Microcosms 134

Greetings, my flash fictioneering friends, and welcome to Microcosms 134.

This week’s contest springs from a very famous journey that began on this day (03-AUG), and other events celebrating an anniversary today that took place as a result.

  • 1492 – Christopher Columbus sets sail from Palos de la Frontera, Spain
  • 1527 – John Rut sends the first-known letter from North America while at St. John’s, Newfoundland
  • 1852 – Harvard University wins the first Boat Race between Yale University and Harvard. The race is also the first American intercollegiate athletic event
  • 1859 – The American Dental Association is founded in Niagara Falls, New York
  • 1936 – Jesse Owens wins the 100 metre dash, defeating Ralph Metcalfe, at the Berlin Olympics
  • 1946 – Santa Claus Land, the world’s first themed amusement park, opens in Santa Claus, Indiana, United States




(If YOU have an idea for a future contest and would like to be a guest host, please contact us.)


Our contest this week begins with THREE things: character, location and genre.

We spun, and our three elements are – character: Benefactor, Location: New York, and genre: Alternate History.

Write a story using those OR feel free to click on the “Spin!” button, and the slot machine will come up with a new set – character, location and genre. You can keep clicking until you have a set of elements that inspires you.

*** HEY! Remember to include which THREE elements you’re using AND a title for your entry – not included in the word count.


  • Explorer
  • Foreign Correspondent
  • Rower
  • Dentist
  • Athlete
  • Benefactor
  • Spain
  • Newfoundland
  • College
  • New York
  • Berlin
  • Amusement Park
  • Tragedy
  • Crime
  • Horror
  • Fairy Tale
  • Comedy
  • Alternate History



Last week’s Judge’s Pick, Arianna Hammond, has kindly agreed to act as the judge this time around.


REMEMBER: all submissions should be a maximum of 300 words in length (excluding the title).

You have just 24 hours until midnight, today (Friday) New York time (EDT) to write and submit your masterpiece.

*** If you are new to Microcosms, remember to check out the full submission guidelines. ***

All being well, results will be posted next Monday.

Microcosms 135
Microcosms 133

21 thoughts on “Microcosms 134

  1. 284 words
    Explorer; Spain; Tragedy

    The Discoverer

    He flew across the slippery stones of the narrow street as if he hovered above them, floating inches from their gleaming rounded surfaces. He was a man in love, going to see the object of his affection, the world around him seen through rose-colored goggles. The queen had given him everything he had asked for, and just in time to make the seasonal tidal flow. Three ships, three! And the money to outfit them properly, each with a fine crew and captain. He couldn’t wait to tell her, they had been so worried that he wouldn’t get the funding he needed for the second part of his plan.

    He stopped at the door with a smile on his lips, his hand raised to knock, when he smelled it. The door was ajar, and when he pushed, it opened onto the destruction of his heart. The blood was everywhere, stopping him in his tracks. She hung above him, the rope around her throat cutting into her delicate skin and letting out her life. Too late to stop her, or his feet from dripping with it as he fled the scene, not seeing where he ran in the steadily falling rain.

    He stumbled on the cobblestones and almost went down, slipping and sliding in a drunken manner, resembling the shambling gait of the scarecrow from The Wizard of Oz. It would have been comical except for the grim expression on his face, which never changed, despite the apparent precariousness of his grip on the earth. The high he had felt after his audience with the queen had now left him, the sour taste on his tongue the only remnant of the adrenaline that had suffused him.

  2. 300 words
    Explorer; Spain; Tragedy


    He looked as his watch for the hundredth time. She had been as regular as clockwork in the two weeks he had been watching. Every day 09:00 on the nose, she would walk to the fountain in the Town Square, sit at one of the many park benches, and play her guitar. Her melancholic sound was both beautiful and painful for him to hear. He had come to Spain to heal from his emotional wounds. The loss of his wife was still painful to him, even four years later. That she died in a multi-car pile-up on the N3, while he was driving drunk, only added to the screaming of his soul. His guilt had begun to manifest in dangerous ways. His Manager had insisted he take his vacation days as he was starting to scare his colleagues with his talk of murder and suicide.

    He had come to Spain to explore his options, to figure out where he should go from here. It was during one of his many meanders around this quaint little village that he spotted her. She looked exactly like his Shannon. Dark hair down to her waist. Porcelain skin the colour of café latte. He hadn’t approached her yet but he imagined her eyes were the colour of the emeralds mined in South Africa.

