FLASHBACK TO YARD 4
T-Bone - V - Ponytail (Part 2)
Part one of this story ended with T-Bone and Ponytail squaring off, a guard aiming a rifle at them, and a sergeant giving them the choice of boxing or going to the hole.
“I tell the sergeant," T-Bone said,"‘I wanna go to the ring.’ Ponytail ain’t sayin’ nothin’. His eyes are red and he’s as angry as a ragin’ bull. Then he says, ‘Wraps, no gloves.’ His people put stones in his wraps, but the cops see 'em and take 'em out. In the ring he tries to bullrush me. I sidestep him, stick my left foot out, grab his left arm, and trip him, holdin’ on to his arm. I hook his arm as he falls, and hit him in the base of his head with my right hand. Turn around and I’ll show you.”
Before I could say, “Go easy,” T-Bone hit me in the head with his massive right hand. “Ouch!” I said.
“Sorry if I hurt you. I’m just showin’ you where I hit him. Ponytail was stunned for a second, and I’ve still got his arm hooked, so I begin whalin’ on his head and neck. He kept turnin’ his head, so I hit him in the side between his liver and kidney. Lemme show you.”
“Do we have to?”
“Lift up your right arm. I’ll hit you softly.”
Trying to be a good sport, I raised my arm and – bam! - my right ribs were socked. “That’s enough demos for one night.”
“Imagine how Ponytail felt? The sensation was unbearable. He let out a big ol' warrrrgggghhhh! Like a wounded bear. He started bangin’ on the mat.”
“Yeah. But I wasn’t finished. I let his arm go, and I jump up and kick him in the side of the neck. He moves his arms to protect himself, so I kick him in the same spot between the kidney and lung. His whole face turned red. People jump in the ring and grab me off him. There’s eighty blacks in the yard of seven hundred and fifty prisoners, and all of 'em are jumpin’ around ecstatic.
Three days later, I’m walkin’ near a blind spot where people handle their business, and there’s four whites includin’ Ponytail in a cubbyhole. One says, ‘Hey, nigger boy, you ain’t gettin’ away with doin’ that to one of us.’ I act like I’m trippin’, and pick up a handful of dirt and throw it in the dude’s face. The rest of 'em stop and look. My friends Red and T see what’s happenin’ and they come over with three black prison-gang members. Eight more woods come as well. One of the leaders says, ‘Chill out. Everyone get against the wall and let these two handle their business.’ I square off with Ponytail. I break down in a crouch and start circlin’ him. He don’t know how to act. I fake a lunge. He kicks me square in the shoulder with prison boots. I step back, shake the pain loose, and smile. He sees I’m injured, and like a dummy rushes me. I throw my right hand like you throw a ball, square in the middle of his face. He stops. His nose is bleedin’. I throw a left hook to his lung. I kick him in the leg. He bangs his head into the wall and – crackkk! - he goes down. Blood’s comin’ outta his mouth, both ears, and he defecates on himself. I kick him in the solar plexus and start stompin’ on his ribs, breakin’ them. I take his arm, and break it by puttin’ it against the wall and kickin’ it. He was out, but that wakes him up.”
“Didn’t you think that you’d done enough damage by now?”
“No. I’m tryin’ to kill him. He’s tryin’ to kill me. I had to do what was necessary 'cause he was gonna come back again and again. Then I try to break his leg against the wall by kickin’ it, but that doesn’t work. I ran into it with my shoulder and it breaks.”
“That’s got to be enough?”
“Hell it is! I put him in a chokehold meanin’ to choke him to death. The cops come around the corner to stop the death hold. They spray me with Mace in my mouth, eyes, and nose, up real close, and I let him go. The Mace brought me back to my senses. The death rage had left. You know, the kill thing that gets in you. They helicoptered Ponytail to hospital in Phoenix, and that was the last anyone ever heard of him. The white dudes in the cubbyhole that tried to beat me up were moved from the yard. I went to the hole for two weeks. When I got out, I had a reputation. People were sayin’, ‘Don’t mess with him. He’ll kill ya.’ But you know how it is in prison, reputations attract gunslingers. The peace didn’t last for long.”
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