Latest Flash

The Turkey

Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.

In the Gutter, these fists won't save me. 

The Turkey by Morgan Boyd

I won my last two fights. One more and I get my first turkey. A turkey means better billing, better fights, and better money. Better money means making rent, providing for my family, and it means I don’t work for the wrong people no more. I’ve seen these guys make the devil blush deep in the desert, and it haunts me. I got to get out. I got to get my little brother out too. I introduced him to the life, and now he’s some kind of lackey for these men.

I crushed my last two opponents. I choked out Edwards, and broke Sprat’s jaw. The next guy I fight’s Randal James, and I’ve put in the work: brutal camp, supplements, eating clean, cycled my PEDS. He doesn’t stand a chance. I’ll grind him into hamburger meat.

Before the fight my employers convince me to take a dive. It breaks my heart, but these aren’t the type of people you fuck with. I say bye-bye to my turkey, and get in the cage with James. We collide like two stags fighting over Bambi’s mom. I’m not supposed to win, but that don’t mean I can’t bust him up a little. Got to make it look good, like this chump’s whooped before he knocks me out.

In the third round, I’m supposed to get tagged by a big shot and go down. James kicks me in the liver, followed by a hook to the ear. I should drop, but instead I stick out a jab. I touch him square on the chin, and he melts like butter. His feet find no perch, and his face splatters on the mat.

“Night, night,” I say, and drop a savage sledgehammer on his head.

Backstage, my teammates and trainers celebrate my win, my first turkey, and I should celebrate too, but I’m in trouble, so I don’t enjoy the moment. I walk to my car outside the arena, and a man pokes a pistol into my spine. Two more men flank my sides, directing me toward a limousine.

We sit in the back. I’m sandwiched between the thugs. The third man sits adjacent, leveling the gun at me.

“Congrats on your turkey,” he says.

I complain about James’ glass jaw, but they just laugh. At best, I’m hoping for a pistol-whipping, but I know we’ve been driving long enough to do some serious middle of the desert bullshit.

The limo pulls over, and my life flashes before my eyes. Each second becomes precious. I go soft, sobbing and begging as I’m forced from the car. This invokes their derision, so I switch gears and fight for my life, but I get smacked on the back of the head by a pistol, and collapse into a heap of twinkling purple stars.

I’m dragged to my feet. A shovel’s placed in my hands. It takes some persuading, but I dig my own grave. When the hole’s deep enough, they take the shovel away, and kick me to my knees. A million thoughts explode in my mind. I feel the barrel of the gun against the back of my head. I take in a deep breath, and then: bang! 

My executioner topples into my grave. Two more explosions ring out, and the other two men fall to the ground with blood pouring from their heads.  

“You’re not the only one got a turkey tonight,” my little brother says, holding a pistol. “They probably shouldn’t have made me the driver on this job.”      

“Thanks,” I say, rising to my feet.  “But we’re as good as dead now.”

“I wouldn’t worry about it. You’ve got more important things on your plate,” my little brother says, tossing me the shovel. “Like one more win, and you get your first hambone.” 

Morgan Boyd lives in Santa Cruz California with his wife, two cats and their collection of carnivorous plants. He has been published in Flash Fiction Offensive, Shotgun Honey, Near To The Knuckle, and has a story forthcoming in Yellow Mama.