    Just at that moment, a couple of thugs approached her and grabbed at her guitar. He ran up to them and started punching blindly. He barely registered it when she grabbed her guitar and took off, running down the dusty streets. He saw a flash of steel out the corner of his eye. A few seconds later he felt the blade sink into his chest. His last thought was of his wife and how he could finally say he was sorry.

  3. 200 words
    Benefactor; New York; Alternate History

    The Park

    ‘Simply put, I want to see a park with my name on it. I want to leave a legacy here in New York and I don’t want any ambiguity about how it got here.’

    ‘Isn’t that a bit, well, naff?’

    ‘I suppose it could be seen as that yes. But I’m a good guy with a big heart and all this money I’ve made from luck, good friends and banks should be put to good use. Da?’

    ‘A park though? How about a museum or an art gallery or just a landmark tower? Something a bit more elite.’

    ‘Nope. A park. I want the poor people to benefit and thank me.’

    ‘But what about foreigners and even illegals? How can we stop them enjoying the park too? Should we put up a big wall and get security sorted for it?’

    ‘Nope. Open to all. I’m a nice guy. I love foreigners. Especially those ones with funny religions. I mean, those guys are so cool.’

    ‘Okay, I’ll get things rolling, Mr Trump.’

    ‘Oh, and tell Ivanka that she’s done really well with that foundation of hers.’

    ‘What? The makeup?’

    ‘No the other one. She’s so good, isn’t she? Just tremendously good.’

  4. @VicenteLRuiz
    269 words
    Benefactor; New York; Alternate History

    Goals And Achievements

    “Nikola? Nikola?”

    “Jack? Over here!” came the answer.

    John Jacob “Jack” Astor IV poked his head round the corner. Tesla, as usual, was busy in his East Houston Street laboratory.

    “Mr Tesla!”

    Tesla looked at the kid. Jakey, Astor’s son, came running and hugged the inventor, who felt as uncomfortable as usual. What he had done to become such a good friend to the kid, Nikola couldn’t know. His father, Jack, laughed.

    “Sometimes I think Jakey loves you more than me, Nikola,” Astor said.

    “Dad!” the kid protested.

    Astor simply laughed again and ruffled the kid’s hair, as he greeted Tesla. They didn’t shake hands: he knew the inventor preferred it so. Jakey ran away and sat by what they called “his station”, the corner of the electric laboratory Tesla had furnished for him, and started flipping switches on.

    “Nikola, how’s it going?”

    “It’s done, Jack. The wireless transceiver is working!”


    “Yes! I can show you this afternoon, if you wish. We can set up a demonstration for the press at Wardenclyffe whenever you feel like. After that, it’s just a question of time.”

    “Unbelievable,” Astor said. An inventor himself, he could grasp the enormity of Tesla’s achievement.

    “Free energy for everyone, Jack!” Tesla said. “Thanks to you and your generosity!”

    “No, Nikola, thanks to you and your genius. All I did was survive the night Titanic sank ten years ago. It changed my life, and I had to do something more than simply earning more and more money. I just hope the future remembers us.”

    “They will,” Tesla said.

    In the corner, sparks flew from Jakey’s station.

  5. @geofflepard
    299 words
    Benefactor; New York; Alternate History

    The Day That Shocked The World

    ‘How do I look?’
    Like I did, thought Gerald Everton, his mind slipping back to when his father introduced him to the board. ‘Grand. Your mother would be so proud.’
    ‘What about you, dad?’
    He couldn’t be more proud. He’d imagined this moment, back in the delivery room. Not that he’d told anyone. He straightened his son’s tie then tie pin. ‘Three generations wore this puppy when…’ He swallowed.
    ‘Should I go in?’
    Happier to be dealing with the mundane, Gerald turned to the grey-suited man at reception. ‘I’ll tell Martin to let them know you’re ready.’
    Gerald had barely turned when the mahogany double doors eased open and Casper, CEO of Everton Financial, stepped out. He always looked hawkish but even he smiled with warmth.
    ‘Tony, step on through.’ He nodded briefly at Gerald, a look most would think cursory unless they understood context. No words needed for the implicit ‘thank you’.
    Martin had moved to the lift, holding the door for Gerald. ‘Big day, Mr Everton. Everyone’s pleased.’
    He smiled and moved into the little box which began to speed the ninety-two floors to the plaza. Everyone thought Gerald so noble, the ultimate self-sacrifice, stepping aside to create space for his boy on the board. So talented he would have gone elsewhere, a competitor, had he not done so, but the no nepotism rule his grandfather had introduced prevented Tony’s elevation with Gerald still in situ.
    He held his side, near his kidney. Months, they said. This was no sacrifice now that the futures of the family business and his son were inextricably linked.
    As he stepped outside, a shadow crossed the sun, causing him briefly to frown. No, he thought, it’s a glorious September morning, the new century has barely begun. No frowns today.

