Only once had he been drawn into it. Lost it. He liked looking into their eyes, the fear, the terror. It excited him. But the groveling, the begging; disgusted him. He really loved the screams, the pain. It was almost sexual.
Once though, a dirt bag seemed happy with all the pain. At least, that’s what his eyes said. And, he refused to scream. He kept beating the scum until his partner tackled him. Then, he ran outside, made a mat of brier and smashed it on scum bag’s head. He twisted it, screwed it on real good. No way to get that off. Still, no noise, the scum’s eyes were smiling! Weird, crazy. That jackass was nuts. No other explanation.
Later he saw the crud and two others. Crud seemed to be talking. Suddenly, one of the other asses was smiling. He stared. Then that scum turned; their eyes locked. He couldn’t stop staring. The guy was happy. …. Must be crazy.
A number of years ago, his wife started some women’s gibberish about people seeing dirt bag alive, but without his hat. Well, he saw him die. Dead. They lanced him. Nothing there , Nada. The stupidity was infecting his favorite (and only) grandson. He took him to the games. Make him tough. That was a while ago.
Things change. This time the kid actually arrived before him. Came on his own.
They opened the gate. Big roar. He is the center of attention. He sees the hat less man, smiling. Laying down his sword, he is moving towards his grandson, when dinner begins.
Jacob Schroeder, January 22, 2008