At thirteen I almost killed another boy.
If I’d been at school I’d been expelled and sent to juvie.
For me it meant a slap on the wrist from coach Billie
“Don’t be such a little girl”
I excelled and reached the top, but when I met my bitch I didn’t know what words to say. She tried to teach me, but at the end I only knew the language of my fists.
From the prison window I can see the sky, and cries, but with night I’ve taught myself these words.
I wonder who’ll listen.
© J Hardy Carroll[/caption
Being a coward of a boy I preferred to keep out of fights. I can clearly see that in some cases boxing can be a way for those more inclined to fight to keep themselves out of worse things. However I think there might be things that can happen later. Words are even more important and the coaches have a lot of responsibility to foster the young boys.
Rochelle selects the example. We at Friday Fictioneers follow and write to the same image. No more than hundred words, and I try to do it in exactly one hundred.
February 28, 2018
When my son David was five, his gross motor skills were pretty bad and a friend suggested getting him into martial arts. I enrolled him in Tae Kwon Do. The owner and instructor was very family oriented and David took to him and the training right away. Eventually, all three of my kids went. When we moved from California to Idaho, they elected not to continue at a new Dojo, but there’s nothing wrong with learning discipline and self-defense as long as you also learn not to be a bully.
I really hope that it’s so… and that’s good. We know that some boxers end up being abusive though… maybe it’s being a success that’s the worst thing, but you really need a good coach.
this is such a tragic story. You’re right, martial arts need to have self control built in.
Oh yes… if not we promote the worst in men.
And women. Good job your guy didn’t meet my girl!
It’s a very realistic depiction of that world, from his being so inarticulate to his referring to his girlfriend as a bitch. He took quite an ugly turn.
I think it might happen, alas… but maybe he would have ended there anyway.
This is an awesome story. What a fabulous hook in the opening: “At thirteen I almost killed another boy.” Love the ending: “but with night I’ve taught myself these words. I wonder who’ll listen.”
After that beginning the story wrote itself.
Great story, Bjorn. One of your best
This is beautifully told, Bjorn. If we don’t teach our youth how to be kind to one another, how will they? And I, too, think you’re first line is a fabulous hook.
I think a lot of it comes from language.
Who knows. Maybe the “bitch” will wait. Some are stupid enough for that.
If she’s still alive she might actually…
How many boys are brought up this way? Very well done.
Maybe change your “If it’s” to “If I’d”…
Ha… it seems he still need to learn his grammar.
hee hee… sorry 😉
At least he cannot respond with his fists.
I wonder did the boxing teach him to hurt her in this way, or wasn’t it something that was in him already and would have happened anyway? Intriguing character piece.
I think the coach forget to tell him anything else than how to fight…
That first line really packs a punch! A great story and a tragic character.
Thank you.. I did think of Mike Tyson actually.
Sad, but cautionary tale. There’s a lot to learning how communicate. Nicely done.
I think a great coach would have taught him more than to box.
Well done. I like the way you structured it. The only language he could understand was the one perpetuated by his coach. I wonder if his situation would have been different if he hadn’t looked at the woman and just considered her a “bitch?”
I think he just followed his coach…
Almost like the Mike Tyson story. Young kid who saw nothing but violence and used that in a ring as means of escape. Packs a punch.
Mike Tyson was in the back of my mind 🙂
Very gripping writing, Bjorn.
Thank you.. alas I think this happens…
Clever use of language here – the message comes across very clearly.
The tacit pressure on males not to appear cowardly is always something that’s preoccupied me. It’s not something the female of the species necessarily has to deal with – though some do. Conversely, the innate tendency to aggression, again something present in the majority of women is equally fascinating. This was a good piece of writing, Bjorn.
Thank you.. sometimes the best use of hundred words is to try to bring a character to life by telling his story… which is often many stories.
Violence for some people is like an addiction, they don’t know how to respond in any other way. a thought provoking piece of writing – a good read.
Addiction or just a lack of other skill… maybe a bit of both
It’s almost as if all events in his life were leading up to him landing in that prison cell.
Maybe so, but I think with some other coaching skills he could have been lead away from that destiny.
You don’t have to be a boxer or any other kind of athlete to be abusive. There is excellent discipline, if the coaching is good, especially in martial arts. Sad story here, and one that becomes a reality too often.
“You don’t have to be a boxer or any other kind of athlete to be abusive.” That’s true, Linda. However, it’s equally true to say that many other pastimes instil discipline and hard work – music, for example. Why do we need to build discipline in a violent format?
Good question. I think boxing is just barbaric. Never have understood why anyone would want to do it, watch it, coach it. You’re right. Lots of other way to learn discipline.
Exactly… with a good coach he could have used the discipline part to be a more complete man
Loved the way you wrote this story, Bjorn, with its inevitable acceleration from nearly killing someone to actually murdering his wife. But you also show that the real way to deal with such violence is to address its roots by giving the violent man a voice with which he can express his emotions. Your MC had no language of love, which almost certainly means he experienced little love as a child which is a form of child abuse. However, I’m glad you ended your story with a note of redemption, with the MC learning some emotional language and hoping to save others with it.
The world is filled with tragedy… and most of all it starts when people a young.
it looks like he learned his lesson a little bit too late.
Indeed… and in a very wrong way.
We raise them a particular way and then they end up paying the price cor it!
Boys should fight… and in the end they lack all other skills… discipline might solve a bit, but not to connect to their emotions.
Yep. The tragedy of errors!
What a tragic life for the character. Too late for him to take a turn and start over.
I think to redeem himself it’s never too late…
Why is a disinclination to fight so often labelled cowardice? Some people are born gentle.
I do not know… but I was labelled a coward.
A grim tale. His coach evidently wasn’t everything he should have been.
Indeed… his coach should be ashamed of himself, but he probably is seen as the hero who found another star.
A lovely circular story where the very thing that saved him from juvenile prison landed him in adult prison. Something for those that are protecting our kids should give great consideration to.
I think boxing can save many young men from trouble, but it could also make it worse… it’s all up to good coaching.
I have to agree with others – this is a cracking opening line and if you used it in a novel I wouldn’t be able to stop reading! A sad tale – so much between the lines you haven’t written but we can deduce. A violent man who wants to change, but can he? Great story Bjorn
I wonder too… violent men tends to continue to be violent, and it’s about having the language I thing.
So ofetn one generation follows another in both good and bad things. Hard to break the preconditioning.
Loved the youth to maturity time line. – the language of my fists. –
Growing up is learning not to use your fists.
Such a sensitive tale. I wonder if his life would have turned around if he’d been treated differently when 13. You give us a whole life and so much more to think about in these 100-words.
I think he could have been taught to box but also to be gentle and kind. The coach just used a cheap shortcut to get a champion.
Wonderfully written, Bjorn. You created an emotionally charged story about a boys life. I had tears for him. Best story of all from the FF writers. BRAVO !!!
Words are so very important i agree Bjorn. A story with a warning. Well told
A story hidden in a story abut words.