Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The Other Cheek

“You will not do this.”

His face was set like flint.  The girl was on the ground behind him, her mother gathering her in her arms, the two of them quickly and fearfully backing away.

The Attacker drew his eyes upon the man now standing between he and his prey, and moved closer.

“I will do what pleases me.  Get out of my way.”

The Man Between did not move.  He was at least two inches shorter, and gazed upward toward the Attacker.  He spoke the words again.

“You will not do this.”

The back of the Attacker’s hand met his face swiftly, and with great strength.  A ring caught him just below his right eye, and his cheek was instantly emblazoned with a thin slash of blood.  He felt rage, both alien and immediate, welling up within him as he righted himself to face the Attacker.

Once more, he drew the Attacker’s sight to his own.  The Man Between looked into his eyes with alarming intensity.  He seemed to be searching for something behind them.  In a moment, there was a look of recognition.  He found what he was looking for.

“If it pleases you, you may strike me again, child.  But place it on this cheek.”  He held a finger to the left side of his beard.

Instantly he felt the blinding strike of the attacker’s fist.  He righted himself again, his mouth filling with blood, his teeth throbbing.  For the third time, he drew the Attacker’s eyes to his own.

“It pleases me.” the Attacker said, spat in his face, and walked away.