  6. @steveweave71
    300 words
    Explorer; College; Alternate History

    Keep It Shining On

    “He fell into a radioactive slurry of Miessen. He was chopped into cubes to prevent hazardous, impending disaster, spread around landfill sites to limit the amount of radioactivity per area. Unfortunately, the cubes were diced, marinated and mistakenly fed to dogs and pigs who then roamed the streets of mainland Continental Europa Drift and beyond, glowing with the surging power of the Miessen. Shining on.”

    This was from the biography of the fearless explorer, Roald Flabberty, written by Ernest Hugh Murmur and Istvan Gorocs. I read of Flabberty’s life and tragic demise when I was at Sundecki College, studying Exploration, Alternate History and Sword-swallowing By Mouth for my doktorate.

    By then, I’d been on two expeditions myself. One within my own country, Belzonia, to the ghost region of Kontaminatsi, in search of The Fabled Lost Cheese Of No Mules Creek and the other to sub-Saharan Europe – South Pole Land, where I met my future wife, Ann Tarctica, but nearly ruined any chance of a relationship by sticking the flag in her and claiming her for the Belzonian Republic. Anyway, that’s all carbonated water under the bridge now.

    At the college, I learned with sadness that the legacy of this world-famous explorer was “The Plague Of Flabberty.” Bits of him were introduced into the food chain and radioactive death decimated the world’s population in the early Electro Punk Dynasty.

    His parents confessed to him in 1924 that they couldn’t spell Ronald. The name Roald on his birth certificate haunted him from his childhood in the town of Broken Biscuits.

    Legendary director, Uwe Golem made a film about Flabberty in 1933 “The Plague Of Ronald,” starring Dwight Love. A copy of the film, thought lost forever, was found in a skip behind a Twilight Home For The Elderly in London in 1970.

  7. @hollygeely
    300 words
    Dentist; New York; Tragedy

    Alfonzo’s Tragedy

    “Beautiful, isn’t it?” Nita smiled at the man beside her. “Something about Niagara Falls makes me feel giddy.”

    “It does inspire romance,” the man said.

    “I’m Nita.”


    “What do you do, Alfonzo?”

    “I’m a dentist. You?”

    “I own a restaurant.”

    Alfonzo’s pocket erupted with a dance party. “Sorry, it’s work. I have to take this.” He raised his phone to his ear, grunted three times, and said “Fine.”

    “Anything wrong?” Nita asked.

    “Nah. My last client didn’t make it.”

    “What do you mean?”

    “Guy died in the chair. What a nuisance.”

    “Was it the anesthesia?” Nita said, aghast.

    “Routine cleaning.”

    “I…see.” Nita didn’t want to know. In fact, she had suddenly realized that she wanted to be anywhere else.

    “At least he won’t expect me to go to the funeral. I hate funerals. My wife and kids had no business getting into that accident.”

    “Oh my God,” Nita said. “I’m so sorry.”

    “What for?”

    “For your loss.”

    “You weren’t driving the other car, were you? They said the fire killed everyone in a ten mile radius.”

    “No…You seem awfully calm about the whole thing.”

    Alfonzo shrugged. “These things happen. Patients die. Families die. Household pets spontaneously combust. No use whining about it.”

    “Spontaneously…Never mind. I’m going now.” Nita turned and fled.

    “Suit yourself. I’m going to stay and enjoy my last Milky Way.” Alfonzo retrieved the bar from the duffel bag at his feet. He cradled it lovingly in his hands, as if it were a small child, and unwrapped it with careful precision. He lifted it to his mouth.

    A child bumped into his elbow. The Milky Way was flung from his hand into the waters below.

    Alfonzo flung his arms to the heavens, dropped to his knees, and screamed “WHY?”

    The Milky Way was never seen again.

