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Prologue to "The Iron Fist"
It was six o’clock on a beautiful Friday evening in the vicinity of Melbourne, Florida. To the west, the sun descended behind the horizon, filling the sky with many marvelous colors. Birds of many varieties flew across the sky towards the sun. It was like looking at a painting in an art museum. Unfortunately, the allure of the dying day was not to last.
For everyone who lived in the outskirts of Melbourne knew that tonight was the night of the week that Jim Sadolf would cause discord in a small bar he owned. Jim was much recognized not for his bar, but what he sold inside it. Every Friday night, he would sell his iniquitous drink, Sadolf, for only one dollar a bottle. Everybody knew the drink was bad for you, but it was so hooking and tasted so delectable that it was hardly possible to not want one.
Around eight-thirty, James’s, the name of the bar, was open for business. It was basically a cramped shack the size of a large garage. The bar was barely lit up by four lights that hung from the ceiling that hardly even shined. Scattered across the tiny shack were seven round, wooden tables with a picnic blanket on each of them. They were each surrounded by five plastic chairs, too. At the end of the shack was a bar that could seat around twenty people. The only noise you could hear was either the sound of a small radio playing channel 82.5FM Country music or the sound of a bunch of guzzlers laughing, crying, or yelling.
When Jim opened his bar, customers flooded the inside of it like there was no tomorrow. By the time nine rolled around, the place was packed. Every seat was taken and the bar was overcrowded. People at the tables just sat there, yapping about how their work life was atrocious, how their marriage could be better or what not. Meanwhile, David the bartender had his hands full, serving many enraged alcoholics the abominable drink at the overcrowded bar. It didn’t take long for a fight to start. Ten o’clock rolled by and two imbeciles had an argument over the Super Bowl and began throwing punches at each other. The fight they had provoked the whole bar and by ten-thirty, everybody was in an altercation with each other besides David and Jim.
Meanwhile, Jim sat in his office, smoking his cigar, counting the money he was making, and laughing at the fights happening on the security cameras. Nobody liked Jim for what he was doing. The lowlife bar owner profited while his customers beat the lights out of each other because of the vile drink. People thought his reign of terror would never end. But tonight, Jim’s bar would be visited by somebody who would cause more despair than anybody who has every visited James’s.
Around eleven o’clock, the fight had stopped. The people sat down in their chairs covered from head to toe in bruises and cuts. Some people had even passed out in the corners of the bar. It was very quiet in the bar when suddenly, a beat up white van pulled up. The passenger door opened and out stepped an ominous man who wore a black hoodie, black sneakers, jeans, and a black glove on his right hand. He had his hood up and it covered the top half of his face, exposing only his mouth and his nose. On the right side of his face was a scar that went through his lip and up his right cheek. He walked slowly nearing the bar.
The door to the bar was hurled open. The window on it fractured as it made contact with the wall. Everybody who was still conscious looked up and saw the hooded man in the doorway. David saw that he had broken the window and gave him a scorn look. “I hope you’re going to pay for that,” he said. The hooded man said nothing and proceeded towards the bar. He pushed a blacked out woman off a seat and sat down. David was washing a mug with a small rag while he sat there. He waited for the man to say something, but he kept completely silent.
Confounded, David asked if he could help the man. He looked up at David and nodded his head. “Would you like some Sadolf,” David asked. “We usually sell it for around ten bucks a bottle, but since Jim is such a ‘sweetheart’, we sell it on Friday and Friday only for just a buck. How about it?” The hooded man just gnarred. “I’ve seen what that foul drink does to people”, mumbled the man. “Do you honestly think I’m that thick-headed to not notice the poor souls scattered across the bar addicted to that vile drink, which has an addiction that grows like a cancer?” David said nothing. He just looked down and continued washing his mug. “How can you live with yourself”, asked the hooded man. “These people are victims of an enslaving drink and your boss is profiting off of them tearing each other apart for it. How can you honestly live with yourself, you despicable scoundrel?” David still said nothing. He placed the mug in the sink behind him and stared at the man in the hood. The man then groaned and said, “Just get me a beer. And make it quick.”
