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Fourth Honorable Mention

The Battle Joseph Frare I was knocked backward, nearly winded from the powerful blow of my enemy. As the strike of a clenched fist had hit home in my solar plexus, an injection of bitter anger flooded within the wound. I could fearfully detect it creeping upward into my barely moral mind like the most fatal of poisons from a venomous serpent. I dashed to the side, just avoiding my enemy’s shadowy right hook. With retained strength, I quickly fixed myself back into a balanced stance, breathing heavy, concealing the pained area with a bruised hand. I managed to hold in the pain, the arising vomit of blood. My opponent showed not a single physical quality of my fatigue. He merely turned his body towards me, fixing those red eyes upon me. His skeletal smile was mocking my dwindling state. The monster fumed shadows from its warrior’s build, and faint voices whispered like an unholy aura around it, voices that I very much knew were my own. My opponent looked stronger, more fearsome, and from that horrible ghostly grin and calm demeanor, he was confident in the outcome of this battle. Our arena was a dark, pulsing room of my consciousness, veins strung about on the walls like cobwebs. The poisoning emotion of fury numbed me, and I charged at my opponent with no real stratagem—just blind rage. We clashed fists and strength, but in a matter of seconds, I was already being subdued. The dark monster’s fists violently sounded off my skull in a onetwo of hits, having breached my barricade of forearms—proving them the most useless of shields. My vision blurred and spun, and a great many aggravating but familiar voices flooded into my ears. Cries of blame, anger, disappointment, and shame began a resounding choir in my head, just as painful as the physical blows. I fell to the ground, writhing from the corrupting agony both mental and physical. The overriding emotions were unbearable, my damaged morality choked by its poisonous grasp.

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2017 Freshwater Literary Journal  
2017 Freshwater Literary Journal  

Professional literary journal produced at Asnuntuck Community College

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