The Out Of Time Man

The wind blows in a ghastly manner, its a dark, cold night and I hug my Trench coat tightly as I stare into a dimly lit spot fixed directly below me from the rooftop. The lighting is nothing to write home about, but one can see, even if silhouette, creepy figures of two men in a brawl.

I move a bit closer to the edge of the rooftop to watch the unfolding scenario. A small crowd has gathered cheering the two men of the moment. I have no placid reason to be here at the rooftop, but sometimes I stay up here to cash in on the bad luck life will throw my way to find myself, or try to figure what I really stand for.

Those things you can’t just explain to a sober lot. It’s a little past ten o’clock so it’s not really that late. The two men circle each other, then somebody in the crowd lights the place, just a bit such that the characters here are eerily lit. One of the men is plump, the other looks stocky and well built. If the eyes could judge it seems a battle of odds. The fat guy moves first, he throws in a quick jab that the stout fella dodges by moving back one foot. He does a jig, thoroughly enjoying himself. The fat guy is relentless, he moves in again, the crowd cheers him on but the stocky guy keeps dodging his missiles with a slight shrug of his shoulders, he is taunting the fat guy, urging him on. This has been carrying on for a minute, I look up, there is the glistening shape of a moon emerging from the dark clouds, its dull shaped as it emerges, dull as death itself. I smell smoke and look down, somebody in the crowd has lighted up a miniature bonfire, it’s raging with a yellow flame as it licks up the wood in it. I can see the faces of the duelling parties a tad bit clearer from where I am positioned.

The fat guy has removed his jacket, he is clad in a white tee and denim pants that remind me of the Savco designs that were the in thing in the eighties. The stout guy is in shorts, a shirt and a pair of boots. He has a huge chain around his neck, maybe those fashion fads things I may not be aware of. The plump man plunges himself at his opponent, throwing him to the floor and catching him off-guard. There is a brief struggle as both try to get each other in a grip meant to annihilate the other. Legs are thrust upwards and torso knocks on torso. The crowd is going gorillas, enthralled. Finally, the stout man gets off the grip and with a swift blow knocks the fat guy flat on his feet.

He pounces on him, taunting him to get up, thumping his chest as he circles the fallen man. Slowly, Mr. Plump rises, blood is gushing out of his nose., his tee turns a crimson red and he fumbles for a hankie in his pocket, but he is not done. After a minute or two, he regains his composure, and flings himself with what is supposed to be a spear that catches the stocky guy on his solar plexus.,knocking the wind out of him. He lays motionless for a minute, and the crowd goes silent. He is not moving, the fat guy is bent over him, the mass of fat that is his body tingling, as his eyes remain fixated with a murderous vengeance on the fallen man. I lean a bit closer to the rooftop and squint some more to catch every detail.

When he finally gets up, the stocky bloke is clearly injured. He struggles to his feet and collapses twice before kneeling down at the fat man’s feet. His face is a dark ashen, partly from the dust on the ground. He gets up slowly and folds his fists, he still has the fight in him. With two quick steps he gets to his assailant and lunges with a blow to his neck, It misses the fat guy narrowly, and he sidesteps and retaliates with a move akin to the southpaw boxing move that catches the stocky fella on his temple and drives him to the ground in a heap. The crowd goes with a loud “Ooooh!” exclamation as the blow makes a smacking sound connecting to his temple. The fat guy isn’t done, he goes on top of him and punches him senseless blow after blow until the man just lies there not moving or defending himself.

The odds are in his favour, he gets up and kicks the man right in the face, it’s a bloodies scene now. Blood for blood, teeth for teeth kind of mantra. He goes on to pulls him to his feet and hurls him to the ground, his body making a “Thap” sound as it connects with the ground. The fat man is boiling with rage, if he was hairy, he would look like a grizzly bear in the North pole making a quick finish of a hunt. He picks the stout man again and pummels him with more blows, the crowd cheering him on, his opponents face is baked with blood. He kicks the stout man to the ground and turns to walk away as the crowd chants in his praise at the wake of him being the winner of this bout. He smiles a little to the crowd, a lopsided smile through his bloodied face and cracked lip, he has wasted the hapless fella in this show of machismo and sheer gut. 

Just at that moment, a gunshot is heard, screams rent the air, as panic reigns in. In the melee, the gathered crowd ran in all directions, another gunshot rents the serene night air, and people start screaming, as they leave. One man remains-The fat man, he is on one knee, clutching at his chest, there is a red patch of blood soaking his shirt, his face is a twisted contortion of a dying man, he gasps for air, a little blood trickles from the side of his mouth ..he knows he is barely hanging onto his dear life, in just a matter of minutes he will be the out of time man. 

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