Black Petals Issue #68 Summer, 2014

The Shadow Boxing Club
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Mars-News, Views and Commentary
Angel of the Dark-Fiction by George Gad Economou
Ice Dreams-Fiction by Charles C. Cole
Kind Sleep-Fiction by Ken Hueler
Lady of the Lake-Fiction by Charles C. Cole
Methuselah-Fiction by Charles C. Cole
Rocking-Chair Ride-Fiction by Paul Strickland
The Shadow Boxing Club-Fiction by MAYJOR E. Johnson
The Tenant Inside Me-Fiction by Charles C. Cole
The Toaster's Tragedy-Fiction by Michael Mulvihill
Ziggy's Afterlife Analysis-Fiction by Michael Mulvihill
A Rose Has Died-Four Poems by Alexis Child
Farewell, My Isobel-Poem by J. C. Ro

hexia.jpg

The Shadow Boxing Club

 

By  MAYJOR E. Johnson

(If she looks too good to be true, guys…)

 

 

No one could afford to buy a house anymore; every week a business was closing its doors for good; reports of people dying in wars overseas were common daily news; no one respected the president of the country; and, oh yeah, Mother Earth herself might be obliterated by the end of the year.

So what? Isaac “Breedy” Geggar, Ashtrail University freshman, knew that, presently, his student activities and class work presented more of a problem than buying a house or people he’d never seen dying, especially with his B average on the lower cusp and his lack of friends…and, more importantly, sex. He deserved to get some before the world ended, didn’t he? Back in high school, he remembered rumors of guys cycling through at least six girls within their first 3 weeks of college. He turned in every assignment on time and held his weight in group projects while adapting himself to the difference in pace between high school and his new freestyle existence, yet midterms passed by, and he still had no girl’s nude pictures or phone number on his Blackberry.

Today, he intended to control his circumstances. His efforts would not be in vain in getting some pleasure to accompany his hard work. He’d skipped class for this purpose, and to meet the purpose’s end he attended the club-meet-and-greet on campus. Students buzzed back and forth between club booths like bees gathering pollen, listening for information regarding dues and responsibilities, then moving on to the next one. To Isaac, the throng was like a hive beaten with a stick. If you knew where your likes and interests lay, what was the point in talking to each and every club? Why not join one you liked, then leave the damn area for the next person to sign up without needing a map or a sheep dog to herd your ass out?

Ten minutes of searching felt like hours through this hive. Standing at five-feet-zero inches, with a build like a human-bird hybrid, Isaac lacked the appearance of the type of guy capable of throwing a punch or lifting a chair. His conversational skills, ninety percent composed of “Hi” and “Yeah” and “Okay” indicated neither high intellect nor confidence. He possessed one positive trait: his cold, blue eyes. To a few they housed a lion’s passion under a housecat’s exterior, but to most a silent serial killer in the making. His icicle stare with his limited social replies tended to reinforce the latter, as the club recruiters showed little interest in enlisting him in their ranks. From guys so built they could have used him as a human volleyball to dorks who had odder quirks than his stare, from bombshells to ugly Betties, from flamboyant gays to straight playas, all of them gave him that same damn rejecting look as they droned tidbits of their clubs’ information. Isaac couldn’t tell whether they were nervous around him or disgusted by him, and, today, he grew tired of caring. The runt with the creepy eyes headed for the exit, his vacant stare focused far ahead, wishing his body could vanish from the nest of cowards.

“Isaac,” said a soft girlish voice from...nowhere. The voice was so quiet and fragile in this noisy nest he could have only heard it if she whispered in his ear (or in his head). He stopped, and saw no one paying any more attention to him than a small dog at a stilts-walking carnival show.

“Isaac!” called the same voice, barely audible above the echoing buzz. Isaac followed his name until he came to a club booth with no signs or banners. There sat a girl with skin as pale as white silk, jet-black hair down to the middle of her back, the bright green, almond eyes of a foreign princess, and tits and cleavage so large they bounced his balls. His heart pounded. Who needed a banner with her running things? A single index finger made him approach her without realizing it. He faced her within seconds. He couldn’t turn his head but knew his position in line remained uncontested. He thought it odd for the whole to college to ignore an angel from heaven, but failed to summon the words to question the circumstances.

“Hello, Isaac,” she said with that sweet, violin voice he’d heard earlier in his ear.

“Hi...” His mouth hung ajar.

“Don’t you want to know how I know your name?”

“Yeah.”

Her giggle fluttered in the breeze. “One of your classmates told me you’d be perfect for this club. Interested in joining?”

