Right Foot Down, Left Hand

“Left foot down, right hand forward.”

Donna still had to say it. Even after five thousand swings and a thousand jabs, she still had to say it. It was an magical incantation now; she was sure that if she stopped saying it, she’d stop connecting. The bag was silent, but something in the way it swung back at her felt like ridicule. She answered it’s insolence with an ax kick.

“Do you own this place?”

“No, I’ve got a deal with Vinnie.”

Ned had an interrogative hanging down his tongue.

“If I see anything go wrong with the water heater or the dryer, I’m to report to him. I am also to fold clothes if they dry while I’m here.”

The dryer stopped.

“Ned, would you be a dear?”

Ned sighed, ever the domestic. As he opened the door he began folding Vinnie’s worrisome number of knee length loose knit hoodies. The basement was half utilities, half fitness. Among the heater, water heater, washer, fusebox and dryer was a stairmaster, punching bag and weight bench. Ned suddenly remembered Vinnie and his three chins. None of him had ever even deemed to lean upon gym equipment. The camera was very discrete but Ned was sure it existed.

“Can we get back to the part where you are now taking dance lessons with a man you met in a prize fight?”

“Do we have to?”


“Alright, from the beginning. I accidentally broke off the letters on your Buick while being victim of a judo flip during my pursuit of justice. I had to get it fixed before you found out.”

“You had to fix the decals on my fifteen year old Buick, so you decided to try your hand at mixed martial arts in order to get the hundred bucks needed.”

“Well, it wasn’t exactly my first time. They had the promotion ready for me. Really rolled out the red carpet.”

“Which led to a giant troll about to pummel you?”

“To be fair, I had similar intentions.”

“That I don’t doubt but what I’m wondering about is why did they put you up against him if he had two feet on you and over a hundred pounds.”

“I was sort of undefeated when I left last time.”

“Ah. Do we at least know the date and time of said dance lesson.”

“I left it on your cellphone’s calendar.”

“Which you did because…” The answer was so damn obvious that Ned just stopped asking. He turned to Donna’s plying pleading smile. “Which you did because I’m taking you.”


“Oh no, no, you did at least make sure I didn’t have previous engagements right?”


“Good. I’ve got one last question.”


“Why do you do this?”


“The judo flips, the swan dives out the window, all of it.”

She filled ten seconds with thought.

“Because I think I can help.”

“Good enough, I guess. Is the tank full?”

“Um, no.”

“That doesn’t surprise me.”

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Carson Margedant
    Mar 27, 2011 @ 08:58:46


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