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The Fight

jaxx sullivan

11 Nov 2023

Short Story

It was an odd spectacle seeing Batman and Superman throwing limp punches in Glasgow’s Buchanan Street. The clock was ticking towards midnight on the 31st October and the superheroes were fleein’ home after their office halloween party. An amusing crowd had gathered around them, including two Minions, zombie Cinderella, a pumpkin and the clown from IT. They were getting into the spirit, cheering them on with gusto.


Cries of “Go on Batman! Pow! Hit him harder!” and “Gawn yersell Superman! Get him where it hurts!” punctured their cheap polyester costumes, cajoling and seducing them to continue their lackluster display.


A homeless man was forced to listen from his remote, cold, concrete bed in a closed down shop doorway. “Haw superheroes! Gies peace will ye. Wan ee yeez is gonnae get hurt. And you aw shoot be asham’t ay yersells, eggin’ them oan. Get yersells tae f…ga hame n get tae yer beds or ahl phone the polis on yeez aw.” The homeless man covered his head with his stained, thin quilt, a vague attempt to mute them.


Batman and Superman stared at the pile of quilt, the words knocking them out of their stupor. The audience stood for a moment as his words landed on their shoulders. They did as they were told.


The next morning Bruce messaged Clark, “Sorry again mate. I’m embarrassed.”


“I’m sorry too mate. I'm mortified.” Clark replied.


They arranged to meet up in town to buy the homeless man a quilt. The sky was dull and grey and a spot of rain fell onto Bruce’s nose as they retraced their drunken steps along Buchanan Street to deliver the bedding.


“That could have turned nasty last night mate. What were we thinking?” Bruce said.


“We weren’t thinking. That’s the problem. It was so stupid.”


“I’m glad he stopped us.” Bruce said as they approached the homeless man.


“Excuse me.” Clark tried to wake the homeless man, wondering if it was the right thing to do. “Should we just leave it beside him?” he asked. He wasn’t moving. They could see his face. It was still, unflinching. Their hearts started to race and their hands began to tremble.

“Mate?” Bruce crouched down and gently shoogled the homeless man. Nothing.


Clark grabbed his phone and called 999. Ten minutes later the police and an ambulance arrived. “Come on mate, fight for your life”, Bruce said under his breath. A small crowd gawked uncomfortably as the paramedics sent shocks through his heart. His body convulsed one final time before becoming still. Bruce and Clark stood with the tog 15 quilt as the homeless man was zipped into a blue body bag and placed into the back of the ambulance.


Bruce broke their stunned silence, “he never had anything worth fighting for.”


“And we were fighting over nothing.”




 © jaxx sullivan, born sullivan, November 2023



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