructed by his corner, attempted a takedown. He stapled Jim to the fence, shooting for his midsection as a linebacker making a tackle in the open field. With an explosive twist of his hips, the two would topple to the canvas, where Fletchling would land in side control and deliver some brain-bashing elbows. In a transition so seamless it, at first glance, seemed legal, Jim drew the advantage. By interlocking his toes into the cage and wrenching for a takedown of his own, the maneuver granted Jim the necessary leverage, knocking Fletchling off balance and bringing him to his back. 

Some heavy ground-and-pound, a stoppage soon thereafter, and nobody questioned whether or not it was an honest win. In fact, proceeded along: Jim filled the winner’s circle, surrounded with love and admiration—instead of question marks, and Fletchling was sent back to the drawing board, though the unrealistic strength of Jim’s takedown gnawed at his craw incessantly. 

Fletchling and his team reviewed the tape—over and over and over again. Finally, the son of Fletchling’s Jiu-Jitsu Coach, Anthony, was able to zoom in and slow down the footage for a more detailed analysis. Sure enough, there it was—plain as day; Jim’s toes cinching hold of the steel exterior. An appeal to the California State Athletic Commission was filed immediately.

Following an arduous process, Fletchling’s loss was overturned. Consequently, when the end of the year arrived and it was time for Jim to renew his professional fighting license, CSAC denied the renewal based on the layers of problems proving he was a liability.

Prompted from the Word of the Day Challenge at:

Prompted from Fandango’s One Word Challenge at: