Author : Alex Grover

One of those tavern junkies invited me to the Skev for a brawl. I personally enjoyed these screw-ups. The one I talked to that night, around a week ago, was a tusked Griff named Young, and he was lean and almost terrifying. Young had horribly deformed tusks that curved around his jawbones from his ears. He had a long scar that ran down his nose and a tattoo of a winged Verst on his chest. He didn’t wear much else. His cronies were equally as gruesome, but I don’t always remember the specifics on people I don’t care about.

Young thought I’d make well for a fight at the Skev. I was pleased at Young’s intention. Most people can’t brawl. I can brawl, and this Griff wasn’t going to trip me out. Yeah, he had his other Griff cronies with him, to intimidate me or something, but what did it matter.

The next night, I waited for the acid-baths to clear the streets before I even bothered walking to the Skev. Griffs and Brons like me like to go along a little later than all the Proper People in the sky apartments go to sleep. The Skev glowed something brilliant. The green sign always lights up the Inner City like nothing else. I slipped through the metal door already hearing the mashing of the Brawl Groll. I went to the fenced enclosure and watched a good fight, a Griff going off on a Kym. The fight floor was full of sharpened iron, pipes, blood, and body parts, but that’s half the excitement of it, seeing it all. The other half is going in yourself. I stood in a gross crowd watching the Griff hold up the Kym’s head when Young and his cronies found me. He patted me on the back all self-righteous, saying how he’d hate to really kill me, and I shrugged him off and spit on the fight floor. He registered us just before that, so he said to stretch. I never stretch.

I only remembered the good parts about the night. I went in the Brawl Groll with Young, while the disgusting patrons flocked to the fences. There was no referee; you started on your own volition. I grabbed two sharp irons with my top arms, and a pipe with my bottom right. Brons always have to keep their bottom left free. Immediately Young picked up the biggest pipe he could find and took a swing. I dodged, grabbed him by his tusk with the bottom left, and pulled him down. He knocked out one of my irons and cut off an arm. I yelled in his face with some bloody spit, and mashed his shoulder in. He screamed. When he stood up struggling I hacked at the wounded arm and it fell off.

I’ll get to the good bit: I cut off Young’s head after he got me down to an arm. Though I couldn’t really stand up, I held his head for the crowd. They cheered.

The Skev staff dragged us to the limb regeneration room to the side, a pleasant, sterile place. They put us in our own chambers and we waited some hours for it all to grow back. When we were done, Young nodded his once-severed head and shook my bottom right. We had a few drinks in the lounge, joking about the regeneration chambers. They were patented by one of the Proper People or something. When we were done I told Young I’d brawl him again, and I left. That was last week. I’m going out again tonight.

Discuss the Future: The 365 Tomorrows Forums
The 365 Tomorrows Free Podcast: Voices of Tomorrow
This is your future: Submit your stories to 365 Tomorrows