The quiet suburbs shelter many secrets behind its white picket fenced homes and closed doors. Everything from domestic violence to drug addictions and lustful affairs that no neighbour would be the wiser. With fake smiles and high class vehicles these cookie cutter box dwellers live their lives, running the rat race of life, but to know these many safe kept secrets acceptance is in order.
The street lights brightly shine with the artificial orange hue of high pressure sodium lamps, illuminating the sidewalk outside of home 203, on Falcon manor. Individual rooms in the home are brightly shining through windows down onto the treated fertilized lawn. Faint sounds of high end stereo equipment can be heard, but not enough to be a disturbance in the neighbourhood. As Nick walked up the cobbled stone path way towards the door, he felt a sense of nervousness in spite of coming to this house many times before. Upon reaching the black painted pine and steel enforced door, Nick takes a deep breath and knocks. The sound of party goers enjoying themselves behind the door is all too familiar for Nick, being in college has its perks. After a few moments standing at the door he begins to get impatient and extends a clenched fist. The door suddenly swings open and the sight of a tall bulky figure, dressed in an all-black suit comes into view.
âAre you the guy?â The tall suited man asks.
Nick straightens his stance and nods. The doorman waves him into the home and instructs Nick to follow him. As Nick trails behind him through the house, music is playing throughout and partiers are dancing and drinking. Some young men and women are lounging on leather furniture enjoying multi colored cocktails while others are can be seen sniffing cocaine off mirrored tables in the living room. They appear to look around the same age as Nick, but you canât really tell nowadays. Making their way around the house would have been difficult if the crowd didnât part for them as they passed. The people at the party know who Nick is and why he is there, it was best not to get in his way. The home was an image of absolute class. Intricate pieces of artwork hung off textured walls, crystal light fixtures brilliantly cast beautiful reflections of light over the home. Everything from floor patterns to luxurious high tech toys line the space, anyone who would step into this house would be impressed with its owner.
The doorman leads Nick to another door which is located on the lower level of the house; the music and crowd are barely audible. Another tall bulky man stands outside this door with hands crossed on his chest. He spots Nick walking up and opens the door and shows him in. Nick steps through and hears the door close behind him. The lights are low and a distinctive smell of Cuban tobacco lingers in the air. Nick stands in a small room with glass windows overlooking a blood stained ring down below with two men pummeling one another. A large group of people are gathered all around the outside of the ring with money in hand yelling at the fighters. This room is sound proof, so the cheering crowd or shouts are barely heard. In the room with him is a group of well-dressed men, Nick figures them to be white collared snobs with too much money. They sit there in single leather seat chairs smoking cigars, chuckling and conversing amongst themselves. Nick clears his throat to bring attention to himself, but no one turns to acknowledge him. Then a voice deep low and crisp rings out.
âWell hello son, you alright?â The voice asks.
âI am well Mr. Stanbury, we both know why I am here so shall weâŚ.â Nick says, but gets rudely interrupted.
âAre you ready to go? I grow tired and weary watching these cunts throw fairy punches at one another, poor show son. Care to show us a fight worth watching?â Mr. Stanbury asks as he stands from his seat. This man was one of Englandâs best boxing promoters in his early days, now he enjoyed dabbling in illegal boxing matches, dog fights, gambling, really anything with dirty easy money to be had. He recently moved to North America to capitalize on the American dream and the desire for behind closed doors entertainment. He walks over and stands in front of Nick with a crooked smile. Eyes resembling pools of ash, size him up like a game trophy or something of the sort. Nick stands six feet tall with broad shoulders and a strong defined jaw line. Mr. Stanbury reaches and runs his thumb over a scabbed cut on the bridge of Nickâs nose.
âI hope you donât make a mess about the ring like the last time.â Mr. Stanbury says with a chuckle. Nick jerks his head back out of his reach, he takes a step back and his expression becomes tight and aggressive.
âNow, now son, save that for the fight. Iâve put you against one of my fighters from across the pond. Now heâs a little wet behind the ears, but I am sure you know how to handle that, wonât you my boy?â Mr. Stanbury asks as he pats Nickâs cheek and points him towards the door. He turns away from Nick and sits back down and resumes his conversation with his colleagues. Nick stands there dwelling in his anger and frustration with the situation. Mr. Stanbury notices Nick is still in the room and summons the doorman into the room. The door opens and Nick can feel a grasp on his elbow and he slightly hesitates.
âNow son, we both know how this is going to end, run along and go earn your medical tuition,â Mr. Stanbury barks and chuckles along with his colleagues. Nick can feel his body tense up and he exhales sharply as he turns towards the door.
Nick has fought in quite a few illegal underground bouts, with all profits going towards his medical training. Having a natural talent for inflicting pain upon others and being in a tight situation it seemed like it was the only reasonable and efficient way to pay his way through school. The whole process of fighting was all too familiar to Nick. He would always tell himself a couple more and heâs out, but in desperate times he had to do what he had to.
The âchangeâ room is a mere storage room, with dusty selves and a single lamp fixture hanging from the ceiling shining down on an old debilitated bench in the center of the room. Nick enters the room and sighs. Taking off his shirt, bruises line the right side of his torso and abdomen. Wincing from pain, Nick warms his body up with light stagnant jogging and shadow boxing. Nick focuses his mind and body as best as he can to prepare himself. Taking a break, Nick lies on the weathered bench and stares up at the ceiling. The roar of the crowd sends adrenaline coursing through his body and he canât sit still and springs up. There is always a sense of fear and anticipation waiting for the fight. Nick can hear the shouts of blood hungry spectators and canât help but loathe himself for what he was about to do. The flat bone slapping sounds ring out through the thin walls. Nick can almost imagine what would cause the sound; possibly a nose being broken a couple places or teeth snapping at the root, either way it was unsettlingly uncomfortable to hear. The human body can sustain an unbelievable amount of damage, but a state of mind makes or breaks a fight Nick believes. Anatomy has always interested Nick, inspiring him to attend medical school in the first place and now here he was fighting for it, literally.
Suddenly, the distinct sound of a limp body hitting the ring floor is heard through the door followed by the clamor of the crowd. Nick knew he is up next and takes his socks off. Illegal rules can vary; Mr. Stanburyâs rules were quite unique and simple. No shoes or socks. No shirt. Any hit goes and you donât stop till eyes roll back into your opponentâs skull. âBloody Brilliantâ he finds. The only piece of protective equipment allowed are hand wraps, which were generally made of cotton or a synthetic material. The cheers from the mass slowly become a chant as they crave more bloodshed and violence. Nickâs heart begins to beat harder and harder, to the point he has to place his hand on his chest to calm himself down. The chants continue as the fighters enter in the room. The loser of the fight is held up by his arms as his feet drag behind him, he is still out cold when they place him face first on the ground. His opponent that delivered the knockout blow waltzes in with a chest puffed out as if he was the big-dick in the room. The last man to enter is Mr. Stanburyâs right hand man, Johnny, who is sharply dressed like his colleagues upstairs watching the fights. After closing the door behind them, Johnny pulls two brown envelopes, one packed so tightly that the currency creases its carrier. The other looks as if nothing at all is inside it. Johnny tosses it onto the fighters back as he lay unconscious on the cold dirty pavement and turns to Nick with a smile.