“Okay.”

“Our next meeting is tomorrow at 7pm at Willis Hall in room 132G. My name is Hexia Nightshade. See you there.”

“Hi!” 

She waved and giggled a “Bye” as he walked away, stunned.

Isaac couldn’t believe a chick that hot remembered his name, his face, and tried to spot him in a swarm of people so he’d join a club. Getting off his ass and into this situation had to be the best decision he’d made all semester; however, a foot from the gymnasium doors he stopped and smacked his forehead. He also couldn’t believe he ended their conversation with a greeting.

 

On a Wednesday afternoon, in a small air-conditioned room with seven people present, including himself and Hexia, he remembered forgetting to ask what club he’d decided to join. One of the members, he assumed the club’s president, considering the business-casual clothes, rose and faced the audience.

“Welcome to another match in our Shadow Boxing Club, ladies and gentlemen. Today we have a new member joining our ranks in the battle against a corrupt educational system. Let’s welcome Isaac Geggar. Please stand, Isaac.”

Isaac stood with sweaty palms as everyone welcomed his arrival, Hexia clapping the hardest. If it wasn’t for her cute face shining on him like a stage light, he would have left a sonic boom on his way out the door. Beautiful light’s faster than cowardly sound any day, he thought, as he resumed sitting instead.

The president of this crazy club continued, “This week, as many of you have heard, Dr. Karinger is giving another chemistry-based exam in his biology course.”

“That’s fuckin’ retarded!” shouted one of the fanatics.

“Why in hell would someone teach chemistry in a biology course?” said another. “Does he want his students to fail?”

“Apparently, yes,” said the president. “That’s why we’re going to find the answers in his office and give them to his students. If he wants to pave the way for this backwards system, we’ll break the stones of his sandy foundation.”

Isaac leaned back in his chair and smiled at Hexia. He didn’t care what they did, as long as he had nothing to do with it. Then he heard, “Isaac, as a new club member, to display your solidity with our cause, we want you to perform this task.”

The ice-eyed young man’s goosebumps got goosebumps. “But...” he began.

Hexia interrupted: “Please do this little favor for us, Isaac? We need you to do this. You would be the last person Karinger would suspect. Please?”

His lips parted to reply, but the door to the room opened, catching the attention of the club. A sigh escaped his mouth, which made him catch a frown from Hexia. A girl, not bad-looking for a nerd—with un-styled brown, shoulder-length hair, plain, black-frame glasses hiding her dark brown pupils, her clothes looking more K-Mart than Macy’s—stepped into the classroom. The ‘club’ shrank under her analysis, their eyes on the ceiling or floor every time her ocular searchlights passed over them.

“Who is she?” whispered Isaac to Hexia.

“Her name’s Mary Black. She’s the sergeant-at-arms for School Activities. She enforces the laws all clubs and organizations on campus must abide by, which means she’s widely known for poking her nose where it doesn’t belong...the bureaucratic Nazi.”

“She’s like a T. Rex, man,” whispered a club member over his shoulder. “If we sit still, she usually goes away.”

Isaac eyed Mary, and this time her gaze faltered. Pink invaded her visage. Her eyes wandered the room as if looking for something besides the young man with the cold eyes. She looked elsewhere as if a nudist was sitting in his seat.

“How long are you going to stand there?” said Isaac.

She jumped as if shocked. Despite her face still flooded with pink, she kept her quivering eyes on him, and demanded, “Do you have any paperwork filed for using this room?”

“Of course we do. Just ask the club president. This is the Shadow Boxing Club.”

“The what?”

“The Shadow Boxing Club.”

“Never heard of it.”

“Well, look it up.”

She fidgeted with her thumbs while her left leg attempted to jump from the rest of her body. “What’s your name?”

“I just joined the club today. I’m Isaac Geggar, but my friends call me Breedy.”

“I’m Mary Black.”

“Can we continue our club meeting, Mary Black?”

“Alright.” She shut the door on her exit, but it flew open once more. “I’ll let you use this room tonight, but I’ll be verifying your club status on campus. It’s my job, so don’t take it personally. Bye.” She left again and, to the room’s relief, didn’t make a repeat appearance.

Hexia chuckled, her hands concealing her lips.

“Thank you, Isaac,” said the president. “Even with the silent treatment, normally she doesn’t let us off so easy. You’re proving yourself to be a valuable asset to our club already.”     

