You know that moment before opening your eyes first thing in the morning. That point just before you realize that you are still alive and not a part of whatever dream you decided to have the night before? That second when your mind does a quick check to see if everything is functioning well? That is when I felt the pain. Having never been in a washing machine I still feel confident saying that I felt like I made it through both rinse cycles breathing.
I let my awareness of pain be heard with a scream. Last I remember is that MMA dude getting mad at me following him. He called me a fag and the world turned off. There’s vague images of him hitting me and then I woke to this pain.
I try to open my eyes but only one seems to be wanting to and even that it wanted reluctantly. It opens and then Glaux is there staring me in the face. I could swear the little shit was grinning.
“Don’t look at me like that.” I mostly said around a gravelly voice.
Glaux, my gift from Athena greek goddess of pains in my ass hooted the metallic bubble hoot of enchanted metal. It turned it’s head from side to side then leaped to fly to a dark corner of the hospital room.
“Well I see your friend decided you are fine.” Said a very attractive young woman in scrubs and no make up.
“How’d he get in here?” I really wanted to spend a day without this terror.
“He just showed up while we were cleaning you up. couldn’t get him to leave. He attack three orderlies. We stopped chasing him and he stopped attacking. When we were done he landed on your chest and wouldn’t let anyone near you.”
Wow, I thought, better than a guard dog. Wait, no. “I was attacked.”
“not from the looks of it. You are pretty beat up but the other guy will probably never fight again.”
“That’s right.” A deep slithery voice sounded as a briefcase landed hard on the table by my head. It belonged to a brown suit filled with a very fleshy ball of pinky-yellow, a smile that warned of hard times to come, and a reservoir of grease, from the smell of it bacon grease.
I looked hard at him with the one eye that reluctantly gave me site, I assume because it lost a bet. “Burt Jones Esquire,” The suite said with his mouth. His smile however said, “Your mine”.
I barely made a “Gnuh” noise before he continued.
“Our boy, Mausasi has agreed to not press charges if you come fight for us.”
“Maus-who? Fight?” I didn’t mean to say anything.
“Boy looks like he took on a truck. You attacking him for no good reason like that.”
The metallic hoot sounded. I agreed. “I didn’t attack.”
“I know you ain’t going to tell the truth boy but lets just say, no one who knows Mausasi, would ever believe he’d get beaten by you in a fair fight.”
“I just went for a jog. It was spooky and he seemed like a safe person to follow.”
“Now Mausasi is a good look’n boy but he don’t need you stalking him. Another charge.” he lifted a yellow notepad and scribbled something on it.
“Stalk?” I started coughing. Every bone hurt.
“Careful you.” I’d forgotten about the pretty nurse. “Those cracked ribs and fractured ulna can’t take too much. We don’t need to cast you but we will.”
“We have witnesses saying you had a weapon, and as soon as we get the footage from the camera we’ll know what kind of weapon you used on an unarmed man.”
“I don’t know what you’ve been talking about. it was all a misunderstanding.” One that made me hurt so bad.
“Where did you learn to fight?”
“Press charges.” I said who’d believe this overweight, salesman could ever fight that high powered ball of muscle.
Glaux nearly screeched.
“What in the hell was that?” Mr. Jones said looking around.
“It’s my owl.”
He picked up his pad again and scribbled something else down. “You are in a hell lot of trouble. I want you to consider your options; fight for us or go to jail for attempted murder, or at least assault.”
Glaux gave a gentle hoot.
“No. I didn’t do what ever you say I did.” this was followed by another harsh sound from the metal thing up in the corner.
“What,” I said to the corner, “You want me to fight for them.” A soft hoot came in response. “I don’t even know how to fight.”
“From what we’ve seen you know plenty well how to fight.”
Finally with coaxing and a lot of hooting and screeching we signed a deal. Now I have to learn to fight in less than three months even if my bones don’t heal. I thought this damn bird was a symbol of wisdom. Stupid thing is going to get me killed. How is this a gift.