Gilbert squeezed the inhaler and took a deep breath as he looked across the roof of the faculty parking garage. It was three in the morning and no more than ten yards away was his opponent, Pine. Pine was an asshole. Gilbert pocketed his inhaler, gripped his sword tightly, and gave a nod to signal he was ready. Pine responded in kind and in an instant the two exploded in motion, running towards one another with their swords held high. Pine fought double handed, fancying himself some sort of modern samurai, holding the sword high over his head. Gilbert favored a fencer’s approach, even if the sword in his hand wasn’t the best implement for the job. The two men met, near the halfway mark, Gilbert’s blade darting forward for a quick thrust and Pine’s blade swinging wide in an uncontrolled chop.
Gilbert heard the crack as Pine’s sword collided with his head and the frame of his glasses. His ear rung with the force of the blow and he only realized his glasses were gone once he’d skidded to a halt. “God fucking damnit! You got me in the ear! Again!” Gilbert screamed, cupping the side of his head with one hand and pointing at Pine menacingly with the tip of his own weapon. Pine was bent forward, sucking at air that refused to fill his lungs. It took him a moment to recover, coughing and gasping, before he could speak.
“I think you broke a rib,” Pine said, gingerly poking at his own torso and holding his sword out defensively.
“Guys, guys, what is the first rule of Fight Club?” Everett said, stepping between the two, both hands up to keep Gilbert and Pine as far from one another as possible.
“Don’t talk about Fight Club,” Pine said.
“No, that’s just in the movie. Our first rule, is No Goddamned Whining,” Everett snatched the wooden swords from each opponent as he spoke. “You can talk about Fight Club all you want, hell we need more participants. Everybody’s so bruised from last week that we only got half the turn out this week and no offense, but Gilbert the Asthmatic Avenger and Pine the Sucky aren’t the crowd pleasers we need.”
“Why don’t you fight then,” Gilbert said, still rubbing at his now bright red and throbbing ear.
“I’m the Ref, I can’t remain impartial and fight.”
“More like you’re the pussy, am I right? Gimme five,” Pine said, holding up his hand to Gilbert. Gilbert left him hanging.
“Can someone help me find my glasses?” Gilbert said.
“Fine, whatever,” Pine said, then stepped forward with an alarming crunch. “Oh shiiiit, my bad.”