   

“Please... please, Isaac...we need you..” No one had ever begged Isaac before, or needed him for anything. For those reasons, besides the sexy girl doing the begging, Isaac sifted through folder after folder in Dr. Karinger’s office. He’d told one of the oblivious custodians he’d accidentally left an incomplete essay worth two grades under the teacher’s door, thinking he wouldn’t have time to finish it, due to a family emergency. However, he didn’t have to lend his time to his family as he’d anticipated, but had dropped his laptop on the way home, so needed the paper to finish typing where he’d left off. The larger the lie, the more believable, and this lie was so believable the custodian gave him unsupervised access to the room.

The ice-eyed delinquent smirked at his deviousness as he flipped through the folders. His smile vanished when he finished thumbing through the last one. Damn it. If not here, then where were the damn things—at Karinger’s home? If so, he’d failed. No way would he risk going to jail for this club or even Hexia. He looked around the office at the two file cabinets he’d searched, a desk (with scissors, glue, blank CD-RW and other miscellaneous stuff), a shelf full of biology and chemistry tomes, and a computer. The lazy ass doctor... Isaac booted up the computer and searched for tests. He discovered the Chapter 12 test, his target’s kin, and by tracing its directory found the test answers in the same folder. With no printer in the office, he copied the file to his USB key.

“Isaac!” screamed a familiar, angelic voice in his head. The room became colder than an open window in winter, yet his heart pumped burning blood through his veins. What the hell was that? What the fuck’s going on? He snatched his key from the computer as footsteps echoed feet from the door. Isaac’s sweaty fingers held the power button. The screen flickered out just as Karinger stepped through the door.

“What are you doing in here,” said the tall, thin professor, his brown, burning stare through his glasses too intense for Isaac’s cold blue one.

“H...Hi...”

“I asked what you’re doing in my office!”

Isaac wilted under the heat of the professor’s voice, then squeaked out, “I left the wrong paper under the door.”

Isaac scampered by Dr. Karinger, whose glare never left him, that searing gaze burning into the young man’s back, as if magnified by the lens of the doctor’s glasses.

 

Outside the science building, during his sprinting escape, Isaac ran into Hexia Nightshade, who extended an arm to his shoulder to calm his heart beating at a mad drummer’s rhythm. Her touch not only calmed his rapid pulse, but also loosened every muscle in his body. Those beautiful, jade eyes met his.

“Did you get the test answers?” she asked. He nodded his ‘yes’, since his lungs still hadn’t recovered from years without exercise. She held his head still and, with her lips, took the rest of his breath away. Sweet strawberry slithered across his teeth and tongue. Then she savored every sip of warm wetness from his mouth, her tongue darting from between his hungry teeth. Her once glistening, princess eyes resembled a jaguar’s—focused, fierce, detached. Isaac found her exotic new gaze erotic.

“Welcome to the Shadow Boxing Club.”

 

How many test answers had he stolen? How many students had been given credits to courses they never took? How many faculty members had he blackmailed to ensure some students were allowed to graduate early? He couldn’t count on his fingers and toes combined the number of crimes he’d committed between midterms and December, but he could remember how many times he’d tasted Hexia’s lips, how many times they’d slept together, and how many times the club had stood to applaud his accomplishments.

His girlfriend by his side, Isaac Geggar walked with his shoulders back, ice-eyes forward, displaying a power he’d never possessed before. College girls glanced at him like horny cats; the guys either nodded their heads or greeted him. He felt higher than the moon…until Mary Black came in his direction, dampening the mood by confronting him among the curious eyes of the science wing.

“Ummm, hello again, Isaac. How have the club activities been going?” she said, adjusting her large frames, her face blushing tomato-red.

“What is it now, Mary?” said Isaac. “Is it against school policy to walk around with your girlfriend?”

Mary looked in Hexia’s direction; Hexia raised her eyebrows. “Okaaayyy...” said Mary before returning her attention to Isaac. “I came to tell you that your club actually isn’t registered, and is therefore unofficial, meaning you can’t hold club meetings on campus anymore.”

Isaac’s left fist clenched. “What do you mean it’s unofficial?!” His ice-blue eyes made Mary step back. “The club president showed me the damn paperwork himself, so it must be your records that are fucked up.”

Mary’s eyes met the floor then realigned with his. “Look, if you want to keep your club that badly, I may have a solution for your problem before I make my report to Student Activities.”

“Yeah?”

“Come to my dorm room at 8 tomorrow night. It’s room 158 in the Lucille Smith building. See you there.” She walked past him, her face still red, her eyes glued to the floor. Isaac remained as frozen as his icicle pupils, staring into nothingness and shivering.

