Saturday, December 6, 2014

Strange Doings At Fist City by Ken L. Jones

Strange Doings At Fist City




Ken L. Jones


            Decker Hardin was the world’s most public figure but even he had secrets. One of the most notorious pugilists who had ever professionally boxed he was as least as well-known as the star of one scandal after another. Now most of them stemmed from how sadistically cruel he was to his professional boxing opponents but his glee at inflicting pain applied to his personal life as well as his many wives, children, servants, baby mamas, and assorted paparazzi could attest to but even this wasn’t enough. When he wasn’t being paid millions to pound another heavy weight boxer into bloody hamburger or was pimp slapping anyone that was in his personal orbit then he kept busy by taking out his volcanic aggression on all the denizens of the animal kingdom that he could lay his hands upon. His screw loose about hurting animals had first come on him as a toddler. He had started out with the insect kingdom then worked his way up the food chain from there. Pets didn’t live long under his tutelage and eventually just maiming them then killing them lost its thrill. It was about this time that he caught a repeat on the cable of the Roots I miniseries and became obsessed with the character of Chicken George and the so-called sport of cock fighting that George was the master of.

Now the idea of this truly got Hardin ’s juices running and it wasn’t long until he and some other neighborhood bad boys were indulging in clandestine  matches between various dogs that they coerced  into fighting one another to the death. Decker didn’t find any of this very strange because every since he had been able to walk he had always went around pounding on everything and everybody with his fists. In some ways these events had defined his whole identity and were the only way in which he and his demented lifestyle of cruelty could find social acceptance. So it was that he rose up through all the hard scrabble of the amateur ranks of boxing until at twenty-one he was the undisputed heavy weight champion of the whole entire world. Now all of this should have been more than enough of an adrenaline rush and ego gratification for most mere mortals but Decker Hardin had always considered himself far, far, more than that. In time he had come to see his boxing as just another extremely well-paid job that was far too easy for him to accomplish and so he came to look for the danger and thrills that he so craved with his private animal fighting activities.

To that end he had purchased a large rural estate that he dubbed Fist City in New York’s Catskill Mountains where he personally bred, trained and made fight for select audiences the most vicious of pit bulls. Rumors about what went on there circulated for years and clogged the internet and airwaves like the rankest of sewage. Finally someone was able to smuggle cell phone footage out that resulted in a judge issuing a warrant to raid the compound. What the authorities found there even shocked and offended the street hardened officials that took the place down and since Hardin was in the process of skinning a dog alive who hadn’t fought hard enough and was surrounded by several more such dogs that he had lynched for insubordination there was no way he could talk his way out of what so obviously went on there. When the investigation and trial was over he found himself down in prison for a two year stretch. Now considering what some murders receive for prison time these days this might have seemed extreme on the surface of it but Decker Hardin had made a complete fool of himself throughout his whole trial mocking and showing contempt for the judge at every turn. It was little wonder that he drew such a stiff sentence coupled with a fortune draining fine too yet still he took it all in his cocky stride and not even the fact that this latest boondoggle had landed him in with the general population of a serious butt ramming prison had thrown him off for very long. His Tarzan-like savagery and mastery of the sweet science of flooring another human guaranteed that he never became any man’s bride while incarcerated. Once this salient fact had been established time passed well enough. He kept his newly shaved head down, got his GED and converted to the Black Muslim faith and when he wasn’t busy with all this he trained hard on the prison weights and worked out on the boxing equipment in its sparse gym and so in that way the two years went by in something of a blur then one bright morning he found that he was back on the streets again.

Socially shunned nearly broke and freshly divorced against his will he felt a deep need to clear his head and so retreated to a small hunting cabin that he had managed to hold on to which was even deeper up the Hudson River Valley than Fist City had been. Since he was a convicted felon he couldn’t own a gun but that hardly prevented him from stalking, hunting and catching fresh meat. This was easily accomplished with crossbow and machete and a series of snares and traps that he set with upmost precision. Something about how primal and Neanderthal-like all this was appealed to his inner animalism and he was soon relaxed and at peace with himself once again.

It was on the third day of his return to nature that something extraordinary happened. While he was out checking his snares Decker discovered hanging by its heels and groaning in an unearthly voice an animal he had never seen nor abused before. Tiring immediately of the strange noises of whatever this thing was that was making them he boldly stepped up to it and delivered a roundhouse right to its jaw knocking it into unconsciousness. Cutting it down and using its rope snare to bind it securely he then threw it over his shoulder and took it back to his cabin for his further contemplation. This accomplished he after a little surfing of the net on his portable laptop could come to no other conclusion than that he was now the proud possessor of one genuine Big Foot!

            Now true the thing seemed to be half the size that other supposed sighters of this creature claimed it should be but it was in every other respect exactly what people had touted it to be and so Hardin blew off its lack of stature as being akin to fishermen exaggerating how large the big one that had gotten away on them was. Sometime near sundown of the same day as he was pan frying some fresh venison and canned pork and beans for his dinner, Decker and his still bound and now gagged “pet” were startled by the shattering of his locked front door. Before Decker could even blink he saw that the source of all this was yet another Big Foot inches taller than the one who now lay helplessly on his cabin’s rough hewn floor. With battle instincts borne from a life time of violence Hardin  reacted instantly gripping the sizzling cast-iron frying pan in his own now burning palm he spun around and caught the uncomprehending charging Big Foot square in the head with it knocking him cold as it fried half of his unearthly looking face away in the process. An hour later when the thing that most said was only a myth returned to groggy half consciousness it found itself now too laying helplessly restrained and gagged next to the other of its kind that it had so boldly attempted to rescue and there towering over both of them was the truer savage of them all Decker Hardin now smiling a golden grill studded grin as he yakked away animatively into his private cellular phone.