  8. @billmelaterplea
    300 wooden teeth
    Dentist; Amusement Park; Comedy

    Doctor Malachi Mandible’s Magnificent Molardrome of Dental Hijinks

    Don’t get me wrong. I still get a marvelous pleasure from relieving pain. My hands in the mouths of men and women. Even the mouths of children, who, contrary to popular misconception, are not the most trusting of little beggars.

    Oh, I guess I gained the trust of a few, though that always amazed me.

    Of course, I have small hands. Delicate digits. That allows me the freedom to wangle my way in.

    Small hands; big heart.

    And huge fees.

    It’s magic to be a dentist.

    But, you know, it’s also breath-taking when the mind wanders. I started to notice that I was becoming distracted. That was disconcerting. You need to have all your faculties when you are drilling out an abscess, or scraping gums…

    AND SO!!!!

    Doctor Malachi Mandible’s Magnificent Molardrome of Dental Hijinks was born.

    I suddenly saw the joy I could bring BEYOND just scratching plaque. A Dental Amusement Park…bringing to life each and every step in the journey to complete health for our most sacred orifice. I immediately put pen to paper to capture the moment.

    Of course, the premiere feature would be THE MOLAR COASTER, a death-defying excursion into the sky. Close behind it, the TOOTH-A-WHIRL. And then THE MAD FLOSS. And the BRIDGE OF DEATH.

    My excitement was escalating in a way I had never known. Ideas spewed forth.

    Imagine how thrilled I was to create THE ROOT CANAL OF LOVE. Romantics around the world would flock to my creation.

    Of course, there were skeptics. The entire Periodontal Community scoffed. “This is no way to fight the scourge of tooth decay,” they snickered. And the most cutting of critics said, “You, Dr. Malachi Mandible, are a false tooth Prophet.”

    That of course stung but I was not dissuaded.

    And here we are today.


  9. 298 words
    Benefactor; New York; Alternate History

    Love Thy Brother

    I whisper walk through Central Park not sure of what to expect. I had to make it right. Twenty years ago I stole my brother’s girlfriend. She was the love of his life. We both knew it but I didn’t care back then. I cared now. Cancer did that. It made you feel bad about certain paths you took in life and you would give anything to make it right.

    When I met the strange man with the green eyes in the tavern, I was sure I was engaging with magic folk. Until the idiot informed me he was wearing contacts. Still, there was something about him that was off. Leprechauns are known to lie, if you believe in them, of course. He had the “soulution” (he called it) to my problem. He would change history so that my brother would get the girl instead of me. I married her, but lately I had come to realize that she had carried a torch for my brother. The only payment required, was that something bad had to happen to me in order to balance the scales of karma, he said. What worse could happen to me? I wasn’t going to live long anyway. The creature also said he would throw in a cure for my cancer. Okay. Maybe I’d lose my job, or my car. I’d be fine. I had tons of money set aside for the future. Deal.

    Now I stand frozen in the park as I gaze into the pond. Pictures appear and I can see that my brother got the girl. They are happy, rich and selfish. I want to go but I look down at my shabby clothes. I realize that I am homeless. I have lost everything, but I’m as healthy as a horse.

  10. 298 words
    Dentist; Spain; Fairy Tale

    The Dentist’s Secret

    One day, Ferdinand, the tooth mouse, arrived in Catalonia. He was excited because no mouse had ever managed to make a beautiful house from the Catalans’ teeth but he was going to show the Tooth Mouse Guild.

    On his first night out collecting teeth, all he found were holey, black teeth. How could this be? Yes, there were some children who never brushed their teeth — but a whole kingdom?

    He snuck into the dentist’s chamber. The dentist was laughing and swimming in money. Ferdinand wondered how he became so rich. He decided to see what he did. BANG! The door slammed. Ferndinand jumped up. Where was the dentist? He squeezed out the door. Down the alley was the dentist with a full bag of sugar. Ferdinand crept behind the dentist to see where he was going. The dentist slipped some money to the guard at the drinking water. Ferdinand scurried around. The dentist sabotaged the kingdom’s drinking water.

    Ferdinand returned to his hole. He would need the tooth fairy.

    “How can help you, Ferdi?” asked Suzy, the tooth fairy. Ferdinand relayed the story of the dentist. The tooth fairy stamped her foot and a cloud of smoke rose up. “It is time the dentist met his match.”

