Sitting opposite the man, I tried not to stare. So I looked down at my glass.
He was silent for a moment. Well, silent wasn't the right word. There was nothing silent about him. I could even hear his rough breathing as if it were hot upon my face. It was intense to be in such proximity to him.
There was a long moment of swallowing as the beast of a man downed his first rum, and then a heavy thud as he slammed it onto the table. The jolt caused me to stiffen like a rod in order to stay firmly on the seat.
"How strong are you boy?" he demanded in a growl.
I looked up. That was a mistake. His one eye caught my entire face and I froze. "I'm...kind of strong..." I managed to say. I really wanted to ask why before giving a real answer though. If it turned out he wanted to arm wrestle me or something, I'd promptly tell him I had arms like a baby and hands like a mannequin. Otherwise, my arm would find itself passing through the table.
His upper lip curled over the yellow shards of teeth beyond, and his eye went wide, wobbling disconcertingly at me. "I spent some years in the ring," he said. "I trained a man to fight. The man I trained was known as...The Thrash."
He let out a thoughtful groan and took another swig of rum. "Back in those days, there was a lot of money in the business. Thrash collected it all. There wasn't a soul to stand in his way. Until the summer of 92..."
I swallowed and then suddenly remembered the pen and paper in my forgotten hands. I began to furiously write.
"It was a day like none other," he said. "Thrash had finished his fight and collected the winnings. But I'd heard dirty rumors that a lot of money rested on that fight. Somebody lost it all that day. And then they lost their life."
I stared at the words on my notebook, demanding them to get in shape enough to capture what was about to come. I didn't dare look up. I kept the pen to the paper and my eyes to the coming wave of words...and my mind...well, my mind was lost in the story. Lost in the experience of the story...which went something like this...