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Kiss the Moon

James vs Funaki


Adrenaline dulled the pain but sharpened his senses to a fine edge. James Mitchell parried a blow that a moment prior would have buckled his knees upon contact.

The young man pressed forward with a renewed sense of single-minded focus. He countered with a short uppercut that glanced off his opponent’s chin and forced the other man to step away from James for the first time.

James feigned a punch to the body with his left hand then immediately connected with a straight right to his opponent’s eye. Any remnant of anxiety was replaced by a sense of urgency to do more than just impress the judges. He had to knock this guy down to have the best chance of improving how he would be ranked.

Minoru Funaki was good; much better than anyone James had fought up until this point in his life. James was reminded of those bold proclamations made by superior fighters in the martial arts anime he often watched.

“You are ten years too early to challenge me.” The words could have been easily spoken by Funaki without a hint of bravado. The shoot fighter was that good.

Funaki was a highly touted prospect on loan from the most prestigious mixed martial arts gym in the region.

James was mostly self-taught with rudimentary training from his uncle; mostly boxing with basic takedown defense. After observing a fighting technique, James would practice it until he was ready to implement those new skills against any opponent he encountered during the complimentary week- long trials at various gyms.

There skill gap between the two men was obvious to even the most casual observer. The prospect of bridging that gap excited James.

Funaki let loose with two quick jabs. The first ruptured something inside James’ mouth and the second James intentionally took to the forehead. Before he could register the metallic taste in his mouth, James bobbed and weaved away from the right overhand punch and tagged Funaki’s ribs with a right hook.

James smiled as the two men exchanged hard kicks to one another’s legs. As Funaki slammed another kick into James’ thigh, James temporarily disrupted Funaki’s balance with deceptively quick left cross to the temple.

Funaki managed to block most of James’ next flurry of punches but not all of them.

Lungs burning, arms as heavy as any post workout routine, James made a final push to score a knock out blow. Funaki had other plans.

In what felt like a blink of an eye, James was suddenly staring into a pen light. He scrambled to a seated position but discovered that his view of Funaki was obscured by a second body.

It took several long seconds before he realized that an EMT trainee was questioning him about his condition. After a brief recap, James learned that he had been knocked out cold for just under fifteen seconds.

Funaki lifted James to his feet and pulled him close enough to whisper words of encouragement into his ear.

“I’ll be waiting.”

Death rained down on Jabari Kennedy.

The dusty precipitation danced on pale slivers of moonlight as it settled all around him. He brushed residue from the shoulders of his overcoat as he kept his firearm trained on his victim.

The life he had claimed had not been human; not entirely. What remained of the human shell rapidly decomposed before his eyes.

Suddenly something burst forth from the chest cavity. An instant before the creature completely freed itself from the confines of its desiccated host, Kennedy squeezed the trigger twice.

The projectiles slammed into the creature with enough force to knock it back into the human husk. An unworldly wail echoed throughout the alley as the sedative slowly paralyzed the creature. A dozen tiny tendrils erupted from the opening and flailed aimlessly in an attempt to extricate itself from the corpse.

Kennedy returned his weapon to its holster then retrieved a second device that resembled a tape measure. The creature spasmed once more then fell deathly still just as it emerged.

He pressed the button and within thirty seconds had secured the creature in a plastic polymer several times stronger than steel. Kennedy waved the device over the creature. A moment later a small green light signified the creature was still alive.

His primary task finally completed, Kennedy directed his attention to the young woman that had been lured into the alley by the creature.

She was unconscious but still breathing. Kennedy had stopped the creature before its venom could spread through her body. He estimated he had fifteen minutes to get her the necessary treatment.

Kennedy quickly scanned the area and found a waste disposal unit. It was less dignified than his usual method, but he was pressed for time. He picked up the creature and placed it inside the container for safe keeping. Gently, he scooped the slim woman into his arms and carried her away into the night.

Elisa De La Luna barely managed to smile at the eleventh man to speak to her.

He was nearly a foot taller than her and had tried to impress her with an all too familiar story about body guarding some pop star and having to turn down the barely legal woman’s amorous gratitude.

The security professionals’ conference her father had forced her to attend had proven to be a quagmire of braggarts and flirts.

She slid the man a business card and told him to keep in touch. Once he left, she headed to the bar and gave serious thought to having her assistant prank the man when he did call.

Elisa bit her lip as she struggled to hold in a scream of frustration. Her disappointment was palpable. So many of them—including two she had specifically wanted to meet in person prior to this evening—seemed to be only concerned with how much money they would make after the conference and how many women they would bed as a result.

The thought of one of them touching her was nearly enough to drive her into a murderous rage. With her father’s connections, she could probably get away with it.

Where the hell is this guy?

Elisa’s father gave her explicit instructions to stay until she had spoken to a certain man of interest.

She had her misgivings about her father’s insistence that she meet a man with no professional references. What was her father scheming now? She allowed the thought to linger a moment longer then focused on the glass the bar tender had placed in front of her.