    Suzy decided to play some games with the dentist. As the dentist tried to grab the drill, Suzy flicked her wand and the drill coiled up and reared like a cobra and started to attack the dentist. The client dashed out the room. The dentist tried to grab some pliers to fight the drill-snake but the tray had disappeared. When he looked again there was a little lady on top of the drill-snake.

    Suzy shook her wand at the dentist. “NO MORE SUGAR, you hear?” The dentist nodded incessantly.

  11. @happymil_
    300 words
    Explorer/ Newfoundland/ Fairy Tale

    The Boy who Decided to Break the Silence

    On his tenth birthday, Jack made only one wish; he decided he was old enough to escape growing older. Despite his age, Jack felt he’d seen enough of this world to not like it. Yet nobody paid attention when he spoke. So he mostly remained silent.

    Through the window she flew to his side and woke him up. A girl his age, who seemed like a fairy, only she wasn’t.

    “I’m Joy,” she introduced herself. She asked him to follow her, yet Jack wasn’t yet sure. “You made that wish, didn’t you?” she asked.

    Jack couldn’t fly, yet her wings were strong enough to carry him along. She was his ticket out of this world. He’d had enough of growing up.

    “That’s Joyland,” she said, when they landed on a strange place Jack hadn’t visited before.

    He looked around in amazement. He felt happy exploring that new found land, where Icarus never fell, because the sun didn’t burn his wings, Robin Hood didn’t steal, because he didn’t need to, Snow White didn’t get lost in the woods, because the Queen wasn’t evil, the wolf didn’t eat Red Riding Hood, because they were friends. Peter Pan, most importantly, wasn’t a boy anymore; he’d grown into a handsome young man, because in Joyland, he had no reason to be frightened of the adult world.

    Deep in his heart Jack felt the calling; a voice inside him asking him to return. “My world needs me, Joy,” he said.

    He could have lived in Joyland forever. He could have had his happily ever after. Instead, he chose to come back and grow up. He chose to break the silence an get heard, determined to fight to turn his world into the Joyland his people deserved, so that all people would live happily ever after.

  12. 297 Words
    Benefactor; New York; Alternate History

    The Death in Liberty

    “It is with great honour that we present to you today, the Statue of Liberty!”

    At these words, the masses huddled in the blustery autumn wind, raised a deafening cheer.

    “A symbol of freedom and a monument to the abolition of slavery, Lady Liberty will watch over us, one and all,” President Cleveland announced.

    At his signal, the French flag was lifted, and everyone was able to get their first glimpse of the new symbol of freedom.

    A sudden hiss of steam coming from the back of Lady Liberty caused the crowds to freeze in their adoration of the giant wonder. A squeal of metal, ringing out from her legs, caused the silence to turn to confusion.

    “Is it supposed to move like that?” one onlooker cried out in panic as the giant, steam-powered statue began a slow exodus from her small island towards the crowds thronged on the shore. Boats were capsized as she waded past them and over them, and slowly the confusion gave way to panic.

    By the time Lady Liberty had reached the edge of the onlookers, the entire scene had descended into chaos. The clouds of steam billowing from her engine and the hiss of the hydraulic limbs almost drowned out the screams of the first to die. The massacre that followed was etched into the minds of survivors for all time.

    As the dust settled and the blood soaked into the ruins of decimated buildings, two men stood in the shadow of the now dormant statue.

    “I never thought we’d get this far,” Confederate President Jefferson Davis chuckled.

    “An end to the Union and an end to our revolution. Thanks to your funding, my friend,” Edouard Laboulaye stated.

    “And Payment as discussed?”

    “Oui! The royals require no less than 300 slaves.”

    1. Great re-imagining of the reason for this gift to the USA from France, Nikky. (I often wondered how they got it over the Atlantic… :-D)

      [ I’ve amended your title so that is not ALL CAPITALS; I’m trying to ensure that there is nothing to identify the author when the entries are forwarded to the judge. ]

      1. Thanks for spotting that Geoff, it’s just supposed to read ‘The massacre’.
        By the looks of things my late-night editing skills need improvement still.

