Now We Fight for Real

Shadow FightersJohnny Chen struck a fighting stance as the thugs surrounded him. There were ten, maybe fifteen, all masked. Most carried knifes. He saw a club, heard a length of chain stretched taunt.

He knew why he was there, why he must fight: they had Honey Li, his niece, and he would die before breaking the vow he had sworn to her father. But this was his first real fight. What if he couldn’t do it?

“You gonna fight us all?” the leader asked. He was tall, wide, like a professional wrestler.

“Yes.” There was nothing else to be said.

Three of the men rushed him. He ducked the first knife swing, rotated, knocked the legs out from one. The club came down, barely missing him. He somersaulted away and jumped to his feet. The chain pulled tight across his neck. Another thug punched him in the stomach, once, twice. He managed to dodge the third enough so that the blow landed in his choker’s large gut. The momentary shock gave him the chance he needed. Johnny slipped out of the chain’s grip, jumped, spun, landed a monstrous kick to the fat man’s head.

But then it happened—when he landed, his ankle twisted. Johnny lost his footing, fell backward. His head hit the concrete hard. As the pain came, his only thought was: After all the practice…

“Cut!” the director shouted. “Someone get the medic over here.” He rubbed his face, muttering, “So much for doing his own stunts.”

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