Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Fight, Fight, Fight Blogfest

Thanks to JC Martin at The Fighter Writer for hosting the Fight Blogfest!

This is an excerpt from my sci-fi WIP. It's right at the 1000 word limit, so it's a little long. But hope you like it!

The set-up: Jaska is a thief (it's written in first person so he's the "I" character). On his way to steal a valuable map he's shanghaied by space pirates. This fight occurs shortly after he comes onboard their ship.


“Strip,” Snake commands.

“Yeah, right. I don’t think so,” I say, and a nervous laugh ripples through the crowd. I guess I just challenged the pack’s Alpha.

“You don’t really have a choice,” he says. And although it’s a seriously creepy command, he’s right. I’ve got no weapon and I can’t fight my way off the ship. But I'll be damned if I'll stand here buck naked in a crowd of pirates. I wonder when these guys last saw time in port, on solid ground, and more importantly, in a woman’s bed.

I drop my pack on the nearest bunk and shrug out of my jacket. That’s when Snake, Tiger, and Bug jump me. The crowd cheers. Once on the floor, I manage to draw my knees up to my chest, protecting my softest parts, then roll onto my side. Someone kidney-punches me from behind so I throw an elbow backwards and connect with a satisfying crunch. Whoever it is yelps in pain and his weight disappears off me. There’s a whoop from somewhere in the crowd. I guess he’s rooting for me. Somebody else stands over me trying to kick my head but I have my arms in the way and I’m wedged too close to the bunk for him to land anything. I twist around and kick out with both feet, landing a blow against his locked knee pushing it into hyperextension. He screams. The third guy comes at me, punching at my face. I reach up and grab a handful of his hair and yank his head back. With my other fist I punch him in the temple. That knocks him out cold.

In that instant I jump to my feet, crouched and ready for battle. There’s only Snake and Tiger left conscious and I know I can take them, assuming after I’m done with them the rest of the crowd doesn’t decide to finish me off. Tiger has a broken nose, blood pouring down his chin, and Snake is limping, but they’re still game. It would take more than these minor injuries to disable a couple of pirates. They stalk forward and I retreat.

“What’s with the fight, guys?” I ask.

“You have to earn your place,” Snake says.

“I never asked for a place. I don’t even want to be here.”

“You’ve gotta earn a rank.”

“This is how you rank your crew?”

“It’s as good a measure of a man as anything else,” Tiger says.

I’ve gotta give him that. Tiger lunges for me and I step aside, but he still lands a glancing blow to the belly. I grunt in response. Snake rushes in and lands a punch to my left eye that sends me spinning. Tiger's ready with another punch but I duck to the side to avoid it and see a pile of dishes on the bunk next to me. I grab the nearest utensil, a three-pronged fork, and swing at him, sinking the fork up to the hilt in his belly. He stops short and looks down at his trunk, surprised to see the fork buried there. I use that moment to knee him in the groin then, as he doubles over, grab him by the back of the head and ram his face into my knee. He falls like a sack of grain to the floor. That’s two down.

I spin to face Snake, who springs at me, much like his namesake, and I notice just in time that he’s armed with a knife. I jump back and just miss being gutted.

“Hey, I give, man. You win,” I say.

“I’m not done with you yet,” Snake says and leaps for me again. I jump back and trip over something on the floor. On hands and knees, I scramble between the bunks away from Snake. A glance to the left and I see a shovel under one of the beds. At this point I’m not surprised to see anything in here. Snake’s footsteps get closer. I reach under the bed and grab the shovel, and quickly gain my feet, then, before Snake can see what I’ve got, I turn and jam it into his gut. At close range it doesn't do much damage, but maintains some distance. He grunts, but then tosses the knife in the air and catches it by the blade. Quick as a blink he hurls it at me. My reflexes are good, especially when it comes to self-preservation. I hop sideways just enough so that the blade drills my biceps instead of my chest. Now I’m pissed. Enough is enough. I jerk the shovel up so that it catches him under the chin and crunches his jaws together, snapping his head back. His eyes roll back, he loses his balance and he falls on his ass.

I slide the knife from my arm and turn my back on Snake. I rip a strip from the cleanest sheet I can find and wrap it around my arm, then return to Snake and offer him my hand. He's groggy, rubbing his jaw and cocking his neck back and forth, checking to be sure it still works. There’s suspicion all over his face as he squints at me, but I just stand there waiting for him to take my offered hand. When he finally does I help him up.

“Are we done now?” I ask. “Do I pass your little test?”

“Yeah,” he grumbles. “You’ll do.” The crowd is dispersing. Some of the guys congratulate me for surviving, avoiding Snake’s gaze. Someone helps Bug and Tiger, who are now coming around.

Tiger is up, cradling his sore balls in his hand. “You fight like a dog,” he says, his voice boggy from his swollen nose.

I find this amusing since he was out to kill me first. I shrug at him. “If by that you mean I fight to win, then sure.” Really I was more concerned with surviving than winning, but a little bravado after the fact never hurt anyone.

Now, hop on over to the Fighter Writer and check out the links to the other entries!


Tessa Conte said...

OMG Margaret this is so cool! EDGE OF MY SEAT, HERE!!!

Love the names, too. So is the MC gonna be Dog from now on? ; P


M. Bail said...

Thanks, Tessa! He's not going to stay with the pirates any longer than he has to, but his pirate nickname will be Dog while he's with them. This is the sci-fi novel I've been working on, but which is now on the back burner while I get thru revisions on the romance novel. Maybe I'll finish writing the sci-fi during NaNoWriMo!

J.C. Martin said...

What a brilliant entry! Very exciting fight, and I love the gritty realism. Ha! Elbows and knees! They're such useful weapons that sadly don't seem to get mentioned much in fight scenes. It always seems to be fists and guns! Thank you for the entry, and sorry about the linky...think you might have signed up late, after the registry closed. But consider yourself included! :)

Anonymous said...

pretty cool scene! Keep up the great work

Charity Bradford said...

LOL, I enjoyed this. My only suggestion is to break the paragraphs up a bit. The big blocks of text look intimidating, but it read well.

Great job!