VICTORY RUN 2 TEASER
by Devon Hartford
I take a hard shot to the ribs, but block most of it with the side of my elbow. A stiff right hand bullets toward my chin, but we’re in such close quarters, my left fist deflects it when I launch my arm to the heavens. It connects with the edge of his jaw.
He staggers back in the sand and shakes his head.
“Want more of that shit?” I grin around my mouth guard.
My good buddy Dubs Moses spits out his mouth piece and holds it in his gloved fingers, “Damn, Kellan. You got lead in your glove?”
Anybody else would’ve been out cold if I hit them that hard. Dubs isn’t anybody.
I chide, “Dude, don’t be a pussy. You’re still on your feet.” I don’t mention that my ribs are pounding where he connected a second ago.
For the past hour, we’ve been sparring on the soft sand of Venice Beach. We’re both sweaty and tired. It’s early morning, the sun is barely awake, and we’re both wearing bright red pads on our fists, feet, and heads.
If we didn’t wear the pads, the lifeguards would’ve called the beach cops and had us hauled off for fighting. The pads make it obvious we’re just practicing. Plus, we know the lifeguards on duty this morning. They let us stay. If the beach was actually crowded, they’d ask us to stop sparring or do it someplace else. Since it’s empty, we got in plenty of punching.
After I catch my breath, I say, “Ready for more punishment?”
Dubs grins, “Careful, son. You get all cocky and your shit gonna get knocked out.”
Dubs is a good buddy of mine. He wears his hair in inch long Afro twists, which at the moment sprout from the top of his red head gear. He likes to tell people his ebony skin is Africa black. I’m not quite sure what he means, but his skin is super dark and he says it makes him more mysterious, which always makes me laugh. He plays bass in a Reggae band and I like to give him shit because he doesn’t have dreads. I call him a Reggae poser but he always tells me you don’t have to be Rasta to be Reggae.
Dubs also freelances as a personal trainer. His impressive muscled physique is his calling card and draws in plenty of clients. Most of them are bored rich women who live in Santa Monica or Venice and love his dangerously flirty personality. I’m always telling him he should charge ten times what he does and fuck them instead.
Like the brothers in the band Bad Brains, Dubs has a deep interest in a wide range of music, from jazz to funk to hard rock and metal. And he’s damn good on bass in all those styles. Me and him have jammed tons of times but it never pans out into us forming a long-term band. I can’t blame him. His Reggae band actually gets paid for playing shows, unlike most metal bands we know.
Aside from music, the thing Dubs and I talk about the most is women.
Still holding his mouth piece in hand, he smudges sweat from his face with the side of his elbow and asks, “You bang anybody last night?”
I chuckle, “You stalling? Too tired to fight more?” I put my mouth piece back in and dance in the sand while circling my upraised fists, Rocky Balboa style.
He laughs, “What I tell you about gettin’ cocky, Rocky?”
I jeer, “Throw something, bitch.”
He puts in his mouthpiece and we hammer away at each other for another five minutes. We’re both exhausted and our punches are getting slower. At one point, I throw a wide right. He dodges it and I stumble into the sand, rolling smoothly onto my back.
I could get up, but I don’t feel like it. I grunt, “I’m done.”
He drops his ass into the sand next to me and leans back on his hands, his legs outstretched. He asks, “Call it?”
We smack hands and I sit up.
I ask, “You bang anybody last night?”
“I thought you guys had groupies at all your rehearsals waiting to suck your dicks afterwards.”
“Naw, man. They suck dick while we playin’.”
I laugh heartily. “Now I know why all you Reggae bass players wear your guitars so high. I always thought it looked fucking lame.”
“Easy access, son,” Dubs chuckles.
“Dude, the only women at your rehearsals are your moms.”
He frowns, “You talkin’ shit ’bout my momma?”
I laugh. “You know I love your mom.”
“All right then.”
“Cuz she loves my dick,” I blurt lewdly, “especially when I give it to her hard and fast.”
“You did not just say you is fuckin’ my momma!”
“I think I did,” I grin and spring to my feet. I sprint as fast as I can down the beach, heading toward the hard sand touching the water.
Dubs is after me like lightning. We pound sand for about fifty yards, shoulder to shoulder, trying to outpace each other. It’s an even race until we both run out of gas.
We slow to a stop and we’re both huffing and puffing, bent over, hands on our knees, for at least a minute.
“I smoked your ass, son!” Dubs shouts as he straightens up, clenching a fist in my face.
“Ha!” I blurt. “The only thing you can smoke is herb, my man.”
“True that,” Dubs chuckles. “You hungry?”
“Yeah. Let’s get some food on the boardwalk.”
We walk back to our pile of stuff and shove our pads into duffle bags. I drink the last half of my big water bottle in five long swallows.
Before drinking from his own water bottle, Dubs asks, “Who you nailin’ tonight?”
“Probably that chick Savannah who gave me her number last night.”
We walk across the sand toward the buildings on the boardwalk.
Dubs asks, “She the one you saw play at The Cobra?”
“Naw, that was Victory.”
“Shit, playah, does every girl you ball have a stripper name?”
“Usually,” I grin.
“When you nailin’ Victory?”
“I don’t know, man. I don’t have her number.”
“Yeah, but you know what band she in, right? Track her down that way.”
I shake my head, “She got kicked out. And I don’t know her last name.”
Dubs laughs, “You never know their last names.”
I snicker, “True that.”
“Did you Facebook her?”
I nod, “I couldn’t find shit.”
“You think Victory her real name?”
I laugh, “Do you?”
He chuckles, “Naw. Probably Sally or Mavis or some shit.”
We walk to a Mexican taqueria on the Venice boardwalk and buy breakfast burritos. We eat them sitting on top of a cement picnic table facing the beach, watching the surfers slide along the waves as the rising sun warms our backs.
I chew a bite of my burrito silently.
Dubs asks, “You thinkin’ about that stripper girl, ain’t you?”
“Victory?” I huff, “Yeah.”
“Forget about her. There’s a hundred other Hollywood hotties waiting to climb your stripper pole tonight, dawg.”
I snicker, “Yeah.”
But I can’t stop thinking about Victory.
I wonder if I’ll ever see her again.
Victory RUN 2 is available NOW!!