“Good evening.” She raised her eyes from the glass towards the man who spoke to her.

“Hello.” She appraised his looks. He had a solid build; not too bulky. His blue shirt fit snug but not tight and simply hinted at a toned physique instead of a full showcase.

The man was two shades darker than her and while not model handsome like some of the men in attendance, there was a certain boyish charm to his face that admittedly made him appealing.

More importantly, he smelled differently than any of the other men present. There was no natural musk or expensive cologne. The man smelled like a fresh kill. Perhaps she had been too hasty judging her father’s intent.

“Mr. Kennedy, I presume.”

“Guilty. A pleasure to meet you Ms. De La Luna.”

He offered his hand and she gripped it firmly.

“I hear that you are a man of considerable talents.”

“I’ve been known to solve a problem or two in my time. Are you having a good time?”

“Truthfully, I’m bored out of my mind. I thought things would be, more interesting, I suppose.”

“Well, I could start a fight with that last guy you spoke to.” He flashed a quick grin.

“That could prove entertaining.” Elisa returned the smile.

“Yeah, but it’s probably not very professional to beat people down just to impress a beautiful lady.”

“I suppose you do have a point. So tell me Jabari, how long were you watching me?”

“Long enough to scope out my competition. Feeling pretty confident if we’re being honest.” He had an infectious charm and she found herself smiling again.

“As long as we’re being honest, this was not my original plan for tonight.”

“What would you rather be doing?”

“Something, unprofessional.”

It was quick, impulsive, but deliberate. When she withdrew her lips from his, he stared at her with a wide-eyed amazement she found adorable.

“That was a test.”

“How did I do?”

“I’ll let you know tomorrow.” She stood up and took a few steps away from him. “Don’t keep me waiting.”

Elisa De La Luna barely managed to smile at the eleventh man to speak to her.

He was nearly a foot taller than her and had tried to impress her with an all too familiar story about body guarding some pop star and having to turn down the barely legal woman’s amorous gratitude.

The security professionals’ conference her father had forced her to attend had proven to be a quagmire of braggarts and flirts.

She slid the man a business card and told him to keep in touch. Once he left, she headed to the bar and gave serious thought to having her assistant prank the man when he did call.

Elisa bit her lip as she struggled to hold in a scream of frustration. Her disappointment was palpable. So many of them—including two she had specifically wanted to meet in person prior to this evening—seemed to be only concerned with how much money they would make after the conference and how many women they would bed as a result.

The thought of one of them touching her was nearly enough to drive her into a murderous rage. With her father’s connections, she could probably get away with it.

Where the hell is this guy?

Elisa’s father gave her explicit instructions to stay until she had spoken to a certain man of interest.

She had her misgivings about her father’s insistence that she meet a man with no professional references. What was her father scheming now? She allowed the thought to linger a moment longer then focused on the glass the bar tender had placed in front of her.

“Good evening.” She raised her eyes from the glass towards the man who spoke to her.

“Hello.” She appraised his looks. He had a solid build; not too bulky. His blue shirt fit snug but not tight and simply hinted at a toned physique instead of a full showcase.

The man was two shades darker than her and while not model handsome like some of the men in attendance, there was a certain boyish charm to his face that admittedly made him appealing.

More importantly, he smelled differently than any of the other men present. There was no natural musk or expensive cologne. The man smelled like a fresh kill. Perhaps she had been too hasty judging her father’s intent.

“Mr. Kennedy, I presume.”

“Guilty. A pleasure to meet you Ms. De La Luna.”

He offered his hand and she gripped it firmly.

“I hear that you are a man of considerable talents.”

“I’ve been known to solve a problem or two in my time. Are you having a good time?”

“Truthfully, I’m bored out of my mind. I thought things would be, more interesting, I suppose.”

“Well, I could start a fight with that last guy you spoke to.” He flashed a quick grin.

“That could prove entertaining.” Elisa returned the smile.

“Yeah, but it’s probably not very professional to beat people down just to impress a beautiful lady.”

“I suppose you do have a point. So tell me Jabari, how long were you watching me?”

“Long enough to scope out my competition. Feeling pretty confident if we’re being honest.” He had an infectious charm and she found herself smiling again.

“As long as we’re being honest, this was not my original plan for tonight.”

“What would you rather be doing?”

“Something, unprofessional.”

It was quick, impulsive, but deliberate. When she withdrew her lips from his, he stared at her with a wide-eyed amazement she found adorable.

“That was a test.”

“How did I do?”

“I’ll let you know tomorrow.” She stood up and took a few steps away from him. “Don’t keep me waiting.”

Read next: NBA Debates
Wendell Mitchell
Wendell Mitchell

A father of 3, Wendell is a cyber hobo with a love for storytelling and food. His interests include grappling, pro wrestling, anime, MMA, superheroes, comedy, at least one song in every musical genre except EDM, and cooking.   

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Kiss the Moon
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