  13. 300 words
    Explorer; Newfoundland; Alternate History

    To Lands Unknown

    It had been a long hard slog but they’d finally reached their goal. It had been a long journey. They had marched the entire length of Britannia then on into the wilds of Caledonia on their secret mission to extend the bounds of the empire. In the far north of the country they’d built ships, strong ships, to challenge the mighty western ocean. On information received from the local peoples, they’d sailed north. Arriving at the island known by the natives as Iceland, or Snelandia, they had claimed it for the empire. It was a barren place, fit for the gods, with its volcanos and hot springs offset by snowy wastes. Their journey was not yet finished though; tales were told of lands far to the West and it was these that they’d set out to find. After replenishing their supplies of food and water, they set off once more, on a westward course, in search of the fabled lands said to lie in that direction.

    After weeks afloat, they landed on an unknown coastline. The inhabitants of this new land were strange of visage, unlike anything that had been seen before. They were a friendly people, dressed in furs, that went by the strange name of Mi’kmaq. These natives readily agreed to trade meat for trinkets.

    The land was fertile, yielding grapes as the rumours had foretold, and holding the promise of wine before long to replenish their exhausted supplies. There was no rest for their company. Tools were shouldered and they set about building a fort. Once the fort was finished the centurion declared a day of rest and celebration. This new land, named Terra Nova, was dedicated to Rome and the Emperor Hadrian. The eagle of the Ninth Legion Hispana had arrived and was here to stay.

  14. 294 words
    Benefactor; New York; Alternate History

    Deadly Dental Diseases

    “Mr. Irving will see you now.”

    Jenna Creek entered the room. It was much smaller than she would have imagined, with a single carpet on the ground and two images of what must have been Mr. Irving’s family on the walls. There was a girl present in one, absent from the other, and Jenna’s heart ached at the fact that it had already been three years since Emaline’s death.

    Mr. Irving was sitting in his chair, looking out the window. Once again, Jenna was surprised by how benign he looked. The sunset was indeed glorious; Jenna would have gladly watched the entire event every night if she had the time. She trod heavily, trying to get his attention.

    He turned. “Ah, Miss Creek.”

    “Mr. Irving. Please, just let me say–”

    He shook his head. “No need, Miss Creek. I don’t want your thanks. I just want to know if the procedure worked.”

    “It did.” Unsure of how else to prove it, Jenna widened her lips, displaying the set of teeth with a gold filling at the back. She had been unsure if it would work, but the danger was low, and she had been in so much pain… “but Mr. Irving, may I just ask…is this because of Emaline?”

    “She cared for you greatly, to be sure. I can’t believe it’s been a few years. I keep telling myself, someday I’ll fund an entire practice to care for respiratory infections…no, teeth, so that everyone can take care of their teeth…but for today, if all I can do is pay for you to see that dental health administrator, that will be enough.”

    “Someday,” Jenna agreed, dreaming of a future where everyone’s teeth were beautiful and clean, and watching the sunset with him.

  15. @BradyTheWriter
    300 words
    Athlete; New York; Crime

    $2.75 Workout

    “C’mon, son, you only got five days to harden up. You want to take a beating in front of your boys?”


    “Your girl?”


    “Your momma?”

    “Hell no.”

    “Then make a fist and get ready.” Doc Greene always closed out his protégé’s workout on the southern side of the 2 platform: the side the subway trains came in fastest. This was after a straight hour running up and down the 42nd Street station’s stairs, doing inclined burpees on the up ramp to the Port Authority Terminal, and repeatedly deadlifting the recycling bin at the end of the D line where the police rarely patrolled.

    “I’m gonna make your fists concrete.”

    Julius nodded, jogging in place, keeping his heart up and his mind off of the approaching headlamp. Later this week, he’d be squaring up with Jackson ‘Big Bronx’ Davis who hit as hard as the oncoming subway car.

    Doc Greene shouted, “Stick out those paws!”

    The subway roared from the tunnel and Julius shot out his fist. It connected with the steel side of the subway and he immediately retracted it. In quick succession, he pummeled the side of the train as is passed the platform. Each connection more excruciating than the last.

    “Jesus, what the hell are you doing?” a new voice yelled.

    Julius turned to see a policeman, hand on his stun gun, ready to act.

    “You keep punching,” Doc commanded the boxer. He turned to the cop. “This young man is training for his upcoming fight.”

    “You can’t punch the subway car, son.”

    “We paid our fare. This is the only gym we have, man.”

    The train stopped and Julius lowered his mangled fists. The officer grimaced and walked away.

    Doc turned back to Julius. “OK, two more trains for your knuckles then we’re workin’ that jaw.”

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