David obeyed and went over to the fridge on the right of the bar to get a bottle of Bud-Light. “I might have to get some from out back, mister,” said David. The hooded man waved his right hand, signaling David to go retrieve the beer. As David left, a drunken man in his early twenties got up from one of the tables and saw the hooded man. He gave a scorn look and stumbled towards the bar. He sat next to the hooded man and belched in his face. The hooded man coughed violently from the nauseating stench. “You know,” said the hooded man catching his breath. “Your breath would smell a lot less like a dead animal if you stopped drinking that disgusting Sadolf.” The drunk rolled his watery, bloodshot eyes. “Look here, mister,” said the drunk. “This here Sadolf is the best dang stuff on the Earth. I think it tastes good and makes me wise.”
The hooded man shook his head slowly. The drunk then said, “By the way, I don’t remember you being a local in these parts. This here bar is for locals only. So I suggest you leave.” The man ignored him and did not move a muscle. The drunk widened his eyes and began to glare at the man. “Did you not hear me, buddy,” he yelled with a slur. “I said this place is for the locals only. So beat it before I beat you!” The man still did not respond.
David came back with a fresh twelve pack of Bud-Light and slid one of its bottles down the bar to the man in the hood. Just as he was about to sip the beer, the drunk smacked the bottle out of his hand and it fell to the ground, shattering all over the floor. He then grabbed and threw the hooded man on the ground and flailed his fists at him. Everybody watched as this mindless brute beat the stranger half to death, but nobody even bothered to stop the fight. The drunk continuously beat the man until he completely stopped moving.
The drunk got up from the floor, spit on the hooded man, and walked back to his table. The body of the hooded man lay in the middle of the bar completely motionless. David stared at the poor man and let out a sigh. The drunk sat down and began to fall asleep. As he drifted out of consciousness, a tap on the shoulder woke him up. He turned around sleepily, but what he saw shocked him back awake. The hooded man stood tall behind him and did not look like he had received a scratch. He cracked his neck and mumbled, “Now, it is my turn.”
Right after he said that, he lifted the drunk out of his seat with both hands and threw him against a wall. The drunk fell to the ground and let out a cry of pain. The hooded man then got on top of him and began striking punches at his chest with his right hand. Every time the man hit the drunk with his right fist, it felt like somebody had dropped an enormous wrecking ball on top of his chest. The torment being delivered was unbearable and the drunk began to sob profoundly. He was then lifted in the air and thrown out one of the bar windows, hitting the ground with such force that it nearly knocked him out cold.
The feeble drunk lay there, coughing violently and crying in agony. He couldn’t move his legs. The impact had cracked the bottom half of his spine. He clenched his broken ribs in pain, mumbling a prayer that God might save him from the agony that he was suffering. He heard the door of the bar slam open, and the man who had beaten him slowly walked outside. The drunk screamed and then crawled furiously to his car.
The drunk panted as he crawled to his car, not knowing if he was going to survive or not. He heard the footsteps of the hooded man come closer and closer. He let out a scream and called for help. Sadly, nobody could hear him. At that instant, he felt the massive force of the hooded man’s foot push down on his back. He squealed in pain. He was turned over on his back. He only saw in his vision the hooded man who had beaten him. He took off his black glove and lifted his hood, revealing his face.
He scantily had hair on his scalp. It looked as if somebody had shaved his head completely. His scar ran up the entire right side of his face up to his scalp. The scar went through his right eye as well, which wasn’t even an eye. Rather, it was a robotic eye that looked like one only seen in science fiction movies. His right hand, where he wore his glove, was not a human hand, but rather a silver, robotic hand, made out of metal. But what scared the drunk most was not the scar, not the eye, and not the robotic arm, but the emotion the man with the hood expressed on his face. The man’s face showed that he was full of absolute animosity and melancholy.
The drunk continuously apologized for what he had done, but his words were futile against the hate-filled man before him. The man then reached into his jacket pocket and pulled out a silver object that sparkled in the moonlight. He pulled a lever that was on it back and a small clicking noise was heard. What he had pulled out was a magnum revolver. The drunk began to whimper once more and shut his eyes tightly. The man with the hood aimed the gun at the drunk’s head. He glared at him and cursed out the drunk as he pulled the trigger of the gun. The sound of the blast was so loud it echoed all throughout the outskirts of Melbourne. The man put his gun away and walked back towards his van. As he opened the door to it, he looked back at the dead drunk who lay on the ground, stiff and motionless. He looked down at his feet and let out a sigh. He then got in the van, shut the door, and drove off, never to be seen near that bar ever again.