by Grant Candies
Mike pushed himself up onto his forearms, head swimming with alcohol and blunt-force trauma. His mouth tasted like blood and broken teeth and vomit, and he spat as he looked up at the man standing over him just in time to take a boot to the chin. On his back now, Mike wanted to tell the man that he had meant no offense, that she had talked to him first and he was only being polite, but all that came out was a garbled fuck you. The man was kneeling on Mike’s chest, and all around people cheered or told him to stop, but no one moved to intervene. Mike held one hand up to shield himself, and the other searched the ground around him, fingers scrabbling in the dirt until they came across something rough and heavy. He brought the brick up in an arc, and there was a crunch and a spray across his face. Now Mike was on top and the people around him were screaming and he was screaming. The brick was still in his hand, and the man’s ruined face begged him to stop, to think this through, but the fire flowed in his veins and in his mind and he couldn’t, wouldn’t stop.