“Isaac,’ said Hexia, hissing her words while her cold hand soothed his left shoulder. “We can’t let the club be destroyed. All of our hopes, dreams, and happiness reside there. Do you hear me, Isaac?”

 

At the scheduled time Isaac knocked on Mary’s door. She invited him in after the second knock, and he soon found himself seated at an oval table with dinner for two. She lived in a suite, complete with its own bathroom, kitchen, living room, and bedroom. Isaac scoffed, thinking she must have been as meticulous with her student activity duties as she was with her grades. Wearing a yellow night gown, she sat at the table. They caught themselves in a staring match, her dark brown bombshells versus his blue blizzards.

“Aren’t you going to try your meatloaf?” she said.

“Depends on what you say about the club. If there’s no food in my stomach, I won’t hurl.”

Her harsh giggle was the complete opposite of Hexia’s. “Now that’s funny. Always knew you had it in you, Isaac. You just have to show that side of yourself more.”

“That goes to show you don’t know much about me.”

“Ooooh, scary...”

“How can I save the club, Mary?”

She supported her head with her palm, trying for cute, her smile a 3 to Hexia’s 11. “Okay, you can cut the act now, Isaac. We’re the only ones here; I promise.”

“Act? What act?”

She giggled that same hoarse giggle. His eyes tensed. If hell hounds have a laugh as they devour their victims, hers is it.

“I’ve done the research, Isaac; it’s my job as the sergeant-at-arms for student activities. I know you invented this boxing club so you could get revenge for me on all those teachers that think I’m a prude and all the students that think I’m a bitch...”

“Are you blind? We were doing those things to help students, so they’d pass classes they didn’t need to take.”

“You’re serious? You really think you were helping those students? Don’t you know the purpose behind a college education?”

“The club, Mary! I came here about the goddamn club!” She covered her mouth to block an invisible gasp, then her chair shook as laughter rocked her entire body.

“She denies us,” said a pleasant, familiar voice in Isaac’s head, “hates us.”

The red-faced young man swiped his plate to the floor and pounded his fists against the table. “Shut up!” he yelled, his cold glare chilling Mary, whose eyes widened and mouth grew dry.

Something was wrong here; frightened, she stood. “I don’t know what drug you’re on, but the club you’re in doesn’t exist. It never has. Now get out of my room.”

“You know what’ll happen if we leave,” whispered Hexia. He stood. His body burned like a volcano on the inside, yet his skin felt like Antarctica.

Mary shivered and hugged her shoulders; Isaac even saw her cold breath. He headed for the door.

“We can’t lose this!” He walked past the bitch with the glasses. “We can’t leave.”  An ice-cold hand gripped his shoulder, freezing him in place. He whipped around to catch the source. Only Mary was behind him. In her eyes he saw pity. Then he saw red.

“Isaac!” In her demon eyes he saw the Isaac he never wanted to see again, the powerless him he’d fought so hard to eliminate, to kill.

“What are you looking at?” the demon said.

His left fist connected with its face, knocking it to its stomach. The creature had the audacity to wail and scream. The laugh of a thousand violins mocked its agony as it had mocked his. The grin of a hyena consuming his face, Isaac lifted one of the chairs and smashed it on the demon’s back. When it continued to sob, to beg, he joined the fluttering laughs in his head with his own, as he smacked its body repeatedly with the chair. Somehow it still moved, fingernails clawing blood from the tile, lungs screaming a gurgled “Help!” through mouthfuls of blood.

A tap on his shoulder, and the beautiful seraphim of his life presented him a steak knife from the table, her radiant smile abetting the righteousness of his deed. He took the weapon, gave his heavenly vixen the kiss of her life, then rolled over the demon so he could stare into its damned eyes.

Crimson hands reached from the mounted monster. “Isaac...please...” it blurted before he could darken its eyes with stainless steel and red. He had no pity for the spawn of hell just as the general population saw none for men on death row. He relished every stab into its skin, the ruby life-stream washing the blade and the floor, the shrill cries of a squealing pig on each assault. When the bloody hands stopped twitching, Isaac laughed like a cackling crow, and he heard Hexia orgasm.

 

He’d never attended the acclaimed Institute for Upcoming Murderers, so it didn’t take long for the police to suspect Isaac. The day after the crime the cops questioned him, and the day after that he was arrested for the murder of Mary Black. No one provided him an alibi despite all the cred he’d earned on campus. Pats on the back everywhere I went, yet no friends. Isaac sat in his concrete booking cell with an open toilet for companionship, tapping his foot, clenching his hands until they ached, sending a frigid glare at the officer through the bars.