            “Hello Garnett, Garnett Purcell its Decker, yeah Decker Hardin. You won’t believe what I’ve got for you my man.”

            Now luckily Garnett Purcell in between running for the Presidency on the dime of a very strange and confused third party and publicly making a fool out of himself by insisting that the seated President wasn’t really a citizen of America had quietly picked up Fist City at auction as a favor to his long time amigo Decker Hardin and that had given the disgraced former boxer a grand idea. Now Garnett despite all the strange things that he normally believed in was incredulous about what Decker told him he had captured because the fabled businessman had never believed anything of an occult or otherworldly nature and so literally being from Missouri he had his private helicopter take him up to Hardin’s cabin if only to put an end to all this nonsense once and for all.

Now Purcell once he metabolized that all this was true was full of ideas about how to exploit it. Being an educated man he thought of endless possibilities in a variety of different ways. The pair of Big Foots of course could be sold for top dollar to any zoo in the world. They could also be put on display as the center piece of a new amusement park and a reality show starring them on TV would surely be a ratings grabber and all of these were but a few of the practical applications that might grow from such an enterprise. Why the endorsements and licensing revenues from this alone could make a man richer than any ten oil sheiks put together.

 Yet none of these propositions seem to hold any appeal for Decker who had other plans and in the end these two amazing animals belonged to him and not Purcell. Now what “The Two-Fisted Tornado” as he was popularly nicknamed was interested in doing with them seemed extremely risky and almost stupid to Purcell but he found that he could not just walk away from all this and so he agreed to be the chief facilitator for Decker’s brutal and obvious scheme and so the world’s strangest cock fight was arranged to take place at Fist City on New Year’s Day. Not only would it have an audience composed of the world’s wealthiest ticket holders but the event would also go out via satellite as the priciest pay for view event of all time.

Now all of this had to be done in a very clandestine way because of course in every sense of the word it was illegal and this is where Purcell and all his connections shined the most brightly. Through it all the eccentric millionaire stayed at Fist City with the sadistic ex-boxer and his two prized catches that they had transported and appropriately caged there. Hardin was ecstatic as he took complete charge of training the two Big Foots to fight each other to the death. He took pleasure in whipping and torturing them to bring out their killer instincts. To this end he tricked them into slaughtering guard dogs and stray cats in order to get their own blood lust up and yet through it all they seemed to not what to hurt one another even under the stroke of Decker’s cattle prod or even after he would pummel them unmercifully with his well schooled and massive fists.

All seemed hopeless until he discovered through trial and error that alcohol had a really bad effect on them and was pretty much the only thing that put them into the correct frame of mind to do what he demanded. So he started them on a regime of heavy whiskey consumption just prior to the match and yet through it all they spent hours loudly crooning something unintelligible over and over again at the top of their lungs that drove everyone who was in ear shot around the bend and nothing could be done to quiet them down once they got started.

 Finally New Year’s Day arrived and Decker never stopped smiling for even an instant as he anticipated all that was to come. The worldwide viewing audience was the largest ever recorded and t he live audience was a who’s who of every mover and shaker from every strata of those who ran the world. Garnett Purcell for obvious reasons did not publicly acknowledge his vast connection with all of this but he was there for every second of it none the less. Decker Hardin had no such qualms. Already once again a multimillionaire because of all of this he was planning to abandon America forever by chartered plane in a few hours for a riotous retirement in the Philippine Islands which had no extradition laws whatsoever. So he brazenly played his public swan song for all that it was worth openly and proudly introducing the whole event and flamboyantly MC-ing it all.

The two Big Foots were drunker than anyone had ever seen them before and Decker had been shocking them and slicing them with a box cutter to work up their ire. Both of them seemed ready to kill the first thing that came within arm’s length of them once they were released from their respective cages. Then as if it was some kind of hallucination the event began in earnest. First Decker came into the large caged arena and made a long and rambling speech detailing how he had captured these two things of legend and then the two Big Foots were released from their respective cages. At first it looked like they were going to do all that was expected of them then things took a most unexpected turn and they instead began cuddling and comforting one another as if they were small and abused infants.

This was more than the audience could take and they began to boo and shout and throw things at the objects of their disappointment. Decker insane with rage ripped off his tuxedo and lacy shirt and jumped bare-chested into the center of all this. He began wildly beating down the two animals who were cowed and acted scared of him. Their only response to all this was an even more loud and plaintive version of the sad vocalizations that they had been repeating endlessly since they first arrived at Fist City. Hardin’s nauseating rampage continued for a long time as the event he had put so much of his heart and soul into unraveled about him and became reduced to a mockery of all that it was once meant to be.

Then just when it seemed as if things couldn’t get any stranger they did as two other Big Foots appeared out of nowhere dripping wet and more enraged than anything that Decker had ever seen in all of his many years of seeking out violence. These new Big Foots too were singing a deeper and more throaty version of what the other two had been wailing out for so long and as they rose up to their full heights they stood revealed as being as large as Big Foot’s were generally portrayed as being. As all this was happening Decker laughed sardonically realizing far too late exactly what his two prized fighting animals really were. Now that he was face to face with their parents Hardin tried to laugh it all off and groove on the absurd irony of it all. As the adult Big Foots tore into the crowd viciously as they went about trying to save their offspring Decker realized that all this was going out to a worldwide audience and since it was all on film people would be watching his humiliation and stupidity till the end of time. Finally as the adults got to him personally it was revealed for all to see that compared to them he was no stud, no champ, no tough guy or hard ass but was indeed when confronted by a superior foe who was out for blood was just another man who realized far too late exactly what fear meant.




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