This story was written in answer to Fandango’s One Word Challenge. The word I had to use was ‘Simpatico’
Simpatico has a good few meanings, essential is to be agreeable or likeable as a person, or to have shared interests.
Here’s what I came up with. I hope you like it …
A Real Fight For Life
“Okay, boys. You’re both amiable, good-natured lads. I want your charm to show in this ring. I want an engaging fair fight from bell to bell – understood?” instructed old referee Charlie, shouting over the raucous clamour of the crowd at ringside.
Freddie in red, nodded his head, his mouth guard preventing speech.
Louie in blue put forward a glove. Simpatico to a fault the two shared a hug. They were brothers before opponents after all.
“Thank you, boys.” The referee waved a hand and the bell trilled for the fight to begin.
The crowd roared and hailed their champions in the ring.
The boxing two circled and turned, eye to eye they waited for the other to make the first move.
Freddie lunged, a right hook, glancing wide.
Louie worked the jab with style. A quick one-two on the chin, two scored for him.
Freddie grinned, beckoning his brother on with a flurry of fists in return. He loved the crowd chanting in his ears. Dancing forward, he weaved beneath Louie’s blue gloves, hitting stomach and rippling vest.
Louie winced, pounced, and weaved away, keeping his brother at bay.
Freddie rubbed his jaw the uppercut had been strong. Nodding to Louie, he swung in again. This time the bell rang. A simpatico glove-tap and the boxers retreated to their corners.
“You’re a tad too slow, lad. Catch him after his third jab. It’s his weakness,” said Freddie’s trainer Mike, filling his mouth with refreshing water.
Freddie nodded as the bell rang again.
Rising to his feet, he beat his red gloves and rallied himself, pumping his muscles amid the cheering crowd. Breathing the atmosphere in through his nose, he was ready to compete.
The crowd were having a blast, filling the room with fever pitch excitement, “Freddie! You got this, Freddie! Come on, Louie! Louie!”
Every time his name was called, Freddie felt his hairs prickling with electricity. The tension and incitement drawing him forward, making him fight.
The duelling fists flew, both boxers landing a few. Both trading punches with vibrant, sharp twists and elegant turns.
Freddie blocked a haymaker, landing a heavy cross of his own.
Louie recoiled, his eyes finding Charlie sweating uncomfortably.
Freddie backed Louie to the ropes, his red fists leading the charge.
The crowd yelled and cheered; he was going to win this fight. The timekeeper knew they would be another round. He rang the bell and this round was over.
The rounds ticked up, the fight remained even, friendly and fair. Round eight was soon there. It brought with it, the loudest cheer.
Freddie shot passed, Charlie on the attack. Time to score a knockout in this fight.
The referee was holding his chest. His clammy skin way to white.
Louie met Freddie with a hook and jab.
Freddie fainted and lunged, his combination hitting Louie on the nose. Nimble and sharp, He ducked a flurry and struck again.
Louie dropped to a knee. On adrenaline, he roared to his feet. Clutching Freddie, he broke his momentum and wished he could stop for tea.
Freddie could feel him breathing hard. He knew his brother was waning as he tried to punch his way free.
“Come on lads, clinching is illegal. Come away!” Ordered Charlie panting as he pushing between them.
Freddie could tell the referee was struggling to focus and breathe. The break was clean, the crowd applauded and cheered as the boxers began to bob and weave.
Louie dripping in sweat repelled and punched for all he was worth. This time he was determined to best his brother. A shot to the eye and one to the ribs sent Freddie backing into a corner.
Freddie rolled away. On the defensive, he hit shoulder and chin and the duel began again.
Louie feinted into a meaty uppercut, missed by a whisker and danced right away.
Freddie clapped his gloves, applauding the move. His eyes fell on Charlie, mouth opened wide. The referee’s lips were blue, his face pale and he was gasping too. Spitting out his mouth guard, Freddie shook his head and pointed to Charlie. “Bro, match over, Get help!”
“Why? what’s up?” Louie replied, removing his mouthguard.
“Ring the bell, and get a medic in here for—” Freddie leapt to his left catching the referee as he fell to the canvas “Charlie!”
“Oh, no. Quick help!” Louie paled as Mike dived beneath the ropes.
“He’s having a heart attack. We need an ambulance and the defibrillator now!” yelled Freddie using his feet to pull his gloves off.
The crowd fell silent – they wanted to see a fight but not one for life. In the ring Mike, Freddie and Louie were in mortal combat. Each taking turns giving poor Charlie CPR. They did all they could, doing everything a first aider should. Soon the paramedics came, to the crowd’s delight. They didn’t even mind, this was the end of the fight. All praying Charlie could be saved and survive his plight.
As morning came Freddie and Louie entered the Cardiology ward. They smiled knowing Charlie had made it through the night.
“Boys, they told me you saved my life,” he said as they sat by his side. “I owe you both a beer when I get out of here.”
“Hey, you’ve trained and refereed for us since we started boxing twelve years ago. You’re our friend. It’s the least we could do.” Freddie shook his hand. “We saw you looking sick as the rounds went on … “
“Yeah, then Freddie realised your lips were the wrong colour and stopped us fighting. Seconds later you collapsed as we called you some help.”
“We worked with Mike, keeping you going until the paramedics came. We were so relieved when the defibrillator worked for you.”
“Thank you, boys. They say I had a blood clot on my lungs. Your quick thinking alone is why I’m alive today. Besides that, I’m sorry I ruined your fight, boys.”
“No, you didn’t ruin anything, Charlie. We’re glad you survived” Louie clapped him on the shoulder. “Anyway, we have the scores for the first seven rounds.”
“Oh? Who won then?” Charlie sat up with interest and smiled at them both.
Fred and Charlie locked eyes, nodded and grinned. “You did,” they said simpatico to the end. “Life is more important than scores. You got to keep yours and that’s a win for us all.”
Have a great day!