War and History Fiction posted December 4, 2016

This work has reached the exceptional level
This is the story about Dad's first fight

The Battle at the Meatworks

by trumby

The author has placed a warning on this post for violence.
Tom Jackson was a bully. Everyone knew it. Because I was smaller and didn't make much noise, he thought that I was fair game. He picked on me all the way though school and, as well as that, anytime that he saw me around town. He was merciless. Anything that he could do to make me look like a fool, he did.

He was the biggest boy in the school and he always had a group of cronies following after him who seemed to delight in my humiliation and misery.

The main employer in Bowen at the time was the meat-works and, after we all left school, everyone started work there in one department or another. Tom went from the biggest kid in school to the big man at the meat-works. Both of us were flunkies on the cutting up floor, but, naturally he thought that he was a lot better than everyone else. Of course, a lot of his superiority was directed at me.

One day, he just decided, "This is it. I've done as much as I can to Smithy. Now's the time to finish him." At the start of work, he walked straight up to me and said, "OK, Smithy, today's the day. You and me in the car-park after work. Don't be late or I'll hunt you down." Then he passed the message around the meat-works. "Be in the car-park after work to watch me give Smithy a hidin' ".

I was shitting bricks. This bloke had 6 inches of height on me, 5 kilos of weight and 6 inches of reach. In addition to which, he was fit. He went off chasing pigs every chance that he could.

I sought out Dad at lunchtime and I was so upset that I could hardly get my words out. Fortunately, I didn't have to. He already knew what was going on. In fact, everyone in the meat-works knew about it.

Dad was a man's man who didn't believe in mollycoddling children, (He taught me to swim by throwing me out into the middle of the dam repeatedly until I learnt to swim).

"Well," he said, "it's all started now so it's too late to back out. All that you can do is to front up and act like a man. I just hope that you took notice of the boxing lessons that I paid for you to have."

In spite of the fact that I was so scared, I had to admit- he had a point. So I calmed the nerves down as far as I could and went out there to meet this big bloke, fully convinced of the fact that I was going to get a beating.

I couldn't believe how fast the day went, but, at last it was time for us to meet. I washed the bulk of the meat scraps off me, thinking, at the time, it's soon going to be MY meat scattered everywhere.

I walked slowly out to the car-park with Dad beside me. He was giving me my last minute instructions. "He's going to charge you. Let him. Sidestep him. Hook 'im in the eyes."

It looked as if the entire staff of the works was there. There were even people there from the office. I was pretty sure that I saw the Assistant Manager standing in the crowd as well.

We got in position, about 4 metres apart and assumed our combat stances. I adapted the position that I'd been taught in class. Tom stood in the old fashioned position with his right arm held well out in front of him. That was the first moment that I started to feel a bit more comfortable about the fight. Maybe Tom wasn't as dangerous as what I'd thought that he was. That was a pretty amateurish stance.

He threw his first right. A slow, ponderous beast that was projected by miles. I brushed it off nonchalantly and flicked out my right fist. Nice and relaxed until the moment of impact, then turn it into stone. Just as I'd been taught. It hit him square on the nose. As I expected, it not only stunned him, it also turned his eyes to water.

He threw out a left in my direction. He still couldn't aim very well as his eyes were still watering quite severely. It may have been projected by nearly a second and very slow to go with it, but each punch had enough power in it to tear my head off. I didn't even pay it the respect of trying to block it. I just dodged to the right and threw a three punch combo at him. Left, right, left. None of them had the kind of power that he was throwing, but they were keeping him in a state of shock.

As I continued to chop this big bloke down, I became aware of a roaring noise in the background that wasn't there before. It was the cheering of the spectators. My father's yells were barely audible above the crowd, but I could pick him out because I knew his voice.

"Work on his eyes!" he screamed, above the tumult. "Work his eyes!"

"Right", I thought, "Now I've got a plan." I went for his eyes every chance that I got after that. There was no point in going for body shots, as he was just too big and I didn't have the power in my punches to get through his muscle to even drop him though a solar plexus hit. Plus the fact that I was punching someone this big and solid was really wearing me out. I couldn't let him claim a win by default though. It had to be a total victory.

I was too tired to even throw well-aimed punches anymore. His eyes were both nearly swollen closed. I was getting desperate here. What if- after all that I'd given him- he was still able to get back up and give me a hiding?

I remembered a finishing blow that I'd been taught somewhere. I bounced around to his right side and threw another three punch combination. One into the side of the neck and two into the side of the temple. He dropped like one of his steers before the bolt gun. I nearly followed him down to the ground.

I was so tired that I could hardly lift my arms, but I looked over to where his three main lackeys were. All that I could really make out there was a crowd of people.

However, I was still able to scream, "Are there any of you other pricks who want to take me on? You all got a pretty good laugh watching this big bastard pick on me over the years." I was very lucky that no-one stepped forward. His three big gang-members had vanished into the crowd.

Dad came over and helped me to my car. Everyone was giving me congratulations and slaps on the back as we moved through the crowd. Even now, over fifty years later, I still get people telling me that it was an incredible fight.


This is the story about Dad's first fight. The only thing that I've changed is the names. (At Dad's insistence)
Anyone who's read my story about MY recent fight will realize where I got my pugilistic interest from.
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