Gym of Dreams: Jasper


By xythan_shadow

“I’m sorry, but neither way is going to work for me,” I quietly said. “You are way too dangerous right now, and it would be worse if you got what you wanted. I can not allow that.” I threw my head backwards aiming for my captor’s nose. I heard a crunch and my captor started to fall back with a broken nose, loosing his grip. I moved my hands up to his shoulders and used the momentum gained from the fall to springboard off him and kick one of the guys behind me. That’s two of my six attackers down. As the rest of them started to approach me, time seemed to slow as my instincts and adrenaline kick in. Years of Ninjutsu training flooded my mind and I saw the battle’s end before it had begun. The guy closest to me was husky and applied a lot of his weight to his toes when he moved. His weakest point would be his knees. I stepped forward towards him and delivered a downward front kick, aiming directly for the top of his kneecap at the moment he applied his full weight to the leg. I heard the bone shatter and he fell to the ground in indescribable pain. Still in what seemed to be slow motion, I spun on my left heel, delivering a roundhouse to the next guy’s temple, specifically to knock him out. It worked, and he toppled to the ground making the quarterback stumble in the process. I hopped back, avoiding the tackle of one of the remaining attackers. A quick punch to the back of the neck targeting that pressure point rendered him unconscious. All that was left now was the man who started this exchange, the quarterback. The fact that I took down five guys seemed to mean nothing to him as he continued to charge. Wanting to teach him a lesson, I performed the Midare Zakura, an attack that targets 8 specific points on the human body, causing the target to become paralyzed, unable to move but able to see, hear and speak for around an hour. His opening punch was clumsy and left him off balance as I ducked it, and the opening was perfect. Utilizing the Midare Zakura I attacked. He became frozen in position with his eyes darting around. I explained to him the nature of the attack he just encountered. All he could do was swear at me with a string of profanities that would make a sailor look like a saint. I calmly stated that I planned on going to the police, but what he says next was a shock.

“Go ahead you stupid fucker. You think they’re gonna believe you, a nobody, instead of us? Everyone knows who we are; we can do whatever the fuck we want to. Even cops wouldn’t dare lay a finger on us.”

I turned slightly away, not wanting him to see my expression, but he knew.

“That’s right you stupid shit. We can’t be touched. You just wait. We’re gonna break your legs and make sure you can’t do nothing. And burn down your little apartment building and say you died in the fire.”

My eyes widen at the thought of all those people that might die in the fire. He continued screaming, but with an obvious amusement. “That’s right, fuck all those people in that building. Then we’ll tie you up in our gym and force you to make us huge.”

I turned back toward him and looked into his fuming eyes. I said, “You are right. There’s nothing that can be done about you here. Hell, I wouldn’t be surprised if you could even bring me up on charges. So, I guess I’ll just have to vanish for a while.”

I began to walk off as he screamed, “We’ll find you! You god dammed bastard!”

I hung my head low as I started to run. I knew the first thing I had to do was get home as soon as possible and leave town. I couldn’t take any public transportation, so I would be forced to walk through the woods. Hopefully, they were too ashamed to go to the police, seeing as how one guy decimated five semi-pro football players and Mafia muscle. I swiftly entered my apartment and as I gathered a few items, my thoughts shifted to Josh. He was in another state thankfully, so their reach probably couldn’t get to him, but I couldn’t lay this problem on him. He had already done so much for me, but I needed to let him know that I wouldn’t be around for a while. I quickly grabbed all the old letters so there would be no trace of Josh and sprinted out the door.

I ran all night away from my birth city, fearing the insanity of my situation. I only stopped once I was in the next town. Spending a few moments at a diner, I wrote out a quick letter to Josh.


Hey Josh,

Sorry I have to write to you like this and not visit. Before I get into this, I must ask you not to get worried or leave school or act as if anything’s different.

Some of the muscle from “you know who” the same ones that play for the Chinchilla’s found out about me from those jerks in high school and threatened me to help them. I couldn’t though, they were too wild and cocky to let them have that kind of power. So I had to fight them and get away. They don’t seem to know about you, but they swore they would force me to help. They threatened to kill everyone in my apartment building to cover their tracks when they got me, and you know how they seem to control everything in this state. So, I’m leaving. I have to get away from here and I need to make sure the things I truly care about are safe. That means you and your parents. Don’t write back to where I used to live anymore. When I find somewhere I know is safe, I’ll contact you.

I can never begin to thank you for all that you’ve done for me Josh. I love you deeply, more than words can begin to say, because you were always there for me. But I can not allow any harm to come to you and I can’t allow myself to drop this on you. Try not to worry about me man. I’ll be alright. And I promise I’ll get back with you one day.


Tears were welling down my eyes as I wrote the letter. I knew I loved Josh more than anything and now I had to leave. Everything that I’d grown to love must be left behind. But I wanted his safety more than my own, and if I stayed around, eventually they might find out about him and hurt him, or they might get what they want and hurt others.

I slowly licked the envelope, sealing my tear-stained letter inside. I paid the waitress for my coffee and left the diner, dropping the letter in a nearby mailbox. Giving one more glance to the road leading to my home, I began to walk the opposite direction, knowing that I probably will never return.

And that brings us back to the present moment. My funds are slowly dwindling from the last construction job I did, but I feel that I can almost settle down now. I’ve been walking for months now and I should be on the other side of the country. This town seems very nice. It’s nestled near a mountain area and these people seem very friendly. I’m thinking this will be my new home. First things first, I need to find a job.

I walk around the town for a while looking for signs of construction. I know that’s a job I can do well and most construction companies could always use a skilled journeyman, but it seems that there’s little construction going on. I’ve looked through this town for most of the day and I don’t see anything being built or repaired anywhere. Even the streets are in good shape. This town looks like this isn’t the best place for that skill set unfortunately. While walking through this area that looks like a bunch of garages, I notice this big place that looks kinda like a warehouse. Over the door is a slightly faded sign that says “Gym of Dreams.” I think to myself, “I think I know enough about lifting to get a job here.” I walk up the stairs and open the door, hoping that I can get a good, stable job. •

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