The cocky pig smirked at his hatred and misery, then walked back to the processing area. Isaac felt like a new animal at the zoo. Goosebumps rose on his skin from the sudden temperature drop in an already drafty cell.

“It’s cold in here, baby. You should’ve packed a jacket.” The honey-sweet voice’s source, appearing next to him on the room’s concrete seat, made him slide across it, skin dripping with cold sweat, his heavy breath fogging the air. His despair let him notice now what he hadn’t while blinded by love: her voice, looks, and demeanor were too perfect. The deja vu that froze his blood shrunk his pupils and his parts.

“Who the fuck are you?” In answer, she smiled while tilting her head and giggled, making his body relax and fear dissipate. The cleavage of her low-cut top and tight jeans took the chill from between his legs. Never again. The young man sweating ice water bit blood from his lip and pounded his groin with his fist. “Stop it!” he said.

“You know who...or rather, what I am, handsome. You’ve known since we first met.”

“Why are you doing this to me?” He buried his face in his hands and sobbed.

Hexia scooted closer to him, her serpent eyes as large as moons, and rubbed his thigh.

“I’m sorry. God, I’m so sorry. Please save me!” he screamed, throwing his hands in the air.

Drool dripped from her lips as her nails extended and tore through his pants and into his skin. When he leaped from the bench, she lunged after him. The wide-eyed prey grabbed her arms and tackled her to the concrete. He slammed her head against the floor until the rear of the skull shattered out a pool of red blood and white bone.

“Leave me alone! Leave me alone! Leave me alone!” Puffing over his latest victim, the ‘winner’ loosened his grip and smiled like a maniac who’d just escaped an asylum. Her eyes closed, to Isaac she resembled sleeping beauty with a gory backdrop…until those wild eyes opened, and his heart stopped. Hexia Nightshade gave him the cruelest laugh, then licked her lips.

 

The police officer on duty that night heard continuous screams from the new suspect for five minutes straight. When his curses and threats couldn’t silence the brat, he marched from his comfy chair to tell the annoying punk, “Listen, you little shit, no one else is watching us right now. So if I really wanted to shut you up...”

The guard peered into the cell upon reaching it. What he saw made him forget to breathe and his lunch jump from his stomach to his throat. Blood soiled everything. The kid lay naked on the floor, face-up, deep, red claw-marks covering every inch of his body. His penis was severed as if bitten off. The fucking hell was this? The officer vomited, then ran to call for help.

 

Earth having survived, January introduced a new year for the nation and a new semester for college students. Ashtrail University held its club meet-and-greet; young men and women prospected for the activity and group that fit them. Atop the building adjacent to the gym, Hexia Nightshade and The Shadow Boxing Club stood watching like vultures every student entering.

“How about him?” said the club president, pointing to a youth with a suit and tie who ignored every female glance headed his way.

“Too uptight and familiar,” said Hexia. “He reminds me of you.”

 A chubby, black student wearing glasses and a vacuous smile walked by. Hexia hissed, ogling him with rabid, green eyes. He stopped to speak to a group of students, who first tolerated his presence, but whose body language soon indicated annoyance and avoidance.

“Him?” said the president with a raised brow.

“Yes, him. I’ve been wanting to add an exotic piece to my collection of souls for a long time.”

“Do you know him?”

“Yes, very well.” She pondered for a moment. The desire in her eyes changed to clenched, focused anger. She looked back; the other club members scattered to reveal Isaac Geggar bent over, gripping his skull with his fingers. “Shape up and get with the program, dickless, unless you want a ticket to hell.”

He forced his vacant blue eyes up to hers, as she said, “I’m not a complete monster, baby; I’ll at least let you watch.” No one could hear Isaac’s answering scream of despair.

Hexia’s pitch-black hair turned brimstone red, her pale skin gained some pink, her large chest diminished, her hips widened, and red-framed glasses appeared to support her bright, hazel eyes. A boisterous laugh replaced her soft, elegant one, and then she vanished.

 

The End

 

 

MAYJOR E. Johnson, zeron87@yahoo.com, of Cape Charles, Virginia, who wrote BP #68’s “The Shadow Boxing Club” and BP #61’s “Snail Mail,” formerly studied as an English major with a secondary in teaching, but is currently seeking an Associate’s in info systems technology. His hobbies include reading horror and military novels, writing short stories and poetry, and playing video games. He also publishes articles on hubpages.com relating to gaming and the Yu-Gi-Oh trading card game under Zeron87.

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