Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Microstory 1882: Someone Their Own Size

I was a wanderer in my youth. I settled down when I got old, and the traveler life was no longer viable. I don’t regret the way I was, and I don’t regret ending it when I did. I don’t care that I can’t afford to be in a nice facility. It’s got a bed, and they feed me twice a day, which is more than I can say for some periods of my past. There was a time when I could go anywhere in the world with no problem. Hiking, hitchhiking, sneaking onto trains; everything was easier before. I suppose I started doing it out of necessity. I had a normal upbringing, and a regular job, but then I lost that job, and couldn’t get a new one, so I sold most of my possessions just to get by, including my car. Once I realized there was nothing left for me there, I skipped town, and began to make my way to other places. Sometimes I found a good job that could have lasted, and sometimes not. If it was the former, I would inevitably quit, and move on anyway. You see, I get bored quite easily. The scenery, the people, the restaurants; I like them when they’re new, but I inevitably eventually lose interest. One time I managed to scrounge up enough cash to get on a boat to the New World. It’s not like I had a dream to make a better life overseas. I just figured things would be different enough, and thus more interesting to me. They weren’t really; things are pretty much the same no matter where you go. But I never went back, because I felt like I was done with Europe by then. I spent a lot of time in the rural parts, which is where our story really begins. My life up to this particular point, and all the time after that, was generic and boring, but I finally got an adventure. I just wish it hadn’t been so bloody. Still, at least I have something to say for myself. I saved lives.

I was wandering through the woods one early afternoon, hoping to find a spot to make camp, when I started to hear a ruckus beyond the trees. It wasn’t my business, but I’ve always been curious—disappointed, ultimately, but curious until I learn the truth. So I kept walking, and found myself overlooking a fighting ring down the hill. It was a huge operation, lookin’ so strange since it was in the middle of nowhere. Three Ring Circus is what they called it, unoriginal as that was. A third of the audience was watching a cock fight, the other third a dog fight, and the final third a human fight. Some people acted like they could smell me—it was weird—they turned around, and gave me the stink eye. A couple of rednecks started to walk up towards me. It was clear that I was unwelcome there. I don’t know how they figured out who was excited for the violence, and who didn’t approve, but they seemed to know right away that I did not like what I was seeing. The humans, I didn’t care about. They made their choices, as far as I was concerned, but the animals were innocent, and were never given any options. I. Went. Crazy. I had been in a number of fights myself over the years. Some places just don’t like strangers, even if you mean them no harm. I was never formally trained, though, so I was kind of surprised at how much I had picked up from experience. I took down the men they sent after me, and then I went after everybody else. Some were afraid of getting caught by the authorities, so they bugged out, but others tried to defend their territory. You might not believe it, but I took on at least twenty men all on my own, including the human fighters whose entire reason for being was hurting others. Once it was over, and I left, having freed the poor creatures, I’m sure the people who ran the show just started back up again, but I still felt satisfied by giving them a taste of their own medicine.

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