A Christmas Quarrel

The Man walks south on Front Street, beneath the Market-Frankford El, carrying bags mostly filled with gifts for his daughter and son.  Two Men walk toward him.

The Man tips his cap at the Two Men as they pass him.  The Two Men, one in a sky blue parka, the other wearing a dark green windbreaker, ignore the gesture.

Boom!  The Man feels something smash into the small of his back, propelling him forward.  He drops the bags, heaving them in the same direction as his flying body, and instinctively his head dips, allowing him to somersault before hopping to his feet.  Adrenaline overrules the sharp pain in his back as he turns to face his attackers, the Two Men.

“What say you?”  The Man demands.

“Give us your bags!”  The Two Men shout in unison.

The bags having landed farther south than The Man, he stands between the bags and the Two Men.

“Never!”  The Man shouts back.

“Then, meet your destiny!” 

Parka Man steps toward The Man and throws a right fisted haymaker, easily evaded by The Man with a side step to his left.  In the same motion as the side step, The Man places a powerful right footed round house kick into the front center of the parka, the toes of his thick boot pointed straight into Parka Man’s solar plexus, causing Parka Man to keel over in pain, paralyzing him temporarily.

Windbreaker Man sees an opportunity and makes a run at one of the bags, but The Man arrives first, blocking his path.  Hearing his friend’s moans, Windbreaker Man braces himself for a fight, hands up, subconsciously noting his height advantage over The Man, confident his longer legs can land a kick if he delivers it well.

Wanting to finish Windbreaker Man before Parka Man catches his breath, The Man lunges forward and fakes a punch, prompting Windbreaker Man to direct a left footed front kick toward The Man’s face.

The Man catches Windbreaker Man’s foot with his right hand, drops to his knees, and plants a powerful left fisted punch into Windbreaker Man’s little reproducers, evoking a shrill sound not unlike the cry of a cat in heat.

Windbreaker Man doubles over, now whimpering, as Parka Man starts to stand and then falls back onto his ass, shimmying away from The Man’s glare with his hands up and shaking, palms out, in retreat.

Seeing his attackers have quit, The Man gathers his bags, eyes fixed on the Two Men in case they should foolishly decide to try their luck again. 

The Man turns to walk away and then thinks of something that makes him chuckle.  He reaches into one of the bags and grabs a sack of tennis balls, the lone item he’d purchased for himself that day.  He removes two balls from the sack, tosses one to each of the Two Men and says, “Merry Christmas.”

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